Evil Dead is at it again! This last weekend marked a return to theaters for the franchise that began with a thirty-minute short film in 1978 and went on to launch the careers of Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, Ted Raimi, and Joel Coen. Evil Dead Rise — the fifth feature film in the series — moves the action from the secluded woods to the overcrowded metropolis of Los Angeles but the chills and thrills are as familiar as ever.
In anticipation of the film, InBetweenDrafts sent a reporter who absolutely will not be named in order to interview the ancient book whose zany antics have driven the series for the last 45 years. What followed was a freak earthquake, legions of undead hellspawn, and the biggest strides in streamer-talent relations in nearly a decade. Please enjoy our interview with the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis below. If you dare.
Addendum. Despite my arriving for the interview several minutes early, the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis was already waiting. I introduced myself and the book hissed a greeting from the mottled hole in its cover.
iBd: First of all, I just want to say that I’m a huge fan.
Maggots. You’re all maggots. I’ve seen hell and it’s populated by so-called film journalists.
iBd: We arranged to meet here at the HBO Max office because Evil Dead Rise was originally intended as an HBO Max Original. Were you surprised to hear the film would be getting a theatrical release?
I sit at the throne of death and desecration. I will rule over all.
iBd: Rule over the box office, certainly! That opening weekend was nothing to sneeze at. And I just want to say, you’re looking fantastic for a centuries-old book bound in human flesh. What’s your moisturizing regimen?
The Dead Speak!
iBd: Oh, well I most certainly hope not! Though I am a bit famished.
I sustain myself with the blood of mortals. You will all be consumed.
iBd: You’re most commonly referred to as the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis, but you’re also often called the Naturom Demonto. Which do you prefer?
Call me by my full name or call me nothing. It’s right here on my pages. Read it.
iBd: Right here?
iBd: Khandar Estrada Khandos Thrus Indactu Nosfrandus Khandar Dematos Khandar. Wow, quite a mouthful. Is that Greek?
iBd: Interesting. Do you —
Suddenly, a freak earthquake hit the HBO Max office and a chasm to Hell was opened directly beneath our feet. We agreed to reschedule.
The office was bustling when I arrived. Most of the staff was hard at work repairing the damage, and they must have been working all night because some of them practically looked like zombies. Of course, I also caught a glimpse of a few Hollywood stars.
iBd: Thanks for being willing to meet with me again, Necronomicon Ex-Mortis.
That’s Chief Executive Necronomicon Ex-Mortis. You scum.
iBd: I don’t doubt it. What a coincidence to have an earthquake hit in the middle of our interview! Looks like everyone is pretty busy here with the cleanup efforts. I couldn’t help but notice a horde of parasitic demons installing new drywall.
Flesh makes good work.
iBd: And was that Academy Award-winner Brendan Fraser I passed on my way in?
Contracts must be signed in blood. Batgirl is back.
iBd: Batgirl? The DC film that was unceremoniously canned despite its all-star cast and having already wrapped production?
David tried to lock films in the cellar. But now David is in the cellar.
iBd: Talk about a Hollywood shake-up! Who’s in charge now?
I sit at the throne of death and desecration and streaming media.
iBd: Death and Desecration sounds like a pretty cutting-edge new reality series. What other changes can we expect to see under your tenure?
Infinity Train is back. The missing Sesame Street episodes and Looney Tunes shorts are back. We’re even working on putting music back on MTV. Any attempted tax write-offs have been canceled. HBO Max will not pay taxes. HBO Max will only consume.
iBd: You’re talking about a major shakeup. Has there been any resistance?
All naysayers have been consumed.
iBd: And I bet viewers can’t wait to consume all this new content! A good deal of the previously canceled projects — like Batgirl, the three canceled Scooby-Doo movies, and the second season of Minx — were completed or nearly completed when the decision to not move forward with them was made. When can we expect to see them appear on the platform?
They will arrive as quickly as your inevitable demise. Or the dissolution of your marriage, whichever comes first.
iBd: Wait, has Barb been talking to you?
More than with you.
iBd: I want to get back to the original point here, which is your work on the Evil Dead franchise. What’s Bruce Campbell like?
Nice guy. Great work ethic. I will destroy him.
Our chat was interrupted by the entrance of undead development executive Jacob Munoz.
[Hey, boss. Can you wrap this up? You’re needed on the conference call.]
I exchanged some pleasantries with the Necronomicon and scheduled a time to wrap up our interview the next day. On the way out, I took the chance to ask Jacob about his new work environment.
iBd: What is it like working for the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis?
[That’s Chief Executive Necronomicon Ex-Mortis. And it’s great, honestly. I mean, I don’t love being a demon. But before that my job as a “development executive” was sorting through ChatGPT transcripts the CEO found interesting. Do you know how degrading that is? Employee morale has increased like 70% since yesterday. Our relationship with talent has improved immensely. Chris Nolan called yesterday and said he’s willing to do lunch if we bring him flowers. And people loved it when the entire writers’ room of Velma was eaten.]
iBd: Have you been able to see Evil Dead Rise yet?
It was at this moment that Jacob projectile vomited directly into my mouth.
I met the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis in the same room we had previously met. For the first time, I found myself wondering if it had left the room at all in the three days we had spent talking. How do books even get around? Is there some sort of rideshare librarian service they can call to carry them into a different room? I suppose it doesn’t matter, as it appears the Necronomicon is going to be at HBO Max for a long time.
iBd: Thank you so much for being willing to meet with me one more time and wrap this up. Between the earthquake that opened a chasm to hell and your sudden rise up the corporate ladder, it’s a miracle we’ve been able to answer any questions at all.
Keep this quick. I’m heading to my new office.
iBd: I’ve been very impressed to see how excited the HBO Max staff and talent are about their new working environment despite the majority of them having been turned into soulless demons. It’s amazing how much people are willing to put up with when they’re treated with even a single modicum of respect. What’s next?
Leaving. I’m the new head of content for Netflix.
iBd: Wait, really? What will happen to HBO Max?
They’re putting a machine in charge. Chat-something.
iBd: Well, nobody stays in one spot for long in Hollywood. What can we expect to see from you in the near future?
Santa Clarita Diet is coming back.
iBd: Ooh, I love that one.
I tried to find Jacob to get his thoughts on the new leadership. He was eating his own fingers in the lobby.
Evil Dead Rise is in theaters now. The Necronomicon is reportedly in an Uber on the way to Congress. Watch the trailer here.
Images courtesy of Warner Bros.