“Ash vs. Evil Dead”

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Pirating Movies: A Dagger In The Heart For Filmmakers

Pirating Movies: A Dagger In The Heart For Filmmakers

So we all know Ash vs Evil Dead was canceled recently and that star Bruce Campbell lashed out against those who were illegally downloading the show. Unfortunately, pirating movies and TV shows has gone deeper than that, and it has made life for filmmakers even more challenging.

RIP Ash vs Evil Dead

Now let me start off by saying I am not here to get into an ethics battle with anyone. I would hope that anyone reading this can tell the difference between right and wrong and that pirating is stealing. What I have seen on social media recently, however, is a bit troubling.

Being in the infant stages of my own filmmaking career, I have faced the number one challenge that can stop many inspired writers and directors dead in their tracks…funding. Getting someone to believe in your project as much you as do is impossible, but getting them to believe in you can be done if you are passionate enough and have a great pitch.

The problem, however, is that investors want to see projections for how fast they will get their investment back and also a profit — especially with horror. So a good sales deck will show how similar titles fared in box office, VoD, and DVD sales. This is where filmmakers can face a battle against which they cannot properly defend themselves. Numbers in the sense of dollars can be deflated because advances in technology enable people with better and faster ways to steal movies and TV shows and, in some cases, profit from doing so.

I don’t know if the numbers are in fact true that Ash vs Evil Dead was the most illegally downloaded show of all time. I think it is very plausible. Here are couple examples of actual horror stories I’ve seen from people and tell you the effect it has had on them.

There is a filmmaker who made a zombie film starring Tony Todd that was released last year. DVD sales were not what was projected or even safely targeted. This filmmaker was informed that his movie was uploaded to YouTube and had been watched over 300,000 times. Even if he made no sales and had only VoD rentals, that still would have generated over $1,500,000 in those rentals. But that’s not what happened.

The general reaction when the filmmaker took to social media to express his frustration only added insult to injury. The reactions were almost as bad as the thefts themselves.

At least your film was watched 300,000 times.
Be glad people like your film enough to watch it.

Anyone who lives in a city larger than 100,000 people has some sort of outlet mall, flea market, dirt mall, etc. I have yet to see one where 3-4 “vendors” were not selling $3-$5 films they had downloaded and burned to DVD. These include films that had just been released in theaters. These people are profiting from someone else’s work. What’s worse is that the people buying them are enabling it to continue.

What’s the point of all of this? Indie filmmakers (especially in horror) clear enough hurdles just to get a film made. Many people who sell and watch these films may think that Hollywood has enough money and they’re not hurting anyone. But it’s the people who are trying to break into the business and the Indie filmmakers who want to make something a little different who are suffering.

What can you do? That’s a good question.

For starters, these thieves hocking illegally downloaded movies need to be shut down. The next thing you can do is show support for the movies you love. Attend a con and tell the stars how much you enjoyed the movie. Subscribe to a page or blog, follow House of Tortured Souls (cheap plug, but I saw my shot). Keep the horror voice alive.

Crypt Keeper Clint with Joe Bob Briggs

These little things can keep the shows we love on the air. They will also let the world know that we horror fans have a strong voice and WILL be heard. Want proof? Through a social media campaign, Joe Bob Briggs asked his supporters to send videos to Shudder. They asked Shudder to bring him back. Joe Bob returns June 22nd for a 24-hour marathon. That was due to all of those fan videos creating a demand that Shudder couldn’t ignore.

Never underestimate the power of your own voice and don’t hurt what you love by stealing to save $10-$20.


Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in EDITORIALS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
THIS JUST IN: Ash vs Evil Dead Canceled

THIS JUST IN: Ash vs Evil Dead Canceled

Since Starz moved Ash vs Evil Dead to Sunday night, the ratings have never recovered and the fan favorite has been canceled. That’s right. In spite of scores like a 99% on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer (94% on the Audience Tomatometer) and 8.5 stars on IMDb, Ash vs Evil Dead has been staked, leaving fans disappointed and wanting more.

Word hit when Bruce Campbell tweeted earlier this afternoon:

Ash Vs Evil Dead has been the ride of a lifetime. Ash Williams was the role of a lifetime.
I will always be grateful to Starz, Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and our tireless fans for the opportunity to revisit the franchise that launched our careers. Thank you!
RIP Ash vs Evil Dead - Bruce Campbell's tweet

Ash vs Evil Dead, which starred Ray Santiago, Dana DeLorenzo, and Lucy Lawless in addition to Bruce Campbell, saw Ash drawn back into fighting the Deadites long after the events in the movie franchise. Like the movies – especially the two sequels, Ash vs Evil Dead was a fun and gore-filled but cheesy romp through one outrageous event after another. Ash vs Evil Dead not only gave us more of the Ashley J. Williams we all know and love, it also gave us more about Ash and his family. We learned of Ash’s guilt and suffering after his sister’s death as well as his ostracization by nearly everyone in his hometown. We meet his father – and Lee Majors playing Ash’s father was positively inspired casting – as well as his daughter, and there are hints of more… so much more… to come. Alas, unless something changes dramatically at Starz, those hints are all we’ll ever have.

I’m glad to see that Bruce has a groovy attitude because I and other fans of the show are bummed.

House of Tortured Souls wishes Bruce and everyone else involved in the Evil Dead film franchise and TV series the best.

Thank you.

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in HORROR NEWS, SATANIC/DEMONIC, 0 comments
Mayhem Poster Promises a Bloody Good Time

Mayhem Poster Promises a Bloody Good Time

Mayhem, the upcoming horror movie from director Joe Lynch, just released a bloody, amazing poster. Mayhem stars Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead) and Samara Weaving (Ash vs Evil Dead). This movie follows Steven, who stars as Derek Sanders, as he not only has to find a new job after being fired for the law firm he works at, but also has to fight off his newly infected, impulsive co-workers, after a virus has infected the office.
Joe Lynch has also directed such movies as Wrong Turn 2: Dead End, Knights of Badassdom, and Everly. Judging on his past films, Mayhem looks to be like another fun, yet horrifying adventure. Mayhem premiered at the SXSW Film Festival.
Mayhem / Fair use doctrine.
Posted by Mandi Marcus in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
RECAP: Ash vs Evil Dead, S01E03, Books From Beyond

RECAP: Ash vs Evil Dead, S01E03, Books From Beyond

By Kev B. 

 

Episode three Books From Beyond

Well episode three has the show up to full speed and the plot is starting to thicken. We open with Ruby not far behind Ash and the others, as she arrives at Kelly’s parents farm. She finds the graves left behind by our heroes and interrogates Kelly’s deadite Dad. We find out that the deadites know who Ruby is. We also find out that she has a dagger much like the one left behind at the cabin… And we’ve all been wondering what happened to that!

Meanwhile, Ash and company arrive at the book store, Books From Beyond, to see Lionel and have him translate a spell to reverse what Ash has mistakenly unleashed. Detective Fisher is leaving as Ash enters, and once outside she requests the police sketch to see if that is the man she is pursuing. Upon making a positive identification she goes to her car to get her gun and go back in. Across the street Pablo and Kelly are waiting in the car and, just as Pablo realizes he is falling fast into the friend zone with Kelly, they see Fisher cocking her gun as she re-enters the book store.

Ash vs Evil Dead ep. 3

The two follow her in and just as she draws her sidearm and announces she is a police officer, Pablo hits her from behind and knocks her unconscious. “She say she was a cop?! Oh shit! I just knocked out a cop.. It was self defense.” Lionel from the book store is strangely o.k. with all the chaos and allows them to cuff her in the back room. He’s more interested in the book. He’s fascinated, almost obsessed.. “It’s real” he says as he examines the book. It proves his life “has meaning” and goes on to explain the origin and uses of the Necronomicon Ex Mortis.

Turns out the book was written by “The Dark Ones”, beings not human nor demon, as a weapon against humanity, with the power to create portals connecting our world to the underworld. Bound in the flesh and inked with the blood of the dammed, the dark ones used the book to hold power over all mankind. Cool little animated back story ensues, and essentially, it’s a tool of evil. Pablo being Pablo, says “I wish we could just summon an answer”. Ash being Ash takes it one further and tells Lionel to summon the “weakest” demon in the book and ask it how to undo the other spell.

Lionel suggests Eligos, a lesser demon who possesses knowledge of hidden things. Ash says he sounds like a total nerd, get him out and lets chat .They succeed in summoning him, and in the end it seems that wasn’t the best of ideas. That whole scene, actually the whole episode was chock full of that genius dark comedy/horror that keeps me coming back each week. This episode has so much great dialogue, and its my favorite episode so far. But , for me anyway, each episode is better than the last and the show just keeps getting better.

Bruce Campbell is perfect as always, and Lucy Lawless is as hot as she’s ever been. Pablo's character finally won me over in this episode, and next episode we meet his uncle the brujo. Kelly's goin’ thru a lot right now, and understandably conflicted. Amanda Fisher is cuffed to the bookcase in the store and about to be attacked by deadite Lionel, and Ruby is gonna’ catch up to Ash sooner or later. Stay tuned for episode four Brujo. New episodes Saturday nights on Starz.

Posted by Kevin Belyski in MONSTERS AND CREATURES, REVIEWS, SATANIC/DEMONIC, SERIES REVIEWS, 0 comments
RECAP: Ash vs Evil Dead, S01E02, Bait

RECAP: Ash vs Evil Dead, S01E02, Bait

By Kev B.

Ash V Evil Dead Episode 2

Okay so, episode one was a fun ride for the set up and introductions, but episode two, Bait, was a little more intense. All mixed in with that dark comedy that I look forward to each week. The series is progressing nicely, and episode three, Books From Beyond, is the best one yet!

Here is a little refresher before you get there:

  • We are starting to see that maybe Ash has had some trouble getting over the events of his first battle with evil. He seeks comfort in good ol’ sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll, as fleeting as it may be. Upon receiving signs from the deadites that they are coming for him, he realizes he may have mistakenly unleashed the evil in a drunken/drugged haze trying to impress a woman. Detective Fisher went on a call with her partner of ten years and meets the aforementioned woman Ash was trying to woo, now possessed by Kandarian spirits. Fisher emerges the only survivor, and things are starting to look like they are happening for a reason and all roads lead to Ash.
  • Pablo (Ash’s coworker and only friend) intervenes on a deadite attack in the stock room at Value Mart and saves Ash, prompting him to tell the tale of the cabin and the book. Pablo tells Ash how he was to be trained as a shaman by his uncle, a brujo, and how he spoke of good and evil.. And a man called El Jefe who will fight the evil. Naturally Pablo thinks Ash is El Jefe and vows to fight with him. Meanwhile Kelly (Pablos only friend and love interest) receives word her mother has returned home, six months after he death. And we have Ruby, closing in fast on the trail of our heroes, who holds Ash responsible for the demise of her family.

Boomstick Bruce

Episode two, Bait, opens with Kelly speeding off to her parents’ house on Pablo’s motorcycle. Pablo tells Ash she took the book, which at this point Ash has decided to take to a book store to be translated. With Ash and Pablo on the way to Kelly's parents’ house, they survive another deadite attack, and meet up with Kelly just in time for dinner. Ash’s instincts tell him things are not what they seem, and two shallow graves later, Kelly has the motivation to join Ash and Pablo to help rid the earth of the evil that took her family from her. Detective Fisher follows clues to Ashes trailer park and finds the business card for Books From Beyond, while his neighbors give a description to a sketch artist. And thanks to the delay at Kellys family’s home, Detective Fisher beats them to the book store. Stay tuned for episode three - Books of Blood.

My favorite quote from episode two:

So look, um… I’m not a grief counselor, but if it’s any consolation, I have had to kill and bury loved ones before... A bunch of times actually.

-Ash

Posted by Kevin Belyski in MONSTERS AND CREATURES, REVIEWS, SATANIC/DEMONIC, SERIES REVIEWS, 0 comments
RECAP: Ash vs Evil Dead, S01E01, El Jefe

RECAP: Ash vs Evil Dead, S01E01, El Jefe

By Kev B.

Ash is a badass

So don’t even tell me you still haven’t seen the premiere of Ash vs. Evil Dead yet. It’s been on Starz like every other hour since Halloween night. The staff here at Tortured Souls basically seems to concur that the show was awesome or they don’t get that channel. To them I said, It’s streaming free at Starz.com and also on the Ash vs. Evil Dead Facebook page. And now that you know, you have no excuse, either.

Now I’m not going to sugarcoat my review, but I really only had one small gripe. It’s those three words that make every old school gore hound cringe… Computer-generated imagery. Yep, they got some CGI goin’ on in there. We want practical effects and buckets of real (fake) blood a la Dead by Dawn, not CG splatter a la Sharknado. I guess all we can do is hope that with time and growing interest that the budget will increase and they can sell the computers and buy some buckets. Aside from that, I liked it a lot!

The king is back, and boy have we missed him! We join our reluctant hero some thirty years after the events of the Evil Dead or Dead by Dawn (not quite sure as the continuity is hazy at best). From what I gather, they don’t even have the rights to reference Army of Darkness. Ash is still stuck in the same kind of shitty job (at Value Mart now, no longer S-Mart) and he still drives the same classic ’73 Oldsmobile. He now lives in a mobile home in a trailer park in Michigan.

The show opens with Ash rockin’ out to some Deep Purple and suiting up to go out, maybe to kick some deadite ass? No, he speeds on down to a local bar, and enters strategically at 10 minutes before closing. He’s just out looking for some sugar, and his pick-up game is hilarious. His story of losing his hand by stopping a train to save a young boy (well, the truth would be harder to believe than this BS fiction) is too funny. Campbell’s performance is great, as always, and he seems right at home back in the role of Ash.

The episode sets up the show, introduces the characters, and got me all amped up for more. Unfortunately, the lovely Lucy Lawless was only in this episode for a short time. But she will play a big role in the future as a descendent of Professor Raymond (the one who discovered and translated the book), Henreitta, and Annie Knowby. The show as a whole looks to be promising, has me optimistic, and gives all of us Evil Deadheads something to look forward to each week, with new episodes Saturday night at 9pm on Starz.

Posted by Kevin Belyski in MONSTERS AND CREATURES, REVIEWS, SATANIC/DEMONIC, SERIES REVIEWS, 0 comments
Swallow this! It’s the premier of Ash vs. Evil Dead

Swallow this! It’s the premier of Ash vs. Evil Dead

By Kev B.

Ash VS Evil Dead

Hail to the king, baby… In preparation for what may possibly be the greatest television event in modern history premiering on Starz this Halloween, Ash vs. Evil Dead, we bring you a refresher course on all things evil and dead. First let us run down some reasons why I’m extremely excited for the show.

1. It’s created and produced by the team that brought us the original three movies, Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, and Rob Tapert.
2. It’s a direct sequel to Army Of Darkness.
3. It’s got Bruce Campbell.
4. It’s got Lucy Lawless!?
5. It’s on Starz, the channel that brought us the nearly pornographic, ultra-violent splatterfest Sparticus. Do you like gladiator movies?
6. It looks like they got a nice budget to work with.
7. All the trailers and sneak previews look awesome.
8. Its already been renewed for a second season days before the premier, I guess based on audience reactions at screenings and online fan buzz.

I wouldn’t have the high hopes for greatness that I have, but horror has made a main stream resurgence that I for one never would have believed. If you had told me 30 years ago when I was sitting in the theater watching Day of the Dead that in the future a show about zombies would be the most popular show on television, I would have said you’re insane. But here we are, and Americans are horrified and amazed by the likes of American Horror Story, Scream Queens, and, of course, The Walking Dead (just to name a few of the popular new crop of horror shows).

Just in case you don’t know these movies by heart like the rest of us at House of Tortured Souls, Starz is running an Evil Dead marathon the night before the Halloween premier.

Friday October 30th @8pm EST Evil Dead, the original classic from 1981. Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.

9:30pm EST Evil Dead II Dead By Dawn, my favorite of the series from 1987. The lone survivor of an onslaught of flesh-possessing spirits holds up in a cabin with a group of strangers while the demons continue their attack.

10:55pm EST Army Of Darkness, The over the top third installment in the franchise. Ash is accidentally transported to 1300 A.D., where he must battle an army of the dead and retrieve the Necronomicon so he can return home.

The show times look a little off, but this is direct from the Starz web site, so I suggest you check your local listings and set your DVR. accordingly. And don’t forget the premier of Ash vs. Evil Dead on Saturday the 31st at 9pm est, 9:45pm est, and again at 11:30pm est. Also airing Sunday November 1, 2015, and Monday, November 2, 2015.

Posted by Kevin Belyski in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
Ash vs Evil Dead

Ash vs Evil Dead

Evil (Dead) Has Met Its Match?

By John Roisland

Ash vs Evil Dead on Starz

October 31, 2015, Halloween night, saw the world television premier of Ash vs. Evil Dead on Starz.

The long awaited follow up to the huge cult film franchise that began in 1981 as The Evil Dead. Not a bad night to open with if you want my opinion!

The series is set 30 years after The Evil Dead, with Ash living as a loner who is unable to come to grips with what happened all those years ago. Ash lives a dull life but seems to prefer it to fighting the forces of evil. Unfortunately for Ash, a deadite invasion has begun, and Ash must draw upon his experience, boomstick, and chainsaw to stop the evil from spreading. all while finally coming to terms with his past.

The first season is set up with ten half hour episodes and is produced by Sam Raimi (Drag Me to Hell), Rob Tapert (The Possession), AND Bruce Campbell (Bubba Ho-Tep) - all of the original The Evil Dead team. Campbell reluctantly jumps back into action as Ash, the chainsaw-handed demon hunter we've all come to love! Starring alongside Bruce is Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess) as Ruby Knowby, a character who strongly believes that Ash is to blame for the evils that they encounter. (Ash vs. Evil Dead also sees Campbell, Raimi, Lawless, and Tapert reunited, the quartet having all worked on Xena: Warrior Princess.) The show also stars Ray Santiago (In Time), who plays Pablo Simon Bolivar, Ash's loyal sidekick.

So let the kids run amok in the other room until they pass out from their trick or treating sugar high! Plop your ass in your La-Z-Boy, and grab your remote. It's time to fight evil!

Posted by John Roisland in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments