THE EVIL DEAD
Directed and written by Sam Raimi
Cinematography by Tim Philo
Produced by Robert G. Tapert
Music by Joe Loduca
Cast: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Hal Delrich, Betsy Baker, Sarah York
1983/85 Mins/Color/Dolby Digital TrueHD 5.1
1.33:1 Full Screen or 1.85:1 anamorphic/English/US/NTSC Region 1
Review from Anchor Bay Blu-Ray
A group of five college kids go to a cabin. They play a tape recorder that, they find. It reads words from The Book of the Dead. Soon, they unknowingly awaken an evil force that begins that threatens to possess each of them. When, they are taken over by this unholy force, they become unstoppable forces of evil and terror. The only one who can ultimately fight them is Ash (Bruce Campbell). But can he stop them?
Sam Raimi’s classic makes its first appearance on blu-ray. Many years later, this the first installment in the now classic EVIL DEAD TRILOGY, remains the scariest of the bunch. It is also one the finest directorial debuts, ever. It’s a terrifying, over-the-top gorefest that has long become a favorite of many horror fans. The tree rape sequence (which Raimi regrets putting in, nowadays) is still pretty wild stuff.
Rami’s exciting and stylish directing lifts the simple plot to exciting levels, as the does tight and excellently done editing. The gore-o-meter hits an easy ten with stabbings, meltdowns, dismemberment, decapitation, slashings, and other methods of death and violence abounding in mass quantities in the breakneck paced movie. In fact, once the movie starts it never, ever lets up. The FX are well done, considering the very low budget nature of the film. Even the stop motion is pretty good, though clearly dated. The cast’s acting is adequate, though this Campbell’s show all the way, as his cult stardom began here. As Ash, he is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most beat horror heroes, ever.
THE EVIL DEAD hits blu-ray for the first time ever courtesy of Anchor Bay. The format does, though, does show considerably grain and some softness in some scenes, as the movie was shot on 16 mm. Regardless, the colors are rich. The transfer most shines in darker scenes as the blacks are thick and full. The movie can be viewed in its original full screen (1.33:1) version or in the enhanced widescreen format. Both are good, but the fullscreen version is the better one, if only because this was the way the movie was intended to be seen. The best improvement has to be Dolby True HD 5.1 sound which is loud and lively. It kicks major ass here, in particular when it comes to EVIL DEAD’s awesome jump scares. The bass is pounding!
Sadly, the only extra feature on the disc is a new running commentary featuring Rami, Campbell, and producer Robert Tapert. Being that have done commentary in the past on the film itself, they instead decided to talk about the making of the film. None of the other extras from earlier releases on DVD are imported here, not even the film’s trailer. This being Anchor Bay and their hard-on for rerereleasing THE EVIL DEAD films, I’m sure a super special edition on blu-ray is coming somewhere down the line…
The disc comes in a blu-ray snap-case. There is no inlet card. The menu is pretty cool, and you can access the chapters from there, of course. It comes with trailers for other Anchor Bay releases: FROZEN, AFTER LIFE, THE CRAZIES, and PANDORUM.
This Film Features:
Review by Giovanni Deldio. All Right Reserved. 2010. ©