The Incredibly Strange Film Show: Sam Raimi is a 40 odd minute documentary focusing on the, at that point, up & down career of Sam Raimi who came to worldwide attention with The Evil Dead (1982) before eventually making it big with the Spider-Man (2002 - 2007) series of films which he made over 10 years after this was filmed...
Originally aired during 1988 here in the UK this was episode 6 from season 1 & was the final episode from the first season of the short lived The Incredibly Strange Film Show which ran for a mere 12 episodes over 2 seasons. As the title suggest the regular host of the show Jonathan Ross, who has gone on to become one of the UK's biggest celebrities although he has never hid his liking for oddball films, interviews Sam Raimi about his career & the films he had made to that point. In fact at the time this was made Raimi had only made the original The Evil Dead claiming he regretted filming & using the sequence where a woman is raped by some possessed trees, the disastrous Crimewave (1985) & Evil Dead II (1987) although at the end it is mentioned he is working on a project for Universal Pictures which turned out to be Darkman (1990). A lot of the early part of the program is spent discussing Raimi's love for The Three Stooges style of comedy & how he, Bruce Campbell & Robert Tapert got funding for the original The Evil Dead. Crimewave is largely dismissed & it's clear Raimi himself is unhappy with it, there's an interview on the set of the rather good slasher flick Intruder (1989) in which Raimi is acting in & finally the last part of the documentary focuses on Evil Dead II, what he wanted to achieve with the film, how he got it financed & what he thinks about it. It was also nice to hear Raimi acknowledge the British public for the success of The Evil Dead as before it was released over here & did so well no American distributor would touch it. It's also strange to hear Raimi talk about making a big budget Hollywood film which he obviously went on to do with the Spider-Man franchise, he sounds like he was looking down on it & I bet his opinion has changed now! As usual for this series the interviews are interesting, Raimi speaks well & is clear & concise, he doesn't stray off topic & there are plenty of clips from his films to illustrate his & Ross' points. Another brilliant & throughly entertaining from Ross & his production team.
Like the other show's in this series Ross & his team travel to Raimi & the show comes from Hollywood. The behind-the-scenes segment on the set of Intruder is great for fans of that film which I am so I was pleasantly surprised. There is also a visit to the special effects place of Mark Shostrom & he talks about the effects in Evil Dead II & show's off a few of the actual physical effects he has lying around.
This is another top episode from a fascinating, well made, informative & entertaining series. Ross obviously has great affection for exploitation, horror & the oddball & that definitely comes through in his enthusiasm & knowledge. A must for Raimi fans, fans of the series & horror, exploitation & oddball film fans in general.
This is a pretty hard series to come by but this is without doubt the easiest to find as it is featured on several special edition DVD's of the original The Evil Dead as an extra although I think I am right in saying the clips from Within the Woods (1978) have been edited out as Raimi seems very anal about letting anyone see it these days.
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