4:04 pm - 05/05/2012

Sam Raimi's Production Company Sues Makers of Proposed 'Evil Dead' Sequel

A fight has broken out over who has rights to do a new sequel of the 1980s horror classic The Evil Dead.

Renaissance Pictures, formed in 1979 by producer-director Sam Raimi, producer Robert Tapert and actor-producer Bruce Campbell for the purpose of making the first film, is suing Award Pictures, which says it plans to make a fourth film in the series. This potential coming film allegedly is interfering with Raimi's plan to make his own sequel for Sony Pictures and FilmDistrict.

But Award Pictures isn't laying down. The company is using Raimi's comment in a 2000 book that he would never do a sequel as proof that the "Evil Dead" trademark was abandoned. The company now says it is the primary trademark holder of the film title.

The lawsuit could be a warning to all those in Hollywood who attempt to lower expectations among fans and the media for a sequel to a cult hit.

Released in 1983, the original Evil Dead was about a group of five friends who travel to a cabin in the woods where they find an ancient Sumerian text that summons evil spirits when spoken aloud. Made for less than $500,000, it has grossed more than $29 million and often is cited as one of the best horror movies of all time. Plus, it still plays in theaters: A midnight showing is scheduled at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema in New York City.

A 1987 sequel also was a hit, and a third film in 1993 was a modest success with $11.5 million in revenue.

Renaissance says in its lawsuit that fans "have long been eager for another installment," and Raimi finally announced last year he would co-write and co-produce a remake of the original. Shortly before the announcement, Renaissance went to the U.S. Trademark Office to register the mark.

One problem.

After Renaissance did so, an objection was filed by Award Pictures, which says it has been preparing its own Evil Dead film. The company says that Renaissance's hold on "Evil Dead" was abandoned and thus, Award Pictures should be deemed as being a prior user.

In an effort to show abandonment, Award Pictures points to comments attributed to Tapert and Raimi in the 2000 book, The Evil Dead Companion: "Ha," said Rob and Sam. "We're never going to do a sequel."

"This statement is a public declaration by the defendant that the defendant abandoned the alleged 'mark,' Evil Dead, decades ago," says Award Pictures in papers to the USPTO's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

Award Pictures goes on to say that even if Evil Dead was a valid mark upon the release of the first film, the sequels can't be counted as continued use because they were both "works for hire" and "single works." Additionally, the company points to 20 other motion pictures that have used Evil Dead within their title over the years, saying that Renaissance has exhibited "uncontrolled, unregulated and undefended use of Evil Dead." Finally, Award says Renaissance's purported trademark claims constitute a defrauding of others in the entertainment industry.

Renaissance struck back this week with a lawsuit against Award Pictures, saying it indeed has used its mark, for example licensing Evil Dead video games, dolls, clothing, memorabilia, comic books, etc.

According to the lawsuit, "As a result of Renaissance's use of the Evil Dead mark and the cult success of the films and related products, the Evil Dead mark has acquired enormous value, has become famous among the relevant consuming public and motion picture trade and is recognized as identifying and distinguishing Renaissance exclusively and uniquely as the source of goods sold and services provided under the Evil Dead mark."

Renaissance says Award Pictures' planned film entitled Evil Dead 4: Consequences, is intended to cause confusion to consumers and that the key plot elements and character names "would inevitably infringe Renaissance's copyright rights in The Evil Dead."

Alleging trademark infringement, false advertising and injury to business reputation, Renaissance is asking for an injunction against further infringement and further monetary damages.

mangosmuggler Oooo horror5th-May-2012 08:46 pm (UTC)
what are some great horror movies? I only just recently started getting into them and I've enjoyed:

Drag Me to Hell
The Amityville Horror
The Omen

and I love ghosts as a theme. Thanks :D
cyberghostface Re: Oooo horror5th-May-2012 08:47 pm (UTC)
If you like foreign films, Let the Right One In and A Tale of Two Sisters are definitely worth checking out.
hobnailedboots Re: Oooo horror5th-May-2012 08:48 pm (UTC)
idk I will always love The Others. Compared to most horror movies it isn't really that scary, and the rating in the UK is a 12A (which is basically pg-13), but there are certain parts that terrify me and freak me out in a way no other movie has done since.
captivatedlady Re: Oooo horror5th-May-2012 08:54 pm (UTC)
The Hole not really horror more suspense type
The Fog
The Exorcist
Night of the Living dead
The Burrowers
Wicked Little Things
dynamitered Re: Oooo horror5th-May-2012 09:08 pm (UTC)
If you like ghost movies, definitely see The Innocents
therealycats Re: Oooo horror6th-May-2012 06:22 am (UTC)
We watched that movie in a class I had in college called Literature and the Paranormal after reading Turn of the Screw and just...omg. So good, so creepy. Definitely see some echoes of it in The Others.
thepapermill Re: Oooo horror5th-May-2012 09:17 pm (UTC)
The Descent. It's one of the scariest movies I've ever seen in my life (and I've seen pretty much every horror movie ever)
laceandskin Re: Oooo horror5th-May-2012 09:19 pm (UTC)
The Devil's Backbone
The Orphanage
Shutter (the original, not the remake)
A Tale of Two Sisters

They're all ghost movies.
lilienveigh Re: Oooo horror5th-May-2012 09:47 pm (UTC)
the innocents
Santa Sangre
The Tourist trap
the exorcist
The Devil’s Backbone
rosemary's baby
bluekrinkle Re: Oooo horror5th-May-2012 09:59 pm (UTC)
The Strangers
A Tale of Two Sisters
The Haunting (original)
The Devils Backbone
The Orphanage
Pans Labyrinth
Ju On
Ringu (The Ring)
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (original)

My husband says Legally Blonde scared the shit out of him but I haven't seen it so I can't verify that.

Not all of these are ghost films, but they're still good.

Edited at 2012-05-05 10:01 pm (UTC)
padlock Re: Oooo horror5th-May-2012 10:27 pm (UTC)
the original psycho and house on haunted hill
redleigh86 Re: Oooo horror5th-May-2012 10:30 pm (UTC)
Ghosts: (ditto others' suggestions)

The Sixth Sense (obviously, though I'm thinking you've already seen it lol, could add The Ring and The Grudge to this as well)
The Watcher in the Woods
Wind Chill
One Missed Call series (original)
Dead Birds
Grave Encounters
The Innkeepers
Yellow Brick Road
White Noise
The Messengers
Pulse (original and remake, though I think I'm one of the few who liked the remake haha)
Bloody Mary (er, something like that? There's a few bloody Mary films, and they're all just ok)
Dead End
Session 9
Paranormal Activity series, if you haven't yet
The River (new tv show - mostly ghost-themed episodes and a good show!)
The Maid
The Others
The Abandoned
The Heirloom
the Poltergeist films
The Frighteners
What Lies Beneath
Ring Around the Rosie
The Marsh
The Reeds
Cold Creek Manor
Ghost Story
The Haunting (the original and the remake)
Haunting on Hill House (original and remake)
13 Ghosts (original)
Half Light
The Ward
The Sick House
Episode 50
The Uninvited (original)
The Legend of Hell House
The Shining (the original and the recent mini-series)
Rose Red
The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer
The Tower
Trick R Treat (has some ghosts)
Ghost Ship (big guilty pleasure of mine! love this one)


Slither (monsters)
The Evil Dead series (monsters)
The Mist (monsters)
Pitch Black (monsters)
Eden Log (monsters)
Splinter (monster)
Silent Hill (monsters)
Tremors series (monsters)
Attack the Block (monsters)
Cloverfield (monsters)
Screamers (monsters)
The Thing (monsters, original and recent prequel)
Alien series (monsters)
30 Days of Night (vampires - the best!)
Fright Night (original and remake - vampires)
Salem's Lot (original and mini-series - vampires)
Ginger Snaps series (werewolves)
Wolfen (werewolves)
An American Werewolf in London (werewolves)
The Howling (werewolves)
28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later (zombies)
Pontypoole (zombies)
Zombieland (zombies)
Shaun of the Dead (zombies)
Pet Semetary (zombies)
Night of the Living series and recent Dawn of the Dead remake (zombies)
Resident Evil series (mostly just the first - zombies)
[REC] series (original - zombies)
Final Destination series (er... death? haha)
Event Horizon (killer?)
Nightmare on Elm Street series (killer)
The Descent (killer/monsters)
Cube series (killer)
The Crazies (remake, it has Timothy Olyphant which makes it good lol - killer)
RSVP (killer)
Frailty (killer)
Pandorum (killer/monsters)

There are LOT of good/great horror movies out there. Most of them go straight-to-dvd though, so the best place to look for them is, well, online. Otherwise you'll have no idea what's come out or what's coming out!

redleigh86 Re: Oooo horror5th-May-2012 10:30 pm (UTC)
oh shit and I did not realize how long I made this D:

showmesara Re: Oooo horror5th-May-2012 11:58 pm (UTC)
don't apologize.. I'm looking through the list for movies I haven't watched yet.
unique_lilpixie Re: Oooo horror6th-May-2012 12:42 am (UTC)
Ginger Snaps. Canadian werewolf cult film that took off because it is AMAZING.
This page was loaded Apr 23rd 2014, 12:33 pm GMT.