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DID YOU READ

“Evil Dead”: The director and cast discuss the reinvention of a horror classic

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Take the first letters of all the character names in the new “Evil Dead” — David, Eric, Mia, Olivia, and Natalie — and it spells out “demon.” That’s just one of the many Easter eggs that the reboot of the franchise has to offer, according to director Fede Alvarez and producer Bruce Campbell (Ash!).

“You’re going to put on a nice, comfortable leather shoe here,” Campbell said. “It’s going to feel real familiar.”

Well, other than the gender reversal. The star of the new version, due out April 12, 2013, is Jane Levy, of the TV sitcom “Suburgatory” and the recent Halloween horror-lite film “Fun Size” (“That’s for kids,” she says). Campbell calls Levy (who plays Mia) “the new Ash.” “I hope she gets considered with the same respect and consideration that that idiot Ash does,” he said, noting that the gender switch allows her to carry on in his tradition without “some unnatural burden.” Also, he said, Sam Raimi’s idea behind the original “Evil Dead” — back when it was a short film shot on Super 8 called “Within the Woods” — was about a female protagonist. Alvarez said his treatment is a return to form.

“It’s a different story, but the same mythology,” Alvarez said. “The way it is for me, it’s very mythological, and it’s about women driving men insane. Usually in horror, it’s the other way around — it’s a girl running from some dude with an axe chasing her. ‘Evil Dead’ is one of the few where it’s completely the other way around, where the guys are freaking out and the girl is driving them crazy, because it’s the girl that turns first. I like the idea of women torturing men, psychologically, physically. That’s what we craved, and that’s one of the main ideas you’ll see in the movie.”

Alvarez co-wrote the reboot with his friend Rodo Sayagues, and then they brought in Diablo Cody (“Juno,” “Jennifer’s Body”) to punch up the dialogue and give it a female perspective. “As middle-aged men, we really don’t know how young people talk,” Campbell joked. “And she won a fucking Academy Award.” The story this time starts with the concept that Mia goes to her family cabin with her friends to try to kick a heroin habit. “You scream and get it out, and it’s a couple of bad days,” Campbell said. “But then the evil is unleashed.”

Knowing that not only would the film itself be scary, but making it could be scary, too, Campbell took a “fatherly” approach to the young actors, “letting them know what they were getting into,” he said. “I was like, ‘Don’t party, because you’re going to wear out. It’s going to be a long haul.’ Poor fuckers!”

“Bruce tried to scare me away,” Levy said. “He wanted to make sure I was up for the job, so at the audition he was like, ‘Do you know what it feels like to be buried alive? Do you know what it feels like to have tubes stuck down your throat to projectile vomit?'”

Luckily for Levy, she passed Campbell’s test. He claims that the film stands with the rest of the franchise, and anticipates double bills to show the original and the reboot at midnight screenings “for decades.” “I think they’re a great companion piece,” he said. “I know a lot of people were pissed when they heard about the remake, and I will be ready to accept everyone’s apology after you see it.”

What are you looking forward to most about “Evil Dead”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.