WonderCon Panel: 7 Evil Dead Movies Are the Goal, Plus The Mortal Instruments

By Luke Y. Thompson in Movies
Saturday, March 30, 2013 at 3:57 pm

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Dalton Ross from Entertainment Weekly hosts the Sony panel, and gets surprising amount of cheers, causing even him to go, "Really?"

This panel is for the "Mundanes," he says, which is clearly a reference to The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Has big fan base, evidently, as fans are going nuts. Actors Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Kevin Zegers and author Cassandra Clare are here.

Dalton addresses author as "Cassie." She is a big woman, with bright red hair. Says she really wants to see what the demons look like, as the effects haven't been done yet. She's an extra in one scene, wearing cat ears, which she couldn't take off and had to wear on the plane home.

Movie stays true to the spirit of the books and the characters, with some things compressed and composited to keep it from being a 10-hour movie. Clare thinks from what she saw, it's as close as possible.

Lily Collins still looks like Snow White in her facial color scheme. She'll be a redhead in this.

Zegers didn't read too far ahead in the book series, because he doesn't want to start leaking later material, but likes that his character isn't defined right away, so audiences can decide if he likes it or not.

We're first to see a brand new trailer. It looks like a cross between Blade and Twilight, with pretty, fashion-model, young-adult actors who sport really tidy tribal tattoos and plunge swords into dutifully disintegrating demons. Also, yeah, CGI werewolves. The premise of a world hiding in plain sight that only certain people can see is very Clive Barker, but pretty clearly PG-13'ed to all hell in execution here, plus CCH Pounder in a bad wig, and Jared Harris, who I think is the trailer narrator. Cinematography wise, it looks like a slightly cheaper version of the Nic Cage Sorcerer's Apprentice. More cartoony than gothic.

All the fans asking questions are tween girls; most of the questions about what their favorite things are. I have the feeling this movie is not aimed at us, but at least it seems to have stabbings and actual monsters - one demon that's like a giant spinning mouth on insect legs is admittedly fun.

Clare describes herself as a really ordinary person who'd probably be instantly killed by anything supernatural. She does seem pretty darn perky for someone writing about ostensibly dark things.

I'm wondering at this point if there'll be a mass exodus once this part of the panel ends. Oh dear god, last questioner is a woman who named her new baby after one of these characters. And she has no question; just wanted to tell us that. I'm sure that kid'll be real happy about it years from now.

Yep, that parts over and lots of girls are walking out.

WonderCon's Eddie Ibrahim issues warning that the next presentations is R-rated. The clearly pre-teen boys sitting beside me playing portable Mario games are happy to hear it.

Evil Dead has screened a few times so there's probably not a lot of new stuff to reveal, but let's see what they've got. Okay - WonderCon "exclusive" trailer is basically the red-band one from before, with a bit more mirror-shattering, immolation and arm-sawing.

Cast: Lou Taylor Pucci, Tyler Frenandez, Jessica Lucas and Jane Levy all come out, followed by director Fede Alvarez and Bruce Campbell.

Dalton Ross is trying to out-camp Bruce. He shouldn't; Bruce shuts him down by calling his plugs of Entertainment Weekly "stupid," calls CAA "assholes" (then apologizes "to the assholes") says you can tell a real Evil Dead fan "because they won;t fucking shut up about it." Thinks seven is a good number for Evil Dead films by the time they're all done - three of the new ones and four of the originals.

"Torture porn makes you want to go back to your room and kill yourself" - Campbell.
"There's always a hero in these movies...someone who'll fight back." - Alvarez

"I had a Latin dictionary with me. It was really helpful. To kill everyone." - Taylor-Pucci, who unleashes the book. "I just think it's one of the best trilogies we have, so why not make it awesome again?" Campbell promptly walks over and hands him some cash for saying that.

Crossover potential of the two continuities: yes. Fede wants the hypothetical seventh movie to be an ultimate showdown that unifies both universes.

Vomiting blood effect is achieved, as Campbell describes it, by something like an inverted umbrella shoved down Levy's throat - fluid is hot into it, then when it hits the back of the throat, it comes back out.

We get a clip introduced by Sam Raimi on tape, who says this version of the movie is what he really wanted to do in the first place. It's a scene between Lucas and Pucci, where she sees her reflection in a bathroom mirror with the skin of her jaw ripped off. The mirror explodes, the book of the dead opens to a page of a ghostly figure cutting her own face off. The door slams. She wets her pants. Noises go down.

Pucci goes in to check on her, finds that she's cut off a huge piece of skin on her cheek with broken mirror shard. She attacks; he slips on the severed skin bit and hits the toilet hard, breaking a piece off. She stabs him with mirror, and then a syringe, repeatedly. Ultimately he grabs the broken bit of porcelain and bashes her head in...then has to pull the syringe needle out from under his eye. Looks tensely paced AND over the top, as it should.

"When you think it's not going to get any worse...it's just beginning" -Alvarez, on the spirit of the original film he wanted to maintain.

Asked what kind of roles he'd be taking in the future, Campbell responded that any significant role is what he looks for.

This movie will answer "plot holes," like "why are they at the cabin?" - Pucci.

Alvarez says he was very upset when Raimi said he was going to remake Evil Dead, couldn't believe anyone would dare, that the director would have to be some terrible Hollywood guy...and now he's that guy.

Reason Campbell turned down Ash versus Jason versus Freddy - "If you can't kill those two losers, what's the point of being in it?"

Things Campbell likes about the new one: "I am pleased that we hired actors that had a thing called experience...none of the equipment froze...you might actually see it when it first comes out, not 15 years later...you can't see a green garden hose spewing the blood...we didn't have to stop and start 5 times in four years."


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