Evil Dead 2 (1987)
By: CJ on August 8, 2002  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
DVD
Momentum Pictures (UK). Region 2, PAL. 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 5.1, German DD Mono, Italian DD Mono, Spanish DD Mono. English German Italian Spanish Portuguese Dutch Turkish Subtitles. 81 minutes
The Movie
Credits
Director: Sam Raimi
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Dan Hicks, Kassie Wesley, Denise Bixler, Richard Domeier
Screenplay: Sam Raimi, Scott Spiegel
Music: Joseph LoDuca
Tagline: "Kiss Your Nerves Good-Bye!"
Country: USA
Sam Raimi returns to Deadite territory with this sequel to his original classic. And yes, it's more of the same - but no one does it quite like Sam and Bruce. Although the gore is splendidly over-the-top, it's no-where near as nasty as the first film. However, this stands as a fine film in its own right, it's far more professional-looking and accomplished than its predecessor, which is good in some ways but lacks the raw ferocity of Evil Dead. Having said that, this is a fun ride with plenty of gore set pieces and inventive scenarios to keep the viewer interested and entertained right through to the closing credits. It's groovy!

The thinnest of plots is really just an excuse to run from one insanely absurd situation to the next. Raimi keeps the momentum going at breakneck pace with plot really being secondary to showcasing some fabulous FX by KNB. Ash (Bruce Campbell) and his girlfriend Linda (Denise Bixler) arrive at the dreaded cabin in the woods for a vacation. It's not long before Ash finds the tape player and plays the Deadite incantation, read by Professor Raymond Knowby, and lo and behold Linda turns into a flesh-eating monster intent on killing Ash. We knew this of course and had already shouted at our TV screens telling Ash not to play the tape. But would he listen? Of course not - and he'll probably do the same thing again next time I spin the disc - will he never learn? Anyway, I digress, Ash fights for his life and in the process decapitates his girlfriend. Awww - there's nothing like true love, is there? Unfortunately for Ash her head returns to life and bites his hand and just won't let go. He resorts then to putting her head in a vice and manages to free himself. He then chainsaws her head in half. Back in the house Ash soon discovers his hand is possessed and has to sever it in order to save himself. But weirdness abounds and Ash finds himself periodically transforming into a Deadite, but manages to fight it off each time. Meanwhile. Professor Knowby's Daughter, Annie (Sarah Berry) and her travelling companion Ed (Richard Domeier), are heading to the secluded cabin to look for her father. However, they soon discover that the bridge to the cabin is out of commission and enlist the assistance of two country bumpkins, Jake (Dan Hicks) and his girlfriend Bobbie Jo (Kassie Wesley), to show them the trail to the cabin. So off go the four travellers, on foot now, to reach the cabin. Once there, Annie soon sees that there is no sign of her father - all that is in the cabin is a blood-soaked Ash talking incoherently. She assumes the worst and believes that Ash has killed her parents. How wrong she is - and it's not long before merry mayhem ensues with violence, Deadites and gore galore. Exactly what we have paid to see!!

Raimi has produced a fantastic sequel to his cult classic that scores top marks for entertainment. However, it does kind of lack the originality of the first film and is far more light-hearted in tone. The first film had a dark streak of nastiness running through it whereas this film plays more like The Three Stooges on acid. Understandable, as Sam is a huge fan of The Three Stooges, and it does work extremely well. This is definitely not a bad film - in many ways it is infinitely superior, technically, to its predecessor - but it plays too much like Evil Dead with a bigger budget. Don't get me wrong, this is a superb film and I love it, I just think it could have been a tad more original than trying to rehash the first film. Don't be put off though, if you haven't seen it then I urge you to go and grab a copy right this very second!

Sadly, Sam will probably never make any more films like this now that he's a Hollywood darling. It would be nice if someone else would take the plunge, however, and make a fourth Dead movie, I'm sure Bruce would be up for it! We can but dream.. A top rate film and one that should be in every horror fan's collection - it's an essential. Let's go carve ourselves a witch!
Video
Momentum have provided an absolutely stunning transfer on this disc. It is flawless. Rich colours, solid blacks and a pin sharp image. No artefacting, smearing or colour-bleeding. This will definitely not look any better. Faultless. I've no idea how this disc compares to Anchor Bay's R1 release, but this transfer looks simply gorgeous.
Audio
The 5.1 audio mix is incredible and utilises every aspect of the 5.1 platform. Lots of audio movement with sounds bouncing all around the room. The sound is well balanced and has an immense depth to it. The dialogue is crisp and clear and there are no noticeable faults.
Extra Features
The highlights of the extras are the documentary The Gore the Merrier and the audio commentary by Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, Robert Tapert (according to the sleeve) and Greg Nicotero (who is not credited on the sleeve for some reason). The documentary is highly entertaining containing lots of behind the scenes footage and the KNB team reveal many of the FX secrets. Well worth a watch. The Commentary is a hoot with Raimi and Campbell in top form. Hugely entertaining and is definitely up there with Bruce's Evil Dead commentary contending for place as best commentary ever. It's a hoot and one of the few commentaries I have actually enjoyed listening to. Don't skip over this - have a listen!
The Verdict
An instant classic in its own right, though not quite as good as the original in my opinion. It's still head and shoulders above most genre offerings though, and I like the film very much. Horror doesn't get much better than this. It's a definite must have - and this disc from Momentum is a cracker. Groovy!
Movie Score
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