Disclosure: Mondo and BMD are both owned by the Alamo Drafthouse.
When Joseph LoDuca discusses composing the score for Sam Raimi's immortal classic, The Evil Dead ('81), he does so with wistfulness:
"Evil Dead was my first film commission. It started with a meeting over freeze-dried coffee with three talented, enterprising and enormously entertaining filmmakers fresh out of school; Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, and Rob Tapert. The star, the director, and the producer. It gave me career and life-long friends. As fate would have it, it is the movie that has had the most enduring impact on generations of fans. Every few years I get a request to release the score, and my response is the same. I own the score, but not the recording rights."
However, LoDuca is teaming up with Mondo and Death Waltz Records to finally bring legions of film fans' dreams to life. Only instead of the sparse, ominous string quartet OST that the musician put together thirty-seven years ago - augmented with piano, hand percussion, synthesizer and a guitar - LoDuca is re-imagining the soundtrack how he always dreamt it'd sound:
"So, when I was last approached to reissue the score, I asked myself this question: knowing what I now know, how would I write for that ensemble today? I took the idea to my long-time agents, Laura Engel and Rich ard Kraft and they ran with it, far beyond my expectations. Together we produced a sold out live-to-picture Halloween concert at the historic United Artists' Theater (now the Ace Hotel) in Los Angeles, with the inimitable Bruce Campbell, star of Evil Dead, as our host.
Welcome to my nightmare: re-imagined."
On June 6th, you'll be able to purchase The Evil Dead: Re-Imagined from Mondo and Death Waltz, complete with new art from Graham Humphreys - designer of the original UK Video Nasty quad sheet and VHS sleeve - who had this to say about the release:
"In 1982 (two years after leaving art college, age 22) I was fortunate enough to receive a commission from Palace Pictures to design the UK poster for The Evil Dead. Little did I know that this gleefully gory movie would stay with me for the next 35 years.
Among the various versions I’ve been asked to re-illustrate, including T-shirts, toy packaging and limited edition screenprints, this new soundtrack LP has provided scope to revisit the film and ‘reimagine’ my original poster. The budget filming has always rendered reference images difficult to extract. With heavy grain and focus issues (largely unnoticed by an audience far to engrossed in the unfolding drama) there is a limit to what can be salvaged to recreate the best possible visuals. However, with two ‘widescreen’ spreads/four panels to work with, the task of representing the film presented something more of a challenge.
My first decision was the colour themes. My original poster dispensed with any accurate representation of the actual film and was intended as a form of psychedelic stained glass window (windows seemed to feature heavily in the film, flapping shutters, demonic POVs, broken panes and crooked frames). I decided to stick with the acid trip colours and deliver a narrative walk-through.
The front panel features Ash holding a reel, a central element in the 1982 poster, the catalyst for the horrors to come. At this point, he is still uninvolved in actual demonic conflict (even though the presence is apparent) and looking fresh and well groomed. The back panel describes the setting, the cabin and the sense of being imprisoned.
The inside spread uses a diferent colour palette, where we are also (literally) inside the cabin. This extended panel portrays the cascading assault on sanity and the encroaching evil that consumes Ash’s friends, one by one, culminating in the bloodied and horrified profile. The heavy textures of the paintwork provides a useful means to convey the visceral texture of the film and the raw experience of Sam Raimi’s imaginative camera work and his crew’s unfettered talents.
The process of creating this new homage to a modern horror classic never felt any less than thoroughly groovy!"
Check out the new design Graham put together, straight from his work bench:
Here's what that looks like in practice...
...and here's a look at the actual records. Gorgeous!
Evil Dead executive producer Rob Tapert said this about LoDuca's work on Re-Imagined:
"Joe originally hit a home run for Sam, Bruce and I with his score. It was the glue that bound "the ultimate experience in grueling terror" into something that was bigger than the sum of its parts. The great thing is Joe has hit an out of the park home run and delivered something special, original and yet super true to the movie and now the franchise has this new rendition of the music to Evil Dead."
And of course, nothing Deadite related would be complete without a word from the King Himself, Bruce Campbell:
"Jumpin’ Joe Lo (as I call him) is one of the best and most prolific composers in the business. It has been my distinct pleasure to work with him for almost four decades."
So, on June 6th, you only have one stop to make in order to pick up this terrifying new aural arrangement, and that's Mondo. The Evil Dead: Re-Imagined is one of the most exciting musical events of the summer. Don't miss it.