Friday, August 29, 2008

ED 4

Today is Michael Jackson’s birthday. Born in Gary, Indiana in 1958, he has turned 50 years old. The event has caused barely a ripple in the media, another indication that the pop star’s fame may have begun to dwindle somewhat—not especially unusual, really, since fame is like love, either waxing or waning. Other pop stars who celebrated the Big 5-0 this summer, also born in 1958, were Prince (born 7 June in Minneapolis, Minnesota) and Madonna (born 16 August in Bay City, Michigan).

Another Michigan-born celebrity also turned 50 this year—the inimitable Bruce Campbell, star of the Evil Dead films. He had the good fortune to be born on my birthday, June 22, but I’m afraid I passed the 50 mile marker much sooner than he did. Sam Raimi’s three Evil Dead films are some of the great syncretic works of the cinema, fusing slapstick and horror, making them examples of perhaps the most under-theorized of film genres, horror comedy. For fans of the series such as myself, Campbell’s remark to MTV News, made a week and a half ago, that he will star in Evil Dead 4 if the sequel goes ahead, is great news indeed. It’s hard to believe that it has been almost sixteen years since Army of Darkness was released (filmed 1991, released early 1993)--during which, incidentally, a robust cottage industry sprang up comprised of Evil Dead merchandise--and perhaps it is time for the latest installment. Rumors about ED 4 have circulated for years, but perhaps his latest remarks suggest a new installment is no longer merely possible, but probable, and we can all take our boomsticks off the rack and dust them off. As Mr. Campbell correctly observed, "You don’t have to appeal to the studio. You’re already pleasing them by giving them part 4." Groovy!

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