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on 17 January 2011
Evil Dead: Ultimate Edition [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

I'm not really going to review the film. Usually these reviews are meant to be about the product itself, so here goes.

THE EVIL DEAD is a classic low budget horror from the eighties. Enough said.

Now for the set. You get 3 discs in an awesome case, with amazing art. 2 discs contain the film. 1 disc is full of extras. There is also a poster in the set.

The film is presented in its original full screen format on one disc, whilst on the other it is presented in widescreen, its theatrical release, where the top and bottom have just been cropped out.

There are amazing extras such as:
. Two audio commentaries on the film by the cast and crew.
. The Evil Dead: Treasures from the Cutting Room Floor, which is outtakes and footage in final film.
. One by One We Will Take You: The Untold Saga of The Evil Dead, which is a documentary about the film.
. Life After Death: The Ladies of The Evil Dead, a documentary about the women who were in The Evil Dead.
. The Ladies of The Evil Dead Meet Bruce Campbell, an interview with Bruce and the Ladies about the film.
. Unconventional, a documentary about the fans at conventions.
. At The Drive-In, footage at a drive in screening where the actors and crew give out DVDs to fans.
. Reunion Panel.
. Discovering The Evil Dead, another documentary about the film.
. Make-up test.
. Theatrical trailer.
. 4 TV spots.
. Still gallery.
. Poster and Memorabilia gallery.
. Trailers for - Hatchet, Phantasm, Hellraiser, Re-Animator, and Behind the Mask.

Disk 1 - The film in widescreen. One by One We Will Take You: The Untold Saga of The Evil Dead. And an audio commentary by the director and producer.

Disk 2 - The film in fullscreen. The Evil Dead: Treasures from the Cutting Room Floor. Audio commentary with Bruce Campbell, who played Ash.

Disk 3 - Life After Death: The Ladies of The Evil Dead. The Ladies of The Evil Dead Meet Bruce Campbell. Unconventional. At The Drive-In. Reunion Panel. Discovering The Evil Dead. Make-up test. Theatrical trailer. 4 TV spots. Still gallery. Poster and Memorabilia gallery. Trailers for other films.

This is truly the version to buy, if you are a fan, or if you are wanting to see the film in its original fullscreen format, buy it.
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on 30 December 2016
AUDIO: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
SUBTITLES: English, English HoH, Danish, Finnish, Hindi, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish
RUNTIME: 85:26 mins.
PICTURE: 1.85:1
REGION: ALL
EXTRAS: Audio Commentary, 6 Featurettes, BD-Live

Video Quality: * * * / * * * * *
Audio Quality: * * * * / * * * * *

Another horror classic, Sam Raimi's THE EVIL DEAD, was also quite a scandal when it came out: the MPAA denied it an R rating (understandable), banned in several countries, including the UK and Germany and released in varies cut forms.
THE EVIL DEAD spawned 2 inferior sequels that drifted into slapstick and a new cable TV series (ASH VS. THE EVIL DEAD) which is a lot better.
Bruce Campbell (XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS) stars in all movies/series as the goofy but loveable anti-hero, and he is still one of my favorite actors, just a fun guy to watch in every movie/show.
Director Sam Raimi (DARKMAN) created a really good supernatural splatter film with a lot of crazy ideas and till this day it retains its cult status and value. THE EVIL DEAD is a good film, albeit I did not think it was "great". Too slapsticky for my taste (THE EVIL DEAD II & ARMY OF DARKNESS are far worse though), the gore is just a tad outdated and the tree rape scene is just ridiculous. All in all, it still holds up well for its age and can still be highly recommended!
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on 18 October 2010
It must be safe to assume, that must people looking this title up, already know the movie. Great film right! I was 20 then I saw this for the first time, recommended by the local Video Shop. I remember it clearly! So you have never seen EVIL DEAD? Shame on you!
Wonderful to see it out on Blu. Picture and sound quality, fully lived up to my expectations."I'm used to the laserdisc version" For this release, Sony have included, for what I can tell, all the previous DVD extras, plus a Picture in Picture track and of cause the much talked about new commentary track. I found this track very informative and entertaining, at the end, Sam & Co. speak about the picture format, not a spoil it for you guys.
Speaking of the format, this Sony release, only have the modified 16:9 picture. In my opinion, it looks great on a 16:9 TV, not squeezed at all, but as other reviewers have pointed out, the picture is chopped - if you what the dual picture option? Make sure you order the Anchorbay region A Blu ray.
Anyway, I guess the question you are really looking for: Is this BD worth the upgrade? Absolutly, Evil Dead looks great on blu ray!
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VINE VOICEon 25 January 2012
Released in the years before cable TV and before video cassettes made low budget schlock available to the average viewer, Evil Dead found its audience with the midnight movie horror festival crowd. No way did it get a nationwide release. Privately owned cinemas bought prints and slowly the film spread from coast to coast and even made its way to Britain. But by this time videos were gaining popularity and it was released on cassette at the same time as a very limited theatrical release.

Critics and censors dismissed it as trash and not long afterwards it was relegated to the video nasty bin and banned. As silly as this may seem, that was the lunatic logic of James Ferman's BBFC. The fact that it is inventive and well directed was lost on them. And until fairly recently only cult audiences appreciated its value. With Sony's new Blu Ray we can all finally enjoy the uncut, definitive and best-looking presentation possible.

Originally released in 1981 as The Book Of The Dead, this was a feature length re-make of Sam Raimi's short film, Within The Woods. The plot (excuse) and story (violence) involves a quintet of friends, enjoying a few days of quiet at a remote cabin in the Tennessee woods. These are not Friday the 13th goofballs who want nothing but sex and skinny-dipping. They are realistic. And it all goes nicely until Scotty (Hal Delrich) finds an ugly-looking book (with a face) and an old reel-to-reel tape recorder in the basement. The tape is of an archaeologist explaining how he resurrected demons that took over his wife in the very same cabin. The professor is nowhere to be found, but the haunting burial rites and incantations written in Sumerian text in the ugly book, The Necronomicon Ex Mortis-Book Of The Dead, are on the tape also.

Sheryl (Ellen Sandweiss) freaks out. She hears a demonic voice out in the woods. "Join us!" Foolishly going out to investigate, she is raped by a tree. Although this particular scene isn't so hard to watch, the film still has the power to disturb and make you squirm. Once Sheryl returns, all hell breaks loose and Raimi has a helluva time firing torrents of blood of varying colors throughout the cabin. Limbs are hacked off with carefree abandon and poor old Ash (Bruce Campbell) has to take them all on at once.

The supernatural hijinks were repeated to a much lesser effect in the sequel, but here Raimi creates an atmosphere of dread and whatever that force is out in the woods - it's scary. It does have some humour, but first time around the filmmakers obviously wanted horror first. You'll wince a few times, no doubt. The raw tone goes hand-in-hand with the low budget and Raimi's bizarre, hardcore cartoonish style is much in evidence.

More time is spent building character. Ash loves his girlfriend and a simple little scene between them makes us root for him. He is still to become the hapless buffoon, as he will repeat in Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness. At the very least, Evil Dead is so popular that it can no longer be regarded as a cult movie. It's not a classic. Not yet. But it is highly regarded and definitely worth several viewings.

The Blu Ray sports a 1.85:1 1080p transfer that is wonderfully grainy and a DTS HD-MA soundtrack. Loads of extras are included, but sadly Within the Woods is not one of them.

NOTE:

The film was shot open-matte with a cropped theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Some shots are a little tight but it still looks good. Purists will disagree but the US edition is in 1.37:1. I guess you can't please everyone but at least you can choose which one suits you best.
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on 24 February 2002
Evil Dead, the first movie in the hilarious horror trilogy, is often regarded as the best of the series by most die hard fans. Ash's (Bruce Campbell) ongoing struggle for survival (with a little help from his infamous chainsaw) and the "evil" girls' irritating laugh were only a few of the ingredients that made this relatively low budget movie rule!
The upcoming region 1 version of Evil Dead (to be released by Anchor Bay Entertainment) will contain a DTS 6.1 ES track so we should expect no less of this edition (also released by Anchor Bay) that is due 20 days after the region 1 release.
Since both DVDs are released by the same studio, the features will probably be pretty much the same. The special features we should expect on this version are; Audio commentary by Sam Raimi, Robert Tapert and Bruce Campbell, Behind the scenes footage & outtakes, theatrical trailer, tv spots, talent bios and, poster and still galery.
This release will probably be the best edition released for region 2 capable players, of course until a region 2 "Book of the Dead" edition (which we all crave for, now don't we?) is produced...
Until any such news sees the light of the day, or if you think "I can't wait for that!" this is the version you should go for...
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Not many films get to me in the way this one did, i found it pretty unnerving when first watching it probably on 'Betamax' or 'VHS'
when released onto the format, not sure whether it was the ground and trees outside the cabin moving or the evil emerging from the
cellar.....though buying the first two on Blu-ray when first released it has taken me till now to re-view the film....woos....maybe.
The film centres on 5 students - 'Ash' (Bruce Campbell) - 'Cheryl' (Ellen Sandweiss) - 'Scott' (Richard DeManincor) - 'Linda' (Betsy
Baker) and 'Shelly' (Theresa Tilly) who during a spring-break hire a remotely situated cabin.
Things quickly go wrong when during dinner the trap-door mysteriously fly's open, 'Ash' and 'Scott' investigate below, they find a tape
which they of course play,,,,bad move as it turns out, it releases demons and spirits upon them.
After 'Cheryl' is attacked and raped by possessed tree's she finds it difficult to convince the others of what had happened, however 'Ash'
agree's to take her to the nearest town to find somewhere else for her to sleep only to find the only bridge offering exit from the area
has collapsed.
The evil will take hold of each in turn, they turn on each other, mayhem ensues.....will anyone walk away alive ?
Though a low-budget offering the film is truly dark and creepy.....will send a chill through your spine.
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on 21 February 2013
The Evil Dead is my least favourite of the trilogy, althought its still a vicious, fast paced atmospheric horror classic.
Filmed on little to no budget, the imagination that went into the effects along with Raimis directing style make this an essential watch.
I love The Evil Dead trilogy and this is the 1,427th release of the first film - this time in a classy and well put together steelbook.
The picture quality is good for a film of its age and budget but I truly feel this film is at its best watched on VHS. An odd thing to say, but for some reason (maybe to cover up the Plasticine overload at the end) it really is a scarier experience on video.
Watch the 53 minute documentary on this disc to truly appreciate how a film like this is made. Far more fascinating than how any type of film is made in this day and age.
Don't buy this if you already have the previous Blu-ray release, there's nothing new here.
If you don't already have it though, this is my favourite release of the film yet.
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on 27 September 2011
You don't have to be some sort of massive horror nerd to know that The Evil Dead is quite an important film (although it probably helps). Originally called Book of the Dead (until that title was deemed `too boring' by studio bosses) this spooky, shlock-horror shocker was director Sam Raimi's very first full length feature! Not only that, but it was one of the first of the `splatter' type films of the eighties and gained infamy as one of the, um...'infamous' video nasties which burst onto the scene like a squishy wound due to the availability of home video players. It was made with a very low budget for this type of film, with a small spattering (or splattering) of cast and crew members, many of which taking responsibility for multiple jobs during production; star (and king of B-movies) Bruce Campbell was chief contact lens fitter during the shoot, for example.
The film was released in 1981 and tells the story of five college friends spending the weekend in a creepy cabin in the middle of the Tennessee woods. Everything is peaceful and idyllic (for about 10 minutes) until they discover a tape recorder in the creepy cellar and decide to see what's on it! This turns out to be as bad an idea as it sounds, as the tape contains a passage read aloud from the Book of the dead (see, that's why they wanted to call the film that). This passage awakens and seemingly `pisses off' a malevolent spirit in the woods which wants to come back from the dead by possessing the living....or something, I think that's its plan! The spirit `force' (as it's often referred to by geeks) is never actually seen and is only present throughout this sticky adventure via `point of view' camera shots and sound effects - many of which were just director Sam Raimi adding his own vocals to various sounds.
One by one (by one) the five friends are consumed by the evil force and transformed into demons of sorts, they aren't officially zombies as such, as they can fly around and are incredibly agile and strong. Also, they aren't interested in eating brains or any other bits and seem to want to taunt and terrorize the survivors rather than simply kill them off (or un-undead them off, to be more accurate). The `Deadites' (as they're referred to, also by geeks) tend to have `fun' with their victims and play psychological games with them before trying to `off' them spectacularly! The sole survivor Ashley Williams (played by Bruce Campbell) has to fight off his former friends, girlfriend and sister in an attempt to stay alive until morning, when the spirits can be driven away, with each confrontation getting bloodier and more graphically violent (yay).
Some of the film's highlights include Ash's newly `turned' sister taunting Scott from the cellar ("You're not gonna' leave me here, are ya'...are ya' Ash?"), the woods themselves coming to life and attacking anyone attempting to flee the cabin and Linda (Ash's girlfriend) transforming into a giggling, porcelain doll thing, shrieking with laughter as she tries to stab him with a knife that's almost certainly entirely too big! The film really doesn't let up after the awakening of the evil spirit and the constant action, bloody violence and imaginative camera moves and sound effects leave the viewer practically exhausted by the closing credits!
Sam Raimi is well known (by geeks and um, `norms') for his strategic use of camera angles and clever shot set ups and his films are instantly recognizable as `his' due to the specific look of his movies (also because they usually either have Bruce Campbell or his `classic' car in them, or both). This film is no exception, as there are lots of sweeping, frantic camera moves and some disorientating shots which add to the atmosphere and main character Ash's rapidly deteriorating mental state!
The creepy sound effects and music also add to the unsettling atmosphere, with the possessed friend's voices and sound of the main `force' spirit being particularly effective and chilling.
Overall then, this is a film that's aged well and just won't stay dead (like a lot of Ash's friends) and considering it's over 30 years old it still holds up as a well made and quite creepy horror classic. The effects are still, um...effective, especially the `deadite' make up (creepy white contact lenses etc) and the spectacularly squelchy end sequence (which is one of the messiest endings to any horror film, possibly trumped only by films like Braindead and Bad taste). Upon release this must have been incredibly scary and effective and it's doubtful we'll see any horror films coming out in the future that will have anywhere near as large an impact or influence as the Evil Dead has had over the years!
Overall score: 5 Necronomicans out of 5
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on 27 May 2008
the film is great even now and this is the best edition!!! the book is great and looks just like the prop. there is a load of extras on the disc such as the FANalysis. the bonus film Running Time is also a great film though it is a bit short. the film (RT) has been filmed in black and white and it is continuous shot (the transitions have been cleverly covered up and so it looks like its has all been filmed in one go). both films are highly enjoyable and show bruce campbell in all his b movie greatness. It is a great edition which is worth buying whether you are a die hard fan or not.
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Released way back in the days of VHS and Betamax video tapes, this film may be long in the tooth but it still packs a mighty punch. Yes you've probably seen it all before, but the ammount of gore in this still shocks and numbs the senses. Whilst it doesn't have 'modern' cgi effects, the old fashioned prosthetics add an almost surreal animated visual aspect to the gore that gives the film a quirky -and even more terrifying 'other-world', feel than most modern movies do.
if you don't mind the 'B' movie, low budget, shlock horror genre and haven't seen this one before (are you dead or pre-teen?) then you must give this a try. The characters are way over the top and make all the classic mistakes that 'victims' always do, but this film does them even more obviously than others, proving beyond doubt that 'horror victims' are truely stupid.
So pull up the chair, get the mates around, turn off the lights, get some popcorn and have yourself a good old fashined scare fest with this classic. Mind you, you may not want to eat once the gore kicks in. Alternatively, just watch it with someone who screams a lot and you wont be disapointed ..... now where is that copy of Evil dead II....
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