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Evil Dead 2 - Dead by Dawn 1987

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This high-octane semi-sequel to Sam Raimi's cult hit The Evil Dead has nearly eclipsed its predecessor's reputation thanks to an endless barrage of hyperkinetic camera acrobatics, rapid-fire editing and splatstick gore effects ... not to mention a truly goofy performance by Bruce Campbell. Nearly the entire storyline of the previous film has been re-shot and presented in a drastically condensed form within the first few minutes: rock-jawed but clueless hero Ash (Campbell) now visits the mountain cabin only with girlfriend Linda (played here by Denise Bixler). Upon arrival at the cabin, Ash discovers the Sumerian Book of the Dead, the ritual dagger and a reel-to-reel tape containing the professor's translations of the book's hieroglyphics. The incantations summon an unseen, growling spirit from within the woods, which bursts into the cabin and takes possession of Linda's soul. Ash is forced to decapitate her with a shovel, after which he buries her in the forest. At first dawn, Ash tries to make his escape, but is promptly set upon by the spirits, given a solid thrashing and nearly possessed himself, saved only by the arrival of sunlight. Cut off from the outside world, Ash is forced to hole up in the cabin and wait for the next demonic onslaught -- which arrives sooner than expected, led by Linda's rotting corpse. After being bitten by Linda's chatty decapitated head, Ash's hand becomes independent of his body and begins pummeling him repeatedly. The story then jumps to a local airport, where the professor's daughter Annie (Sarah Berry) and her partner Ed Getley (Richard Domeier) have just arrived with the missing pages to the Necronomicon. They employ a cranky pair of local rednecks, Jake (Dan Hicks) and Bobbie Joe (Kassie Wesley), as guides to lead them through the dense woods to the cabin ... where, at that very moment, Ash is removing his belligerent hand with a chainsaw, creating yet another ambulatory foe. Driven to the brink of insanity, Ash fires blindly at a noise outside, unaware that the new arrivals are Annie and company. Bobbie Joe is injured by the gunshot, which incurs the wrath of Jake, who knocks Ash senseless and locks him in the fruit cellar. Believing her father was murdered by Ash, Annie plays the rest of the professor's recording to learn the truth, and discovers her possessed mother was buried in the same cellar -- and not exactly resting in peace. This touches off a string of unbelievably gruesome (and hysterically funny) events, including Henrietta's transformation into a stop-motion creature (reminiscent of a Ray Harryhausen creation), Ed's sudden metamorphosis into a toothy, levitating ghoul, and Ash's climactic confrontation with the forest demon itself. The obvious glee with which Raimi and company present this cavalcade of slime-drenched monstrosities and Three Stooges pratfalls makes it impossible to take seriously as a horror film, but Evil Dead 2 is nevertheless essential viewing among connoisseurs of truly demented cinema. The film's sardonic coda opened the way for a slightly less successful sequel, Army of Darkness.~ Cavett Binion, All Movie Guide

Starring:
Dan Hicks, Sarah Berry
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 21 minutes
Starring Dan Hicks, Sarah Berry, Bruce Campbell, Kassie Wesley, Richard Domeier
Director Sam Raimi
Genres Horror
Studio MOMENTUM PICTURES
Rental release 22 October 2001
Main languages English
Dubbing German, Spanish, Italian
Subtitles Dutch, German, Spanish, Turkish, Italian, Portuguese
Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 21 minutes
Starring Dan Hicks, Sarah Berry, Bruce Campbell, Kassie Wesley, Richard Domeier
Director Sam Raimi
Genres Horror
Studio ELEVATION
Rental release 29 September 2008
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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Format: 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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By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 18 Oct. 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Yes indeed, Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell are back to shake some action with this remake of their own The Evil Dead (1981), only this time with more money and more overt humour. A quick prologue sets things up nicely, then BAM! Ash (Campbell) and his squeeze are in the cabin of doom and about to be part of a night of unholy demonic terror.

It's a nightmare of the black comedy kind, where Raimi and Campbell invite us to a party and then gleefully pummel us into submission - and we sado-masochistically enjoy it! Ash has grown a pair of cojones and decides to fight back against the demonic forces, cue mucho action with chainsaw and shotgun. There's a quip on the tongue for our hero as well, even as he is battered from pillar to post to make the action work.

Raimi isn't interested in extraneous scenes or exposition, he strips it bare as the pic hurtles along, all while he brings his technical skills with camera and sound design to the fore. The humour is often outrageous, dementedly so, while it's nice to find a group of film makers who don't feel the need to now throw blood and guts at the screen every other scene just to make a formulaic impact.

Bonkers, chilling and devilishly funny. 8/10
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Format: 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.
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