Yesterday I had the huge honor of sitting in on a roundtable interview with the great Sam Raimi. He was there promoting his new film, Drag Me To Hell, which I could honestly see myself going to three more times in theaters this summer (each time with a different friend so that I could watch them watching the movie), but I had to get a little question in there about an oft-forgotten entry on Raimi’s IMDB: Crimewave.
It’s likely that you’ve only seen Crimewave if you’re a) of the VHS generation (it never hit DVD in the States), b) a Raimi completist or c) a lover of obscure, bad 80s films. You’d think a movie Raimi directed between Evil Dead and Evil Dead II and that has a script by the Coen Brothers (and that stars Paul L. Smith, Brion James and Bruce Campbell) would be better known. But then you’d probably not have seen Crimewave, which isn’t as good as you’d hope.
And it wasn’t as good as Raimi hoped, either. I asked him about a possible United States DVD/Blu-Ray release of the movie and his face just about fell.
“I don’t really know about that. I don’t know who has the rights to that picture,” he said. “It’s one of those movies that early in your career they take away from young directors; they recut it, they recast it, they put their own music on it. It doesn’t really have what I intended it to have. I can’t really support that picture.”
Still, I reasoned, this was the director the Spider-Man films. Surely someone would foot the bill to have Raimi go back and recut the picture to reflect his original vision.
But Raimi says that’s not happening. “I never got to film some of the things I wanted to shoot, so I don’t think I’d ever be able to get back what I intended to do,” he said glumly.
So if Crimewave did hit DVD/Blu-Ray next year (it’s the film’s 25th anniversary), it’ll be without the cooperation of the man who IMDB lists as the director.