Evil Dead Ultimate Edition Sam Raimi


There’s no sucker like an Evil Dead sucker. As the umpteenth DVD version of the film is set to hit stores, this time in "Ultimate Edition,” fans of the comedic horror franchise make space on their shelves amongst previously released "Platinum,” "Gold,” "Boomstick,” VHS and "Necronomicon” editions for this three-disc gem. Yet we love it. For the uninitiated: filmed in late 1979 by now-infamous director Sam Raimi (Spider-Man, Dark Man) and starring B-legend Bruce Campbell as Ashley J. Williams, Evil Dead focuses on a remote cabin stumbled upon by a group of teens getting away for some fun. Skulking through the cabin’s treasures, they happen upon a book and cassette recorder that document a passageway between the land of the living and the land of the dead. Curiosity overtakes them, they mess around with the book and unleash a host of "Deadites” — humans possessed by resurrected demons — hell-bent on swallowing their youthful souls. Enter heaps of carnage, hilarity and outright grossness. Now, what, pray tell, could an Ultimate Edition contain that a quarter-century of previous incarnations didn’t? Split up between a widescreen version (disc one), full-frame version (disc two) and extra features (disc three), the package boasts a variety of actor commentaries, cutting room floor excerpts documentaries, the reunion of "The Ladies Of Evil Dead” and a glimpse into horror conventions ravenous for Campbell. While there are plenty of ingratiating unearthed footage, new documentaries and actor interviews, Evil Dead Ultimate Edition is still a tough sell. Yes, it should fly off rental store shelves, as people clamour to witness where these cult heroes have landed 25 years later. But in all honesty, how many of us will deal with the internal struggle of whether or not to watch the exact same film in wide or full-screen? Besides, we probably have both anyway. (Anchor Bay)