Sam "Mr. Fun" Raimi
Who in all of the movie world has more fun than Sam Raimi? Actually, I have no idea if he is having fun or not, not being acquainted with the gentleman. But looking at his body of work, he sure looks like he is having more fun than a human being should be allowed. Producer, director, and creator of the most fun-loving and energetic stories around, this guy must be having a blast! At least, I know that I am, watching his stuff.
The first thing you notice about Sam Raimi flicks is that he must be a huge Three Stooges fan. Okay, maybe this is second, after his decidedly dark orientation. But the two factors go well together. You can almost sense Moe Howard himself throwing pies in the wings as you watch "Armies of Darkness", and the in-jokes in "Jack Of All Trades" are enough to make you wonder if they even have to pay this guy to show up at the office!
Another midwesterner (from Michigan...right about here (holding up left hand and pointing to a spot on the palm)) and master of the "whip pan" school of filmmaking, Mr. Raimi first inflicted his jocular form of creativity on an unsuspecting public with an extremely indie production, "Evil Dead: The Ultimate Experience In Grueling Horror" (or something like that) which made "Blair Witch" look like an overproduced Spielberg extravaganza. Two more installments of the series morphed this single effort into a trilogy on a par with the Godfather series in the motion picture pantheon (and spawned a universe of fan webpages!). Add in the quirky humor and stylized violence of "The Quick and the Dead", the disturbing and haunting "A Simple Plan", and his huge commercial successes in syndicated television (Xena, Hercules, etc.), not to mention "Spiderman", and you can't help but be amazed at the output of a man still so early in his career. Even his obvious hired-gun efforts ("Dark Man", "For Love of the Game") show an irrepressible need to enjoy his work. Hail to the king, baby; Sam Raimi, we salute you!