As encouraging as it must be for a filmmaker to be recognized or associated with just one iconic film or franchise, Sam Raimi is the creative force behind two of them. He launched his eclectic career almost 30 years ago with the original Evil Dead, a horror classic that spawned two sequels and countless imitators, and then established himself as an A-list adaptor of comic book material with Spider-Man, which also begat sequels, and perhaps more importantly, several billion dollars or so in worldwide grosses. His latest film, Drag Me to Hell, is a return to the genre material that helped make a name for himself, albeit with the sensibility of a guy who survived one of Hollywood's biggest franchises, and took a few lessons away from the experience to boot.
Cinematical recently sat down with Raimi to discuss his new film, and the director demonstrated that in addition to being a hit machine with the mind of a born moviemaker, he's also a smart, generous, and remarkably humble fellow. While discussing his work on the film, he took time to respond, and kindly, to folks who both love and hate his legacy, before deconstructing his acrobatic cinematic style, and finally, digging deep to find a few films that meant something special to him as a young cineaste. And while he managed to pick consummate summer movie experiences that, quite frankly, didn't actually happen during the summer, the convenience of a Google search and the forgiveness of a grateful nation lying in wait for his films more than makes up for his lack of seasonal accuracy.