The Many Lives of The Evil Dead

Essays on the Cult Film Franchise


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About the Book

One of the top-grossing independent films of all time, The Evil Dead (1981) sparked a worldwide cult following, resulting in sequels, remakes, musicals, comic books, conventions, video games and a television series. Examining the legacy of one of the all-time great horror films, this collection of new essays covers the franchise from a range of perspectives. Topics include The Evil Dead as punk rock cinema, the Deadites’ (demon-possessed undead) place in the American zombie tradition, the powers and limitations of Deadites, evil as affect, and the films’ satire of neoliberal individualism.

About the Author(s)

Writer and actor Ron Riekki has won several screenplay awards including best sci-fi/fantasy from the International Family Film Festival, best comedy from the Los Angeles Film Awards and the Nuclear Pen Award from the GenreBlast Film Festival.

Jeffrey A. Sartain teaches literature and composition at the University of Houston-Victoria and is the managing editor for American Book Review. His studies include the culture of the digital age, posthumanism, horror films, genre fiction, contemporary authors, and literary minimalism.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Ron Riekki and Jeffrey A. Sartain

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 219
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6871-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3604-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I: The Films
Deadites and the American Zombie Tradition (Brandon Kempner) 4
“The Number One Nasty”: How Britain’s Most Popular Eighties Horror Was Banned (Sarah Cleary) 15
Final Girl, Final Boy: Ash’s Imperiled Masculinity (Dale Bailey) 27
Perceptions of Paranormal Plausibility: Method and Manipulation in The Evil Dead (Leon Lewis ) 34
Naturom Demonto: How The Evil Dead Claims Evil for Both Literature and Cinema (John Semley) 41
Tracking Gaze, Possessing Perspective: Evil as Affect (Haerin Shin) 51
The Evil Dead and Punk Rock Cinema (Alex Pitofsky) 55
Horrid Addictions and Curious Cravings (Emily D. Edwards) 59
Dismembering, Repeating and ­Working-Through: Queer Disability and Neoliberal Crises of Deracination in Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead Trilogy (Clayton J. Plake) 70
The First Horror Film Shot in Michigan (Ron Riekki) 82

Part II: The Franchise and Adaptations
“Don’t call me Ash!”: Success, the Bruce Campbell Way (Michael Fuchs and Michael Phillips) 94
Ash vs. the Cult of Personality (Alex Liddell) 109
“For God’s sake, how do you stop it?!”: The Powers and Limitations of the Deadites (Michael P. Jaros and Robert I. Lublin) 120
“Shoot first, think never”: Ash’s Satire of Neoliberal Individualism (Jeffrey A. Sartain) 131
Franchising Fright from Film to Game (Stefan Hall) 144
Repulsion and Convulsion in “The Splatter Zone” (Rob Roznowski) 153
Stage Horrality: Evil Dead: The Musical and the Theatricality of Embarrassment (André Loiselle) 158
Deadites vs. Adaptation (Valerie L. Guyant) 164
Deadite Porn (Olga ­Tchepikova-Treon) 172
Macduff vs. Army of Darkness (Erin Harrington) 182

Part III: Testimonials
Fake Shemping (Bill Vincent) 188
Do the Necronomicon: Evil Dead’s Journey into the Realm of Musical Theater (L. Michael Elliott) 196
Being Linda (Betsy Baker) 200

About the Contributors 203
Index 207