Samuel Marshall Raimi (born October 23, 1959) has the distinct honor of being one of the few director/producers in existence that can actually make films that are campy AND scary at the same time and have them come off as excellent pieces of film. Known mostly for his cult series Evil Dead, he also gained a greater level of fame for directing a trilogy of movies based on the long-running Spider-Man comic books. He will reunite with Marvel Entertainment to direct Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (based on the equally long-running Doctor Strange comics), a sequel to the 2016 film that serves as part of Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Raimi is also no stranger to television, as he executive produced the syndicated shows Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess, Legend of the Seeker and Spartacus: Blood and Sand. He executive produced the TV adaptation of his Evil Dead films, Ash vs. Evil Dead, the pilot of which he also directed.
Early on in his career, he was a frequent collaborator with The Coen Brothers: Joel was an assistant editor on The Evil Dead, the three of them wrote Crimewave and The Hudsucker Proxy together, Raimi had cameo apperances in Miller's Crossing and Hudsucker, and finally (whew) Raimi directed a montage sequence in the latter.
He has a younger brother, Ted, who is also an actor and director.
- Evil Dead series
- Crimewave (1985)
- Thou Shalt Not Kill... Except (1985, actor)
- Darkman (1990)
- The Quick and the Dead (1995)
- A Simple Plan (1998)
- For Love Of The Game (1999)
- The Gift (2000)
- Spider-Man Trilogy
- Drag Me to Hell (2009)
- Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)
Sam Raimi and his works provide examples of:
- Associated Composer: Danny Elfman has composed the majority of Raimi's works since Spider-Man.
- Creator Backlash:
- Creator's Pest: He's not a fan of Venom, stating that he despises the character's "lack of humanity." This is the reason for his unflattering portrayal of the character in Spider-Man 3. For what it's worth noting, he originally wanted to use the Vulture, but studio mandates made him choose Venom instead.
- Creator Thumbprint: "The Classic," a yellow 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 that Raimi has had since before he began directing. He tries to get it into every one of his movies, to the point that Bruce Campbell claimed in his autobiography that the car was in even more movies than he has been. Its most famous appearances were as the car for both Ash Williams and Benjamin Parker.
- Crosses over into Theseus' Ship Paradox: in Bruce Campbell's memoir If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B-Movie Actor, there is a section entitled "You Will Never Kill My Classic", which focuses on The Classic and describes its extensive onscreen appearances in Raimi's films from his homemade Super-8 films to modern blockbusters, and several cases of the car having to be stripped down, modified or rebuilt with new parts, either due to Raimi's filmmaking needs or, in one case on the set of Crimewave, as a prank by Campbell himself, prompting Raimi's stubborn insistence to Campbell that "you will never kill the Classic". By the time of the shooting of Evil Dead 2 it no longer ran, but Raimi insisted on its inclusion, even if it meant maintaining the vehicle at his own expense, which he did on all subsequent appearances of it. Campbell later teases Raimi in a quote about how much of the Classic consisted of original parts, with Raimi cagily insisting the body and chassis, dash and steering wheel are all original, that the rest of the car contains "some" new parts, and that the Classic currently resides "in a warehouse somewhere in Southern California."
- Fake Shemp: Trope Namer when it came to the Evil Dead films. Based after the technique codified in Three Stooges Shorts.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Bruce Campbell.
- Old Shame: He hasn't exactly considered Crimewave one of his proudest works, given the production problems surrounding the film.
- Production Posse: Hire Sam Raimi, and you're pretty much certain to also be hiring his brother Ted as well as Bruce Campbell. He's also tangentially part of the Coen Brothers' posse, as noted above.
- Promoted Fanboy: He was a big fan of Spider-Man before being tasked with directing the film trilogy.
- He's also stated he's a fan of Doctor Strange and Batman - he lobbied to take over directing duties for the original Batman film series after Tim Burton left, and he would later wind up taking over directing duties for the second Doctor Strange film.
- Rousseau Was Right: With the exception of Eddie Brock/Venom, the villains in his Spider-Man movies all have sympathetic backstories that make them quite human.
- Rule of Cool: Raimi could give John Carpenter a run for his money with how the Evil Dead series turned out over time.
- Vertigo Effect: This is used frequently, particularly in his earlier works and perhaps most prominently in The Quick and the Dead.
- World of Ham: His most famous films throw subtlety out the window in favor of everyone unironically reciting intentionally corny lines and giving over-the-top deliveries.