Interview with Evil Dead’s Jane Levy and Fede Alvarez at Comic-Con

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I was given the ABSOLUTE pleasure of meeting and conducting an interview with Evil Dead’s brilliant director Fede Alvarez and the stunning lead actress Jane Levy while at San Diego Comic-Con. As a huge fan of the original trilogy I was emotionally invested in the re-creation of the film and stressed over wondering if it was going to be a good movie or just another terrible remake. Based on my review, I loved it! So naturally when we were given the opportunity to speak with them regarding the release of the Blu-ray, I jumped at the opportunity.

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What got you guys into recreating this film and reimagining it?

Fede Alvarez: That was all Sam Raimi. He wanted to have a new Evil Dead in the world. He wanted to give a new Evil Dead for the fans and so he was trying to make that film for a while and we met through a short that I did called Panic Attack which..

Jane Levy: Was kind of the most amazing story, which I’m sure you know.

Fede Alvarez: It was a very simple short, $300 bucks spent on the short.

Jane Levy: Uploaded on YouTube.

Fede Alvarez: Yeah, I put it on YouTube and that kind of spread to LA. 10 days later I was meeting Sam, and through that relationship he eventually asked me if I wanted to do Evil Dead for him. And I was like “of course, yes!” We came up with an idea and wrote it and changed, and then Jane came in when we were casting the movie.

Jane Levy: Blew them out of the water. They just said “that’s gotta be the girl.”

Fede Alvarez: That was kind of it.

Jane Levy: (Laughing) There were other complicated things that went on, and then we made a movie together in New Zealand.

So were you guy’s fans of Evil Dead before?

Fede Alvarez: I was, she had no idea what it was. And with people her age, it’s not uncommon that they don’t know what the originals are. When the movie was allowed to come out, people were saying “the movie’s called Evil Dead? That’s a weird name,” like you know they are coming up with this name Evil Dead.

Jane Levy: Or like it sounds like they’re making Cabin In the Woods again as if Cabin In the Woods came first.

Cabin In the Woods was very influenced by Evil Dead.

Both: Exactly!

Fede Alvarez: That’s why you can’t blame them, that’s just the way it is. If you’re from the generation that saw it, great! Evil Dead is one of those that gets rediscovered by every generation.

I have to say it was a great re-imagining  As a longtime fan of Evil Dead and Bruce Campbell, it was just amazing to see. I went to the first screening of the film and was blown away. I was with a few girls who had no idea what Evil Dead was and even the girl behind us had to leave the theater because she was so afraid. She almost peed her pants and she left. That’s why it’s one of the most terrifying films you will ever see, how was that response?

Fede Alvarez: Thank you and that’s amazing. That’s all you want. We’ve been in screenings where people fainted and then I’ve heard of stories of people barfing and all kinds of stories. When we were writing it, I remember that we were writing a horror movie that you know what the story is about; you think about the classic horror movies that have been able to do that. The Exorcist had people fainting and those are very rare cases. And when something like that actually happens, you realize that you did something right. That and people getting tattoos of her face, which really happened.

Jane Levy: Wanna see one?

Yes I do actually. [It was a pretty intense picture of her as a deadite]

Fede Alvarez: There’s a bunch of those.

There were so many rumors that there was too much gore and that you had to bring it down so that it wouldn’t be NC-17.

Fede Alvarez: Whatever gore you saw at the screening is what everyone else saw in the theaters. We never cut it out, the only cut is the the version that we wanted to show.

How was it working with all the blood?

Jane Levy: It’s really terrible (laughing), it’s really SOOO SO terrible. Like it’s so funny to watch. I’ve worked on things since then when actors have to get sticky stuff on their hands, and they’re like (whining and fidgeting). I was covered with sticky shit, in mud, in puss and like every disgusting thing you can imagine. I had to put Vaseline on my hair; there had to be K-Y jelly rubbed all over my face, on top of the prosthetics, with blood poured down my chest. It was so disgusting, it’s miserable, yup that’s it (laughing).

Fede Alvarez: I remember that I did all the close ups of the film and hands flipping through the pages. Those were always my hands because it’s easier for me than instructing an actor to do it right. So I would dress up and they put me in a shirt (Eric’s character), and they put all the blood on my hands and I remember going like, “This is so disgusting and uncomfortable.” And Lou was completely in demon makeup and saying, “Dude, don’t complain.” It was really disgusting.

Jane Levy: Physical activity, anything that happens to you physically directly affects your emotional and intellectual inner world and your body, you know what I mean? So it worked for the movie because I was actually thinking about my survival as a human being while making this movie, so it was good for me and I was quick to tears and anger and emotional breakdowns.

Fede Alvarez: I remember telling you, Jane, that you’re not going to die. You were like sure. It was like, “Jane, there is no way.” This is terrible, and it’s not like suddenly someone’s going to say, “Let’s check on the actors,” and someone’s going to be like, “She’s dead.”

Jane Levy: (laughing) Kind of morbid.

How was it taking over an iconic character and flipping it to make it a female? You guys did a lot of homages to the original films, which was spectacular.

Jane Levy: I mean it was so.. I am so far away from Bruce Campbell I didn’t feel any pressure, because we’re the complete opposite human beings and the characters are different. I didn’t feel any pressure to try and be him, since it’s impossible. To me this is a version without Ash.

Fede Alvarez: If you were taller maybe.

Jane Levy: And had a bigger chin.

So a sequel, yes or no?

Fede Alvarez: Oh, we are trying to figure that out; that’s what we’re doing.

End of Interview

If you loved the movie as much as I did, look for Evil Dead online and in stores now. It is available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download!

Here is also the short film that Fede Alvarez made which includes one of my favorite audio tracks (it has been featured on movies like Kick-Ass and 28 Weeks Later)

And here are some behind the scene looks at the making of Evil Dead!

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Robert Galvan
Robert Galvan 392 posts

For as long as he can remember, Robert asked the questions that others wouldn't about love, life, and death which brought about his interest in the human psyche and moral compass, resulting in an infatuation with comics, zombies, and movies leading to a long standing relationship with his imagination.