Sam Raimi (born 23.10.1959) Sam Raimi is an American film director who was first known for his cult horror films, such as The Evil Dead and rose to prominence when he took on the directorship of the modern Spider-Man film adaptations.
Childhood: Sam Raimi was born to Celia Barbara and Leonard Ronald Raimi, in the Royal Oak area of Michigan. His mother ran lingerie shops, whilst his father ran home furnishing stores. The family are Conservative Jews and are descended from Russian and Hungarian stock.
Sam was the fourth of five children, though his eldest brother, Sander, was killed in a swimming accident at the age of 15. Another brother, Ivan, sometimes works with Sam as a screenwriter, as well as being an emergency room doctor. His brother Ted is an actor and played Hoffman in the Spider-Man series. His sister Andrea is a stenographer.
When Sam Raimi graduated from Wylie E. Groves High School in Michigan, he majored in English at Michigan State University. However, he only attended for three semesters, after which, he left to film The Evil Dead.
Career: Sam Raimi's fascination with film began when his father bought a Super-8 camera. He and his friend Bruce Campbell (star of Bubba Ho-tep and My Name Is Bruce) teamed up to make a number of low budget movies. One of the first that they made was Within the Woods, in 1978. The 32 minute horror film made $350,000 and they went on to film a comedy short entitled It's Murder!
With the help of investors, family and friends, Raimi financed the production of The Evil Dead in 1981. The film became a cult hit amongst fans of horror and gore movies.
In 1985, Raimi's second film, Crimewave was released. The film was not as successful as its predecessor, something that Raimi blames in part on unwanted meddling from the studio.
With Evil Dead II, Raimi returned to making horror films, though this installment played down the gore and played up the comic element.
Raimi was keen, early on in his career to show his love of comic books and graphic novels and for a long time, wanted to adapt 'The Shadow' into a film. However, when he was unable to obtain the rights, he developed his own super hero film, Darkman, in 1990. This was the first film that he made for a major studio and it received a mixed reception. It was enough to ensure that he gained funding for Evil Dead III: Army of Darkness, which leaned even further toward the comic, rather than the horror genre.
During the 1990s, Sam Raimi worked on a range of genres, such as the Western movie The Quick and the Dead. In 1998, he directed Billy Bob Thornton and Bill Paxton in A Simple Plan, a well-received crime thriller. This was followed by a romantic drama led by Kevin Costner, entitled For the Love of the Game in 1999.
Sam Raimi's big break came in 2002 with the release of Spider-Man. The big budget adaptation of the comic book starred Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. Two sequels were made, entitled Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3 an all films have grossed over $800 million each at the box office. Prior to landing the Spider-Man job, Raimi vied for the directorial position on Batman Forever, once it became known that Tim Burton had been pushed out. However, Raimi's campaign was unsuccessful and the job went instead to Joel Schumacher. Similarly, Raimi expressed an interest in directing the film version of The Hobbit (the prequel to The Lord of The Rings) but lost out to Guillermo del Toro and Peter Jackson.
Sam Raimi has collaborated on a number of occasions with the Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan Coen (the pair are responsible for films such as Burn After Reading and O, Brother, Where Art Thou?). In the 1980s, Raimi co-wrote The Hudsucker Proxy with the brothers, though the film was not made for nearly 10 years after it had been written. Raimi also made a number of cameo film appearances, including a brief role as a gas station attendant in John Carpenter's Body Bags.
Personal Life: In 1993, Sam Raimi married Gillian Dania Greene. The couple have five children together, three of whom have had cameos in Spider-Man and Drag Me To Hell.
This is our kind of scavenger hunt.
Everyone likes a good Easter Egg hunt this time of year, but one of our favourites involves searching them out in iconic films. Of course, these 'Easter eggs' aren't of the chocolate variety, merely snippets from films containing amusing inside jokes or tributes to other movies.
In honour of all the scavenger hunts that will be happening amongst children tomorrow as they set about discovering what the Easter bunny has left, we reflect on some more sophisticated kind of 'Easter eggs'; that is, the various hidden meanings in some of our favourite movies.
Sam Raimi pays tribute to Wes Craven
Continue reading: Top 10 'Easter Egg' Moments In Iconic Movies
Witches are scary once again.
The directorial feature debut of Robert Eggers has put the scariness back into witch culture with a critically-acclaimed slow-burning horror that even had Stephen King terrified. 'The Witch' doesn't rely on jumpy moments or grotesque imagery, merely unsettling scenery and a menacing film score. It's a precious release for the horror genre, because genuinely enjoyable (and scary) occult-based films are very few and far between.
We've racked our brains to think of ten of the best witch horrors of all time:
'The Witch' is the horror film to beat this year
Continue reading: The Witch And 9 More Epic Occult Horror Films
A Xena: Warrior Princess reboot is in the works!
The 1990s cult television series, Xena: Warrior Princess, may be back on our screens fairly soon. A reboot is reportedly in the works as NBC and NBC Universal are already preparing for a new series. The reboot is in the very early stages, reports suggest, and a search for a writer is ongoing. It's uncertain if the show's original star, New Zealand actress Lucy Lawless, will be returning to the show in her role as Xena or if a new actress will start Xena's adventures all over again for a new audience.
Lucy Lawless at San Diego Comic-Con 2015.
Ignoring everything that made the 1982 ghost-horror classic so iconic, this remake merely feels like yet another Insidious movie, using the same bag of tricks to try to frighten the audience. It's very well made, and the story still sends chills down the spine, but without even a hint of originality the film never develops any real suspense, relying instead on cheap tricks to cause the audience to jump at things that aren't actually scary.
The story opens as the recently laid-off Steve (Sam Rockwell) moves his family into a cheaper home in a dodgy part of town next to some buzzing high-power lines. His wife (Rosemarie DeWitt) is determined to make the best of it, while their teen daughter Kendra (Saxon Sharbino) moans about having to move, their nervous preteen son Griffin (T.S. Spivet's Kyle Catlett) is afraid of every new sound, and 6-year-old daughter Maddy (Kennedi Clements) discovers some new imaginary friends. As strange things start happening in the house, Maddy disappears on a stormy night. So Steve hires paranormal expert Brooke (Jane Adams) to rescue her from what is clearly an angry spirit. And when the nastiness escalates, Brooke calls in reality TV ghostbuster Carrigan Burke (Jared Harris).
What made the original version so memorable was the way Steven Spielberg and Tobe Hooper reinvented the haunted-house genre, finding new ways to scare us silly. This remake's director is Gil Kenan, who so ingeniously terrified audiences with his animated Monster House but allows this movie to look like pretty much every other horror out there at the moment. It's all so familiar that we brace ourselves for each loud blare of noise. Each set-piece has a rather bland sheen about it, playing so predictably to the most obvious fear factor that nothing catches us by surprise.
Continue reading: Poltergeist Review
The third outing of Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man was panned by critics back in 2007.
Director Sam Raimi has admitted he “messed up plenty”, with 2007’s Spider-Man 3 movie, saying that people still hate him for the slated superhero flick. Starring Tobey Maguire, the film let down many fans of the masked superhero, and became the last outing for Raimi with the franchise.
Sam Raimi says he "messed up" with Spider-Man 3
Speaking to the Nerdist podcast on Monday (December 30th) the director said, "Each and every one of those Spider-Man movies were pretty damn challenging.”
Campbell and director Sam Raimi will be back for more deadite fun in a new series to air on Starz.
Bruce Campbell will soon be back in action again as Ash Williams, in a new tv series based on the Evil Dead franchise.
Bruce Campbell will return to his role as Ash Williams
Over 30 years since the release of the first Evil Dead film, the horror classic is now being resurrected for a new series airing on the Starz channel. Campbell played the role of Ash in three Evil Dead movies, the last being 1992’s Army of Darkness.
'The Last of Us' is already a huge hit as a video game, but can it do the same as a movie?
The Last of Us was only released on PlayStation 3 a year ago. After winning nearly 200 "Game of the Year" awards and re-releasing the game for PlayStation 4, the plans to adapt it into a feature full-length movie may just turn The Last of Us into one of the biggest things in entertainment.
'The Last of Us' is kind of a big deal
Granted, video game movies certainly don't have the greatest track records. The Resident Evil film franchise is flawed, Prince of Persia was a disgrace, and let's not even talk about the Super Mario Bros. movie. So, does this make The Last of Us doomed for the same fate? The movie has a lot to live up to: the version released on PS3 in June 2013 has a 95 Metacritic rating, and the re-tuned and re-mastered version released for PS4 last week has the same rating, as well. The Last of Us strives in its story telling, cinematics, and character development, so it's pretty easy: nail all of that, and you've probably got a great movie. If it were only that simple! But, so far, things are looking good.
Continue reading: Why 'The Last Of Us' Movie Will Succeed
Remaking an iconic classic is dangerous business, even if the original filmmakers are on board as producers, but at least Uruguayan writer-director Alvarez has a few clever ideas up his sleeve. And a willingness to go gleefully over-the-top with the grisliness. But aside from a few gimmicky jolts, the film is never actually scary.
There are essentially only five characters in the story, which gives the actors a chance to find entertaining details along the way. Mia (Levy) is a drug addict whose three best friends (Lucas, Pucci and Blackmore) take her to her family's creaky old cabin in the woods to go cold turkey. They're joined by Mia's aloof brother David (Fernandez). But none of them know that locals have used the basement for a sinister ritual, and they left a creepy book behind that supposedly has the power to summon a vicious demon who wants to possess them all. So is Mia's freaky behaviour because of her withdrawal, or has something evil got hold of her?
This twist is rather clever, as it adds a level of mordant wit to the film, giving texture to the relationships between these five young people who we fully expect will begin to die horribly nasty deaths one by one. Indeed, what follows is an escalating series of blood-soaked set-pieces involving dismemberment and death at the sharp edge of any implement on hand.
Continue reading: Evil Dead Review
It's been a rough week for Justin Bieber, though arguably a tougher couple of days for Ashton Kutcher, Jay-Z and company, who found their bank details leaked all over the internet.
Bieber Blues: What is happening to Justin Bieber? The former loveable scamp appears to have become a target for the tabloids, especially the British ones. He endured a torrid time in London before cancelling a show in Portugal, apparently owing to poor ticket sales. Is this a crisis?
Credit Check: Ever wondered how much Ashton Kutcher has in the bank? How about Jay-Z, Mel Gibson, Hillary Clinton, Arnold Schwarzenegger or even Joe Biden. Well, one hacker - seemingly based in Russia - has posted the financial details of the world's biggest stars onto a hastily made website. Some of the numbers are big. Huge, in fact.
'Oz: Great and Powerful' is being touted as one of the finest 3-D movies yet.
Disney's fantastical adventure 'Oz: The Great and Powerful' hit theaters worldwide this weekend on the back of lukewarm support at best. A prequel to the much-loved 1939 classic starring Judy Garland, Sam Raimi's 3-D film stars James Franco as Oscar Diggs, a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics who comes across the magical Land of Oz. Alongside Franco, Hollywood actresses Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams play the three witches.
Though the critics - deflated after the end of a long awards' season - were only too happy to disregard Raimi's movie as unmemorable, 'Oz: Great and Powerful' could prove to be more than relevant for the younger generation. The advent of 3-D cinema has placed more emphasis on the movie going experience and - just like with Life of Pi - audiences are in for a thrilling two hour ride with 'Oz', whether they remember much of the story afterwards is a side matter. "The 3-D effects are plentiful - hats, lions, and baboons jump off the screen and into your lap - but the characters rarely lodge in the moviegoer's heart," said Richard Corliss, while William Bibbiani of CraveOnline said, "The best 3D movie, period. So far, anyway." High praise, given the huge success of Ang Lee at the recent Academy Awards. Scott Foundas of the Village Voice appeared to miss the point entirely, writing, "Throughout, I longed for the Raimi of old-or even of 2009's deliciously gross throwback Drag Me to Hell." Matthew Turner of View London was another to praise the director's use of the new technology, writing, "Sam Raimi's colourful Oz prequel is nicely acted, visually spectacular and makes terrific use of 3D ..."
Continue reading: Is There Genius In Sam Raimi's 'Oz: Great And Powerful'?
Date of birth
23rd October, 1959
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