Anybody who saw the original trilogy of “The Evil Dead” knows that each film wasn’t really a sequel and more creative stops along the way to tell the horror story in different ways. It’s a formula that was unfortunately never copied once the world of sequels took over the movie industry. And with a buzzed about remake called “Evil Dead” arriving from Sam Raimi, the same creative touches seem to be upon it as a calling card for more creative sequels down the line.
The only question is how creative the next “Evil Dead” sequels will be. When you consider that the first sequel to “The Evil Dead” somehow managed slapstick comedy and the second sequel incorporated time travel, nothing seems to be out of the running. If so, what would happen if a stage musical based on the franchise became part of the new trilogy?
Perhaps you’ve seen a regional production of “Evil Dead: The Musical”, despite it having an off-Broadway run for a time in the mid to late 2000s. Canadian writer George Reinblatt wrote the book for the musical a decade ago, and it immediately became a cult favorite on the stage much like “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” For a time, there were even rumors of Sam Raimi agreeing to make the musical into a feature film.
Said rumor turned out to be false, which has to be considered right when hearing the idea in the abstract sounds only workable for the stage. Or has the age of the musical evolved enough now where such an idea could still be done on the big screen? It’s been proven enough at least that macabre musicals do have a following on the big screen and with potential long life as 1975’s “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” still has.
This production also has a fairly good music score with ironic titles in the songs. In fact, it might bring a chortle or two when the first song (“Cabin in the Woods”) is seen as a title, then heard. You know it also has a Raimi-like tongue placed in cheek after hearing a song titled “All the Men in My Life Keep Getting Killed by Candarian Demons.”
If you can imagine this as perhaps part of the new film trilogy, then most assuredly Sam Raimi also has. Whether he wants to be that cinematically brave or not will be of interest once the series picks up steam again. He has enough clout lately to do nearly anything he wants, which is evident enough in remaking his original horror franchise.
Should the musical ever be adapted for the big screen, it would have to be considered in jest and for cult status. Such a thing would be equivalent to Joss Whedon’s “The Cabin in the Woods”, which turned into a near plaything after his mainstream movies made enough money to buy him the same production toy box. But let’s assume Raimi’s toy box won’t be using the same toys as before.
Consensus may say he’ll follow the same paths as the original sequels, including a remake of “Army of Darkness” that included time travel to 1300s England. But Raimi should set a new precedent and reinvent the whole series to prove that sequels shouldn’t have to be retreads.
Yes, it all could potentially lead to a renewed movie era when we’d occasionally see a first or second sequel best the first film.