Inspired by Sam Raimi’s 1981 horror-comedy cult smash Evil Dead the Musical combines over-the-top gore with gross-out humor. The musical itself has developed a cultish following of dead-heads who revel in sitting in the “splatter zone” where fake gore is sprayed liberally from the stage onto the crowd. The Alt spoke to Trent Mills who plays the lead James “Ash” Williams.
David King: How immersed were you in the cult of Evil Dead before you took this role?
Trent Mills: “I was a big fan of the franchise and as an actor I got be to be part of it. That comes with the crazy fans and getting to be part of this whole, weird, awesome world. People come and dress up as Ash or wear all-white suits and sit in the splatter zone. It’s not unlike Rocky Horror picture show but it’s definitely a step above–it has a wider appeal.”
DK: Is it more exciting to do this show around Halloween. Do you get a different energy from the crowd?
TM: Yes and no. I do know people who like to coordinate seeing the show for their Halloween celebration but we have people going crazy year round. The thing is it’s a comedy. Beginning to end its hilarious. I’d compare it to the South Park movie. If you’re not into horror it’s fine. If you don’t know movies it’s fine. It is pretty accessible. If you’ve seen the movies it’s even better because we pay homage to a lot of lines and scenes.
DK: Given the unique effects and bent of the show do you have to prepare yourself physically? Do you have a training regimen?
TM: I know personally for me it is physically demanding. I get beaten up but I’m not really an athlete, I’m a comedian. I’ve done the show before so I knew what I was getting into. We do a fight call– before every show go through the choreography.
DK: Do you get out much while you’re on the road. Do you get to explore the cities you play?
TM: To be honest I live like a monk. You have to keep quite fit. So I’m always watching what I’m eating and drinking. I don’t get to hang out much. But I always do try to walk around before the show and I like to meet local people. I’ll have conversations with local people in small out-of-the way places.
DK: Do you have any suggestions for folks who are seeing the show for the first time?
TM:Yes! If you’re gonna sit in the splatter zone I highly suggest you bring something you are ready to get bloody. Be prepared to laugh. You don’t have to do much research watch into the movie but it might might help you get all the lines.
Evil Dead the Musical will be at Proctors on Friday, October 7 at 8 PM. Tickets range from $20 to $70.