Tag Archive: Sam Raimi

Review by C.J. Bunce

Director Sam Raimi was constrained by the comic books with his three Spider-Man movies, but Kevin Fiege and Marvel Studios let him unleash everything for his latest superhero movie, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness The result is fantastic, the most ambitious crossover mash-up and blend of comic book characters to hit the screen since X-Men: Days of Future Past.  Loki writer Michael Waldron was the right choice to create this seamless masterpiece of twisty storytelling, and adding music by Batman 1989’s Danny Elfman is the icing on a (dark, funny, horror-themed) cake.

Finally, the multitudes get to witness the madness of the multiverse for themselves–the film arrived this week on Disney+.  Is it the best Marvel Studios ensemble movie yet? (spoilers ahead)

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Any time is a good time for more Bruce Campbell.  With a new Sam Raimi movie in theaters, whether you’re a Sam Raimi or Evil Dead or Bruce Campbell fan–or all the above–it’s a good time to capture Super7’s line of Army of Darkness action figures, available here at Entertainment Earth.  Featuring Campbell’s Ash Williams, one of our favorite members of the Borg Hall of Fame, check out the cardbacks, figures, and variant packaging below.


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“We should tell him the truth.” 

With one voice Marvel Studios seems to being telegraphing a merger at least between Sony’s Marvel and Disney’s Marvel.  That’s in the first trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness via the unmistakable voice of one Patrick Stewart, one of the actors behind Professor X aka Charles Xavier, leader of the X-Men in the longest consistently running superhero movie franchise.  But is it our Charles, or some Mirror Universe Charles?  After the juggling between Sony and Marvel for Spider-Man: No Way Home, the sky is certainly the limit.

Take a look at this long trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness:

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Phase IV of the Marvel Cinematic Universe took center stage with some big reveals at a Disney investor event this week.  The biggest news is a preview of Loki, which takes fan-favorite actor Tom Hiddleston’s beloved villain into more strange places, continuing the comic villainy that keeps fans coming back for more.  Along with Loki, Disney rolled out previews of the new Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, the What if…? animated series, the casting of the lead for Ms. Marvel, and details on new series from Secret Wars to Ant-Man 3 and She-Hulk Plus new target release dates?  Check those out and the trailers below.

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Our favorite TV borg in 2016 was Bruce Campbell as he teamed up with on-screen father Lee Majors in the Starz television series Ash vs Evil Dead.  Reprising his role from the Evil Dead film series and Army of Darkness, the chainsaw-armed suave hero Ash is back next month for Season 3 of the dark comedy-meets-horror gore fest.  Starz releases a new teaser for the 2018 episodes this week, a mock beer ad featuring Ash as a smarmy 1980s guy cruising a lounge.

Fake brand Shemps Beer (think the TV-pervasive Morley cigarettes or Magnum’s Old Dusseldorf beer) was featured in the Starz series first seasons.  The “Shemp” in “Shemps Beer” is Campbell’s and Evil Dead and series co-creator Sam Raimi’s term for all the back-up characters they needed to pull in for their low-budget original film Evil Dead, a play on The Three Stooges’ third member of the comedy team who replaced Curly, Shemp Howard, who also died and was replaced but with his previous stand-in–a “fake Shemp.”  Hence “Shemps” as the series fake beer.

Accompanied by Cutting Crew’s memorable radio song, Campbell is back being the Bruce Campbell we loved in the Evil Dead films and series, and as star of Burn Notice, and in Sam Raimi’s Spider-man movies (the best part of those films, actually) and in his series Jack of All Trades, and in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, and in Xena: Warrior Princess, and in Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, and in The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.

Check out this new teaser for Season 3 of Ash vs Evil Dead, and the full preview for this year’s episodes:

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Xena banner

In a time of ancient gods, warlords and kings, a land in turmoil cried out for a hero.  She was Xena, a mighty princess forged in the heat of battle.  The power…the passion…the danger.  Her courage will change the world.

Xena: Warrior Princess, Sam Raimi’s Emmy Award winning fantasy television series that ran six seasons, is a classic among genre fans.  Lucy Lawless’s heroine Xena and her companion Gabrielle, played by Renee O’Connor, provided us with strong characters from the earlier Hercules: The Legendary Journeys series and took us through adventures even more fun than what we saw with Hercules.  A new television series is in the works, but meanwhile a new comic book monthly will fill the gap as we wait for that new series.

Next week, for the first time in eight years, Xena will headline a comic book monthly, published by Dynamite Comics.  The series will be written by Genevieve Valentine with artwork by Ariel Medel.

Xena2016-01-A-Land-34865    Xena2016-01-A-Land

Here is the description from the publisher:

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Bruce Campbell Starz Ash

If you’re a Bruce Campbell fan like us who still must watch the full introduction to old episodes Burn Notice to get your Campbell fix, this next item may be just for you.  Sam Raimi is continuing the adventures of Ash Williams from the Evil Dead series in a new series from cable pay channel Starz.  Ash vs. Evil Dead who be a larger than life, tongue-in-cheek, gooey, bloody, silly gore fest that, based on its first trailer, appears to amp up all the above compared to the original movies.

Look for Mimi Rogers and Xena herself, Lucy Lawless, who appears in the preview released for Comic-Con weekend.

Bruce Campbell Starz Ash chainsaw

It’s the ultimate blast from the past for cult horror flick fans.  Check out the preview for Ash vs. Evil Dead:

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Oz the Great and Powerful fireworks

Happy New Year!

Disney is back again trying to replicate the success of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland with a similar classic fantasy effort, Oz the Great and Powerful.  If you’re not a fan of prequels you will probably avoid this one as it is a prequel to the greatest fantasy film of all time, The Wizard of Oz.  The plus is that this film will adapt L. Frank Baum’s 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz so those loyal to the fourteen Oz novels may appreciate this effort.  The other plus is that it will be helmed by director Sam Raimi who knows fantasy films as well as anyone, having directed the Spider-man film trilogy and serving as producer of Timecop, Hercules the Legendary Journeys, Xena Warrior Princess, and Legend of the Seeker.


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By C.J. Bunce

No matter how an artist draws Ashley J. Williams–Ash–from the low-budget horror/dark comedy/zombie Evil Dead series, the character is impossible to see as anyone other than Bruce Campbell.  Publishers like Dark Horse and Dynamite Comics have released prior series featuring Ash, but if you missed those and are after a new ongoing series you might check out the new Army of Darkness from Dynamite.  With Issue #3 released at comic book stores today, you can still easily track down Issues #1 and 2 or, even quicker, download the back issues from comixology.com for a lot less than the print price.

If you don’t know Ash, he’s the character made famous by cult favorite actor Bruce Campbell in The Evil Dead (1981), The Evil Dead II (1987), and Army of Darkness (1991), as well as three video games: Evil Dead: Hail to the King (2000), Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick (2003) and Evil Dead: Regeneration (2005).  ASh is both funny and wise-cracking, a mirror image of the character Bruce Campbell seems to personify wherever he shows up.  The shows were directed by Campbell’s long-time creative partner Sam Raimi, known for everything from Hercules to Xena: Warrior Princess to Legend of the Seeker, all great fantasy TV series filmed in New Zealand, land of Middle Earth before it was Middle Earth.  And he also directed the first three Spider-man movies.  Bruce Campbell can be seen weekly in the successful spy series Burn Notice as cool-with-his-mojito, ex-spy in Miami, Sam Axe.

Fans of Campbell will pretty much tell you there is no one out there cooler than this guy.  And fans of Evil Dead may be interested that Raimi is in production right now of a remake of the original Evil Dead, with a new young cast, and instead of the tongue in cheek humor of the original comedy horror series, the new film will be a more serious supernatural thriller–probably not what a lot of diehard fans will be after.

But if you want more of the original Ash, then the place to look is this new comic book effort.  But there’s a twist with the new series.  You may find yourself puzzled throughout Issue #1 of the new Army of Darkness, as the “voice”–comments and word choice–of the character is all Bruce Campbell, yet the new Ash is a woman.   And Ash is a man.  And Ash is a woman.  It will all make sense, trust me.  The hero of Issue #1 turns out not to be Ashley J. Williams but new heroine Ashley K. Williams, Ash of a parallel universe that happens to be a butt-kicking woman with the personality and schtick of Bruce Campbell.

And we get the back story of Ash and her/his abilities not through yet another Ash origin story but through this parallel Ash.  And it works well.  The story itself is peppered with both pop culture references everyone should get and, for the diehard fans, references back to the original series only serious fans will likely get.

Ashley K. meets up with some well-timed aliens that prompt her to arrive at a nexus point, that just so happens to be where Ashley J. Williams also turns up.  On first read readers may get the feeling like I did with the New 52 Issue #1 of Green Lantern, hoping for Hal Jordan but getting Sinestro instead.  But what this story sets up is the opportunity for twice the Ash–if one Ash is good, two must be double the fun.  And Ashley J. turns up in full force for Issue #2.

Army of Darkness is written by Elliott R. Serrano with pencils by Marat Mychaels and inks by Chris Ivy.  Some of the best writers and artists today are creating for Dynamite Comics, so if you’re looking for something off the mainstream Marvel Comics and DC Comics, Dynamite has a lot of choices, along with this title there is Bionic Man, Bionic Woman, Green Hornet, Kato, Lone Ranger, Flash Gordon, all discussed here at borg.com previously, and lots more to check out.

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