And it appears to me that we have a lot of contenders for horror blu-ray of the year!
Evil Dead 2 (1987)
Directed By: Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead, Army of Darkness)
Can you believe it’s been a whole 25 years since the horror comedy (we can call it that, right?), Evil Dead 2 first came into the world? Well, if you have already purchased the Anchor Bay blu-ray of it, I got some bad news for you, Sunshine! Lion’s Gate has recently released their own release of the film on blu-ray for the 25th anniversary, and as much as I love you, Anchor Bay, this one is head and shoulders better than yours. Not only do we have the classic, Evil Dead 2 looking better than it has ever looked before, but we get a whole new set of special features that will keep any fan happy and occupies for a pretty nice length of time. And if you are ever so blessed to have a Wal-Mart close to you, you can get this grand prize of a blu-ray release for just $10! After hearing all of this, if you feel an urge to try to rush out and hump the Lion’s Gate offices, it’s perfectly fine and acceptable.
A young man, named Ash, takes his girlfriend Linda to a secluded cabin in the woods where he plays back a professor’s tape recorded recitation of passages from the Book of the Dead. The spell calls up an evil force from the woods which turns Linda into a monstrous Deadite, and threatens to do the same to Ash. When the professor’s daughter and her entourage show up at the cabin, the night turns into a non-stop, grotesquely comic battle with chainsaw and shotgun on one side, demon horde and flying eyeball on the other.
Remake or sequel, remake or sequel, this debate has went on for years and at this point I’m really not sure why. I mean sure, many of the elements of the first would be incorporated into this film all the while going on into a different path. But I think people seem to forget that Sam didn’t have the rights to show footage from the original, so he had to kinda redo some stuff at the start of this one (his words not mine). But still, even with that being the case, folks get confused and I guess I can kinda see why..maybe. As we start off the film we recap the events of the first film but instead of all five people from the last film things are told in a different way with only Ash (played by LEGEND Bruce Campbell) and his girlfriend Linda. This being the cause for all the confusion as I’ll admit even I was a bit confused when I was younger and saw both back to back. But PLEASE, people..just stop the madness..stop the debate..this IS a sequel.
Things may be funny this time but they are also gory still..not AS gory but gory none the less. I’ve noticed in order to keep from getting the hard rating the original got many scenes were we would have for sure seen gallons of the blood in the original are replaced with gallons of green ooze..thus pulling one over on the MPAA This time around Ash is finally becoming the Ash we know and love here as he fights off demonic possession as well as all the evil that is within the woods and the cabin caused by the no good Necronomicon Ex-Mortis (or “Book of the Dead”) which noticeable looks more stylish this time. Also added into the mix is the daughter of owners of the cabin, her partner and two hillbillies that help them find their way to the cabin once they find out that the bridge is out..Hey it’s horror you got to have a body count right??
As stated before things take a comical twist this time out, and it’s one that would stay with the series leading on into Army of Darkness. It causes for some very funny moments in the film and some pretty cool quotes as well. “You dirty bastards!…Give me back my hand!..GIVE ME BACK MY HAAAAAND!!!”..sorry I couldn’t help it but you get the point I’m sure. Bottom line is, this movie is just as much fun as the original is scary. So it becomes a matter of taste. If your more into a horror comedy then you’ll love this. I tend to do that but for some reason now days I just lean more towards the original..but this one is damn good to.
Seeing as how I’m an honest man and all, I gotta confess that I don’t think any version of Evil Dead 2 on VHS, DVD, or whatever has ever looked good…until now. We have a film that was made fast and cheap and while it still doesn’t give you the best overall details you could want at times, especially in the stop motion scenes, you still can’t argue that when this one hits it’s marks, it hits them well. Bruce Campbell just has great details all over his face, the cabin, is at times so detailed you could count every line in the wood, and it also comes packed with some kick ass special features. If this isn’t the best horror blu-ray release of the year, I think it comes pretty darn close.
The Rating (8.0/10)