Evil Dead: Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi talk favorite drive-in movies


Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi in the early 80’s were two young filmmakers when they visited the legendary New York Public Access show, Movie Mania to promote Evil Dead. Let’s go back in time and find out their drive-in inspirations for their horror classic.

Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi were up and coming filmmakers in the early 80’s. With their first horror feature “in the can,” the two embarked on a publicity tour to promote Evil Dead.

At that time in Manhattan, Public Access shows were very popular. So much so that Saturday Night Live did parodies of them. Basically, amateurs could get studio time and produce their own programs. Believe it or not, that used to exist.

Of course, the quality was similar to Wayne’s World where sets and props were very limited. Crews were comprised of friends that knew how to work audio and visual equipment.

There was a popular broadcast that was hosted by film historian, Ed Hulse called Movie Mania. Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi appeared on that program to discuss their maiden cinematic venture. It was one of the pair’s first in-depth interviews.

Bruce mentioned that when they were doing research for Evil Dead, one of the things they did to get a handle on how to craft a horror film was to go to various drive-ins. That way, he, Sam and Rob Tapert could observe audience reactions.

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Unfortunately, most of the movies that they saw were real snooze fests or unwatchable. They knew what their future viewers wanted and were determined to give it to them. The more horror, the better.

When asked by Hulse as to what their favorite bad and good genre films were the duo’s answers were interesting. Bruce’s favorite bad movie was Invasion of the Blood Farmers. The description of this production sounds like a hot mess but yet a highly entertaining one.

Set in 1972, a druid cult living in Westchester, New York wants to resurrect their queen. In order to make this feat happen, they must drain blood from strangers with plastic tubing. This is low budget high-jinx to say the least.

Another flick that Bruce wasn’t particularly enamored with was Meatcleaver Massacre. In his words, “There was no meat cleaver in the entire film.” In reading the IMDb description, the plot almost sounds like a precursor to Pumpkinhead.

Except this time, a professor’s family is murdered by four of his students. He takes matters into his own hands and summons a demon to bring the killers to justice.

Campbell’s favorite effort came courtesy of Tobe Hooper, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The reason why he enjoyed this film in particular is because of the non-stop action after the exposition. Plus, the crowds really seemed to become involved with the storyline.

As for Sam, he revealed that he liked The Haunting. A movie that is based off of Shirley Jackson’s novel, The Haunting of Hill House.

Next. Bruce Campbell: Ripley’s sneak peek courtesy of Travel Channel’s app. dark

In wrapping up his show, Ed Hulse had this wish for the Evil Dead duo that turned out to be rather prophetic.

"“It wasn’t all that long ago that a little film came along made from some gentleman from Pennsylvania, Night of the Living Dead. That’s turned into a real classic and we hope you will have the same luck with Evil Dead.”"

Yes, almost four decades later, this little independent film made by a bunch of guys and gals from Detroit has definitely taken its place among the legends of the genre.

What did you think of Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi’s first in-depth interview appearance? Let us know in the comments. We want to hear from you.