My review & pictures of “Evil Dead” World Premiere Q&A at 2013 SXSW Film Festival

On Friday, March 8, 2013 I attended the highly-anticipated gala World Premiere of Evil Dead at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas. The sold-out screening was held at the historic Paramount Theatre. The film was a selection in the Headliners section.

On Opening Night of the 2012 SXSW Film Festival I was sitting in the Paramount Theatre for the World Premiere of Cabin in the Woods, which would go on to become one of my (and many others') favorites of 2012. Now, exactly one year later to the day, I was, once again, in that same cavernous venue for the Opening Night World Premiere of another "cabin in the woods" film, the Sam Raimi-produced "rebirth" of his 1981 classic Evil Dead. The "cabin" parallel was inescapable -- as was the eerie remote house within which our five hapless protagonists find themselves in this crowd-pleasing modern-day telling of the tale.

Along with Mr. Raimi, this worthy successor was produced by Bruce Campbell and Robert G. Tapert, with Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane as Executive Producers. Fede Alvarez directs from a script he co-wrote with Rodo Sayagues. Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, and Elizabeth Blackmore head a cast of young talent with the freedom to break all the genre rules. Alvarez was given -- and gave -- the greenlight to suspend disbelief and shoot with an "anything goes" approach, and it shows. This is mindblowing, unrelenting R horror that should satisfy fans of the "original" as well as this retelling ("remake" isn't really applicable).

This is a cast of festival darlings whose names have appeared many times among my previous Top Picks. I first noticed Jane Levy as Caroline in the 2012 Sundance Film Festival hit Nobody Walks. Shiloh Fernandez has appeared at six film festivals I've attended in less than five years. I first met Shiloh when he co-starred with Noah Segan in Deadgirl at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival. We crossed paths again at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival for the World Premiere of Skateland with Ashley Greene (see my review), which ended up on my Top 5 from that festival. The film also played SXSW that year. I saw him again at the World Premiere of The East at Sundance two months ago. Lou Taylor Pucci may hold the record for appearances among my festival favorites -- Evil Dead is the seventh. The previous six include Fifty Pills (Tribeca 2006), The Go-Getter (Sundance 2007), Explicit Ills (SXSW 2008), Brotherhood (SXSW 2010), The Music Never Stopped (Sundance 2011), and The Story of Luke (Fort Lauderdale 2012). Most are reviewed, with Q&A photos, elsewhere on this blog.

For living up to -- and even exceeding expectations, I gave Evil Dead five stars and a place on my 2013 SXSW Film Festival Top 8 Narratives.

Harry Knowles of Ain't It Cool News hosted the Q&A after the screening. Director/co-writer Fede Alvarez was joined by cast and crew including producers Bruce Campbell and Robert Tapert, along with stars Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, and Elizabeth Blackmore.

Here are some pictures I shot during the Q&A:

Q&A GALLERY -- DETAIL VIEW (153 photos on 9 pages)


NOTE: Evil Dead was produced by FilmDistrict and Ghost House Pictures, presented by Sony's TriStar Pictures. The movie will be released April 5.

Twitter @EvilDead and director @fedalvar

Evil Dead - SXSW 2013 Accepted Film from SXSW on Vimeo.


Larry Richman

Larry Richman

For 20 years I was a professional in the entertainment industry, from commercial broadcast radio in America's fourth largest market to band management to record production. But my passion is independent film, and I spend much of the year traveling to film festivals to see indies and meet the actors, directors, and others responsible for creating them. I'm a writer, photographer, and videographer, currently serving as Senior Vice President for Media & Technology and Public Relations at PROnetworks as well as Editor at

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