Evil Dead II
Ash (Bruce Campbell), the sole survivor of The Evil Dead, continues his struggle with the forces of the dead. With his girlfriend possessed by demons and his body parts runnning 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: Dead by Dawn, director Sam Raimi's infamous sequel to The Evil Dead and outrageous prequel to Army of Darkness! This unhinged horror classic is now fully remastered in state-of-the-art Dolby Digital 5.1 supervised by THX and packed with extras. So, sit back, strap in and rev up the chainsaw: Evil Dead II has returned...like you've never seen or heard it before!
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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
So when it was time to give the world "Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn," Raimi decided to embrace the joke. Sure, it still has some horrific moments (possessed lady in the basement! Ash stuck down there with her!), but the movie is now being deliberately over-the-top for the sheer joy of it -- fountains of gore, quotable lines, chainsaw hands and laughing deer heads. And of course, Bruce Campbell has completely graduated into his memelike status here, as a demon-slaying mass of manly awesomeness.
It begins with a heavily abridged retelling of the first movie, where Ash (Campbell) and his girlfriend Linda (Denise Bixler) take a romantic vacation in a rickety old cabin, but stumble across a weird old tape recorder and the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis (aka, Book of the Dead). An evil force possesses Linda, and Ash is forced to behead her with a shovel. Got it? Onto the story!
After being possessed for a grand total of six seconds, Ash finds himself trapped in the haunted cabin, with no way of getting back to civilization. He's slowly driven insane by demonic hallucinations, and the undead Linda reassembles her very-rapidly-decayed body so she can attack Ash once more. This time, she bites his hand and possesses it, forcing Ash to take very extreme measures to protect himself. Think a chainsaw. Used for amputation.
Meanwhile, ANOTHER quartet of disposable individuals are approaching the cabin, led by Annie (Sarah Berry), whose father left behind the tapes on the Necronomicon. Not only did he leave the Necronomicon and the tapes in the cabin, but his possessed wife Henrietta (Lou Hancock and Ted Raimi) is buried in the basement -- and she wants out. More horrible killings, possessions and demonic evil ensue.
Despite having a few million dollars more, "Evil Dead 2" retains the same low-budget charm as the original. The story takes place in the same weird little cabin, there's a cast of about five or six people, and demonic possession is represented by some charming stop-motion and clever makeup. Sam Raimi has definitely polished his special effects with all that extra money (Ash talking to himself in the mirror), and has added a few for comedic effect (the laughing deer head, geysers of blood!), but hasn't lost the rough edges that made the first so delightful.
He's also dialed his directing up a few notches. It's still a horror movie with a sense of creeping dread, especially as we discover more about the Necronomicon and the undead horrors that come from it ("We are the things that were and shall be again!")
But Raimi fully embraces the over-the-top ("I'll swallow your soul! I'LL SWALLOW YOUR SOUL!" "Swallow this!") and in-jokes (Ash pins down his hand... with "A Farewell to Arms"), with plenty of delightfully quotable lines (... groovy"). There's also a lot more weaponry in it, since Ash swaggers through the film with a sawed-off shotgun (which he fires into demon faces) and a chainsaw that he ends up attaching to his arm. It is almost as awesome as it sounds.
This is also the movie where Bruce Campbell blossoms into the one-liner-slinging, larger-than-life, gun-and-chainsaw-swinging cult icon he is today -- he plays Ash as the kind of cool yet frenetic guy that every guy would like to imagine he would be in a supernatural crisis, and he is utterly delightful. The other actors do serviceable jobs as characters you don't know very well, but Bruce simply expands to fit the movie with no room for anyone else to steal (or chew) the scenery with such aplomb and charm.
"Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn" is one of those rare sequels that has more money and polished special effects, but doesn't lose what made the first movie so much fun. Instead, it takes everything that was fun... and amps it up.
Evil Dead II is one of the best horror comedy movies ever made.
This one really stands in a category of its own.
Evil Dead II is a cult/horror/action/splatter/comedy classic.
In brief, a group of friends go out to the woods & stay in a remote cabin for a weekend.
The entire situation is creepy from the start.
Something is not right & you find out rather quickly what that is.
From the moment the group arrived, they experience something connected to another world.
This experience is based on pure evil.
The group of friends soon discover some prior cabin visitors experimented with opening up portals to other worlds.
The key to this experiment is something called the book of dead.
Once the evil is unleashed, there is no stopping it.
Evil Dead II is full of memorable scenes and quotes.
Some of them funny & some of them horrific.
Evil Dead II was preceded by Evil Dead I, which is also very memorable, & followed by Army of Darkness.
The lead role in these films is portrayed by Bruce Campbell. It was directed by Sam Raimi.
Evil Dead II is still held in high regard by horror fans today.