The Evil Dead trilogy is now streaming on HBO Max, but with their arrival comes an updated poster for the original movie. Directed by Sam Raimi, the movies starred Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams, an everyman who evolves into a badass Deadite slayer complete with a chainsaw for a hand. It all began with the original movie, The Evil Dead, which first hit theaters way back in 1981.
In the original poster for the Sam Raimi movie, a woman can be seen being pulled underground with an arm protruding from the ground, grabbing her by the throat. On HBO Max, the poster used for The Evil Dead looks mostly the same, but with one major difference. The arm featured on the original artwork has been digitally removed, leaving nothing but a small hole in the ground in front of the victim. Many horror fans are happy to see the movie streaming, but couldn’t help but notice and question why the change was made.
We can only speculate why the poster for The Evil Dead was changed for HBO Max. It’s possible that the alteration could have been made to avoid potential criticism for showing imagery of violence against women. In 2016, 20th Century Fox publicly apologized after drawing backlash for promoting X-Men Apocalypse with a billboard featuring Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) grabbing Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) by the throat.
“In our enthusiasm to show the villainy of the character Apocalypse, we didn’t immediately recognize the upsetting connotation of this image in print form,” a statement from Fox read at the time. “Once we realized how insensitive it was, we quickly took steps to remove those materials. We apologize for our actions and would never condone violence against women.”
The Evil Dead spawned a very successful horror franchise that has grown exponentially since 1981. Along with the two sequels starring Campbell as Ash, the character returns for the three-season series Ash vs. Evil Dead on Starz for one last hurrah. Fede Alvarez also released an Evil Dead reboot in 2013, and work has begun on the next installment of the movie series, Evil Dead Rise, which will introduce new protagonists.
Even so, the original movie remains a fan favorite for many longtime horror fans. Those wanting to check out the classic flick on the big screen will soon have a chance to do so, as Fathom Events is bringing The Evil Dead back to theaters in honor of its 40th anniversary. It will be screening for one night only in theaters on Oct. 7. Looking back at 40 years of Ash, now’s as good a time as any to revisit this movie, whether it be on the big or small screen.
There hasn’t been any official comment from HBO Max pertaining to the new poster for The Evil Dead. The good news is that the movie and its sequels have not been affected in any way, so even if an altered poster is used to represent The Evil Dead on the title selection screen, horror fans can still watch the movies in all of their bloody glory. You can find The Evil Dead, Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn, and Army of Darkness all streaming on HBO Max.