“Evil Dead Rise” Director Lee Cronin Unveils how the Film’s Grisly Violence and Shocking Gore Nearly Earned an NC-17 Rating

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What do you get when you combine a gruesome scalping, volcanic vomiting, eyeball chomping, and possessed killers attempting to extract an unborn baby from a pregnant woman’s belly? You get the incredibly intense and unabashedly horrifying movie, Evil Dead Rise. Surprisingly, the distributor behind this film, New Line Cinema, fully embraced its grisly vision without any pushback.

According to writer-director Lee Cronin, the script was so powerful that it “stopped other studios in their tracks.” New Line Cinema, the same studio that introduced Sam Raimi’s legendary franchise with 1981’s horrifying The Evil Dead, understood what it takes to create inherently scary content. That’s why there was never a conversation about toning it down. Cronin explains, “I actually got to put the movie out there that I wanted to put out there, which was something that was really great.”

Unsurprisingly, audiences were captivated by Evil Dead Rise, resulting in its status as the highest-grossing film in the series. Set in a derelict Los Angeles apartment building, the story revolves around a family who encounters a Deadite and The Marauder after stumbling upon The Book of the Dead. Since its release in April, the film has earned over $146 million, surpassing its budget of less than $20 million.

Alyssa Sutherland in

Alyssa Sutherland in “Evil Dead Rise,” director Lee Cronin (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photo: Warner Bros.)

“New Line Cinema fully committed to the idea that we would explore the family dynamics and target young characters with the evil,” says Cronin. Once they crossed that line, there was no going back. The result? A film that resonated deeply with viewers and delivered an unforgettable experience.

The only adjustments Cronin had to make were minor ones to ensure an ‘R’ rating instead of an NC-17, which could have had negative implications for the box office. “We made a couple of very, very minor changes, less than two seconds’ worth of material, to meet our rating requirements,” Cronin explains. “But these changes didn’t affect the quality or impact of the movie in any way.

“There was always a fear of crossing that line and ending up with a slightly unmarketable film with an NC-17 rating. However, we managed to straddle that line perfectly. Evil Dead Rise is undeniably intense and doesn’t shy away from delivering powerful punches.”

One aspect that adds to the film’s intensity is the copious amount of blood used throughout. Cronin acknowledges the sheer volume of fake blood employed in the production, revealing that they used 6,500 liters (over 1,700 gallons). While impressive, this is still lower than the 50,000 to 70,000 gallons used in Fede Álvarez’s 2013 The Evil Dead reboot, which holds the title as the bloodiest film of all time, surpassing classics like The Shining, Dead Alive, The Cabin in the Woods, and It: Chapter 2.

Cronin emphasizes that the blood used in Evil Dead Rise was the real sticky and authentic stage blood, and no shortcuts were taken. The creators even had to rent out an industrial kitchen to cook up the required amount. Despite the expenses involved, they managed to make the most of the blood, reusing it where possible.

Now, you can experience the truly terrifying and blood-soaked world of Evil Dead Rise. The film is available on Digital and 4K UHD.


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