With Sam Raimi at the helm of the ambitious “Wizard of Oz” prequel (and an “Evil Dead” remake on the way), can I get all fanboy over one of my favorite directors and rank my 10 favorite Raimi movies? Groovy.
When Raimi wanted to make a dark superhero movie but couldn’t get the rights to Batman or The Shadow, he made up his own. Pretty cool.
9. “The Gift”
This Southern Gothic tale about a small town clairvoyant (Cate Blanchett) deserves to be remembered for more than just Katie Holmes shedding her “Dawson’s Creek” good-girl image by shedding her clothes.
8. “Spider-Man 3”
Worst in the trilogy? Sure. But even that lambasted piano bar dance scene was pure Raimi.
7. “The Quick and the Dead”
Raimi’s flair for comic-book visuals was a great fit for this gunslinger remake starring then-star Sharon Stone and then-rising-star Leonardo Di Caprio.
6. “Drag Me to Hell”
Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures released a string of horror pics that were both inventive and throwback, but the director’s own return to the horror fold was a blast.
5. “Army of Darkness”
The time-traveling finale to the “Evil Dead” trilogy sated our desire for further adventures of Bruce Campbell’s Ash. I just wish the studio would have let Raimi stick with his original title, “The Medieval Dead.”
Fans thought the casting of Tobey Maguire was nuts — OK, some still do — but Raimi’s first shot at a comic-book blockbuster was a smash. This franchise didn’t need the reboot it got last summer.
3. “A Simple Plan”
This pot-boiler of a thriller was Raimi’s most grown-up film by a sizable distance. It makes me wish he’d decide to do more straight dramas.
2. “Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn”
Raimi’s low-budget rethinking of his lower-budget “The Evil Dead” upped the splatter factor, added humor and made Bruce Campbell a cult icon. And that was before it spawned a musical.
1. “Spider-Man 2”
Until Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy, this was the high-water mark for the overcrowded field of superhero movies. Perfectly paced, it was an expert blend of summer-movie action and real heart.