Thursday, August 1, 2013

Betsy Baker | Surviving Hollywood and The Evil Dead

The Evil Dead star comes to town with “The Ladies of the Evil Dead” for the Con-Tamination Defcon 4 convention, August 2-4 at the Holiday Inn, South County Center.

Like many horror fans, my first introduction to the beloved and bloody genre came courtesy of a local mom-and-pop video store. While most folks went toward the mainstream aisles for their home entertainment, I always found myself wandering the horror section, looking for those oddly titled boxes with bizarre, sometimes garish, artwork. These movies came to be known as “video nasties,” mostly due to what, at the time, seemed to be a veritable buffet of violence and gore. If you were lucky, maybe they had a little bit of nudity, as well. The first “video nasty” that I can remember renting was Sam Raimi’s low-budget 1981 masterpiece The Evil Dead. The story of a group of friends who go to a cabin in the woods and accidentally unleash demons, the film was something most fans had never seen before, and its enduring popularity is due not only to director Raimi’s creative prowess, but also to its wonderful and charismatic cast.

This weekend in St. Louis, fans can have the rare opportunity to meet the actresses from that film: Betsy “Linda” Baker, Ellen “Cheryl” Sandweiss, and Theresa “Shelly” Tilly, known collectively as ‘The Ladies of the Evil Dead.” They’ll be appearing at Con-Tamination Defcon 4, signing autographs, sharing memories of the film, and speaking all things “deadite” with their devoted fans.

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