When the Redford Theatre screens "The Evil Dead" at midnight Friday, it will mark a homecoming of sorts. The cult horror film from metro Detroit native Sam Raimi had its first public showing at the Redford on Oct. 15, 1981, under its original title: "Book of the Dead." Fledgling filmmaker Raimi was 22 at the time.
Tom Sullivan, who did makeup and special effects for the film, was at that long-ago screening. "I had not seen it all put together," recalls Sullivan, who was shocked at how the initial audience responded with screams and laughter. The low-budget tale involves five college students, including hapless hero Ash (played by Royal Oak native Bruce Campbell), who are terrorized at a creepy cabin in the woods.
"I was so surprised at how it moved, how entertaining and fast-paced it was," Sullivan says. "The audience was huge and they just ate it up."
He'll introduce the film Friday at the Redford and share stories about its creation. Sullivan also plans to film events surrounding Friday's screening for a documentary about the making of "The Evil Dead" and the film's loyal fan base.
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