One of the most infamous films in the history of the American grindhouse will make a long-awaited return to the place it all began—drive-in movie theaters. Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead was a drive-in sensation when it was first released in 1981, immediately noted for its over-the-top presentation and controversial sequences of violence. It was that initial reaction that first helped to build the cult of Evil Dead, launching the career of Raimi as a major Hollywood auteur in the process.
Now, new audiences will get a chance to feel what that experience would have been like, as the original The Evil Dead will be returning to drive-in theaters (doing a hustling business during quarantine) around the country, starting on June 13. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any good listing of all the locations where The Evil Dead will play, so you’ll have to check with your own local drive-ins, provided you’re lucky enough to have one. You might even be able to convince the exhibitor to book the film!
This version of The Evil Dead comes from Grindhouse Releasing, and is actually available to drive-ins in two formats. One is a remastered version of the film’s original release, converted to 2K from the original 16mm camera negative, with composer Joseph LoDuca’s original score. This could be considered the best possible presentation of the original film. However, a different version called Evil Dead Reimagined is also available, which converted the print to 4K, along with a brand new score from LoDuca. It’s just a matter of which version any given theater requests to screen.
This announcement comes at a time when Evil Dead-centric news seems to be picking up steam, as franchise star Bruce Campbell just this week let slip that Sam Raimi had approached Lee Cronin, the director of horror film The Hole in the Ground, to direct the next installment in the Evil Dead series. We probably won’t hear much about that production for quite a while, but at least this month we can join Campbell in his excitement about the groovy news of Evil Dead returning to the big screen.