While it might not have the most entries for a horror franchise, the Evil Dead series refuses to die, with an all-new installment set to head into production later this year, thanks to fans keeping the spirit of the Sam Raimi-created series alive for nearly four decades. In honor of that passionate following, the documentary Hail to the Deadites dives deep into the series' fandom, exploring what makes the franchise so different from the other horror franchises and the ways in which its horrors have inspired audiences. Having previously played the festival circuit, Hail to the Deadites has earned the On Demand release date of July 27th.
Inspired by the 1981 classic’s cult following, Hail to the Deadites is a documentary about the fans of the Evil Dead franchise. Through interviews with the cast, crew, collectors, fans, freaks, and geeks, Hail to the Deadites seeks to illuminate the darkest reaches of the Evil Dead franchise’s undying and still-growing popularity, a popularity that has spawned four films, a TV series, comic books, figurines, and surpassed even its creator’s wildest dreams. Besides meeting with fans around the world, the 80-minute documentary feature interviews with Evil Dead franchise cast members such as Bruce Campbell, Ted Raimi, Betsy Baker, Theresa Tilly, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Tom Sullivan, Dan Hicks, Kassie Wesley DePaiva, Sarah Berry, Rick Domeier, and Bill Moseley.
While some horror documentaries depict how unlikely and unsettling productions were developed and brought to life, what makes Hail to the Deadites stand out from the crowd is that it focuses specifically on the franchise's following as opposed to the productions themselves.
“Some people might find it weird to not see any footage of the franchise in the documentary but this is what I’ve been aiming for since day one," filmmaker Steve Villeneuve previously shared. "I’m really proud to say that everything you will see or hear in this documentary was created by the fans. So, rev your chainsaws and load your boomsticks, it’s time to give the Deadites some sugar, baby!”
As compared to other franchises, which at their heights will release multiple installments over the course of a decade, the Evil Dead series has gone through multiple years-long breaks with no updates. Even if Evil Dead doesn't get big-screen adventures, the franchise has expanded into the worlds of TV, video games, and comics, proving just how much potential there is for the mythology and how fans can't seem to get enough of it.
Hail to the Deadites hits On Demand and Digital HD on July 27th.
Will you be checking out the documentary? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!