Thursday, April 3, 2008

EVIL DEAD: THE ULTIMATE EDITION

Five college students travel to an isolated cabin in the woods for a vacation, where they unwittingly release, evil spirits, which possess them, one by one. Carnage ensues.

The most recent DVD release of this legendary – and much-reissued – indie horror classic from director Sam Raimi (SPIDER-MAN) and star/producer Bruce Campbell (MAN WITH THE SCREAMING BRAIN, BUBBA HO-TEP), EVIL DEAD: THE ULTIMATE EDITION, is not quite the definitive edition promised, but it’s very, very close.

The set contains two versions of the film, each on their own disc. On disc one, you have EVIL DEAD presented matted to 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, accompanied by a previously recorded commentary track by Raimi and producer Rob Tappert that dates back to the laserdisc release of the film by Elite Entertainment in the 90’s. It’s a still a great commentary, though. This disc also includes a new (?) and very well-made documentary, ONE BY ONE WE’LL TAKE YOU: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE EVIL DEAD.

Disc two features the film in its original full-frame format and is accompanied by the equally-old solo Campbell commentary. Although it was recorded about a decade ago, it holds up as one of the greatest DVD commentaries ever, and is worth listening to again and again. This disc also includes TREASURES FROM THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR, a collection of outtakes and deleted scenes.

The third disc contains the remaining extra features, including a bunch of material promoting the recent tour of the film’s leading actresses, "The Ladies of EVIL DEAD." There are also a handful of TV Spots, make-up test footage, the original theatrical trailer, a photo gallery, a poster & memorabilia gallery, and various interviews.

If you already own one of the previous versions of THE EVIL DEAD, this so-called "Ultimate Edition" does not contain every feature previously issues with the movie, so be forwarned. If you don’t already own a version of the film on DVD and would like to, you won’t find a better-looking presentation of the movie, and the extras are pretty good.

It’s a really nice set. It’s just not "Ultimate."

BUY: The Evil Dead (Ultimate Edition)