D. Knouse | vancouver, washington United States | 01/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Up until this past year's hilarious "Shaun of the Dead," this film, "Evil Dead II," really had no competition whatsoever for the funniest Horror film ever made. It would be easy to rave about this Cult Classic filled with trick photography, stop-motion animation, over-the-top gore-soaked casualties, Bruce Campbell's charming chin, and one of the most underrated endings in film history, but I will point out why this particular DVD is exceptional instead. What makes this DVD rock is that the sound has been digitally remastered into THX surround sound. The sound-effects in this film are essential to magnify the humor and horror to its great heights. The other reason to get this DVD is the commentary which includes writer-director Sam Raimi, star Bruce Campbell, co-writer Scott Spiegel, and special make-up effects artist Greg Nicotero. I swear that listening to these guys self-deprecate and otherwise rip on themselves and the movie is as much fun as watching this film for the very first time. No kidding. I was rolling with laughter. For the quintessential backstory on this film may I recommend Bruce Campbell's thoroughly enjoyable book, "If Chins Could Kill," which is loaded with reminiscences about his time before, during, and after making this landmark Horror film classic. "Evil Dead II" is a necessary purchase for any Horror film afficionado. Highly recommended."
DVD LIMITED EDITION REVIEW
Martin D. Wurst | Los Angeles, California United States | 08/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It comes in a groovy little tin with the European poster style on the top and inside has the booklet, a little ad for the video game and the dvd itself.The booklet claims to have "rare photos", but it's just pictures from scenes throughout the movie that we've seen before- nothing special, but has some good insights from the special effects guys and Bruce.Now for the DVDI was really pleased with the extras- the commentary was a lot of fun- I enjoyed it more than the first Evil Dead special edition because Sam Raimi actually throws in a lot more tidbits with Bruce and friends to back him up. There were no long pauses, everyone had something interesting to say and it's just a lot of fun listening to them mock the dialogue and point out the mistakes. Plus, there's only four people on the commentary so no one is overwhelmed and we can hear everyone talking- I think too many people on commentaries can be frustrating. Also find out what Kurt Russel's fav. line is from "Evil Dead 2" in a quite hilarious memory Bruce brings up."The Gore The Merrier" featurette was very cool- it's lengthy too so we get to see a lot of the cool effects being made and used in the final product. We also see Raimi, Campbell and the rest of the crew clowning around and also a ridiculous/funny little skit that the special effects team came up with- about a baby that comes back from the dead for revenge. The documentary was shot with a crappy camera, but back in '86'87- home video cameras sucked anyway so I wasn't surprised- it's fine though- just a little grainy. The theatrical trailer was edited very well- I hadn't seen it before and I was pretty impressed how spooky they made it.The video game preview is awesome- like a teaser trailer, but it's really neat- gotta see it for yourself.The bios only consist of Bruce and Raimi, but they're better than most bios you find on dvds.Photos- no big deal- some candid shots.Widescreen and full screen formats- sweet. Love it when they have both.And...sound is great. Overall, nearly poi-fect dvd- I just would've liked some out-takes- cuz we know there was a lot of laughing going on from the reminiscing we hear on the commentary. Buy it- definately worth it- great menu too, pretty much everything is worth mentioning!"
Ash is dealt another Bad Hand! A Classic Horror Film!
Ryan Costantino | Nowhere, Special | 08/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bruce Campbell is back as Ash, the loveable, gun-toting S-mart employee turned demon killer overnight. After a slight, altered rehashing of what happened in the first Evil Dead we get to see Ash kill more demons spawned from idiots who read/listen to the Necronomicon! But wait, there's more! When Ash's hand gets "possessed" he has to take drastic measures, and that's where the true fun begins! The fight scenes involving Ash's hand have to be some of the funniest instances of pure comic genius ever put on screen. Bruce Campbell is the reigning King of Horror heroism and the Evil Dead 2 is a must for any Horror fan's collection. Any movie where someone attaches a chainsaw to his arm as a prostethic replacement needs to be watched over and over again! So if you haven't bought this movie yet do it now, who knows when you'll be in a deserted cabin fighting demons for your very soul! Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn, pure classic Horror!"
Hopefully I don't end up "needing" another BluRay version...
Sean P. Francis | Burlington, VT USA | 07/05/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For the past ten years I've been mighty frustrated. I'd buy an Evil Dead DVD, and 2 months later there was another, "better" version of it...mind you, a lot of them were transparent money grabs, but some were actually decent and had content I wanted. I'm tired of it, and have been for quite some time...so, I finally get a BluRay player and what a shock, "Evil Dead II" is available. Being that I'd sold off a great majority of my DVD collection to prepare for "the upgrade" I decided to pick this up because the price was right and...it's Evil Dead II...YOU HAVE TO OWN IT IN SOME FORM!
Sure, it's the same old, recycled bonus content as the DVD releases pumped out for years, but it's all good stuff and I'm glad they didn't replace it. Sound and video are great, but didn't necessarily need the BluRay touch -- at points this looks about as good as it can on DVD. In short, this is a great addition to your collection if you don't already have it DVD (or "upgraded" like I did), but the THX-approved DVD version is probably just as good as this.
I'd say grab this up if you're a first-time buyer or upgrading from laserdisc/VHS, but don't sweat it otherwise...I'm sure in a year there will be a mega-super-deluxe-Evil-Dead-IIray. Here's hoping THAT trend dies with this release, at least!"
Absolute Comedy/Horror Standard
Kasey Driscoll | 05/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Allow me to preface this review with a helpful fact. A few years back when Spin Magazine was writing about the films they felt were the greatest of the 20th century, they chose to include Sam Raimi's sequel to his very first film; which was a small independent horror called The Evil Dead. The Evil Dead was a great film in it's own right, however, the editors at Spin wanted to give Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn the recognition they felt it deserved. So they placed it at the top of their list...that's right, they felt that it is, in fact, the single greatest cinematic achievement of the 20th century.
Evil Dead 2 follows Ash Williams and his girlfriend into a small creepy Michigan cottage where they stumble upon some recordings that contain readings from an ancient relic called the book of the dead, and by playing these recordings they unleash demonic supernatural forces that quickly haunt and possess everything from the trees outside and Popeye's lamp to Ash's hand and his girlfriend's severed head. The shenanigans unfold and Ash is more game than perhaps anyone to take on these evil forces as best as he can, but some sort of defeat is consistently inevitable.
As a reader I hope you are not anticipating my rebuttal to Spin Magazine here. I just so happen to concur 100% with Spin's gutsy assertion. On the surface of Evil Dead 2, we are seeing vintage 80s shock horror but it certainly isn't presented deeply enough to qualify amongst the failures within that genre. Evil Dead 2 is microcosmically structured like classic slapstick and macrocosmically it functions as pure satire. In this sense it's budget is used firmly to it's advantage and runs together with the theme of making a select audience laugh, first and foremost. Those who are both distinctly either disturbed by gore or preoccupied by gore as a strength in horror, should take keen note that gore in this film is applied almost exclusively for physical slapstick comedy. Those who hate gore will hate it here and those who love to be immersed in gore may not understand or appreciate it's use in Evil Dead 2.
We get to see a chubby fruit cellar witch's soul-swallowing head extend via shoddy stop-motion effects. We get to see an eyeball pop out of her head and shoot across the room into some chick's mouth. We get so see blood spray humorously and pretty consistently out of the walls and floors of the cottage. We get to see Ash fight his hand, cut it off, and add a chainsaw to where his hand once was. We get to see him kill his girlfriend and fight both her severed head and headless body in a tool shed at the same time. We get to see Ash get clumsily chased around the house by a force of evil we never see. We also get to see the volume of slapstick comedy increase as the film goes on and finally we get to see a conclusion that still makes me kind of wish they never made a sequel (even though Army of Darkness is in and of itself a very good movie).
Evil Dead 2 may require a deeper degree of movie history appreciation, perhaps more specifically to exploitation and horror films. I know I sound like a movie snob saying that but the film does offer some fun and fitting tributes or references to past films. I think it is definitely fair to say that Raimi has a great appreciation for movies in general and we can plainly see that he has so much fun making them. Evil Dead 2 for me is fun, affable, and carefree; it is all the things it shouldn't be on it's surface, and it is perfect for that fact alone."