In an interview with /Film’s Ryan Scott, Cronin cited the team of David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker (aka ZAZ) as crucial to his deployment of scare set pieces. As he told Scott:
“I went after the story and the characters first. I hunted down those personalities. I hunted down the themes and the metaphors before I actually then went and looked at the horror. Now of course, in my brain, I was boiling ideas all the time, but I didn’t let myself go there until I just had cracked into those people. I think it’s the Zucker Brothers, and they talk about when they were writing movies like ‘Airplane!’ back in the day, it was like, ‘Get the story right, and then work on the jokes, work on the gags thereafter.'”
Cronin is spot-on. The ZAZ boys basically used Hall Bartlett’s 1957 disaster flick “Zero Hour!” as the narrative spine of their gag-laden masterpiece. Indeed, some of the movie’s biggest laughs are lifted straight out of Bartlett’s movie (including the food poisoning subplot). So it’s rather canny of Cronin to introduce the ZAZ DNA to the “Evil Dead” franchise. Surely, it’s a perfect match.
“Evil Dead Rise” takes possession of theaters on April 21, 2023. And I know your name’s not Shirley.