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Sam Raimi Loves A Good Skeleton (Even In A Marvel Movie)


Not to sound hyperbolic, but Sam Raimi changed horror forever with “The Evil Dead.” The movie was weird, it was gory, it was gross, and it was hilarious. The 1981 original was followed by a soft reboot, “Evil Dead II” in 1987, and the trilogy was concluded in 1992 with “Army of Darkness.” Although the latter film was less of a success — it was much more expensive to make, and while it made back its money, it wasn’t a major hit — it developed a cult following. I like to think it’s because of the skeletons.

While the “Evil Dead” movies mainly used the “deadite” monsters (demons who have possessed the living and taken on a zombie or ghoul-like appearance), “Army of Darkness” also features an entire army of skeletons — reanimated by Ash taking the “Necronomicon Ex-Mortis” without properly saying the necessary phrase. It’s kind of what everyone remembers about that movie; the puppet skeleton arms reaching up from the ground to grab Ash, and the epic scene of an entire skeleton army marching to battle, are extremely fun and joyful moments in the fantasy horror. My personal favorite are the Scottish skeletons complete with tams and bagpipes. 

Skeletons pop up in other Raimi projects, usually when you least suspect it. In 2002’s Spider-Man, when the Green Goblin’s bomb turns people into skeletons before obliterating them completely. Even Raimi’s TV project “Xena” has fun with skeletons — most memorably, when the titular heroine “gave birth” to one during a hallucination in the season 5 episode “Them Bones, Them Bones.” It should really be of no surprise then that “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” also features some lovely skeletal remains — heck, there are even skeletons on one of the final posters for the movie.

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