Fantasia 2020: Hail To The Deadites

  • Director: Steve Villeneuve
  • Writers: AndrĂ© Farant, Steve Villeneuve
  • Stars: Chris Alexander, Betsy Baker, Sarah Berry, Bruce Campbell, Richard DeManincor, Michael Gingold, Danny Hicks, Bill Mosely, Ted Raimi, Ellen Sandweiss, Tom Sullivan, Theresa Tilly, Kassie Wesley DePaiva

Review

Fandom. It can be toxic, it can be awful but it can also be a very real thing that links people. In Steve Villeneuve’s documentary, debuting at Fantasia 2020 Hail To The Deadites is about Evil Dead fans, the films, the conventions and how they all relate their experiences about the entire Evil Dead franchise and every conceivable off shoot.

All the stories told are personal which already makes them more interesting, some fans are more… dedicated than others but the love of this whole universe comes through in every moment. This includes a lot of the cast from the films, even a chat with the recently passed Dan Hicks which was bitter sweet.

Bruce Campbell has quite a lot screen time (as you would expect) with one on one interviews and footage of him on stage at conventions, of course his natural charisma makes him infinitely watchable.

The documentary traverses around various conventions, backstage at Evil Dead The Musical, hunting down each player in the Evil Dead universe regardless of parts big or small. Collecting stories along the way, including some incredibly sweet tales and some tears in the eyes moments. This is where Hail To The Deadites excels, the human stories behind the fandom. Often fandom is seen as just a mass of people but Villeneuve manages to break it down and get to the individual behind it all. A documentary that regardless of if you’re an Evil Dead fan or not, should leave you with a smile on your face and the knowledge that not all fandoms are toxic hellscapes.

Hail To The Deadites played at Fantasia Film Festival 2020

Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78

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