Evil Dead 2: 25th Anniversary Edition [Blu-Ray] Sam Raimi

Evil Dead 2: 25th Anniversary Edition [Blu-Ray] Sam Raimi
Reissued for the umpteenth time, Sam Raimi's cult classic horror comedy gets a definitive version for its 25th birthday. Functioning as both a sequel and remake, the zany, low budget, ragged masterpiece recaps the first Evil Dead in its opening, limiting the characters that head out to the remote cabin to Ash (Bruce Campbell) and girlfriend Linda (Denise Bixler) for efficiency's sake. Aspects of the mythology surrounding the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis (the Book of the Dead) are expanded, but it ends up in the same place: with Ash face down in a puddle after being forced to behead his possessed girlfriend and subsequently getting flung through the forest by the unseen malevolent spirit tormenting him. Waking possessed, Ash is saved by dawn breaking, the sunlight forcing the evil out of him in the first of Raimi's many clever reverse motion shots that contribute to the film's surreal look and feel. Unable to escape the woods before nightfall, Ash hurries back to the cabin, evil nipping at his heels the whole way. From here on out, Evil Dead 2 is relentless in its wildly entertaining, Looney Tunes-meets-Lovecraft insanity. The only breathing room comes when the daughter of the man who found the Necronomicon gets her boyfriend and a couple of rednecks to help her bring new pages she's discovered to the cabin, but as soon as they meet Ash, they're sucked right into the hilariously gory madness. Bruce Campbell's iconic performance as a man steadily loosing his marbles in the face of extreme psychological and physical terror carries the film as much as Raimi's unconventional shooting and editing demands. It's a tonal rollercoaster, able to transition from nerve-rattling horror to Three Stooges-style nasty slapstick at a moment's notice. With a project as unique and influential as this, fans are hungry for every scrap of behind-the-scenes footage available, and that's what you get. "Swallowed Souls" is the only brand new feature, but it's a good one – all of the principles involved, with the notable exception of Sam Raimi, show up to rehash their experiences making the film. Extensive and detailed, with crazy tales and lots of vintage behind-the-scenes footage, it's the best and most comprehensive of the features. "Cabin Fever: A Fly on the Wall Look Behind the Scenes," from the laserdisc release, is a great collection of candid footage from the wacky special effects makeup team behind the many elaborate grotesqueries, including six seriously gross and funny deleted scenes. "Road to Wadesboro" is less entertaining, but will be of interest to people curious to see what condition the original cabin is in years later. "Behind the Screams," from a previous DVD release, is a photo tour narrated by animator Tom Sullivan and "The Gore the Merrier" is more extensive footage of the make-up effects team goofing off and shooting their own bizarre gags. In addition to the theatrical trailer and four still galleries, the previously recorded feature commentary with Raimi, Campbell, co-writer Scott Spiegel and makeup wizard Greg Nicotero is included, and it's loaded with great jokes and production stories. If you've been holding off on upgrading your copy of the best horror comedy ever made, this should be the last version you need. (Alliance)