Evil Dead 2 (25th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray]
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Ash (Bruce Campbell), the sole survivor of THE EVIL DEAD, returns to the same cabin in the woods and again unleashes the forces of the dead. With his girlfriend possessed by the demons and his body parts running amok, Ash is forced to single- handedly battle the legions of the damned as the most lethal – and groovy – hero in horror movie history! Welcome to EVIL DEAD II, director Sam Raimi’s infamous sequel to THE EVIL DEAD and outrageous prequel to ARMY OF DARKNESS!
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Normally I like to know what special features I'm getting so I'll list those below (mostly taken straight off the box):
- Audio Commentary with Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, Scott, Spiegel, Greg Nicotero
- "Dead by Dawn" - the film makers reflect on the long journey this sequel took to reach the screen.
- "The Chosen Ones" - interviews with Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Danny Hicks, Ted Raimi, Kassie Wesley, and Richard Domeier
- "Madman Sam" - cast and crew react to working with Sam Raimi
- "Dead Effects" - a look at the special effects with Mark Shostrom, Greg Nicotero, Howard Berger, Robert Kurtzman, Shannon Shea
- "Re-Animated" - animators Doug Beswick, Tom Sullivan, Rick Cazitone detail the stop motion work
- "Method to Madness" - a close look at the cinematography and production design along with cast memories on set
- "Rosebud" - a detailed examination of the films editing, original release, and eventual cult-class status
- "Road to Wadesboro" - an all-new journey back to the original shooting location with property master and filmmaker Tony Elwood
- "Cabin Fever" - a series of production videos taken on set of the film by Greg Nicotero
- Featurettes, Still Galleries, Trailers
Obviously film is one of the best ever.
EDIT: Digital code still does not work and others are having the same issue. Had to wait 3 weeks for Vudu to send me a code that worked.
Blu-ray Features (1 disc)
★★★★★ - 0_0 LOVE IT!!
Exact same release as the 25th Anniversary Edition minus the front cover art.
Includes blu ray and digital copy.
Swallowed Souls: The Making of Evil Dead 2 (1hr38min) - An incredible making of documentary that is a must see for all horror fans or if you have an interest in the filmmaking.
Cabin Fever – A "Fly on the Wall" Look Behind the Scenes of Evil Dead II (30min) - Production videos from Greg Nicotero that cover all the main creatures and their effects. Also seen are sequences that are not in the final cut. Fantastic stuff.
Road to Wadesboro: Revisiting the Shooting Location with Filmmaker Tony Elwood (8min) - A great look at the production location years later.
Evil Dead II: Behind-the-Screams (17min) Tom Sullivan hosts and narrates over production images.
The Gore the Merrier (31min) A making of documentary featuring the make up effects guys.
Audio Commentary with Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell,Scott Spiegel and Greg Nicotero.
Campbell was back as Ash Williams who takes his girlfriend Linda (Denise Bixler) to another secluded cabin just like in the first film. There they find that someone had left behind a tape recording documenting a researchers work into the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis, the book of the dead, just like in the first film. The recording releases an evil spirit which kidnaps Linda. The story than centers upon Ash fighting evil.
With more money Rami and Campbell were able to do a lot more. At the start there was the moving camera sweeping in as the evil spirit which was used in the first film. Added to that was claymation such as Linda’s evil spirit dancing around. Linda’s animated head which terrorizes Ash. They also re-created some of the scenes from the first film, such as a woman being attacked by branches. Stop motion was used for Ash’s possessed, severed hand.
The first Evil Dead was a low budget romp. Evil Dead 2 was way better with the effects and overall story.
When you’re done with the film go to the commentary and watch it again with Rami, Campbell and writer Scott Spiegel. It’s a blast.
Favorite Line: Workshed! (that was obviously over dubbed)
Favorite Scene: Oh there are so many to choose from. Either Henrietta trying to bust out of the fruit cellar or the hand-on-the-loose scene.
I highly recommend the Evil Dead series. Very well done.
Top international reviews
It's a nightmare of the black comedy kind, where Raimi and Campbell invite us to a party and then gleefully pummel us into submission - and we sado-masochistically enjoy it! Ash has grown a pair of cojones and decides to fight back against the demonic forces, cue mucho action with chainsaw and shotgun. There's a quip on the tongue for our hero as well, even as he is battered from pillar to post to make the action work.
Raimi isn't interested in extraneous scenes or exposition, he strips it bare as the pic hurtles along, all while he brings his technical skills with camera and sound design to the fore. The humour is often outrageous, dementedly so, while it's nice to find a group of film makers who don't feel the need to now throw blood and guts at the screen every other scene just to make a formulaic impact.
Bonkers, chilling and devilishly funny. 8/10
I purchased this movie on Blue-Ray (after owning all three movies on VHS and DVD previously) and the first thing I noticed was that it is no longer classed as an 18 certificate. I was concerned that the Blue-Ray edition may been heavily edited. Rest assured, this is not the case. The film appears in all its gory glory ( I guess it isn't considered as nasty as it once was). While still being violent and bloody like the original, the action is more comical. But throw in the numerous one liners, and you're in for an enjoyable ride. Criticisms about the film itself; While I do love this movie, it does start to lose steam after about 45mins in. The middle is dragged out a bit, but its worth it once you get to the epic show down against the "The Witch" in cellar. As for the Blue-Ray and extras; I was hoping for more. The HD isn't really noticeable. There is no more picture clarity than you get on the DVD version and there are no additional extras to what you get on the DVD either. I was really hoping for at least some deleted scenes (I know there are many out there on the internet, go ahead, have a search), but alas, nothing. But to round up, it's still a top film. After all, it stars Bruce Campbell.
The flaws in the movie are numerous, the script obvious, but that merely adds to the pulp schlock horror feel that means it doesn't exactly take itself seriously, and neither should you. And even calling it a horror seems wrong as I simply couldn't stop laughing -despite the gore, zombies, possessions etc. Much of this was down to the acting style and expressions on the actors faces, and one scene in particular has them all staring wide eyed as they follow the strange sounds moving around the building -it rivals a similar wide eyed scene with Humphrey Bogart in the African Queen for laughs.
This film builds on the slapstick humour of the first, but makes it much more humourous. I doubt many can watch this without raising a wry smile now and again, but be warned, it's not all fun and games. The violence and gore may be over the top, but it's also extreme and not to everyones taste. Some of the special effects may be badly executed from a modern' standpoint, but to me, it's all part of the 'feel' of the movie.
So lighten up and brace yourself for a horror film that may prove to be more laughs than you expect, whether they be intentionally included or not. This is definately one to watch if you don't mind the low budget style movies, and this has to be amongst the greatest of them, along with Army of Darkness, the final part of the trilogy.
As somebody else has commented here this isn't so much a sequel as a re-imaging of the original movie. It has a number of laugh out loud moments, which combined with better special effects and a wonderfully over-the-top performance from Bruce Campbell make it a real gem.
It retains many of the characteristics of the first movie as well. The roving camera point of view in the woods is still there and unsurprisingly quite a few scenes from the first movie are re-worked into this one. The ending is wonderful, and I've had to buy the 3rd one of the strength of this.
It is a real cult classic that I think will hold up to repeated viewings.
At its heart it is essentially a `remake' of the first film with a bigger budget, the first Evil Dead (Raimi's debut `proper' film), released in the early eighties was made on an extremely low budget for that kind of squelchy, horror nonsense. The film starts off with our `hero' Ashley Williams (played by the king of B movies Bruce Campbell) and his girlfriend Linda driving out to a remote cabin in the woods for a romantic getaway. Things soon turn, um, `undead-ish' however, when they play an old recording of passages read aloud from the book of the dead, this `kills' the romantic bit and they soon just want to getaway! This awakes an unknown, evil presence in the woods, something that's never-quite-seen (until the epic conclusion of the film that is). This leads to the following 90 minutes of gory, cartoon splatter!
Upon release there was a fair bit of confusion regarding the beginning of the film. The sequence in which Ash and Linda drive out to the cabin and play the tape was actually more of a `recap' from the first film to bring us up to speed (apparently, due to copyright and ownership, sequences from the first film weren't allowed to be used for the beginning of Evil Dead 2 at the time). Some people weren't sure why Ash would bring `another' Linda back to the cabin he barely escaped from in the original, and while Ash isn't exactly portrayed as the brightest of characters I'm sure he's not quite stupid enough to go back and spend another weekend in that horror hideaway, no matter how cheap it is to rent!
Evil Dead 2 starts `properly' with the sequence where Ash is forced through the forest by the evil....'force'...thing, which directly follows the first film's ending (the last shot of the original Evil Dead is of the force...thingy...smashing through the cabin and slamming into Campbell's screaming face). Ash is flung through the air and crashes into a giant tree, after slamming to the ground and into a sizeable puddle; he emerges temporarily possessed by the evil force. Night is driven away as the sun comes up and Ash reverts to his former self only to pass out again. When he awakens, we realize he's slept through the entire day and there follows a mad dash back to the cabin to escape the newly awakened force.....thingy.
One of the great things about Evil Dead 2 is that from this point it never lets up! Ash is literally flung from one terrible event to the next for the rest of the film with barely a moment to recover from the last scene. Some of the highlights include a show down with his half buried, headless girlfriend (which he has to hack up at the end of the first movie), an elaborate sequence in which Campbell - proving he's the world's greatest actor (unofficially) - battles his own possessed hand....then lops it of with a chainsaw and the climactic battle with Henrietta, the `witch in the cellar'.
The fully `zombied up' Henrietta is played by Sam Raimi's younger brother Ted, who, along with Raimi's car (a delta '73 oldsmobile) has appeared in numerous Raimi films including Drag me to Hell and the Spider-man trilogy.
The brilliant, over the top special effects were created by (the then `up and coming') KNB group comprising of Greg Nicotero, Howerd Berger and Robert Kurtzman, who've gone on to do practically every special effect in every film since (including Land of the dead, Ghost Ship, 13 Ghosts and even Kill Bill vol1). An interesting fact (or not) is that the blood colour was changed from red for the most part to either green, black or at one point yellow in an effort to avoid the film being `unrated', which would've limited distribution and screenings at certain cinemas. This also adds to the overall comic book or `cartoony' look, much in the same way the famous `crushed crayon' red blood did for the original Dawn of the Dead (ahh, another classic).
While we're on facts that might be interesting but probably aren't, cabin in Evil Dead 2 was all a set, recreated in the gymnasium of a local school. The `actual' cabin burned down shortly after filming of the first movie was completed...so, there you go! Not wanting to spoil the (presumably black) magic, but if you look closely during the scene in which Ash is chased through the cabin at the beginning, the shots are angled a little too high and you can actually see where the set ends, but you have to be a `special' kind of nerd to have spotted that....um.......
5 severed hands out of 5
All in all another classic film directed by Sam Raimi. Well worth watching.