DIRECTOR Sam Raimi WRITER Sam Raimi; Scott Spiegel STARS Bruce Campbell; Sarah Berry; Dan Hicks BLU-RAY 15 April
Cynically timed just ahead of a certain eagerly anticipated remake, today sees a new, special edition of Evil Dead 2. And what an excellent package this is, boasting new special features and a very good transfer; hi-def complements the comic-book aesthetic here perfectly, while purists will be relieved to see a pleasing graininess retained. Ash has never looked so good.
It is certainly true that first-generation fans of The Evil Dead do not hold much fondness for the splatstick rehash that Evil Dead 2 is, while younger audiences prefer the considerably higher budget of the latter film. This writer, however, holds the opinion that it is a privilege to view alternate versions of the same title, as horror-comedy versus comedy-horror — an important distinction, perfectly illustrated in the sheer difference between the films.
The extras on offer here earn this release its entitlement to the term ‘special edition’, where so many others fail. The audio commentary, featuring Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, Scott Spiegel and Greg Nicotero is as hilarious as ever, however top of the bill here is “Swallowed Souls”, a new, feature-length making-of that covers almost every aspect of the film in minute detail. Reining in all significant names bar Sam Raimi — who is present in copious behind-the-scenes footage — the disc is worthy of purchase for this alone, the enthusiasm of the filmmakers infectious. Accompanied by “Cabin Fever”, a featurette that takes an intricate look at Nicotero’s creature creations, winding up with deleted scenes, and there is much to excite. Also new is “Road to Wadesboro”, a location visit, while the remaining extras, although seen previously, make for something of an essential purchase for fans.