A raging fire provides some warmth against the cold air of the wooden cabin. An elk’s head mounted to the wall silently watches me with it’s large, black eyes. An old tape player recites a foreign passage in an unknown language. I don’t think it’s Latin – but I don’t have time to listen any longer. Something slams against the cellar door as if trying to get out. Thankfully, the cellar door is chained shut… for now… Evil Dead Immersive
Over the years, Sam Raimi’s 1981 film Evil Dead has become a cultural phenomenon, spawning two sequels, a 2013 remake, a musical, and a 2015 television series that lasted three seasons. Once timid and scared Bruce Campbell’s Ash Williams has evolved into a hapless badass who is the only one that can save the world from the evil deadites. With cheesy lines like “Groovy,” “Gimme some sugar, baby,” and “Come get some,” it’s easy to see why horror fans flock to Ash.
Part horror and part comedy, the Evil Dead (and Army of Darkness) franchise has taken on a life of its own. So much so that Burbank’s Mystic Museum has collected props from the films and series, fan artwork, and mementos for purchase in their dedicated Evil Dead Immersive Experience, open now through December 7th. While not immersive in the theatrical sense of the definition, the Mystic Museum has shown their passion for the franchise (among others in the past like Twin Peaks and The X-Files) by creating an installation for fans of the series to live all things Evil Dead for an evening.
In the Evil Dead Immersive Experience, fans of the franchise can view props from the films – such as various versions of the Necronomicon, several of Ash’s different hands, Ash’s shotgun (boomstick!), severed body parts, and more – and purchase branded mementos like masks, water bottles, or a Necronomicon pillow (which I myself couldn’t resist). Additionally, the Mystic Museum has set up several photo ops for those wishing to immerse themselves in the Evil Dead world. Particularly of note are the several intricate set pieces on display: the screen-used mounted elk’s head from Evil Dead 2 (not the talking one, thank goodness) and Army of Darkness’ graveyard with three Books of the Dead.
The Mystic Museum also uses this opportunity to showcase various fan artwork which line the walls and are priced for sale. Ranging from caricatures – like Drew Rausch’s “The Ex-Mortis Exclamation” – to intensely detailed work – like Luc Suter’s “Resurrection” – the fan art is extraordinarily impressive, with some mass-produced prints available for purchase, such as Robert Heckman’s Ash vs. deadite face-off, “I’ll Swallow Your Soul.”
Opening night of the exhibit saw fans of all ages – from an older gentleman to a small girl, both dressed as a bloodied, chainsaw-wielding Ash – and a line around the block. It’s clear that the cult classic franchise has made an epic impact on scores of fans, and the Mystic Museum has made a smart choice bringing their Evil Dead Immersive Experience to undead life. The sheer amount of props and paraphernalia on display made me want to go back and watch the entire franchise all over again, look for the details and props I saw in person, and perhaps try my hand at some fan artwork. But for now, I’ll hug my Necronomicon pillow and reminisce about the groovy Evil Dead Immersive Experience.
The Evil Dead Immersive Experience runs through December 7th. Find out more about The Mystic Museum on their website, Instagram and Facebook page. Make sure to subscribe to our Event Calendar for more horror events throughout the year.
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