Some parents want to share their favourite childhood movie growing up, like Bambi, or The Little Mermaid. When I have kids and they hit the ripe age of four, I am making them watch The Evil Dead series. They will never head to cabin in the woods with their friends when I am done with them.
I grew up on Evil Dead, where high school after parties usually ended with a couple of us passed out on the coach with Army of Darkness on. The ironic thing about the series when I first experienced it is that it scared the living shit out me. Over the years, it has become more of a comedy than a horror film. Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead trilogy (The Evil Dead, Part 2 and Army of Darkness) is about as important to “cabin in the woods” and zombie films as Star Wars is to science fiction films. It’s a low-budget film story about five friends heading to a cabin in the woods to party, drink and get it on.
Leave it to a Canadian to have the idea light bulb go off to take The Evil Dead, Part 2 and Army of Darkness and wrap them into a blood bath of demons, chainsaws and shotguns. Take all that grotesque horror and turn it into a musical. The idea was born in Toronto in 2003 at Tranzac Club.
This is artistic producer Joel Cochrane’s second go at The Evil Dead: The Musical. “It’s big, stupid fun. That is what audiences will take from it.” How could a musical that has a splatter zone be boring? “Blood comes from the ceiling, you end up getting soaked! And who knows, you might even get a zombie lap-dance!” Cochrane has sat in the splatter zone just once and it was a riot, he confirms. He recommends you wear a heavy-duty garbage bag, as you will end up drenched even worse than if you were front row at a GWAR show. I propose this: from now on, at any big life event (birth, graduation, baptism, wedding, bar mitzvah, Grandma’s 95th birthday, funeral and so on) you must have splatter zone.
Two things are different from the 2009 run at the Vertigo Theatre. Pumphouse Theatre is now housing the two-week run, from August 14 to 26, along with an entire new cast. “70% of this is casting. If you get a great group of people that can dance, sing and get along, it will reflect on your show,” confirms Cochrane. He has confidence that the 2012 cast will live up to The Evil Dead experience. The older I get, the more I love shows (concerts, stand-up, or plays) that are interactive, as the audience feeds off the interaction they receive from the stage and vice versa. Evil Dead: The Musical nails all those on the head.
The idea of going to the theatre brings images of suits, ballroom dresses, unboxed wine and sophistication. With an area to sit in called the Splatter Zone all sophistication is lost. I missed experiencing Evil Dead: The Musical the first time around; I am not missing it this time around even if I have to read the Book of Dead out loud or have an intimate envision by a horny tree.
By Danni Bauer