NEW YORK — Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert’s Evil Dead is getting a new life in the form of an iPhone and iPad game that will bring the gore and campy humor of the cult classic film into the digital age.
Ghost House Pictures has partnered with Trigger Apps, part of digital marketing firm Trigger, to launch a paid iPhone and iPad game app for the film from the production label’s co-founders. It is one of the early attempts at keeping fans in touch with and making additional revenue off classic movies, which some predict will become a growing business. It also can help classics find new fans.
“This is the first time we’ve taken an older franchise and re-created it,” said Jason Yim, president of Trigger. “A lot of filmmakers we have talked to are interested in doing something similar.”
Trigger and other companies have mostly focused on current releases to date, such as Green Hornet and The Karate Kid, whose number of downloads to date is in the seven figures, according to Yim.
The Evil Dead app, which will be available for $2.99 for the iPhone and $4.99 for the iPad (once Apple approves it in the coming weeks), is an action-heavy 3D shooter game that allows players to take control of Bruce Campbell’s character Ash to lead his group of friends to safety while fighting off evil zombies.
“Sam, Bruce and I have always been interested in finding ways to bring our 1980’s Evil Dead into the digital age,” said Tapert. “And taking this first step with Trigger has been a great experience.”
Giving fans of the campy classic something new and fresh in the digital age was one key driver behind the development of the game. Ghost House has also shown a broader interest in developing new media ways to produce content, including Web series, mobile shorts and portable app games.
The app also provides an opportunity to get new revenue as Trigger offers intellectual property owners a way to create apps on iconic but dormant franchises, around which the firm can create a new revenue stream. Revenue from such apps tends to get split.
The Evil Dead game’s more than 30 levels are spread over two chapters. The first follows the film’s story line, while the second features a new story and new enemies. The app uses the film score, as well as signature weapons from the movie.
The companies worked together on Ghost House projects in the past. “So we knew they were fans of the movie, and would stay true to the feel of Evil Dead, which is essential,” Tapert added.
Said the Trigger CEO: “I hope it’s something that audiences who love the movie will embrace, and that it will also introduce and engage new fans, who may discover this amazing series for the first time by playing this app.” He added: “For older movies, this is a chance to keep a property relevant. Evil Dead is 30 years old, but recognized by every fanboy. And this way it can be introduced to new audiences and fans.”