No you didn’t imagine it: 13 13th Ave
By Jessica Dwyer
As a sort of sister series to my “Gone but not forgotten” articles, I’ve decided to do a new series called “No you didn’t imagine it.” It will be a sort of catch all for random and strange series, videos, and movies that you may have caught a glimpse of or things you saw once and think you might have only imagined it in your mind. This should be fun because my brain manages to hold on to information like this forever it seems…but I couldn’t tell you what I had for lunch yesterday.
I was eight years old when I caught a one-time special showing on CBS of a pilot which was filmed but never produced for a full season. That show was “13 13th Ave” and I weep for what might have been some epic slapsticky monster greatness.
The pilot was about an apartment building at number 13 13th AVE where a psychologist, Dr. Carey (Clive Revill) lived and treated a few of the more “special” residence in the building. A divorced dad, Jack (AC Weary) and his son Willie (Wil Wheaton with bowl cut hair and being hyperactive and adorable) move in and realize the patients are in actuality monsters.
Melinda (played by Mr. Belvedere’s Ilene Graff) is a blonde witch. Marv (possibly a nod to Marv Wolfman and played by Robert Harper) is in fact a werewolf. Roland (Paul Kreppel) is a vampire. And Vlastock (Ernie Sabella) is a troll.
The pilot dealt with Marv possibly having bitten someone and dealing with guilt and Jack and Willie dealing with what they’ve discovered about their neighbors. It was fun and goofy and I would have loved to have seen this go to a full series for at least a season. Sadly you can’t find this anywhere except for a few brief moments pieced together from what I believe was the commercial for the one time airing.
Some interesting facts about “13 13th Ave”:
Here’s the only bit of footage I’ve ever been able to find.
As a follow up to her interview with Halloween Town star Kimberly Brown, Fangirl Jessie Tarter also went to St. Helen’s Oregon for the annual Halloween Town festivities held there. St. Helen’s was the location for the actual film and they go all out every year. Here’s her coverage!
By Jessie Tarter
Twenty miles East of Portland there lies an unassuming stretch of road just off the highway. It twists briefly passed country houses and through a modest wood, virtually unmarked save for the occasional update on the rapidly approaching town of Saint Helens, Oregon. The road, though unremarkable itself, leads to one of the most glorious destinations for Halloween enthusiasts in the Northwest.
In 1998, the Disney channel movie ‘Halloweentown’ was shot on location in the streets of Saint Helens. Since it aired nearly twenty years ago, it has become a holiday standard for many of the millennial generation. To this day, the line ‘being normal is vastly overrated’ and the sight of a pumpkin lighting up a town square brings waves of nostalgia to anyone who watched the film growing up.
It has been a yearly tradition in Saint Helens that just as October rolls in, the iconic Jack-O-Lantern is built and set in front of the equally quintessential steps of City Hall. The shops surrounding the square are decked out with all the typical trappings one would expect; cobwebs, spiders, and more pumpkins than could be believed. Programed images of giant eyes scanning the crowd lit the windows of City Hall, as if enormous monsters were taking the place of security cameras. A scarecrow contest inspires the creation of dozens of spooky masterpieces that line the streets and await the judgement of passerby’s.
The town becomes a magnet for anyone with an ounce of October joy in them. Costume clad fans, both professional and novice, take to the streets to show off their handiwork. When I visited on the 10th, I was greeted by a swaggering Jack Sparrow I mistook for Depp himself. Standing in the square with a line of people hoping for a picture was a Winifred Sanderson so spot on it was hard to believe she hadn’t been hired by Saint Helens.
Even the Emergency Response Team that was stationed in the middle of the fray in case anyone needed assistance were caked in fake blood and zombie dressings, posing for pictures when they weren’t otherwise occupied with helping tourists.
But by far the most delightful ghouls were the children. From cardboard robots to top of the line Elsa’s, not one child was out of costume. For these kids, Halloween comes twice this year.
At five, the festivities were properly kicked off with the annual Monster Dash. Presented by the Rotary Club of Colombia County, costumed runners could donate and participate in a city wide marathon. While it wasn’t required that everyone be in costume to run, there’s something to be said for watching Mike and Sully from Monster’s Inc. jog alongside a pack of zombies.
If that didn’t strike their fancy tourists could walk around town, taking in the sights and sampling the festive treats. One shop boasted every Autumnal delicacy under the sun: candy apples, ciders, hot chocolate, pumpkin muffins, all wrapped together in a traditional old town parlor setting.
As the night wore on and the clouds circled in, thousands of goblins and ghouls flocked to the town square for the long awaited arrival of the queen of Halloween. This year, unlike any year before, Kimberly J. Brown was coming back to Saint Helens. Brown had played Marni, the lead actress in the first three Halloweentown movies, and the word of her return had spread like wildfire across the internet. More people had gathered to see her than could be contained in the square. The audience surrounding the Jack-O-Lantern spilled out from the grass, to the street, onto the porches and even the roofs of neighboring buildings. Children and adults alike were hoisted onto the shoulders of friends and family, just trying to get a glimpse of the lady in the witch’s hat as she took the stage.
While not every word she said could be heard over the clamor of her fans, Kimberly was clearly excited and overwhelmed by the turnout. She gestured to certain parts of the surrounding area, recounting the adventures she and the other cast members had had on set.
At last it was time for the main event. Every year there’s a ceremony for the lighting of the Jack-O-Lantern and of course this year the honor went to Ms. Brown. She informed the crowd that unlike in the movie, she would not be climbing on top of the pumpkin to light it. Rather, she would teach the spell that lit Merlin’s Talisman in the original movie, and once the entire audience had cast it, they would count down to the lighting.
“Because,” as she put it “what’s a countdown without a little magic?”
There was a collective dusting off of the memories surrounding the old chant we tried to memorize as children. With Kimberly directing the chorus, the crowd repeated the spell a few times to get it right, and then the countdown began. New Year’s Eve, eat your heart out.
With the lantern lit, Kimberly thanked the audience for making the trip out, welcomed everyone to Halloween and wished them a good night. With that, she disappeared into the crowd and made her way her promised meet and greet.
The throngs of people disbursed, the hour having become late and the children tired. Some hung back to look at the lantern, others walked up and down the streets for one more look at what they might have missed before. One tiny princess standing on the sidewalk proclaimed “she did it with magic!”
Pardon the sentiment, but there is a definite magic when an entire community pulls together for the sake of fun and nostalgia. Not every year will be as hyped as this one was, but even without the glamour, just having the chance to experience that level of wistful joy in the flesh in worth the price of admission.
So should a decorative bus with a skeleton at the helm happen to appear out of nowhere with Saint Helens on the marquee, hold onto your pointy hats. It’s going to be a wild ride.
Rachel Moore has been part of Fangirl Radio from episode one and been a part time contributor to Fangirl Magazine since 2006. She’s heading off into that double sun horizon but leaves us with a nice message and an opening to help contribute to the zine. Here’s Rachel’s goodbye and we wish her good journey (thanks Master of the Universe) and good luck on her projects.
A Goodbye From Fangirl Rachel Moore
I have had the honor and pleasure of working with Jessica Dwyer on Fangirl Magazine since 2006. I’ve had some really amazing opportunities, met a ton of really great and talented artists and fans, and learned so very much.
The November EuCon event is going to be my last event as Fangirl Staff, as I’m going to be turning my attention to some of my personal projects.
Thanks in part to the amazing current crew of the Magazine/Radio show I have been inspired to find out if maybe I have an inner artist in me to add to the Great Conversation. One of the awesome things about Geek Culture is that it really does inspire people that they can be whatever they want to be, even if it’s fictional. You can’t be around that all the time and not absorb a bit of it for yourself, or at least I guess I can’t!
Until then, come out and see us at EuCon! I’d love to meet you or see you again. The annual Halloween episode is here, and it’s free, so you should put it directly into your ear! I might do some surprise farewell things too, you’ll just have to follow Fangirl on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Tumblr and find out!
Also, I don’t know if you know this, but if you are a burgeoning reviewer/writer/video maker, etc., Fangirl Magazine is a pretty great crew to be a part of! Be brave and email Jessica and submit what you’d like to share, you might be surprised at the results. Fangirl Magazine has always been a labor of love. She doesn’t bite much, I swear…
My heart filled thanks go out to Sarah Buck, Jessie Tarter, Erik Smith and Carl Doody for joining Fangirl and making it such a fun experience. And of course, Jessica: my best friend, my bad shoulder angel, my movie cohort, and my cheerleader… all the best success in the world. Never forget that to 12 year old you, you are living her dream and are her biggest hero. I will always cheer you on. And if I ever hit it big, you can have the Exclusive.
The Walking Dead: Now
By Jessica Dwyer
(also posted on Tom Holland’s TerrorTime )
I’ll start off by saying that “Now” was going to have a lot to live up to after two episodes like “Thank you” and “Here’s not here.”
Sadly “Now” just felt like a lot of filler with a very predictable reveal that was delivered in a rather strange way.
Alexandria is now surrounded by walkers thanks to Rick’s bizarre corral plan (and we aren’t actually shown how Rick got out of the RV that was being surrounded by walkers either.) Maggie is delivered the news of Glenn being MIA (Steven Yeun’s name is still not in the credits, but Herschel’s watch is still there.)
Deanna is having a hard time dealing with the situation everyone is finding themselves in and has sort of checked out. The town is losing faith because the constant growling and sounds of the walker horde is just so definite. How can they escape? Deanna’s son is stealing food and booze from the pantry and self medicating. He smacks down his mom with some harsh words of boozy truth. This in turn leads Deanna to tell Rick that he needs to be in charge.
Meanwhile Denise, the doctor we all wanted to wind up with Eugene (who is sadly absent this episode as is Morgan) is 99.9 percent NOT going to wind up with Mr. Mullet. It would seem Tara’s visits have inspired her to not only to keep learning medicine but that she’s not afraid to reveal that she’s also a lesbian and winds up locking lips with Tara. Tara’s girlfriends never seem to survive very long…so this could be bad for everyone.
In one of the episodes most hilarious moments (which I’m sure it wasn’t supposed to be…but I kept having flashbacks to that scene in Bridget Jones’s Diary with Hugh Grant and Colin Firth slap fighting) Carl and Jessie’s son Ron “fight” over Enid who’s left before the walkers arrived. Ron’s actually right in his response to Carl that people will just wind up dying if they go after her and he’s repeatedly asked her NOT to go over the wall. It’s her choice. Keep in mind Ron’s already lost his crazy abusive father (Carl’s dad shot him…remember?) and so he’s probably just done with everything.
In a surprising turn Ron does exactly what he said he would and goes to Rick and tells him of Carl’s plan to possibly go after Enid. He then asks Rick to teach him how to defend himself. I actually was surprised by this and I didn’t get any sort of ulterior motive out of Ron.
Rick and Jessie finally get their romantic moment the evening after Jessie takes out a walker who was created after an Alexandrian gave up and slit their wrists due to the horde. At least shoot yourself in the head in case you kill someone else people. That’s just common courtesy.
It would seem Jessie’s youngest son, the one with a thing for cookies, Sam, won’t come downstairs because of what he witnessed his mom do with the wolf invader. Also there’s a massive horde of walkers outside so he’s freaked out. There’s no telling how the kids will accept Rick’s new romance with their mom since he killed their father. It’s also going to be interesting to see how Rick’s crew take to this new development.
But the big story this episode of course was Maggie and Aaron deciding to go out and find Glenn and Nicholas. I will say that this episode had some of the grossest zombies we’ve seen in a looong while. And the sewer zombies were probably some of the most disturbing in the series.
Maggie’s decision actually pisses me off. She goes so far only to turn around (when she shouldn’t have gone at all.) And it is only a few feet away from a massive horde of angry walkers and after having nearly been killed she admits she’s pregnant to Aaron. Does Glenn even know about the fact she’s pregnant? It was vague in that regard. But either way she goes back to Alexandria where she’s probably got a better chance at birthing the child than Lori had with her baby.
While there we see her decide to wipe away Glenn’s name from the wall of the lost suddenly (because she’s still not giving up…and we the viewers are still being trolled hard.) Aaron tells her Aaron or Erin works both ways for a boy or a girl while wiping away Nicholas’s name (which we know for sure is a false hope.)
Oh and sort of half way mentioned (Carol wasn’t in this episode either) is the fact that Daryl, Abraham, and Sasha are no longer in communication with anyone on the walkies. Just throwing that out there too.
So..”Now” as I said felt like filler. Part of that is the fact we sort of ran through the list of characters we hadn’t heard from lately very fast. Also there’s the fact that the characters viewers are really finding interesting lately, like Morgan and Carol, weren’t in this at all. It’s a filler episode with the one goal of the pregnancy reveal which felt sort of poorly done.
There are three more episodes before the mid season break. I’m guessing if they are going to ramp anything up it will be now. There’s a lot of talk that Glenn is going to be the new Sophia….and we all know how great that went for the viewers as we slowly didn’t care.
But this is feeling a lot like season two’s Sophia reveal all over again. I’m thinking though we’re going to have a very alive Glenn show up a the end of November only to have a very alive Negan appear before the seasons end.
Star Wars Make-Up Tie In Review
By Jessica Dwyer
Star Wars has created a tie in with the Cover Girl Make Up company for the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And while I usually don’t enjoy pandering and money grabbing…I’m actually okay with this because the design of the stuff is great and it’s far more inexpensive than the MAC movie and comic tie ins that are released.
The issue of course would the quality and what exactly was being released in the line. As it turns out the eye shadows, eye and brow liners aren’t actually special to Star Wars. The things that are include nail polish, mascara, and lipsticks. But the funny thing is they didn’t even bother giving the designs any sort of kitschy name as you would think they would (Rebel Red, Saber Blue, Dark Darth…you know…that sort of thing.)
I’m not a big nail polish girl but I do love me some lipstick and decent mascara. So I snagged one of the mascara tubes which featured a quote and the logo. This set me back around six dollars. The lipsticks I purchased I found on sale (which is why Cover Girl is awesome for those of us on a budget because you’ll never find MAC or Sephora doing a buy one get one half off sale.) So I managed to get four of the colors for around twenty dollars.
First up the mascara. There are apparently 10 of these different quotes. This the non water proof version.
This last photo shows my biggest gripe about the mascara. Those are teeny tiny plastic spikes on the wand. It’s chintzy and horrible to apply. It’s a mediocre mascara at best and no bristles on the brush is just…stupid. I would say avoid the mascara. It’s not worth it for a cute quote and a logo. And also it’s just their plain mascara. There’s nothing unique color wise.
The lipsticks however are great and unique to this line as far as I can tell.
This is a very dark and rich wine/purple that I’m going to say is “dark side” friendly. We’ll call this “Palpatine Purple”
This is a slightly sparkle filled orange/copper that is of the “light side” variety. Very rich color. I’ll call this one “3POOOO”
This is a red that I absolutely love. It’s not overtly bright and I’m going to assume “dark side” so I’m dubbing it “Sith Kiss”
Last but not least is this silvery and slightly pink shade which is very light side. I’ll dub this one “Your Highness”
These were the only four I could find actually. I’m lucky to have discovered these at my local Rite-Aid pharmacy. Originally when the make-up was released they weren’t available in store (other than the polish and mascara) and were online only. Now if you look you can find them. But I’d hop on it because they are selling out.
I rate the lipsticks a good buy for fans of the films. They are really nice for the price and that logo really does pop on those tubes don’t you think? Great colors and you can have a lot of fun with naming them yourself.
As I said, I found these at Rite-Aid but they are showing up in stores like Wal-Mart etc. Good luck and may the force be with you.
Gone But Not Forgotten
Kindred The Embraced
By Jessica Dwyer
(also posted on Tom Holland’s Terror Time )
Before TrueBlood, before Twilight and The Vampire Diaries hit screens there was Kindred The Embraced. Kindred was way before its time when it joined the Fox line up back in 1996. It was entertaining, sexy, filled with intrigue and plots and was an awesome show that dealt with vampires in a serious way.
Kindred was based off the White Wolf games Vampire The Masquerade for the most part, but owed a lot to a pilot/made for TV movie released five years before called Blood Ties…it would even star one of the actors from that film, Patrick Bauchau.
Kindred first aired in April of 1996 and would only last a couple of months before it was cancelled. It wasn’t that the show was getting bad reviews…it was that Fox didn’t know how to market it…and well…we know how Fox was with some beloved genre shows right? And much like it did with Firefly, Fox had episodes of Kindred it didn’t even air so things were out of sequence.
Sadly though it wasn’t just Fox to blame for the series not continuing. There were rumors of a cable network picking it up…but the tragic death of star Mark Frankel at the age of 34 would end the desire to continue.
Kindred followed the Vampire game set-up for the most part…changing some of the attributes of the factions the game introduced to players. The series followed the Prince of San Francisco, Julian Luna (Mark Frankel, returning to Fox after the failed series Fortune Hunter.) Luna is trying to keep the peace between the various clans of vampires in his city…and it’s a constant struggle.
He is aided in this by his right hand Nosferatu, Daedalus (Jeff Kober, who would be cast as various creatures in Buffy as well as joining Sons of Anarchy.) The Brujah in this universe are very mafiaesque and power hungry. They are led by Eddie Fiori (Brian Thompson…another Buffy creature go to actor as well as the alien bounty hunter from The X-Files.)
Things go really wrong for Luna when his niece Sasha (Brigid Walsh) comes to live with him and falls in love with a Gangrel clan member named Cash (Channon Roe, who was also in Buffy.) Things go worse when Sasha is turned by a Brujah without consent.
Lilly (Stacy Haiduk, who actually wound up on TrueBlood) is a Toreador that’s in love with Luna. She’s beautiful of course and a lover of the arts.
The series has its share of humans too. C Thomas Howell plays a cop named Frank who is in love with Julian’s ex Alexandra (Kate Vernon from Battlestar Galactica.) When she outs herself to him as a vampire she signs her own death warrant with the act. This leaves Frank obsessed with the vampires…not knowing his own partner (Erik King…Doakes from Dexter) is one of them.
Luna also falls in love with a human by the name of Caitlin Byrne (Kelly Rutherford from Bricso County Jr.) which is probably the riskiest thing he could do as she’s a reporter. This doesn’t set well with Lilly as you can imagine.
The show had a lot of drama in terms of romance but it also didn’t skimp on the meaty parts of the mythos. It balanced the romance with the bloodthirsty and looked great doing it. I firmly believe that if Kindred had come together on a cable network it would been more popular than TrueBlood and a lot less…whatever TrueBlood became.
It had a great cast and great characters and a solid mythology that it didn’t deviate too far away from (other than that Brujah thing.) The story was intriguing and it was interesting to see Frank and Julian have to help each other with their shared loss of the same woman each of them loved. If the series had been allowed to continue we might have even seen Alexandra return to really make things interesting between them.
Kindred The Embraced has been released on DVD in it entirety twice and even on VHS. You can still get the second release in a special edition on Amazon. The interesting thing is the original DVD release that I own has music taken from Bram Stoker’s Dracula as some of the instrumental pieces.
If you were a fan of TrueBlood or any of the slew of vampire series that have come into being since then, you owe Kindred some love and gratitude. It was one of the first ones to bring vampires to prime time TV on a weekly basis (granted it only lasted eight episodes…but they were great episodes) and it actually starred a bunch of actors would would appear in various roles on a little show called Buffy The Vampire Slayer the following year. Give Kindred some thanks, it helped clear the bloody way for the Slayer.
Bruce Campbell Interview: Ash Vs Evil Dead
I was lucky enough to be part of a round table Q and A with the Great & Mighty Chin, Bruce Campbell to talk about his new series Ash Vs The Evil Dead. It was a long and candid discussion and gives some insight into Campbell and a character that he can’t seem to quit.
Here’s the full transcript! Hope you enjoy! And be sure to catch Ash Vs. The Evil Dead Halloween night on STARZ!
Question: All right. So I guess I have to ask, you know, what was it like to playing Ash again after so much time and is (Sam) still torturing you the way he did when you guys were growing up?
(Bruce Campbell): The answer is good and yes. I mean it’s great to get back to this character. It’s probably the most fun character there is to play. Now we can use all of our experience to barrier on this character again and flesh him out even more. And, yes, (Sam) is just as cruel as he always is.
Question: Well done. How does it feel putting the chainsaw back on and slightly skin?
(Bruce Campbell): It reminded me of how much I hate fake blood. That hatred it runs deep. It runs really deep. It’s one of my least favorite things is adhesive, surgical adhesive and they had to use that for appliances, make up appliances and, yes, fake blood. Because it’s chronic. It gets everywhere.
Question: Is there a connection between the Evil Dead 2013, I know you had a cameo in.
(Bruce Campbell): No connection whatsoever. That was a director who had a whim, who goes I have this great idea. It has nothing to do with anything but I want to do it. I was like, yes, whatever. So, no, no connection whatsoever.
Question: You said in the past that the video games that had come out for Play Station were Evil Dead sequels and we should look at them that way. Will any of those story lines be referenced or did you use them for any personal reference inside your head?
(Bruce Campbell): I’m glad I’m not running for office because guys like you would dig up crap I said randomly 16 years ago. So that’s why I’m not a politician. Because to you I could say that was bologna I made up at the time. Okay. I lied. You got? I lied. So now we move onto the truth. And the truth is I’m glad we had something to finally show fans where I’m not put on the spot all the time to try to make crap up. You know I’m attracted to bombs. We got to clarify that. The bombs. The last three bombed, they were the most expensive. They were too expensive. They didn’t make any money. So people began to think we were lazy or we didn’t want to go back to it. I got news for you, pal, there’s no money in the bank for it. You’re not making anything if there’s no money. So it’s just the raw truth of it. Thankfully, the fans have stepped up through all the DVD reissues. There were 86 versions of Army of Darkness after that. It became an American movie classic, you know, on AMC. And so fans drove it. And they drove it at these personal appearances by tour since ’88. They haven’t let it go. So they finally got it. So regardless of what I said, when I said or how I said it, we’re here. And it’s a good day.
Question: You’ve done so much with this character. What are you looking forward to doing with him now that you have all this experience and the opportunity to do it?
(Bruce Campbell): Well, you know, people have only seen four and a half hours worth of Ash. In this first season alone, we’re going to do five new hours of Ash. So I’m actually looking forward to finally seeing who Ash is going to interact with other people now. He has to be a leader. So it’s a slightly different story in that the character has to evolve. The story has to get bigger. And I’m looking forward to that so that I can take enough time to finally be with Ash. The other movies, you know, I had a week that went by without any dialogue. Like shooting, Evil Dead 2 got trapped in the cabin. So its Ash getting out in the wild, you know, getting into suburbia. So that’s the fun thing to do is interact with other people.
Question: You just mentioned how much of a bomb Army of Darkness was. And I was curious because nothing from Army of Darkness was mentioned in the theme of Pablo explaining the Evil Dead to them. Is that intentional? Are you guys not going to reference any events to that movie in the series?
(Bruce Campbell): Correct.
Question: Correct like you’re skipping it over it? It’s not cannon anymore. Or he’s not going to be going back to the other world?
(Bruce Campbell): Correct in that that’s not material that we can do legally so we’re not going to do it. It’s a whole complicated bunch of legal mambo jumbo that’s not even worth going into. The three movies were made by three different companies. So that should tell you call your uncle the lawyer and talk to him about it. He’ll laugh. He’ll go really three movies, three companies and you want to make a TV show. This should be fun. So it’s very complicated to put together. And I’m just really grateful that it all worked out. Here we are. But it means there are things we can include, things we can’t. But, you know, everything that Ash needed was in the first two movies anyway. Anything he ever used so it’s all good.
Question: So we have shows like Softland that have gotten cancelled and then picked up by other shows or I mean by other stations and then the ratings have gone through the roof. And then you have shows like The Walking Dead that have got turned away by other stations and then picked up and then the ratings have gone through the roof. So how does STARZ think handle like this?
(Bruce Campbell): They had what we needed. They gave the budget we were looking for and they gave us the leeway we were looking for and they give us unrestricted content that those movies demand. So they were really — out of the suitors that we had — they were actually the only company that I’m aware out there that could give us that criteria and that did it. That sealed the deal right there. And, you know, look these guys are growing as a company.
I like being part of companies that are growing and expanding rather than shrinking and contracting. And they’re willing to stay on the cutting edge. And they want to do shows that people not only like but they like a lot. And I think we provided something like that for them and I think we’re attracted to them because this show can actually play around the world. Not all TVs can. We started overseas and in the UK and then spread over the world. It makes – I think we’re good partners. I think we’re good for each other.
Question: Concerning the Easter Eggs in hidden things. Should we be looking more than just Oldsmobile’s, the ’73 Delta 88.
(Bruce Campbell): Well, it’s not even like we’re hiding anything. You know we are bringing back all that stuff. The problem is, you know, it’s a lot of Michigan stuff mostly. It’s Michigan Easter Eggs. There’s Michigan State University, Camp Chappaqua, the place where (Sam) went to camp, Faygo Red pop, Coney Island, you know, like chili dogs that everybody eats in Michigan. And it takes place in Michigan. So, yes, there’s tons of Easter Eggs. There’s no question about it. You’ll see them in the show. We don’t hide them. The ’72 Delta 88 is the same car that’s been in all the movies. It’s the exact car. It’s not a different car which is pretty incredible. We had it put on a boat and shipped to New Zealand.
Question: Evil Dead was inspired by part I think it said at least in part by (Sam Raimi’s) interest in H.P. Lovecraft. You guys grew up together I believe. Were you also a fan of Lovecraft when you were growing up as he was?
(Bruce Campbell): No, I didn’t give a rat’s ass about Lovecraft. I read lots of Spiderman comics. I read a comic called Sad Sack. It was a silly, farmy comedy comic. So that was me. I didn’t really get into that. You know we didn’t get into horror until we decided to make our first feature film because horror was the only type of genre that you could make cheap movies and no one cared. Like you couldn’t make a cheap drama. That would be too low budget.
No one would – drama’s had to have good photography and well-known actors and stuff. And horror films, you could still make drive in movies back in those days. So that’s what we did. And horror I appreciate now is one of the few genres that can wound the audience up and make them pay attention. I kind of like that. It’s one of the few genres that can be very manipulative there.
Question: So I’ve always thought that Ash appeals to genre fans because he’s sort of a societal outcast but he has one really specific skill set in his case fighting demons and I guess in horror fans I guess it could be writing or special effects or whatever. How do you feel that is? Do you think that is why the horror fans embrace Ash?
(Bruce Campbell): Yes, I think it’s the correct assessment. Plus the fact that he has no special skill. He is not trained. He was not part of any government agency. Nothing. So I think when you watch him you go that could be me. The guy that works at 7-11. I mean I could do that. Why not? I’m sick over trained heroes. I’m really bored with that. Guys that are just ripped to shreds and, you know, full of skills. That’s boring me. Give me the drive mechanic that picks up a weapon, you know. Now I’m interested. That’s my hero.
Question: In Ash versus Evil Dead are there any advancements in special effects that you are grateful for that you did not have while shooting the film.
(Bruce Campbell): Well, we tried to keep the blood real. Digital blood is not effective. We had that in a couple of cases in this pilot. You know, we’re not a big proponent of digitals. So the funny thing is we have better ways of delivering the blood but it doesn’t make any of it easier or better. It just makes them better at hitting me. Their aim is better now. The chance of getting it right on the first take is better now.
We do a lot more testing. We’ve used anything from a seed spreader to a paint brush dipped in blood, you know, splattered it on us that way to a Hudson sprayer to a beer keg that converted to a pressurized basically a blood sprayer and then we had a cannon. So the good news the systems are all better but it doesn’t make my life any easier. It makes it worse.
Question: When you’re working away from (Sam) obviously there are a bunch of different directors on the series, was there any difficulty for you to, like, move away from (Sam) when it comes to this particular character just being familiar working with him?
(Bruce Campbell): Yes, it’s heartbreaking. Because, you know, you’re used to the old man yelling at you. If somebody starts yelling at me, I’m like I’ll punch you in the face, man. So there’s definitely an adjustment. And we look we found a great set. The guys were really happy with the directors that we had. I have no complaints. So it’s hard on everybody. It was me missing the old man and probably directors going, you know, what’s with this guy. Because we had to figure everything out. But, you know, I feel I’m the voice of Ash so I can be at least a constant influence on the character.
Question: Can you talk a little bit about the ways that we’re going to Ash fighting personal demons, you know, as well as literal ones within these series?
(Bruce Campbell): Well, if it was an hour show, we’d go into his past. Thank the heavens it’s a half hour show so we’re going to get into Ash and there will be enough about Ash that will make us want him to be our hero forever and ever for all times. And in order to do that, we have to humanize him a little bit. So I think we’ll start see more of a leader with Ash — a little more of actual hero qualities — and, you know, the jerk stuff will still be there. Pure Ash. I mean you’ll get that. But I mean this time around we’re going to hopefully see a likely improved Ash. We’ll see.
Question: What are the modern day trends in horror do you wish to avoid in your show?
(Bruce Campbell): Torture porn. Just because it’s a bore. I don’t care one way or another about it. I don’t want to rail too much about torture forms. It’s just low grade film making. I would just like to focus on a variety of horror. I want to mess with people’s minds. You want to startle them. You want to shock them. You want to disturb them. And you want to keep them on edge. Horror films are great. You can grab an audience by the scruff of their necks and force them to look at that screen. I think that’s really cool.
Question: What’s been the biggest differences in filming Ash for a television series versus filming him in the motion picture world?
(Bruce Campbell): Speed is the number one only because you’re on a TV base. And TV is a very efficient median. You get in, you get out. You do it. And I love TV. I love the pace of it because nothing gets stale. Making the other Evil Dead movies, they were great and very informative and very educational for all of us but they are tedious as hell. I think movies are tedious. So bring your big, thick book to work in a big Hollywood movie. But the TV pace will never let you get that bored. You know by lunchtime you’ve given little Billy his medicine back, kissed the girl and killed the bad guy.
Question: I noticed is that Ash is very different between he’s actually fighting and when he’s just being Ash. And I’m wondering is that where that kind of comes from because I notice it as literally as a shift in personality. He goes from kind of bumbling, lovable kind of thing to badass.
(Bruce Campbell): It’s about contrast. You know I think with your characters you’ve got to do that. There’s Mickey Mantle at the plate and Mickey Mantle out to drink with the boys. I don’t know. I think its kind I think with characters – I heard a note from a director to an actor. This is related to me by a friend. And the director said I want you to be a different character in every scene. And the actor was astounding. What are you crazy? I’m only playing one character. His point was that there was so much depth to humans and each individual. So in order to come close to the complexity to the most boring average person, you’d have to play each scene as a completely different character to even start to see the glimpses of all the sides of a person or even a character. So even though I’m doing a cheesy horror series there is still some art to it.
Question: It seems like because there are kind of where he is that this might be more of a road series a little bit maybe around Michigan or maybe beyond that too if you can comment on that.
(Bruce Campbell): Well, part of that depends on how the story evolves. The first season I think is definitely putting the genie in a bottle. After that, you got to see what roots take hold. So I think there might be some information that’s gleaned that might take it in whatever direction it goes. So I don’t know that it’s necessarily going to be a road series. But it’s definitely being a slightly nomadic situation with the car, with the trailer. Yes, there are able to roll because they kind of have to roll. So they could easily the rock can change at any time.
Question: How much work you did on getting back to that tone.
(Bruce Campbell): We don’t. What we do is we do whatever entertains us on the set. And that’s really the bottom line. The tone meetings I think come after (Sam) leaves the directors and talks about it. But (Sam) and I never talk about films. He’s the one that’s like, you know, if you put the star of your show in a man girdle while playing sequence of the show. That takes balls for a director — a writer or director — to create that or do that with his character so, I challenge other directors. I’m like, I bet you can’t be as daring as (Sam) as far as messing with the character and really showing their flaws — their naked flaws.
Question: The huge variety of media and genres that you worked with from your responses it seems that it’s more where you can delve into, where you can extend your creativity and just goes. That seems to be what draws you. But is there any particular genre and or media that does draw you a little more or that you might be interested in working in further?
(Bruce Campbell): Interesting question. It’s funny. Yes, I go where the work is good. I had some people who represented me years ago who could not understand why I would go to Auckland, New Zealand into the southern hemisphere to work on the show Hercules and then on Xena and Jack of All Trades. They just couldn’t understand it. It was a syndicated show. There’s no network. They got no respect at all. No Emmys. No nothing. And I’m like you don’t get it. You’re not down there on the set with us. We can get away with murder. Murder. And we do. We take the script and we look at it and we see what we can do. We can work with the director, work with the other actors. If somebody has an idea, they do it. It’s the most creative set I’ve ever been on. And the last time I checked as actors, that’s what you’re looking for is creativity. You’re not looking for the Rolls Royce and, you know, the big fancy trailer. Those are supposed to be the byproducts of having fun and then getting good at what you do.
So, I’ll chase that to the end of the Earth which is one of the main reasons when I was going to be Auckland, New Zealand for this show – I mean I have crew members that I know down there that I’ve known for 20 years. These people are extremely gifted at what they do and it makes our job easy because they make it look good and we make it look easy.
And it’s only because now that I work with people that I know that make it so much better. You see them come out of their trailer, you’re cracking jokes, you punch them in the arm, you know, you’re messing with them when they’re on camera trying to get them to break up. You know there’ s a lot of work play involved. And that’s a big appeal to it too. But other than that, the comedy. The comedy can lift your spirits.
Question: My question is about (Lucy Lawless). What was it like being reunited with her and what is her presence added to this show?
(Bruce Campbell): She’s a badass. She’s a great addition to the show. She can step in and do anything we need her to do which is spectacular. She’s a great actress with an incredible amount of versatility. She can do comedy which is great and she can kick ass. So we’re lucky, lucky, lucky. So I think you can look forward to her having an increasingly expanding role in this show and that’s critical to me because I’ve always loved (Lucy). She was great when I worked with her on Xena and knowing that she was getting available. She wasn’t available right away during this first season. So when she was, I was like her husband’s (Rob Tapert) my partner. I said (Rob) you better sit down with your wife at dinner and you better lock this in. So, yes, it’s important to get her back. We’re really happy. Lucky.
Question: I was wondering if there’s going to be any if you will, you know, you talked about some Michigan spoiler if you will if there’s going to be any really great ones like Flint or Detroit?
(Bruce Campbell): Well, I hope so. I hope that Michigan references will never end. Because if you’re setting your show in Michigan, we’re definitely going to have that. I want Ferndale. I want Royal Oak in there where I was born. But don’t – you’re going to see a whole lot of references in the show. I hold my hand like the map where I’m trying to talk to some guy about where something is. So, yes, it’s all Michigan all the time.
Question: Have you had any desire to write or direct an episode of the series?
(Bruce Campbell): No, this is really (Sam’s) baby and I’m sort of the Burn Notice territory as a director also which gives me a great position with the star because I didn’t get in any kind of authoritative figure with them. I’m a fair director when I direct. I kind of want what I want. And, no, this works great. I have so much to do with Ash, I don’t really have any desire for that.
Question: (Sam Raimi) explained at the Comic-Con panel that other than his deed, Ash hasn’t really grown in the last 30 years. But do you think during the course of this season, we’ll get to see an evolution of his character?
(Bruce Campbell): Yes. And thanks for asking that. Because you have to. Ash is going to be, you know, he’s always sort of a pronounced character and he’s always going to have his quirks. But, yes, he has to be a leader. The other people in this show around him have to see something in him to make them to follow him on this quest. They obviously because of what’s going to happen to them, they will have a personal stake in this well. So but, yes, Ash has to be a guy who you can actually sit down and reason with from time to time and try to convince him of something. Yes, there’s a lot of decision making to be done and he will have to involve other people against his will.
Question: How do you think the fans will react once it’s released on Halloween and was it complicated to get back in the mindset of Ash?
(Bruce Campbell): No, it’s not complicated to get back in the mindset of Ash. It’s difficult to get out of the bed the morning after you do a fight scene. My recuperative powers aren’t as strong. What was the first part of your question? He can’t hear me anymore; can he? Oh, fan reaction to coming out on Halloween. Well, you know, we did it for them so I hope they like it. It’s got everything they’ve always demanded. So this time it’s maybe done a little classier.
Question: I know that you mentioned that Ash, you know, he’s no longer just by himself in the cabin. He has a pair of friends and companions and (Ray) and (Dana’s) characters. I was just wondering what it’s like to kind of share the blood splatter this time around with (Ray) and (Dana)?
(Bruce Campbell): I like it because now I only get a third of it. Now, they get part of it. Spread the love, man. Spread the blood around. And it was great to see them all being initiated. That was a wonderful experience to see the true horror and shock on their faces when they see that stuff. They just nail them. Right in your face. The reactions on each face. You could tell his expression was totally pissed. And it’s great because it works perfectly for the scene. Because when they first get hit with the blood, none of us have to act because we’re all like, oh my God, because you act just like you would.
Question: It’s interesting that the franchise has evolved through the comics and the games and the fan fiction and that it has definitely evolved the character of Ash. Was there any of that discussed before going into the series that the expectations from fans might be a little bit different?
(Bruce Campbell): No, I don’t think the fan’s expectations have changed from the basics. We will always give them the basic which is carnage, mayhem, some good one-liners, an unusual hero. I think part of the attraction that fans will continue to like is that he’s a good guy. He might be an idiot but he’s a good guy and he’s always going to try to do the right thing against ridiculous odds.
Question: I wanted to talk about the scale of the rest of season one. Because in Evil Dead, you guys are all trapped in a cabin. This time you’re out in sort of the free world. It seems to be hinting the Deadites are going to be a more global or at least national scale. Can you talk a little bit about the overall threats?
(Bruce Campbell): Well, I don’t think it’s one of these situations where it’s like World War Z or something like that. No, I think this is something more like local regional at least for right now. But it’s definitely a threat and it’s definitely coming from one area. It’s definitely near where Ash was.
Question: So the first episode captured that great balance of horror and comedy from the films. I was wondering if you’re going to keep with that balance or if we’re going to see more episodes that are more horror scenic and more serious or ones that are more completely slap sticky or is the balance going to be more maintained?
(Bruce Campbell): I think we’re going to keep a pretty good balance. It’s a horror show where we do take the horror seriously. So a fan of only horror I don’t think will be insulted by our approach of horror. We take it very seriously and hopefully we’ll give them some good stuff to freak out about. The comedy for me let’s everybody know that wink this is ultimately entertainment. For me, it takes the creepiness out a little bit because it’s still over the top. But it becomes nothing that you can see on the six o’clock news. That’s what has always appealed to me about this approach.
Question: For years, there was the Ash versus Freddy versus Jason rumor floating around. Can you talk about maybe a few of the things some of the more crazy ideas that people pitched you about the Evil Dead that you’re probably much happier to have done this TV show instead of?
(Bruce Campbell): Oh, yes. I mean this TV show – look the good news here is none of us are tormented about doing some bastardized version of the show or the movie. This is going to be as true to form as possible with the kind of man the whole approach. First part of your question though, can we patch him back in for a second?
Question: Can you talk about a little bit about the crazier Evil Dead ideas you’ve been pitched over the years?
(Bruce Campbell): It was mostly the one was a conversation with New Line about doing Ash versus Jason versus Freddy. And I was interested because I wanted to kill them both but we were informed that no one is killing anybody and we would only have control over what happens to the Ash character. We couldn’t control the story. We couldn’t control what Ash does to anybody else. I’m like this sounds really not creative. So I’m so glad that we’re back to this again because we can finally do it right.
Question: My question was in the Army of Darkness uncut version you’ve got a love scene where it’s very passionate and the silk sheets and all this. And this Ash gives a woman a piece of Ash in the bathroom. How was awful for that scene to shoot for you at all if there was any awkwardness?
(Bruce Campbell): Awkward? Sex scenes are always awkward. I don’t dig them. But it works either comedic or story effect. In this case, we used it trigger a story point so I didn’t have a problem with it, because it wasn’t completely random. It was actually leading up to something.
Question: So you’re basically the cause and solution of all of his problems. What do you think makes him so prolific to audiences.
(Bruce Campbell): Because he’s just like you. We make our own problems every time. Everything that we complain about is something we can solve. So that’s why I think Ash is universal because it’s like looking into the mirror.
Question: What I really noticed was in that scene with the doll was very much like almost the scene with your hand from Evil Dead 2. I was wondering how it was acting with, you know, that was going to be CG rather than, you know, in Evil Dead you actually had a hand, messing around, you were holding it, hitting it and all that kind of stuff because it was, you know, your hand. What was the difference there?
(Bruce Campbell): Well, everything. You have a physical thing and something ethereal in another case. It’s all acting so it doesn’t really matter whether you’re fighting with your actual hand or fake hand. It’s all fake. So the level of fakery doesn’t go up or down. It’s all fake. Like where does the music come. Whenever I get something about logic question I go, where does the music come from in the movies? There’s never any answer.
Question: I’m just wondering, (Sam) has done cameos at Evil Dead. I’m wondering if we can expect any cameos from him at all throughout the season?
(Bruce Campbell): Oh, cameos from (Sam)? Oh my God, I don’t think so. (Sam) is more like (Howard Hughes) these days. (Sam) is Oz the great and powerful, you know, hiding behind the curtains. He just wants to work his magic back in a mysterious way.
Question: I really like the supporting the cast. I wondered how they were going to do against you. And the chemistry with you and (Ray Santiago) is really great. And I’m wondering how long it took to find him and what it’s like working together the two of you because you two are wonderful on screen?
(Bruce Campbell): You never know. You never know until you audition. So as executive producer, I pick my battles in what I get involved in. And one of them is casting because I know I’m going to be stuck on a set with those people. So we went through a lot of rigorous stuff. We had to make sure these people were healthy and rigorous and had a lot of patience and could deal with a lot of special effects — a lot of just difficult, uncomfortable film making.
So (Ray) I thought we got fortunate with. He’s got a spectacular way about him. He’s got a great mug and sweet guy. And so I think I hope my hope is to go to conventions and with those guys and watch them get swamped. That would be the greatest joy of mine is to watch (Dana) and (Ray) and (Jill Marie Jones) go to these conventions and be tormented. It would make me very happy.
Question: I’m really glad you mentioned working as an executive producer on Ash versus Evil Dead. I’m curious what are some of the challenges as well as benefits of assuming multiple roles in a project.
(Bruce Campbell): Well, the challenge is it just takes up more of your life. But the benefits are you can control more of what your output is and try to make it something you’re happy about. And sometimes it’s just you don’t really have an input. I was in this position on Burn Notice and I knew they never really had to listen to me. So when I made suggestions they were always happy, they were very friendly.
And I would send them to the executive producer knowing that I didn’t expect anything. In this case, it’s a little more, it goes beyond suggestion. You know it’s more like, let’s do this and do that. But I have two great partners (Rob Tapert) and (Sam Raimi) and we never really hit an impasse because we have three people. If anyone ever wants a partnership, go in with three people. You’ll never hit an impasse.
Question: I wanted to ask the show is only a half hour show. Why isn’t it an hour long drama? Curious. An hour long show?
(Bruce Campbell): Because then it would be boring.
(Anthony Krogas): Oh, okay.
(Bruce Campbell): And not what we wanted and not a comedy. A half hour is the only format that gives us the pace that we need and the tone that we need and I think it’s perfect for a modern audience. I don’t know if we need a ponderant Ash. We need a quick witted fast moving Ash.
Question: I was wondering you’ve been with Ash on and off for several years now. What personally would you like to change about his character on the series from which we see on the movies as he grows, evolves and change?
(Bruce Campbell): Well, I don’t want to get too ethereal about it. There’s not a whole lot I want to change. He’s just becoming more of a leader. More of a guy that’s going to, you know, inspire people and you know he’s going to be like a teacher, educator, kind of mentor tormentor. So there will be a little more of that. You know kind of an Ash figure to some of the characters in the film between (Dana) and (Ray). You’re going to have a little bit of that, like an uncle father type. So that’s what I’m looking forward to.
Question: What is some of the fan reaction been like since you’ve been promoting Asher versus the Evil Dead?
(Bruce Campbell): They’re like it’s about time. I mean there really, they’re not angry but they’re like okay, finally. I think they’re really resolved. They’re like okay. I think they feel like they’ve marched. Their years of tormenting us have finally paid off. And I think they’re actually satisfied that it’s as close to the real thing as you’re going to get of putting the original elements back together again.
Question: I was also wondering as the show starts off, you’re in a trailer just as you were in My Name is Bruce. So what’s the deal with the trailer?
(Bruce Campbell): Well, that’s your own parallel. One is a movie and one is just Ash. But trailers are typifying at least in people’s minds low budget situations. And that was the goal there. So I wouldn’t draw too much into it.
Question: I was surprised to see that Ash still has the Necronomicon in his possession after all he’s been through. Will we find out why he had it? Did he have a choice in a flashback? And also is this season self-contained in case there’s not a second season?
(Bruce Campbell): Well, every show that’s designed as a TV show has to be designed for multiple seasons. It will feel contained. I think you will feel very satisfied by the end of the season but there’s no question about it. It’s designed for more. And as far as the nepinoncon I wouldn’t get too much into why Ash did or didn’t have the book. I think it’s an Ash thing not to do anything, to chuck it away. He tried to burn it and it didn’t work anyway.
Question: Ash versus the Evil Dead has the perfect feel for Halloween. And I was just wondering are there any favorite horror movies that you like to watch around this time of year?
(Bruce Campbell): I like the original Exorcist. The very first one done by (William Friedkin). It’s just so well done. It’s a professionally made movie but it’s really, really disturbing. And (Linda Blair) is just off the charts great.
Question: After completing your first film, you know, after the first film, did you guys expect to get this big? And the second part of that question is why now instead of like ten years ago that you decided to produce this show?
(Bruce Campbell): Well, no one can expect anything to happen. The film industry, the entertainment industry. It’s always, you never know what’s going to happen next. So, no — no one had any idea. We didn’t think we were going to finish the stupid movie. It took at least three years to finish the movie. Second part. That was the second part. Let’s go back. Patch me in. Don’t ask two part questions, reporters, because I’m going to forget the second part. Just ask a single question. It will be a lot easier on all of us.
Question: Why not let’s say ten years for this show.
(Bruce Campbell): Well, because I think TV finally caught up to us. TV until you had these premium services where there were not worried about content our show wouldn’t have worked. It wouldn’t work as a TV show. This show would not work on cable. And this show would totally not work on broadcast. The only way it worked under these circumstances which are now. Plus we realized economically making a $200 million feature was not the answer here. If you want to entertain people continuously with Ash, it’s got to be in a form of a TV show.
Question: You have the opportunity to expand upon the mythology of it and to kind of expand what kind of creatures Ash will face. Is that going to happen in season one?
(Bruce Campbell): Well, absolutely. You know it’s not like we’re going to have a creature of the week but Ash is going to need many new demons and entities and forces he had not encountered before. That’s the cool thing of doing a weekly TV show. You can hit him with a bunch of demons.
Question: Do you think Ash has ever used his chainsaw for yard work and what do you think the recipe is for the perfect Evil Dead episode?
(Bruce Campbell): Well the recipe is the right mix. It’s like baking a cake. You know if you use baking powder instead of baking soda, it’s a disaster. So in our case if our floor gets a little dark, we can lighten with a little humor. And if we get a little loopy, we can hit it with some horror, you know? But pace and a sense of fun is also very important too.
Question: If you could expand on another character that you played, who would that be? Would you expand Briscoe, Ace, Boomer, Fantail. Who would that be?
(Bruce Campbell): I would expand Briscoe for sure. Because you know every actor wants to be a cowboy. That was a great year. It was one pretty much solid year of being a cowboy and promoting and doing this stuff. If I never did it again, I’d be okay with it because it was a very fulfilling year, very hard working year. But I wouldn’t mind going back to that. He was a good character. He was really fun. It’s probably the closest to an actual good guy like a real heroic type who hopefully, you know, was smart enough to be interesting.
Question: Yes, you know looking at the first episode we see Ash trolling for some last call ass and just happened to grab some magnum condoms. Was that your personal contribution to the beginning of the episode?
(Bruce Campbell): No, mine was that he was going to take two condoms. He goes to take one condom, he thinks about it and he goes, no, I think I might need two. It might be a two condom night. The magnum is what it is.
Question: Are you like Ash in every way?
(Bruce Campbell): Oh, dear God. Every actor is going to have a little of something of them in any character they play. Any actor says they crawl inside their role and disappear they’re not telling the truth. I think what you do is with a character you take the worst sides of yourself and you amplify them or you take the best sides of yourself and you amplify them or you kind of mix it all around. Yes, there’s going to be a little bit of Ash in me and a little bit of me in him. No way to get around it.
Question: It raises the stakes when there is something for the hero to lose. Is Ash going to have a significant love interest in the series or is he going to be satisfied with having two condom sex with the strange?
(Bruce Campbell): You’re going to see. Ash considers himself an aging Lazarus. He’s not giving up on that. You’re going to see a little something-something from the old man.
(Bruce Campbell): And thank you very much for all of you fine journalist for your time and attention. We appreciate it. We need your support. Some of our fans. Some of you don’t know anything about that series. Hopefully, you can find out and enjoy it. This is for the fans. It’s for the fans.