A great many big name film directors today got their start doing flashy, impressive commercials. David Fincher, Michael Bay, Zack Snyder, Spike Jonze, and others cut their teeth on these minute-long little movies designed to sell a thing. It works the other way, too; famous directors have been known to create special commercials or ads, usually for big television events. The most famous of these is Ridley Scott’s 1984-inspired ad for Apple Mackintosh that ran during the Super Bowl in 1984. It’s still a pretty cool thing. I also recall some Rob Zombie-directed spots for Woolite of all things.
Well, now we can add the name Sam Raimi to the list of directors who’ve made commercials in their own inimitable style. The above commercial is to highlight the new safety features in Chevrolet cars by equating them to getting warned about danger if you’re the hero of a horror movie. You obviously wouldn’t put yourself in danger if you were thinking clearly, or had people in the audience telling you not to go in somewhere, so why not have a car do the same thing? It’s pretty clever.
The Evil Dead and Spider-Man director hasn’t done much lately, save directing the pilot of Ash vs Evil Dead, which he also co-created, but you can still see how effective his eye for horror is in this spot. The creepy spectre with the jerky-moving face stalks the woman around the big house and up the stairs while the growing, ghostly stain that appears on the wall is definitely reminiscent of some of the imagery in Raimi’s The Gift.
Whether you’re going to buy a Chevy now or not is up to you, but Raimi did succeed in selling us on his ability to creep out and make laugh.
What’re your favorite famous-director commercials? Let us know in the comments below!
Kyle Anderson is the Weekend Editor and a film and TV critic for Nerdist.com. Follow him on Twitter!