Recent ‘Evil Dead’ marathon gives insight on horror film making

Berlyn Reisenauer

“Discount crepes for movie line!” said the “Mon Amour Cafe” employee Thursday evening to the crowd wrapped around his building.

The “Evil Dead” marathon at Westwood Village Regency Theaters started at 5:30 p.m., but fans were lined up by 4:30 p.m. wearing any “Evil Dead” memorabilia they had. Once the line started moving original tickets were traded in for a special VIP All Access laminated pass to enter a horror fan’s dream.

The lobby was filled with props and movie-related items provided by makeup artist Greg Nicotero, “Evil Dead 2” writer Scott Spiegel and event coordinator Jason Coleman.

The props included a fan-made chainsaw hand, the Book of the Dead from “Evil Dead 2”, a severed hand that was actually from “Walking Dead,” a Bruce Campbell signed lunchbox and much more.

Coleman, a manager at Regency Theaters, was watching a Bruce Campbell interview when he was first inspired for the marathon. Campbell mentioned the idea to introduce the new “Evil Dead” and said if anyone had a festival of the movies, he would be there.

Coleman instantly got excited and emailed Campbell about it, who never got back to him. Coleman, who calls himself a “doer,” didn’t stop there.

“They looked at me like I was nuts,” said Coleman about his pitch for the marathon last November, but Coleman was set to make the fans happy, which he said was his top priority.

The fans were indeed happy.

Ethan Teller, 34, was mainly there for the original movies and really enjoyed being able to see them on 35mm. This allowed him to see things he hadn’t noticed before, like the sweat dripping down Campbell’s face, he said.

During all movies, fans were shouting lines, cheering at famous scenes such as Campbell grabbing for the chainsaw or anytime he muttered the word “Groovy”. Fans such as Teller were even more excited for the special guests.

The first guests were the ladies from the first “Evil Dead”, Ellen Sandweiss, Betsy Baker and Theresa Tilly. The ladies were bombarded with questions as they told the brutal experience of working with Sam Raimi.

“We’re talking Sam Raimi, there’s no acting notes,” said Sandweiss. “For the woods scene all it said was Cheryl gets attacked by trees.”

Baker explained her painful experience when Campbell drug her down stairs with no padding. After the first shot, Raimi duct taped carpeting from the car to her back. She said the second most painful experience was ripping the duct tape and carpet off her back.

Sandweiss added to the painful experiences when she explained a scene she was getting kicked in the face.

“I had to pretend and fling myself back onto guys with a blanket to catch me in,” she said. On one take she didn’t quite make it to the blanket and smacked her head on a board.

Despite the painful experience the ladies all agreed that they would do it again as long as there would be hot coffee and running water.

After “Evil Dead 2”, guests Greg Nicotero, Ted Raimi and Scott Spiegel came out for questions.

Once Ted Raimi became impatient he got up and approached the audience himself for questions.

Ted Raimi played Henrietta in “Evil Dead 2” after she became possessed. An experience that he said has made everything else in his career seem to be a piece of cake.

Nicotero explained that the feet of Raimi’s demon costume were made of latex, so after his powdered feet would have a long sweaty day in the costume there would often be a liquid resembling cottage cheese that would come out of his costume.

The night continued as fans cheered the entire time, surpassing Coleman’s expectations.

Post-production student Kelly Fitzgerald, 30, said it was an amazing experience.

“The whole event is just awesome,” she said.

Even Coleman was proud of his work.

“It’s events like that that make those movies memorable.”