Ash (Bruce Campbell), the sole survivor of The Evil Dead, returns to the same Tennessee cabin in the woods where supernatural forces are again awakened after he meddles with an ancient book, the Naturan Demanto. With his only escape route destroyed by the evil forces, Ash takes on the legions of the damned…
Welcome to Evil Dead 2 – director Sam Raimi’s 1987 sequel to The Evil Dead and the prequel to his 1992 medieval mirth-fest Army of Darkness – which gets a special edition Blu-ray release just as the The Evil Dead reboot heads into UK cinemas.
1981’s The Evil Dead was basically Sam Raimi and some college mates (including actor Bruce Campbell) making a goofy $100,000 horror movie. Despite the miniscule budget, they created a ‘ferociously original’ horror (according to Stephen King) that has since become the stuff of legend.
So how do you top one of the most inventive horror movies ever made? Well, you remake the original as a dark comedy using the same manic energy, but with even more gore, violence and humour. It’s a gamble that also paid off, and earned Bruce Campbell and his chainsaw wielding alter ego Ash a place in movie history.
Raimi and co also gave fans an OTT slapstick carnival Ghost Train ride where they could cringe, scream and laugh out loud in equal measure. To quote Campbell, the sequel just ‘leaves a good taste in your mouth’; while actor Richard Domeier, who played Ed in the movie, perfectly sums up the film’s enduring legacy: ‘It’s like a classic rock album, the next generation still loves it’.
The new HD transfer is grainy in parts, but that’s expected owing to the film’s original stock. The special effects and the cartoon-like monsters also haven’t aged well, but then the filmmaker’s weren’t out to make a perfectly crafted film, and its those imperfections that just add to the fun of watching this comedy horror classic.
The seven-part featurette Swallowed Souls includes on-set footage and new interviews to illustrate every aspect of the production; Road to Wadesboro goes back to the North Carolina locations, where the cabin and tree are found still standing; while Cabin Fever features the video diaries of special make-up effects creator Greg Nicotero (best known today for The Walking Dead). Also included are the making-of featurette The Gore the Merrier, narrated photo gallery Behind the Screams, and commentary featuring Raimi, Campbell, Nicotero and Scott Spiegel, which also appeared on the Anchor Bay DVD.
Special Edition Blu-ray | Released 15 April 2013 | StudioCanal