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Sam Raimi Admits He Once Thought Evil Dead Was A ‘Stupid’ Movie Title, And His Reasoning Makes Sense

The Evil Dead films aren’t just a testament to the power of indie film but also quite possibly some of the best horror movies of all time–see our ranking of all the gory flicks in the franchise. The story of how Sam Raimi and his friends, including star Bruce Campbell, brought the low-budget movie to life is now legendary, but how many fans know that the director initially hated the movie’s now iconic title? That’s right, back in the day, Raimi had a very different idea for the name of his film, and in a recent interview, he explained why he thought the name was “stupid.” And, honestly, his reasoning makes total sense. 

In a joint interview with Evil Dead Rise director Lee Cronin, Raimi told Empire Magazine that the original title for his directorial debut was “The Book Of The Dead” until sales agent Irvin Shapiro stepped in. Raimi says Shapiro told him and his filmmaking pals that they needed a shorter and snappier title that would work for advertising purposes. According to the Spider-Man director, the sales agent had two suggestions, and neither impressed him, he said:

The original title of the [original] movie was ‘The Book Of The Dead.’ But film-sales agent Irvin Shapiro sat Rob, Bruce and I down and said, ‘We’re changing the title, boys. Advertising space in the newspaper is paid for by the inch, kid. We’re not going to have a five-word title. ‘Dead’ can stay. You can have one other word. You can call it ‘101% Dead’ or ‘Evil Dead.’ I thought, ‘But those are the worst two titles I’ve ever heard in my life! ‘Evil Dead’ sucks! How can something be evil and dead?’ I just thought it was so stupid.