Crimewave is a 1985 American comedy film directed by Sam Raimi, from a screenplay he co-wrote with the Coen brothers. It stars Reed Birney, Sheree J. Wilson, Paul L. Smith, Brion James, Louise Lasser and Bruce Campbell, with the latter also serving as a co-producer. An unusual slapstick mix of film noir, black comedy, Hitchcockian suspense, B-movie and conventions, Crimewave portrays bizarre situations involving a nebbish everyman (Birney) entangled in a murderous plot while pursuing his love interest (Wilson).
Following the commercial success of The Evil Dead (1981), Raimi and Campbell decided to collaborate on another project. Joel Coen of the Coen brothers served as one of the editors on The Evil Dead, and worked with Raimi on the screenplay. Production was difficult for several members of the crew, and the production studio, Embassy Pictures, refused to allow Raimi to edit the film. Several arguments broke out during the shoot of the film due to continued interference by the studio.
The film was a box-office flop, and has since fallen into relative obscurity outside of fans of Campbell and Raimi. Few critics reviewed it upon release, though the little amount of critical attention it received was mostly negative. Several story and style elements found in Crimewave influenced later productions by Raimi, and its overall failure directly led to the inception of Evil Dead II (1987). Over time, the film has achieved the status of a minor cult film.