Before Evil Dead: The perfect Netflix docuseries for the future?


There was a time before The Evil Dead? Hard to believe but the answer is yes. At 1428 Elm we imagine the possibilities.

Give us some sugar, please.

Evil Dead – Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi – Courtesy of Renaissance Pictures

The Idea

The other day I was reading an interview with Bruce Campbell on the site, Monkeys Fighting Robots.  In it, they imagined a Netflix series dealing with the pre-Evil Dead escapades of Campbell, Raimi and their fellow cohorts. What did the Groovy One think about the idea? “Funny thing is we could actually.”

Of course, my mind spun off in fifty different directions. What would that pitch meeting be like? So, I decided to just go with it.

Before I continue let me just emphasize Before Evil Dead is not happening. It is a made-up show. This is all conjecture and tongue in cheek. Of course, the names will be changed to protect the innocent and yada yada.

Now, let’s be a fly on the wall and see how “The Writer” pitches this material to “The Network.”

Evil Dead – Pitching a Show – Courtesy of Good in a Room

The Pitch

TW: I have this idea that I think you are going to love. Kids in suburbia make zany films for fun and end up becoming famous. Think of it like The Wonder Years meets Entourage.

TN: Has possibilities. What’s the backstory?

TW: Well, they have all been friends since high school so they are kind of like this lovable band of film geeks that take their passion and turn it into real life success.  Of course, there are struggles. The film that gives them their start takes years to make. They keep running out of money. It’s about the American dream of success through hard work and perseverance.

TN: That doesn’t seem sexy enough. Can you throw in some women for love interests?

TW: There are women in their movies. Friends from school. You know they have “near sex” experiences but that isn’t really what this is about…

TN: You know Dakota Fanning is hot right now. She would be great.

TW: I don’t think that would really work……

TN: What kind of movie do they make? I see a Steven Spielberg type thing.

TW: Not exactly. It’s a horror film. You know it’s really raw and gritty. Low budget fare.

TN: Will there be blood and gore?

TW: Absolutely! By the gallon. The leading man even gets injured.

TN: Injured? Is it life threatening? Does he do it while saving someone’s life on the set?

TW: Uh, no. Actually, he does it while he is running in the woods for the film. The director and the producer in order to “motivate” him prod his ankle with a couple of 2×4’s before his scenes.

Evil Dead- Dakota Fanning – Courtesy of Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

The Deal

TN: I like the sound of this! So, we have blood, gore, violence and Dakota Fanning!

TW: Dakota Fanning? She isn’t even a part of this!

TN: We need at least one name to bring viewers in. Look at the big picture. Think of the shares! Who do you have in mind for the male leads?

TW: I was thinking along the lines of Stranger Things. Not easily recognizable names so that the audience gets drawn into the story and starts identifying with the characters.

TN: Stranger Things is a great show!

TW: Definitely.

TN: What about that kid from Baby Driver?

TW: Ansel Elgort?

TN: Yeah! He’s young and good looking. The movie is popular with the demographic we want to reach.

TW: I really didn’t envision him when I was writing the script.

TN: If we make it a limited run series we can possibly get him. This idea of yours has a lot of potential. Let me run it up the chain and I’ll call to set up a meeting.

The bewildered writer shakes the network executive’s hand and ponders what the hell just happened?

The Wrap

Seriously though, fans of the Evil Dead trilogy and Ash vs Evil Dead would probably tune into a show exploring the early years of the “boys” from Michigan. For once that would be an origin story worth seeing. Maybe if we’re lucky, someday Renaissance Pictures might even get around to it. Here’s to wishful thinking!

Next: Bruce Campbell’s ‘Hail to the Chin’: Fifteen Years in the Making

Do you think a series dealing with the hi-jinx of a young Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi and their friends would be worth watching? Could it be the next hit for Netflix or Hulu? Feel free to leave your thoughts in our comment section below. We want to hear from you!