My History With the Film:
I saw the trailer of Hail to the Deadites some time back and it looked good, but it wasn’t all that memorable. It wasn’t until I was browsing Shudder that I ran across the doc and decided I needed to give it a watch.
What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
This is a documentary about the fans of Evil Dead.
What I Liked About It:
-Almost all of the media included in the doc is fan-made. So, we have fan films, songs, animations, and so forth that are used to reference the movie series. It makes for a cool way of exploring the franchise, while embracing the fans from which the documentary is based on.
-For the most part, the fans featured are entertaining and don’t come across pathetic. Sometimes documentaries that focus on super fans end up exploiting some people who may not be there all mentally or whose obsession becomes something to joke about. I felt the filmmakers did a decent job of avoiding this for the most part.
-Some of the top convention going Evil Dead actors are featured in short interview pieces or talking heads. As usual, Bruce Campbell is extremely entertaining and Tom Sullivan is a joy to watch.
What I Didn’t Like About It:
-The production value leaves a lot of be desired. It was filmed around 2013 and kinda straddled the 4K, super hi def time for consumer cameras/phones. Unfortunately, there are YouTube videos that look much better than what is presented here.
-Outside of, “Hey look at this fan” there really isn’t much substance to the documentary. It lacks any depth on discussing what Evil Dead means to the fans and is more or less a show and tell. Anyone who is not a super Evil Dead fan, will probably not enjoy this film.
Hail to the Deadites is a fun look into some Evil Dead fans and their collections. For someone like me, who truly loves the franchise, I really enjoyed watching this documentary. However, I don’t believe there is enough (or any) substance here for non-Evil Dead fans.
I give it three bloody knives.