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Article

Гиперреальная религия, Лавкрафт и культ «Зловещих мертвецов»

The article deals with the media franchise “The Evil Dead” in the context of new religiousity. The author addresses the reasons of the increasing reputation of the franchise as an important phenomenon of popular culture which grew out from a low-budget independent film. This fame cannot be explained only by the fact that it has become a transmedia phenomenon (musical, theater, video games, comics, remake, TV series, etc.). The author clarifies the concepts of “popular culture” and “fantasy” and applies both to “The Evil Dead.” The article then discusses whether the franchise can be associated with a type of new religiosity referring to the concept of “hyper-real religion” by Adam Possamai. Such “religion” is based upon the products of popular culture and has only representations with no real referent (“simulacra”). Although “The Evil Dead” cannot be recognized as a proper hyper-real religion, it can be classified as a hyper-real cult. The concept is associated with the phenomenon of the cult cinema and includes some ritual practices of consumption by fans. The author believes that the demand for the franchise is explained, among other things, by the influence of Howard Lovecraft whose work is of particular importance in the context of hyper-real religion and, in particular, for the original trilogy of “The Evil Dead”.