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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Groovy After All These Years
It's perhaps easy to forget in this era of post-modern cinematic irony, that there was a time not so long ago when all you needed to make a horror movie was style, wit, vision, an unrelenting determination to create the most enjoyable experience possible, and about 500 gallons of stage blood. After their low budget success with Evil Dead which we all rushed to see before...
Published on 13 Dec 2002 by J. L. Probert

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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars bad picture quality, no extras
i have seen this movie maybe 18 years ago on vhs, now I bought it on bluray and this movie is still great, thats for sure. But for bluray i expect at least better picture quality than on dvd and its not there unfortunatly. In fact at some scenes you can feel like you watch it on vhs, which has been copied few times already. To be fair, most of the time, its not so bad,...
Published on 26 Oct 2009 by Kamil Mlcak


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Groovy After All These Years, 13 Dec 2002
By 
J. L. Probert - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn [1987] [DVD] (DVD)
It's perhaps easy to forget in this era of post-modern cinematic irony, that there was a time not so long ago when all you needed to make a horror movie was style, wit, vision, an unrelenting determination to create the most enjoyable experience possible, and about 500 gallons of stage blood. After their low budget success with Evil Dead which we all rushed to see before it got banned back in the early eighties, Raimi, Tapert, Campbell et al, fuelled by some extra cash from Dino De Laurentiis, managed to put together one of the best made, energetically crafted, stupid-but-fun films of all time. Now nearly fifteen years old, time had diminished its vitality not a jot. And now its available in all its uncut glory on DVD. The commentary from Raimi, Campbell, Scott Spiegel and Greg Nicotero is frequently very amusing, points out several things I had never noticed before (but now I'll never be able to ignore them), and is a more than pleasant way to while away 80 minutes. Also included is a 'Making of' featurette which lasts about 30 minutes and deals with little more than how various special effects were achieved. Where this extra comes into its own, however, is in the tiny additional film made by the special effects boys in their lunch hour. 'Evil Dead Baby', tacked onto the end of the documentary, is a tiny hilarious take on ReAnimator and well worth fast forwarding to the end of the featurette for.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gruesomely good!, 25 May 2009
By 
This review is from: Evil Dead II [DVD] (DVD)
After the low budget success (and notoriety) of The Evil Dead, director Sam Raimi revisited the same story of evil spirits terrorising a group of visitors in a log cabin with a bit more cash, the same hut in the woods, and the same main star (Bruce Campbell). What he came up with essentially has the same plot as the original (there is some debate as to whether this is a remake or a sequel) with better effects, some nice twists and a different ending. Where the Evil Dead was essentially a very harrowing horror, Evil Dead II mixes perfectly the elements of tense horror with comedy, bordering on slapstick.

It is a much more polished film than the Evil Dead, building nicely on the ideas in that film such as the kinetic camera-work and using them to better effect. Improved too is the performance of Bruce Campbell as hero Ash. His character is stronger and more assured, with bags more attitude and aided by some cracking one-liners, he puts in an animated and staggeringly energetic performance, spending more than half an hour of screen time alone as he battles the tormenting evil spirits and also to keep his own sanity.

Evil Dead II is a rarity in horror cinema, a film that manages to be both intentionally laugh-out-loud funny and scary at the same time. The tension makes the laughter short-lived and a little nervous. Plenty have attempted this difficult feat of mixing horror with comedy and the majority have failed such that here are really only a handfull of horror comedies that are also genuinely excellent films.

This is undoubtedly one of the best horror films ever made. Shocking, inventive, fast-paced, frenetic and wonderfully entertaining from start to finish.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cult Classic, 3 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Evil Dead 2 [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
There is a special kind of charm to the special effects in this perennial classic: you can tell just how much creativity went into creating the scenario - and even if many of those effects are clearly dated and nowhere near as realistic as the CGI we are used to these days, they communicate an atmosphere and honesty that's missing in many (if not most) contemporary productions.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sequels rarely come any better than this., 28 Jan 2013
This review is from: Evil Dead 2 [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
One of the greatest horror films ever. Evil Dead 2 actually seems more like a remake of the first as we see Ash played by Bruce Campbell, going to the cabin with his girlfriend this time without his friends, and having survived his hellish night of battling the evil dead. Ah, morning's here, time to escape. Wrong! Just as Ash is preparing to leave, the last remaining demonic spirits rocket him through the woods in a very comical scene. Crashing into a tree, Ash regains consciousness only to be possessed by the evil dead, but eventually the morning light chases these spirits away, sparing our hero.

Ash then falls unconscious, only to awake as dusk is setting in. . . . ROUND 2. During the ensuing night, Ash battles his dead girlfriend, his own hand (which he lops off with a chainsaw), and more evil dead than you can shake a shotgun at. They are looking for fresh souls. Who can stop these evil demonic creatures? I won't tell--but as you can see, there is a sequel.

Remake, sequel, or both? I would definitely say sequel. There are two reasons why Raimi filmed the flashback sequence the way he did. First, to bring those unfortunate who didn't see "Evil Dead" up to speed and second, because he couldn't get the footage from New Line. Evil Dead 2 is no doubt one of the greatest horror films ever made, following a great low budget cult classic horror film. The sequel improves on everything including the great special fx, lots of blood and over the top gore which was done in a slapstick almost 3 stooges style of humor, as we now have a much bigger budget.

Oh and watch out for the hilarious "A Farewell to Arms" joke. The same dark atmosphere was much improved upon and Raimi shows us some great camera work, a style that influenced several other filmmakers like Peter Jackson who did Braindead/Dead Alive. If you're wondering if Evil Dead II looks better on Blu-ray, the short answer is yes, if only a little. The BD'S improvement was only marginal. The Blu-ray has less image noise and slightly more depth due to more accurate black levels. The colours are a little more vibrant here than before and there's also more detail in the image, mostly noticeable in better lit scenes.

A choice of either Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS HD Master Audio. At least the sound gets a decent lift. There's also a 32 minute making of titled 'The Gore the Merrier' which deals with the makeup and effects. It includes interviews with the guys from K.N.B. EFX Group plus on-set footage of the cast and crew. It's basically the same featurette from the previous Anchor Bay region 2 dvd, nothing new here unfortunately. Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn is a true horror masterpiece. A completely original concept, some screwy camera angles, and one Bruce Campbell make for an entertaining combination. If you don't like it, "I'll swallow your soul, I'll swallow your soul."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Who's laughing now?!", 11 Aug 2010
By 
@GeekZilla9000 "I am completely operational a... (Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Evil Dead 2 [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Although this is the second film in the trilogy, it doesn't matter if you haven't seen the first one. Within the first few moments of Evil Dead 2 there is a prologue detailing the existence of the book of the dead before a recorded incantation is played and something evil is released. The ensuing carnage ruins a romantic retreat when Ash's girlfriend is killed.

The first few minutes act as a retelling of the first film - although a version where two other characters are ignored, and then the story continues with Ash waking up after a collision with a tree with the prospect of spending another night in a secluded lodge. The first film had some moments of dark humour but it was above all a horror film, but with Evil Dead II it's soon made clear that this is an all-out comedy when we see the dead Linda dancing during a brilliant stop motion sequence, followed by fantastic slapstick action involving both parts of his undead girlfriend.

Bruce Campbell became a cult icon through his very physical performance, watching him get beaten up by his own possessed hand brings to mind the sort of display Jim Carrey would make famous in the nineties. Bruce deservedly gained his iconic status here, there's a lot on his shoulders - in many scenes he is the only live actor but he has such strong presence that you can't help but share in the fun he is obviously having on screen. It's not easy to give a convincing performance when you're fighting zombies, but Campbell comes across as a regular guy you can empathise with.

I'm not a massive horror fan, but I love this film. It's a genuinely funny film which survives repeat viewings well and has earned it's place in cult cinema history. Sam Raimi obviously had a much bigger budget for Evil Dead II but he doesn't let that stop him from squeezing every last drop of creativity from each scene. As before the pace is fast and the movie looks like a group of mates had got together to create fan-fiction and have a bit of fun with a camera. It's clear though that a lot of effort has gone into every moment of the film. The slapstick comedy is executed perfectly, the gore is gloriously over-the-top, and Bruce lives up to the best line of the film; "Groovy!"

Evil Dead was a masterclass in how to use well established filming techniques and take them to the next level, it looked a bit amateurish but it was technically brilliant. Many of those methods are employed here too and it's clear that Raimi is a man of vision. Evil Dead two is less darkly lit than the first so you can see much more of what's happening, the visual aspect has been worked on and every trick is used - from puppetry to stop motion. The result is a film which never once becomes boring and always maintains your interest.

This Blu-Ray transfer isn't the most impressive, scratches and specks on the screen appear now-and-then, and the picture is often soft with areas of artificial sharpening to try and make it look cleaner. This is no doubt due to the source material and it's probably the best we can expect. However, having watched this many times on VHS and DVD I can say that this is the finest looking that I've seen the film. For a fairly low budget '80s movie (though not as low as the first one!) you don't expect awesome picture quality, that's all part of the charm. But on this Blu-Ray transfer there's more detail visible than before, and the darker scenes (there's plenty of them) don't suffer as much from smudgy rendering like they did on DVD. Previous DVD releases have had various bonus features. Although the American release is meant to contain everything ever bundled with the film in previous versions, this is pretty sparse. I've not listened to the commentary track on this Blu-Ray but it's the same one on the DVD release I own, and it's a great commentary full of interesting technical aspects (thanks to Sam Rami and head of make-up Greg Nicotero), and with both Bruce Campbell and script writer Scott Spiegel there's a definite sense that the guys are enjoying watching their classic, it's as entertaining as the film itself. A half hour long documentary on the visual aspect of the film appears on this disk too, but again it's recycled from the old DVD. It's a solid feature though, even if it has aged slightly. If you're hoping to upgrade to Blu-Ray in order to collect all the previous bonus features then it's not going to happen. Personally I'm happy with what's on here but I know that some may be disappointed.

In a nutshell: Although there is a loose continuation from Evil Dead, this sequel isn't really a sequel - it feels more like the first film in a series of two rather than the second of a trilogy. It takes the foundations from the first film and repackages it with a shift of focus. Instead of including just a bit of comedy - the film concentrates on delivering laugh after laugh. This makes Evil Dead much less scary, but far more entertaining. It's not often that the word "genius" is aptly used when describing a film - but here it is justified. Spattering blood, severed limbs, and relatives who refuse to stay dead have never been so funny!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning film!, 12 Nov 2008
This review is from: Evil Dead II [DVD] (DVD)
This is a great film! It's really funny & gruesome, with some belting lines. Bruce Campbell is superb and the whole film is a blast!

Strongly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Comedy/Horror Standard, 16 July 2007
This review is from: Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn [1987] [DVD] (DVD)
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantasic!, 2 Jan 2007
By 
Workshed (Cabin In The Woods) - See all my reviews
Ignore E. F. Hanson's review, for starters the star doesn't go back to the cabin, he never left, the opening scenes are re-shoots/recap of the first to explain why he's there - they couldn't get the footage rights to the first, any Evil Dead fan knows that! - and it's not a remake, same situation but different characters and scenes, most notably the hand, Ash getting his chainsaw and the comedy elements are much higher. It's slightly slicker rather than sicker than the first, but the two do go together as one film detailing two nights at the cabin. Army of Darkness explains where the demons came from and why they're bound to the book. There isn't much else different about this release thou, other than the cool cover, which is a marketing gimick, but a cool one along with the book of the dead original. Buy 'em!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Talk to the (Severed) Hand, 9 April 2005
This review is from: Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn [1987] [DVD] (DVD)
If you are looking for a fright filled scare fest that will give you sleepless nights for the better part of the year... go buy The Exorsist.
If you want a slightly gorey, gag-fest with the most Bad-ass of Bad-asses Buy EvilDead II (Dead By Dawn).
I first saw this film on a pirated VHS (I know, please forgive me) when I was 9... needless to say I fell in love with it, now at the age of 23 I can honestly say that this is a "MUST HAVE" for any fans of the horror/comedy genre.
If the word's "Groovy", "Boomstick" or "Workshead" mean nothing to you (admitadly, you'll have to be kind of a die-hard fan to understand the importance of that last word)... then you need to buy this movie now.
So butter up that pop-corn, get a few beers, call all your friends and "Hail to the King, Baby"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Iconic, 30 July 2004
By 
David Pursglove (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn [1987] [DVD] (DVD)
I first watched this movie back in 1998 along with the film "Spaceballs", This would have made me the age of 10, although I missed the first 20 minutes I got into the film straight away, it was great, it's sheer randomness mixed with spookiness from the "Spiderman" Director Sam Raimi was an instant success for me.
So I waited a year for it to be shown on Sky (The Old Channels that show oldish movies) and I took the opportunity to tape it, again I was amazed by the sheer enjoyment of the film which must have given it's fair bit of inspiration to other horror/action film writers.
Built with the style of Arnie's one Liners, Bruce Campbell pulls off Ash again with a Chainsaw weilded to his hand and his "Boomstick" fighting the hordes of evil that live in the basement, sure the film may have alot of Cherryade in but i'd buy it because it's a great movie.
If you want to be scared and entertained at the same time, here's the Book of the dead for you!
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Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn [1987] [DVD]
Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn [1987] [DVD] by Peter Deming (DVD - 2001)
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