Sam Raimi Reveals He Hated "Evil Dead" as Film's Title, "So Stupid"

The Evil Dead franchise has been good to Sam Raimi, lifting him from indie film obscurity into one of the most successful commercial directors of his generation. Still, he initially had misgivings about the actual title Evil Dead, calling it "stupid" and asking "how can something be evil and dead?" That's according to a new interview with Empire magazine, in which the filmmaker looks forward to Lee Cronin's Evil Dead Rise and back on Raimi's own career.

Along the way, he recounted the story of how his original title -- The Book of the Dead -- was changed my marketing people, forcing him to choose between two titles he hated. Evil Dead, though, was significantly less bad than the other choice, which made the decision pretty easy.

"The original title of the [original] movie was The Book Of The Dead," Raimi told Empire. "But film-sales agent Irvin Shapiro sat Rob, Bruce and I down and said, 'We're changing the title, boys. Advertising space in the newspaper is paid for by the inch, kid. We're not going to have a five-word title. 'Dead' can stay. You can have one other word. You can call it 101% Dead, or Evil Dead.'"  

"I thought, 'But those are the worst two titles I've ever heard in my life!" Raimi added. "Evil Dead sucks! How can something be evil and dead?' I just thought it was so stupid." Still, there's no question 101% Dead was worse, "So I chose the lesser of the two horrible titles. But now I've started to like it. It's pretty good."

The issue of Empire in which Raimi is featured, in a bit of synchronicity, has a Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse cover. It's currently on the stands.

"[Cronin] had always liked Evil Dead, and I loved The Hole in the Ground. And that picture was brought to the executives that I work with and they showed it to me and I thought, this is really a great director," Raimi told /Film in May of last year. "And we met and we talked and he said he really liked The Evil Dead. And I said, then why don't you make the new one? I think you're just the kind [of] guy I'd like to do it. He said, great. Let's go. We put together a script and we gave notes and he made some changes and then we raised money for the movie and he went down to New Zealand to shoot it with my partner, Rob Tapert. Now Bruce Campbell is working with him in post-production sound." 

Evil Dead Rise lands in theaters on April 21.