Hi Bryan Here….
Evil Dead 2. Possibly one of the greatest films ever made. It has a 98% Fresh rating on rotten tomatoes. This sequel to the Sam Raimi horror gore fest, is pretty much a re-telling of the first film with a bigger budget and an added humor in the vein of Three Stooges. This humor and horror mix nicely to bring you one of the best thrill rides of your life. And let me just say, it seems that they went back to the original negatice of the film and cleaned it all up for this release. It looks AMAZING. The best it has ever looked. This gets my highest recommendation. Get it.
So much like the original Evil Dead film, a couple travels to a remote cabin in the woods for a little romantic weekend away. Once there, the couple finds an old recording from original owners of the cabin. The recording says that they have been doing research of some ancient texts they found which are some evil incantations that call upon evil forces. And of course the recording reads those incantations and thus comes the evil forces out of the woods and and into the living and turns them into evil demons who are hungry for souls. And once again it is really up to our average joe hero, Ashley J. Williams or Ash for short (Bruce man-god Campbell) to stop this evil. This evil does get the best of him. Even turning him into a demon momentarily. Later on in the film after he has to chainsaw his girlfriend into little pieces, a group of four people come to the cabin to look for the original owners. They think Ash has killed them. Quickly they realize he was trying to save everyone and one by one do the rest of the group get possessed by the evil until just Ash is left. The evil comes back big time in the form of a time traveling worm hole and sucks our beloved hero back in time to the medieval ages. Thus bringing us ‘Army of Darkness’. Bruce Campbell really is a man of many talents. He can act in reverse, throw himself to do a front flip, and give us some of the best one liners in cinema history. That scene when his hand becomes possessed and is trying to kill him, is one of my favorite scenes out of movie history. It’s that perfect. And let’s not forget when he chainsaws off his own hand and attaches that chainsaw to his arm and utters the greatest word in human history, ‘GROOVY’! Seriously folks, if you don’t like this film, then I don’t like you. And one thing that Sam Raimi did for this sequel was make it full of humor. As the first one was more of a grueling horror film which was really not meant to be funny, the sequel was chocked full of Three Stooges-esqe humor and all the blood in the sequel that came squirting out was every color of the rainbow except red. This is such a fun film. It is scary, funny, and most of all one of the most entertaining films ever to come out. It doesn’t get much better than this folks.
So this film has already been released on blu-ray before, but the studio promised that they were going to upgrade everything with the 25th anniversary release. And that they did. It is superb. It is presented in 1.85:1 aspect ratio with a glorious 1080p picture. This is the best Evil Dead 2 has looked thus far. The contrast and resolution for such an old film looks AMAZING. The depth is incredible. The blacks are deep and inky throughout most of the film which gives the depth even more credit. The colors are vibrant especially with the different colors of blood. Everything looks brighter and much more vibrant. I’d say this is demo worthy in the vein of what this film used to look like and what it is today. Simply phenomenal. You will love this new hi-def transfer. The audio has a lossless DTS-HD 5.1 mix and is an upgrade from the previous release as well. The entire sound range of the film is sharper and clearer than previous releases. The full sound of your surround speakers will get full use. It is quite a fun soundtrack of FX. The dialogue is clear and full on the front speakers, and the creepy and haunting sounds that go bump in the night travel from every speaker to scare you. It does the job. In the more action packed sequences, the full sound with the bass gets your heart going. Terrific upgrade.
- Audio Commentary — The amazing and hilarious commentary features Bruce Campbell, director Sam Raimi, makeup FX guru Greg Nicotero and co-writer Scott Spiegel. If you haven’t heard a Bruce Campbell commentary, then you are in for a real treat. They are some of the funniest commentaries out there. I’m not sure how many times these four have done commentaries for these Evil Dead films, but they keep bringing the funny. Bruce Campbell tells hilarious jokes about the film and gives everyone a hard time during the commentary which made me laugh throughout. Definitely listen to this. So funny and very informative.
- Evil Dead II: Behind the Screams (SD, 17 min) — Tom Sullivan talks about making the film with some production stills flashing on the screen. Informative.
- The Gore the Merrier (SD, 32 min) — An excellent feature that focuses on the special and makeup FX crew. These guys had a blast on this film and it shows. See how they did all the gore and monsters for the film. It will make you want to get into the movie monster make up business.
- Trailers (HD, SD) — A series of trailers from the movie company and the Evil Dead 2 trailer.
- Swallowed Souls: The Making of Evil Dead II (HD, 98 min) — A feature length documentary that brings back virtually everyone back to talk about the making of the film. It has talking head interviews, behind the scenes stuff, and vintage clips from the making of the film. You really can tell everyone had one hell of a good time making this movie. A truly excellent feature.
- Cabin Fever — A “Fly on the Wall” Look Behind the Scenes (HD, 30 min) — Here is a five part feature where you can see what went on during actual shooting and behind the scenes. This was converted from an old VHS tape to HD and is really cool to see everyone in there prime. Some of this stuff was thought to have been never been seen and lost. Very cool to see.
- Road to Wadesboro: Revisiting the Shooting Location (HD, 8 min) — Filmmaker Tony Elwood, who worked on the SFX of ‘Evil Dead II’, takes you to the cabin and locations as it looks today. Cool and sad at the same time.
- Still Galleries (HD) — Four categories of production stills from the film. These are all cool and many of them I have never seen before.