Fantasia 2020: Our Review of ‘Hail to the Deadites’

Documentaries examining fandoms are always an interesting watch, they explore a certain topic or genre. They also tend to then only appeal to the fans of that topic or genre. They consequently end up being a celebration of the love of those things while not necessarily remaining objective about their subject matter. Trekkies and Ghostheads spring to mind.

Much like those docs, Hail to the Deadites gives us a passing look at the fans of the Evil Dead films. What started out as the ultimate experience in grueling terror became an iconic touchstone for an entire horror subculture. The filmmakers are obviously passionate about their subject. But they do not bring any new knowledge about the Evil Dead film series, or their fans to their documentary. Instead they are submitting, for your approval, a love letter to all of us who would happily shop smart, shop S-mart.

It introduces us to fans from all over the globe, hear their personal connections to the films, and actors. They show how they relate to it and invest in it (emotionally and financially). It also shows how it has shaped friendships across the world, brought and squandered love, and serves as a microcosm of human society. However, with it’s lack of objectivity it doesn’t touch on the toxic side of fandom. Fandom seems to ruin our love for beloved series, actors, and IPs.

Hail to the Deadites is an enjoyable, light confection, that leaves you wanting a larger meal. It still delights us with brief encounters, interviews, and glimpses into something bigger. It celebrates the fandom of Ash, and the Evil Dead, the world of collecting, conventions, fan creations, and horror films. But it never gives us the deep dive we really want.

Gimme me some sugar baby!

This post was written by
TD Rideout has been a movie fan since the moment he first encountered Bruce the Shark in 1975. As passionate about cinema as he is popcorn movies, his film education is a continuing journey of classics new and old. He is at his most comfortable with a book, a drink, his partner and his dog.
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