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Spring is already winding down but there’s still a lot of excitement going on at The Frida this May! Our 21st Century Cult series continues next Thursday with Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson’s most daring entry in the beloved franchise. Then come back Saturday for a free screening of Rebel Hearts, a new documentary about the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and presented by Grand Central Art Center’s Sisters InfoShop exhibition. Return the following weekend for Bruce Lee Weekend, a four day retrospective of the life and work of kung fu cinema’s most celebrated star. Also of note this month is Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead, returning to our screen once again this coming Friday.
In 1979, a group of Michigan State University students venture out into the Tennessee woods for a weekend getaway at an old cabin. Hidden within the cabin’s dusty crevices lies a Sumerian Book of the Dead, which once discovered by them, causes an ancient curse to spread through and possess each of them without remorse. Little by little, it becomes up to only Ash Williams to fight his way through a demon-infested night of terrors to make it out of the cabin alive. The first in a now long-running franchise, The Evil Dead launched the careers of both Raimi and star Bruce Campbell and is regarded by many as one of the greatest horror films ever. Raking in $2.4 million at the American box office alone against a budget of $375,000, it also ranks as one of the most successful independent films of all time.
A recurring Frida favorite, this particular run is screening courtesy of Micah Lara, our May Volunteer of the Month! I’ve had the pleasure of talking to Micah at screenings and volunteer events, so I was already acquainted with him when we sat down for our interview. As such, I already knew him to have strong, clearly considered taste in everything from movies to music. As somebody who writes and edits opinions about movies for a living, it’s a trait that I definitely can respect and hope to bring to my own craft. Needless to say, The Evil Dead is the kind of movie that’s ripe for strong, clearly considered opinions, so be sure to bring your screwhead friends along next weekend and enjoy the ride!
How did you find out about The Frida Cinema?
It was during the pandemic shutdown. The first screening that I went to was when we were doing the drive-in movies, and I believe the first drive-in movie I went to was Night of the Living Dead. That was extremely fun and I came back too more times, once for The Evil Dead 2 and the other time for The Lost Boys.
What made you want to volunteer here?
What made me want to volunteer was I started to get more and more interested in movies and I wanted to switch my job from something where I could just make money to something more career-oriented. I also wanted to volunteer just from having movie theater experience. The theater that I had applied to after I had a couple months of volunteering here under my belt rejected me because I volunteered here and if I wanted to work there, I would have to quit volunteering here. I didn’t want to do that because I liked volunteering at The Frida so much, so I decided not to go through with that and just keep on helping out here.
Tell us a little bit about The Evil Dead.
So The Evil Dead is definitely one of my personal favorite… not just horror movies but horror movie franchises of all time, just because it set the bar for cabin in the wood-style horror so high. Sam Raimi made it when he was just 20 years old with his actor friends, in the woods and they just really changed independent horror altogether.
What were your other choices for Volunteer Pick of the Month?
Well I had a list where, if I had my way, I would have had 15 different movies. But the official ones that I would have gone with included the original Blob with Steve McQueen, that was one of the first horror movies that I really enjoyed. Another was the original Omen, because I really liked it as a kid and people would say I looked like Damien because I had that short, black hair. And the last would have been An American Werewolf in London.
What is your favorite Frida memory?
Maybe one of my favorite Frida memories is the first time that I came here (as opposed to the drive-ins). I came for a Horror Movie Night screening from HorrorBuzz of Creepshow and that was the first time that I had ever actually come to the theater. Getting to see the person dressed as the Cryptkeeper and people answer trivia questions made for a very fun and very interesting experience.
If you could program any movie here, what would you pick?
If I had my way and could program any movie, I guess it’s technically as a movie, but there’s a 200 minute supercut of the first three Evil Dead movies. That would be an interesting one but in case that wouldn’t count as a proper movie, it would be a toss-up between Scream and The Thing.
The Evil Dead screens starting Friday, May 5th at The Frida Cinema.
Friday, May 5 – 8:30pm
Saturday, May 6 – 8:30pm, 10:30pm
Sunday, May 7 – 4pm