Samuel Marshall “Sam” Raimi (October 23, 1959) is an American film director, producer, actor and writer. He is best known for directing cult horror films like the Evil Dead series, Darkman and Drag Me to Hell, as well as the blockbuster Spider-Man films and the producer of the successful TV series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess, Legend of the Seeker and Spartacus: Blood and Sand.
[Three Stooges] He uses Stooge-like sequences in many of his movies (especially in the Evil Dead films). Raimi is a huge fan of The Three Stooges. He made many super-8 films that resembled classic Stoogeshorts.
[Shemp] Often credits a character called a “Shemp”, another homage to The Three Stooges. Most frequently, it is a “Fake Shemp”, a reference to the Three Stooges shorts where a stunt man was used in place of Shemp Howard.
Often has a voiceover from a principal character at the end of his films (Army of Darkness (1992), all the Spider-Man films).
On-going in-joke feud with Wes Craven
Frequently casts Bruce Campbell, ‘Theodore Craven’, J.K. Simmons, and his brother Ted Raimi.
Kinetic, wild camera movement (Includes the Evil Dead and Spider-Man films)
Likes the “whip pan,” possibly inspired by Martin Scorsese
Frequently figures out difficult shots by “reverse motion acting” (filming the actor acting backwards and playing in reverse).
Usually wears a jacket and tie on the set of his films, a tribute to Alfred Hitchcock.
Often includes scenes in his movies in which large clocks/clock towers play important parts (The Quick and the Dead (1995), Spider-Man 2 (2004)).
Always has his car (a yellow 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 dubbed “the classic”) somewhere visible to the audience in all of his films (including a modified covered wagon, according to Bruce Campbell, in The Quick and the Dead (1995)). It is even visible in the Spider-Man (2002) trailer (the car that Spider-man jumps on).
[POV] Often features a shot from the point-of-view of the villain/monster (The Dark Spirit in the Evil Dead films, the camera view of Doc Ock’s mechanical tentacles in Spider-Man 2 (2004), the black blob from outer space in Spider-Man 3 (2007)).
Often collaborates with the Coen Brothers
Supernatural and Fantasy Themes
References to Classic Comedy and Horror Films
Known for inflicting physical Violence on main characters either with large violent scenes or smaller ones throughout
Bloody but comical set pieces
Known for humorously “Abusing” actors,i.e,hitting Them with tree branches to simulate getting hit with debris,throwing popcorn at Them.
Frequently films scenes in which a main character is on the receiving end of an extremely brutal attack
References to the works of Alfred Hitchcock
Unflinchingly graphic and brutal depiction of Violence
His characters are often ordinary individuals caught up in extraordinary circumstances
Attended Michigan State University, East Lansing MI, as an English major.
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen use many of Raimi’s trademark camera movements in their films.
Middle brother of Ted Raimi and Ivan Raimi.
During the mid-80s, Raimi used to live in an apartment with actor Bruce Campbell, writer/director Scott Spiegel, writer/director Joel Coen, writer/producer Ethan Coen and actresses Holly Hunter, Frances McDormand and Kathy Bates.
His wife, Gillian Greene, is the daughter of Lorne Greene and Nancy Deale.
Is an avid fan of “Spider-Man” comic books.
Friends with director John Landis. Had cameos in Landis’ Spies Like Us (1985) and Innocent Blood (1992), while Landis did cameos in Raimi’s Darkman (1990) and Spider-Man 2 (2004). Both also appeared in Stephen King’s ABC mini-series “The Stand” (1994).
Many years before landing the role of director on the Spider-Man movies, Raimi planned to create a film based on Marvel’s comic interpretation of “The Mighty Thor” with Stan Lee. While the movie never materialized, Lee, co-creator of Spider-Man and many other Marvel characters, became good friends with Raimi and later appeared in cameos on the Spidey flicks.
In 2004, both he and the Coen brothers cast J.K. Simmons and Bruce Campbell in one of their movies; Spider-Man 2 (2004) and The Ladykillers (2004).
His oldest brother, Sander, died in a swimming pool accident at the age of 15 while on a scholarship trip to Israel. Sander used to perform magic tricks for Sam and his friends; when he died, Sam learned to perform the tricks himself.
His family name was changed from the German name Reingewertz.
Featured on Premiere’s Power 50 list from 2003 to 2006 with the following rankings: #37 in 2003, #48 in 2004, #33 in 2005, and #23 in 2006.
He wanted to adapt and direct The Shadow (1994), but was denied the rights to do it. Instead, he created his own superhero with his film Darkman (1990).
His breakthrough project, the low-budget horror cult film The Evil Dead (1981), had an estimated budget of $350,000. Twenty-five years later he helmed a production with an estimated budget at 1,000 times the cost of that film, Spider-Man 3 (2007), with an estimated production cost of $350,000,000, making it the most expensive motion picture produced up to that time.
1977 graduate of Birmingham Groves High School, Birmingham, Michigan.
Attended high school and remains close friends with producer John Cameron and actor Bruce Campbell.
Children: Lorne Raimi, Henry Raimi, Emma Raimi, Dashiell William Schooley Raimi.
Was asked to direct I Am Legend (2007) but chose not to because he was not interested.
At college he ran a film society, but instead of renting films to exhibit he and his friends created their own feature-length movies on Super 8 and showed them to the campus audiences instead.
Frequently employs Bob Murawski as his editor.
Over his years as a director, Raimi’s 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 (originally bought by Raimi’s father for the family when Sam was 14) has “played” Ash’s car in the Evil Dead movies, Uncle Ben and Aunt May’s car in the Spider-Man movies, Annie’s car in The Gift (2000), and Mrs. Ganoush’s car in Drag Me to Hell (2009), and has made cameos in nearly all of his other movies.