1987 – Video Podcast – Evil Dead II – Bruce Campbell – A Year In The Career

A celebration of the wonders that Bruce brought us in 1987. This episode of A Year In The Career is brought to you by the number 2, 7 and 9, from Evil Dead II and Knots Landing Season 9 Episode 7, Say Uncle.


since the 1970s the film industry has been contending with the chin like gareth myles and simon appleton examine each year in the career of bruce [Music] [Applause] [Music] campbell hello and welcome to a year in the career the podcast that looks at the career of bruce campbell one year at a time in this episode we’re looking at 1987 a particularly notable year in bruce’s career um and one i’m excited about getting into um i’m your host gareth uh you can find me at garethmyles.com and on twitter at gareth myles you can email me at gareth a year on thecareer.com and my cheerful co-host is simon appleton yeah you can also contact me at simon at a year in the career dot com you can also find my cheerful chirpy movie blog moviemustache.com where you might find a helpful streaming guide on how to survive the lockdown you can also contact me at movie underscore mustache on twitter okay and i’ll take one of your tips on how to survive the lockdown is to watch the entire career of bruce county that’s obviously one of them but i’ve started writing uh reviews as a streaming guide things that you can stream and my opinions on them i think volume or part one as i called it i streamed in a day the entire first series of star trek card on amazon prime oh wow did you make it past episode four without falling asleep uh the funny thing is you’ve got to get past episode four to get into the into the good stuff i i was i binged it all in a day so it certainly as i’m glad i waited for all the episodes to become available i know we’ve been destroyed as a race by the ability to stream and binge an entire season of a tv show in one in one day rather than waiting a week between episodes yeah as a fan of 24 i remember sitting there and between weeks and every episode only represents an hour and a day so actually not a lot happens in each individual episode and having to wait a week i could do it and now i looked at picard coming out i thought i’m gonna wait for that all to be available and i streamed it in a day i i’m noticing that actually most of the tv shows that i’m watching are still on a weekly basis yeah they’re starting to do that again is even with shows that are primarily on streaming they’re releasing uh one episode a week rather than allowing you to binge the entire lot i don’t know which i prefer like i said we’ve been ruined totally yes but it’s nice to have the option i suppose it works for one set of people one way and another set of people the other indeed well uh last time on the show uh we discussed um two fairly disappointing entries into bruce’s career uh the 1985 monster crime wave and then the 1985 remake voice shot not kill accept which doesn’t actually feature bruce but he has a little bit of a credit there that’s uh that’s worth noting uh this week we’re going to be looking at one of my favorite films ever made one of the reasons why i am doing this podcast um and that is evil dead 2. now in our first podca 1981 episode of the podcast we talk about how the evil dead and the legacy of it are are pretty great and pretty terrific and things like that but it was evil dead too that really cemented it for me as a terrific movie and the balance of the the chaos that happens in the evil dead and even in crime wave as well uh gets almost moderated they i think they’ve learned so much from those two previous films that evil dead 2 just has the perfect level of comedy chaos slow down moments to let the audience breathe and and then back into the action you know it it develops everything so well and i guess all i could do is gush about it however simon is the one who has not seen this prior to recording the podcast so i’m going to put it to simon evil dead 2 where’d you go with it well so far in this experience of doing this podcast it’s the best time i’ve had i really really enjoyed it i loved the the combination of horror and comedy i i know because of the rights issues they had to tweak certain elements to the the start of the story but i like what they did there i like that the car is still there yeah this film was just great it really was um after this as last week’s episode you’ve already learned that i was not overly impressed with crime wave and then to watch this i was blown away the production value is fantastic the story is still good but right in the middle there bruce is still ash now he does a bit of development as you get towards the end of the film but as we start ash is still a regular guy he still just traveled up to the woods with his girlfriend and all of a sudden all holy shit breaks loose and we are just along for the ride we just literally dragged along behind him and everything about it the they dialed up everything the action the story every and yeah i really enjoyed it i thought they did very well with it excellent excellent it’s it’s interesting what you say about the the opening of evil dead too um it’s it’s only in recent memory that we we finally got an explanation for the the crossover from evil dead to evil dead to those opening 15 minutes where they they as you say couldn’t get the rights to be able to retell the stories they had to reshoot some of it to get him back into the action for many years there were rumors flying about that because of the way ash’s character develops between evil dead two and army of darkness he’s not the brightest tool in the box and there was speculation that he could just be dumb enough that he decides to bring another girlfriend up to the cabin and this was something i found a little bit too ridiculous the idea that ash goes back to the cabin is uh completely unbelievable um you know if you’ve watched any other film that that does something along these last time on the evil dead or a television show you know that those opening 15 minutes are just this is what happened in the previous year and especially the fact that an army of darkness they go back and do that again but even with with more of a previously on the evil dead um prologue isn’t it yes you know that makes total sense that this is the only 15 minutes is just what happened in the last film uh for any new audience because this got a wider release and they couldn’t count that everyone had seen the evil dead because at the time it was very difficult to track it down um so getting eel dead to out um it was going to be finding a whole fresh new audience so they had to give people what they needed to be able to understand what was happening now evil dead 2 is a film that very much defies the odds in that whilst it’s a a horror sequel in a world where we were getting a lot of horror sequels we were getting the return of the living dead so freddie was on the scene uh jason was like doing this thing halloween was like doing their thing um but evil dead two had to do something slightly different and it seems such an odd idea in in that environment to inject the amount of comedy that they did into the film and and that you know you can understand where it comes from knowing bruce and sam and robert t birds uh particular style over the last number of films but for a new audience member walking into evil dead 2 and seeing this on the screen and seeing the the laugh out loud comedy that they’ve thrown in there but not making this a parody of the horror films that are out there is it’s a really odd thing for them to do what what do you think about that would you have been able to to comprehend the comedy had you not seen the likes of crimewave and and where they go with that yeah yeah i i think um again in a lot of ways it reminded me of sean of the dead which is truly horrifying it is a zombie apocalypse but they find the comedy in it of real life people i mean look look all the the memes and jokes have been going around the internet recently uh the end is near because the pub that played the winchester in the shaun of the dead is closed you know you can’t go to the winchester and let things all blow over and again i saw it in this and like you say uh bruce brings back his sort of hammy style there’s a couple of bits or halfway through where it’s quite funny how horrified he is they’re seeing the look on it like when the house is laughing at him he just starts to laugh and it is it’s horrifying and you can see the madness in his eyes in in that performance but also it’s actually quite funny to watch a house laughing at him and the bit with that with his hand i was crying watching that i actually re-watched a couple of bits during a break whilst at work and my colleague turned and looked at me and just said what the fuck are you doing because he couldn’t understand why i was laughing so hard and it was because i was watching the scene with the hand running around and when the the hand gives him the finger it is so simple and you can even see where someone’s hand is coming up through the the floor and they’ve got all the bits to make it look like all the bone and arteries and what have you are sticking out the bottom but it’s still hilarious just to see this hang out and give you the finger even just the sound on the hands yes you know but it doesn’t have any vocal chords but it can still make like a a little muttery song and some sometimes you can make out the light at one point i swear to god it turns out and says fuck you i swear to god i heard maybe it’s just me i’m from essex so i swear everything but but you know yeah i swear it’s it was uh it was cursing at him it’s a film that obviously uh bleeds into uh into the times um but i i just can’t get my head around we we can understand it now you you make a comparison with sean of the dead because it’s a modern thing back in 1987 i don’t think they’d really seen anything like this before i can’t quite believe that and and for them to to be so daring us to do that where we talked about how crime wave was just crazy chaotic a cartoon on screen and far too much to palette this tried to do something similar but because it was it was a wee bit diluted it was a bit more palatable um and also it was based around something that a lot of people had affection for at the time it actually it created the franchise this is the one that i believe is fully responsible for everything that we have now that is evil dead based um the the idea of the first film being there is is fine and all but it’s a wee bit like maybe uh star trek the motion picture whenever people think fondly of the star trek franchise they think of some of the sequels and this is the one that has all of the iconic moments has the the chainsaw and the stump the sawed-off uh shotgun twiddled around the finger and thrown into the holster things that you know army of darkness made popular again to a larger audience because it got that full cinematic release it was even released in my wee time in in 92 93 what whatever year was and that brought that kind of uh cool ass hero to to the forefront more so than it had done in evil dead 2 and originally in evil dead it’s quite a difficult film for me to actually go into uh saying what my favorite thing would be about it i do love that hand sequence and i think one of the most iconic moments in the film is the moment where he does cut off the hand and i thought that was the coolest thing i’ve ever seen when i was particularly young first time i saw it i was like wow as he’s he’s uh screaming as the blood squirting across his face um as he’s cutting somebody off with a with a shield it was cool and then the physical acting that bruce is doing as he he uses his body as a prop the whole idea of him lying there his hand is pulling him across the floor that’s the bit i was going to mention yeah i just i know clearly that’s just him shoving himself along the ground but to see in the film it it looks so real and it is so hello this idea that this your hand is going to kill you it is it is funny but it really is funny yeah and it’s something that i don’t think any other actor could have ever passed on because his his physical uh presence there is just uh is his first read absolutely first we had everything he does in that film even there’s one moment toward the start of the film as as we cross from evil dead in the evil dead too in the whole he’s been picked up by the evil and thrown through the forest um there’s a moment where he sits up and the sun has come out and the moon has gone away and his eyes unclog and he he looks at his car and he thinks i’m going to get out of here and he just does one look to the left and his eyes go to the right and his thumb or his tongue goes into his cheek and it just says everything about everything that’s just happened to him right now i’m getting out of here and it’s that one look is so iconic to me i love that that that that shot it says so much without a single line of dialogue he’s gone and then and everything just ramps up from there um it’s it’s beautifully done now the special effects in this film are second to none and the the the ridiculous amount of blood as it pours through the wall and the the creature that’s created toward the end um the moments that happen around that uh are are somewhat distracting i always felt that whilst the whole climax was happening and he’s being sucked down a time hole to um as we find out that medieval times a stove yeah floats over his head and is sucked down there more so than he is he’s struggling his way across the floor so he’s heavier than the stove um and it’s just that one gag is a reminder that you know you’re not in reality here you’re in a cartoon world where we’re portraying this um his hair turns gray yeah as he looks at the the curiosity that’s being created in front of them as fear strikes them it just brings together all these beautiful ridiculous stupid ideas but it gets away with it so well and it plays those so perfectly i quite like the child-like drawing of him in the book of the dead getting his chance or arm in the air um you haven’t gotten to army of darkness i okay so it’ll be interesting to see what what happens when we do because obviously there is a secret i know obviously i know of the sequel and i know what the essentially that this what happens to him i don’t know the plot but i didn’t realize it was set up in this film i wasn’t expecting to see that until the next film and one of my favorite shots again goes back to the car is seeing that car crash land in medieval times it kind of made me think of um back to the future part three when marty’s driving the delorean across the plain and being chased by indians and just thinking oh yeah what must those indians be thinking you know those knights will see that and go that’s a weird looking chariot i um actually no i think about it well no it’s it’s it’s darkness where they’re they’re hitting it with their swords what piece of armor this is i look forward to that the two of them work just just perfectly together the way the the original evil dead you can i believe someone has done it at some stage where they’ve they’ve chopped off the start of evil dead two and tacked it on to the end of the evil dead and then chopped off the end of evil dead 2 and put army of darkness on so that it’s it’s one big i think it’ll be about three and a half hour epic as it follows ash throughout his progression toward madness and that’s uh yeah that’s something we could have a chat about is talking about the craziness that’s happening in the house he walks up to the mirror and obviously in the first film he puts his hand in the mirrorless water yes this time around um ash comes out of the mirror and he reminds them that we just chopped up our girlfriend with a chainsaw you start questing yourself as to is is bruce really incredibly insane and does he go up here and chop people up you know that is one thing that i i think what we were saying or what i’ve mentioned about the opening where people say that he’s too dumb there was a an avenue they could have taken this in uh where bruce is actually a serial killer and he does he takes his girlfriends and his friends up to this cabin and chops them up and buries them in the woods because he is a madman and i really liked that that moment where you’re thinking could that be the secret behind the evil dead and it wasn’t until i watched it this this recent time that i started thinking oh that’s that’s something that could be a thing um they could have taken in a very different way obviously they wouldn’t have got as much mileage out of it as uh as they did with the direction they did take it with or take it in but uh yeah the the film did really well it went on to be a a cult classic um and there there was a joke for many years that anytime anchor bay needed to pay the rent all they did was put out a new version of evil dead 2 on dvd and i i would say that it’s probably not far from the truth no i’d like to think that this film is the most released film on dvd it’s got to be there’s got to be some kind of rankings um for the amount of time something has come out on physical media because this film never stopped coming out i have about six different versions of it because every time they release it they’ll throw on an extra audio commentary or a new documentary or in in some cases uh bruce’s created there was one in particular called fanalysis which is a little documentary he made and that was released on one of the dvds as well so you know you you ended up having to buy multiple copies of it in order to get a complete picture of everything that was going on and like the original evil dead there isn’t a single frame of this film that hasn’t been talked about over and over again by everyone who was involved in it and i i love that if you get into this film you can find everything out about this the recipe that they used for making the fake blood uh the signs that they used for uh bones cracking for trees lashing you um all these things and that that’s it’s it’s a whole it’s a wormhole itself much like at the end of the film for you to get into if you want to find out more and i’d say this is one of the most documented films available today as well and anyone who’s looking to make something uh would would do well to watch this and the original evil dead’s special features because they talk about so many interesting things sam created techniques on this film to be able to do steadicam and he had the opposite of steady cam which was shaky cam as well which is something that he put together and you know that that that just shows how innovative this film actually was yeah like like you said it was it wouldn’t exist without the evil dead but it has surpassed the evil dead the like you say crime wave is an over-the-top slapstick comedy it really took you on a rollercoaster ride whereas here they have found the the perfect mix of action horror and comedy and it doesn’t feel disjointed from the original evil dead it it fits it feels like a continuation of that story and it flows rather than feeling like you know handbrake turn new direction new new movie and we’re gonna change the way the franchise goes it just flows it does there’s never really a dull moment i suppose whenever it’s introducing the newer characters uh who are coming to the cabin you know that gives you a bit of a breather but what they’re talking about is is interesting enough to develop the universe um the supporting cast take for example the late dan hicks who uh becomes a bit of a sam remy um go-to guy because he’s in he’s in a number of the spider-man movies i think uh or maybe he’s just in spider-man too know that i’m looking at it but he’s in dark man and easy wheels and intruder as well my name is bruce uh he was someone that they continually used sarah barry as well who plays dr raymond newby uh his daughter in the film she didn’t really go on to too much more other than this and uh she does appear in a number of things uh thanks to her notoriety in evil dead too but it was uh it was ted remy who plays newbie’s wife henrietta and she’s the thing in the cellar if you watch any of the making of documentaries about it that he was put through hell in this film maybe because he was a wee bit too young to be put through hell in the original evil dead and because he was sam’s brother sam felt that he could do whatever he wanted to his brother and as brothers do this was the film that got ted into the screen actors guild and after that um he he started making films and he he has a wide body a large career not a white body he does in the henrietta suit he’s particularly one yeah that was quite a suit she’s flying around the room that was quite a sight to see and there’s a beautiful story about how i think bruce was underneath him and there was a you can actually see in the film there’s liquid pouring out of the suit and that is just ted’s sweater yeah that’s a particularly gnarly but um yeah it makes for just that more of a an endearing story where you getting to know what happened in the background makes for a more intense story as well yeah so yeah evil dead 2 was a a massive hit for the guys and uh it went on to obviously create the sequel army of darkness and uh whilst the the games were uh of the franchise they were mostly inspired by this film and there was a couple of games that came out down the playstation windows and things like that and ipods and android ones we we will discuss them uh as we as we go along in the years that they they came out so uh so look forward to those if you’re looking for a bit of gaming action when it comes to evil dead we will have you covered there but bruce didn’t just do that one thing this year no he was off uh using his uh screen actors guild membership and appearing in something else as well now we have several tapes to show do you have video equipment and simon you you watch this didn’t you i did he was in an episode of knots landing which obviously was a big thing for him at the time i’m sure getting into a super like this would be any young aspiring actor’s dream um and he plays uh michael york’s right hand man i suppose uh in one episode of knott’s landing a character who they flashed out so much for the 30 seconds that he’s on screen by giving him both the first and last name joel benson i don’t even think they use his name in the tv series not that i remember no no he’s not audibly introduced or anything like that that’s just uh imdb happens to list him as joel benson so we know him as joel benson and he introduces one character to michael york’s character now i don’t particularly know knott’s landing um i know it’s a spin-off of dallas and that’s about it my mother liked dallas i don’t think she watched knott’s landing because that was just a bit too much and there was falcons crest was another one as well wasn’t it or maybe that was dynasty i don’t know uh but these were big american super poppers that were um they were really employing a lot of the actors out there and um bruce managed to get his news in what did you think of his role in knott’s landing 1990 or 1987 season 9 episode 7 episode say uncle oh he’s probably the most likable character in the entire episode of course i’ve never seen an episode of the show i’ve heard of it i knew nothing about it i had no idea it was tied to dallas another show i’ve never seen an episode of in fact the only thing i know about dallas is is the famous uh twist they put in to return a character who died and i only know about that because i saw the parody in the episode of family guy where the end of the world happens and he she opens his shower and there he is and he’s like what’s family guy um bobby you yeah so going back to this i had no idea what the show was about or i knew it was a soap opera um i had no idea what bruce’s role was in it so i thought i’ll just watch the episode and i had a hunch he was going to be in it for 30 seconds right at the end but i thought no i will watch it all the way through generally had no clue what was going on in fact the most shocking thing i found was that william devane was in it an actor i particularly like after having seen him in films like uh space cowboys uh the show 24 which i was a big fan of but also the show paper the movie payback uh the mel gibson film i love that film i love the director’s cut i love the theatrical cut of that film two very different films even though they’re the same film but i love both versions he is brilliant and he’s one of the best things in that film so to see him in this soap opera uh i believe he was with his daughter and wife had run off or something or other and he was going through babysitters i don’t know um to see him in this was shocking uh the rest of it i had no idea usual soap opera drama of meddling grandmothers and all that shit uh and some drowning girl somewhere and then finally gets to and they are talking about a meeting and this person who’s a assistant to big boss investor person man and it’s like oh there he is and i looked at the time and thought there’s three minutes left in the episode and as you say he’s in it for about 30 seconds he says yes great meeting walk outside here’s my boss points a limo and you never see him again end episode still the most likable person in that film in that show because everyone else was awful and despicable and typically 80s they they have big shoulder pads and uh full haircuts and but we still love the 80s i mean stranger things is a perfect these i love stranger things perfect example i love 80s movies there’s so many that are great but the fashions were questionable they they were yeah and especially when this is out in california or somewhere like during the 80s um this this sequence and the rules royces and things like else permed hair was it what that was that was those things it was uh joan van ark who got me because she kind of had a mullet type long hair thing i that looked like it took about three cans of hairspray to achieve and it’s like oh you’re denying liking this other person who’s just as easily despicable as you are but even so we you’re basically going to avoid him all episode and by the end of the episode oh lo and behold there she is she’s interested in him again and no doubt i’m sure if i watched any more episodes her other husband boyfriend whatever the person who thinks he is the father of her children will show up and go oh what’s going on and she’ll be all confused and yeah yeah yeah it’s a it’s a trashy show um i i do know about it because of my well my mother did watch dallas and i used to watch it with her when i was quite young and dynasty as well uh so i i’ve done my tour of judy in american soapville i don’t have to do not slamming as well but it must have been popular enough that i got the season now yeah i’m sure it was i don’t even know i’ll have a quick look and see how many seasons there were um perhaps it was around this time that bruce was going i’m sick of this studio thing and i’m wanting to bail um but i do believe reading his biography i should have researched this before i came on there but i did 14 season actually not slamming once a lot a lot of crap um bruce met his first wife on a soup opera and she was a super opera actress and it might have been this one i i can’t quite remember so if any if anything came from this it’s the bruce kind of developed his personal life uh out of out of not slamming but it wouldn’t be until the next year that he he got another particularly cracking lead role in a in a feature film and uh i guess that’s a that’s a fairly good segue for us to roll up this podcast and and move over to the next one because in the next episode we’re going to 1988 where bruce goes up against a maniac cop and and makes a noise in another film so if you want to get in touch with us you can by emailing me at gareth at a year in thecareer.com and simon as well at simon at the year in the career.com excellent and unless you have anything else you want to add we could build it up and go oh i think i’m done groovy so take care everyone and we’ll speak to you soon see you next time let’s go