Longtime readers of the blog will know I’m a big Bruce Campbell fan, so when I heard that Burbank’s Mystic Museum was planning an Evil Dead exhibit, I was extremely excited and couldn’t wait to visit!
The Mystic Museum spawned from the vintage and oddities shop, The Bearded Lady, and has offered a rotating exhibit space for the last few years. Opening last weekend, the exhibit celebrates Sam Raimi’s cult trilogy with recreations of iconic moments and set pieces from the film, including interactive elements, plenty of great photo opts, art exhibit, and best of all, a ton of screen used props!
The first film, simply titled The Evil Dead, was made for just $350,000 in 1981. Because of its low-budget it was instantly labeled as camp, but is really a stunning piece of cinema, showcasing Raimi’s creative camera usage. After a small local premiere at Campbell’s childhood cinema, the film showed at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival, although not in competition, where it was seen by Stephen King, who went on to say it was “The most ferociously original horror film of the year” and resulted in New Line Cinema distributing the film. The popularity of The Evil Dead resulted in two sequels (both with much larger budgets, in fact Army of Darkness had a budget of $11 million), a stage musical (which is hilarious), a reimagining in 2013, and a series on STARZ. It also launched the career of director Raimi. Raimi has gone on to become one of the most diverse directors in the industry, making the initial Spider-Man trilogy with Tobey Maguire, Disney’s Oz the Great and Powerful, and the upcoming Marvel film, Doctor Strange into the Multiverse. Raimi and Campbell grew up together, and began making short films before they made their feature length debut with The Evil Dead. Campbell began to embrace his B-Movie actor status, and has made a variety of films and shows, often laced with camp. Campbell also stared as the lead in my favorite show, The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. Still friends, Raimi has also featured Campbell in various cameo roles in his films, including three different characters in the Spider-Man trilogy. But through it all, their most iconic work together remains the Evil Dead films.
I loved seeing the various props. Honestly, I’m shocked so many survived and in good condition. Also, can we talk about how no one has made a replica of Linda’s magnifying glass necklace? I’ve scoured the internet and have yet to find one that looks similar enough!
Mystic Museum’s Evil Dead exhibit runs through the end of 2021. Tickets are available at the door. Fans of Sam Raimi’s trilogy can step into the world of the Deadites at 3204 W. Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank. Not in the area? You can shop great Evil Dead merch from their website.