Quantcast Ladies of the Evil Dead interview

Ladies of the
Betsy Baker, Ellen Sandweiss, and Theresa Tilly (aka Sarah York) collectively make up the ladies of the 'EVIL DEAD'; the cult classic Sam Raimi/ Bruce Campbell film of the early 80's which has gone on to spawn 2 sequels.. Little did they realize that a film they worked on over 20 years ago has found such a huge devoted audience. Now they're touring the convention curcuit, meeting fans they never knew they had, and having a good time testing fan's devotions with Evil Dead trivia. We caught up with them to see what the future holds for the ladies of the EVIL DEAD. Visit them at Ladies Of The Evil Dead.com. - by Robg. 7/04

What are your earliest recollections of the horror genre?
Our earliest??? How far back do you want us to date ourselves? I know all of us can remember the old TV shows, "Creature Features", "Ghoulardi", "Outter Limits", and "Twilight Zone" ... and for some of us, just the intro music of the "Twilight Zone" often had us hiding under the couch.
What were your initial reactions to reading the script for The Evil Dead? Were you mostly sold on working on the picture due to Sam, Rob and Bruce's enthusiasm?
I think our initial reactions included the fact that the script wasn't too long. It certainly didn't describe the blood and gore scenes (as well as others) in detail, and we had been told that some scenes might be changed. Indeed, much of the script was changed once we started shooting. Ellen was sold on working with Sam and Bruce in particular because of her friendship with them. They had been good pals all through high school. Betsy and Sarah thought this might be a good experience to jump into, were intrigued by 'the boys' and their quirky sense of humor, and of course, the fact that we all received an enormous salary... NOT!!!

What was it like seeing the movie again on the big screen for the 20th anniversary reunion in Detroit as opposed to seeing it for the first time 20 years ago upon the films initial release?

Not everyone was able to be at the premier, but being all together 20 years later was a real thrill. We were all catching up on old times, talking about mortgages and kids, and sitting down together in one place to enjoy something that many of us weren't sure would ever make it to the screen 20 years prior. And sitting in the theater full of 'EVIL DEAD' fans? What more could you ask for?

You all did a live read through of 'The Evil Dead' script on stage with Bruce & an audience member before a screening of the movie at the Flashback Weekend convention in Chicago back in 2002. How'd that all come about & what was it like to "act out" some scenes from The Evil Dead 20 years later for a live audience of fans?

It was a hoot!!! It was our idea (the "Ladies", that is) and Bruce was more than willing. We thought it would be fun for us and entertaining for the audience as well, which it definitely was on all counts. Of course it was quite brief, because as we all know, The Evil Dead is not known for it's meaningful dialogue!

Was seeing Bruce and his interaction & relationship with his fans a motivating factor in getting into the convention appearances? Were you surprised by how many fans really wanted to meet you at these conventions?

YES, and YES! None of us had ever had any exposure to fan conventions of any sort, so seeing Bruce at events and seeing the fan response was quite an eye-opener to us. We were absolutely amazed at both the quantity of E.D. fans out there as well as the diversity of people who love this film.

Any odd, interesting or funny stories from your convention experiences?

Ellen was quite amazed to see 2 different men with her Cheryl/ Deadite face tattooed on their arms. The artwork presented to us by fans has ranged from a ceramic candy bowl with figures of the ladies sitting in it to posters, caricatures, etc. We've met many fun celebrities, but probably the best was Alice Cooper, who is a BIG Evil Dead fan and who we interviewed on camera for our upcoming documentary.

Speaking of, what's the latest on your upcoming documentary "LIFE AFTER DEAD"; about your experiences touring the convention circuit? 

We're in the process of editing the 30-plus hours of footage we've collected over the past few years. It's of conventions as well as interviews and other events relating to the Ladies lives and activities; both during the shooting of Evil Dead, as well as now and the years between. Hopefully it'll be released some time next year on a DVD featuring an Evil Dead 25th anniversary cast reunion in Morristown, Tennessee.

You've all done some work in film, television, commercials, voice-overs, and/ or with singing & acting on stage. Is there any particular medium that you all enjoy the most out of all those or that you might find the most fulfilling?

Betsy and Ellen have a fondness for the stage, particularly musical theater, but would also love to do more film. Theresa (Sarah) has made her living as a voice-over talent, but would also like to add a few more films to her resume.

Ellen, you recently worked with Dante Tomaselli on his upcoming film "Satan's Playground".  How'd you get involved in that project?

Dante has always been a HUGE Evil Dead fan. Then, 2 years ago, Rue Morgue Magazine did articles on Dante and the Ladies in the same issue, so Dante saw that i was out there. He e-mailed me and asked me if I'd be interested in being in his next film, and a year and a half later, I was in Jersey filming "Satan's Playground".
Were you familiar with Dante's previous films before working with him?

No, but I watched them before I agreed to be in Satan's Playground.
Dante spoke very highly of the job you did in Satan's Playground.  What was your working experience with him like?
Dante is a fabulous director and a wonderful human being. He's highly focused, cares about his actors, and knows exactly what he wants in his films. I enjoyed every minute of working with him and hope to do it again in the near future.

Special thanks to all 3 of the lovely Ladies of the Evil Dead for speaking to us here at Icons Of Fright!

Visit the Ladies Of The Evil Dead at the link below!!!

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