Dead 2: Book of the Dead 2
by Donald Melanson
07 , 2005
| Some people like the fall movie season because
it's when all the "serious" films are released when Oscar
buzz is more important than box office receipts. One of the reasons
I like it is because it's when studios unload lots of great (and
not-so-great) horror films on DVD. And this year has been uncommonly
good for horror fans.
Last month Universal released their complete library of Hammer
films in one shot, as well as some of Bela
Lugosi's and Boris Karloff's best films. Warner Bros. has
just released the long-awaited Val
Lewton collection. And Anchor Bay, a company known especially
well for their horror titles, has just put out a new and improved
edition of Sam Raimi's great Evil Dead II.
The movie is partly a sequel and partly a remake of Evil Dead,
Raimi's ultra low budget but wildly inventive film starring cult
legend Bruce Campbell. In Evil Dead II, Campbell reprises
his role as Ash, who again must battle the evil forces he unwittingly
unleashes whilst trapped in a secluded cabin.
That happens in the film's first few minutes; what follows is
a breathlessly paced movie that walks the line between horror
and comedy better than any other film I've seen. And unlike some
other horror comedies, you can tell that Raimi and co. genuinely
love the films that they reference and spoof.
Following Anchor Bay's special "Book of the Dead" edition of
the first Evil Dead movie, this new DVD comes in a fleshy
(and smelly) packaging designed by special effects artist Tom
Sullivan. As an added bonus, it'll even scream if you poke it
in the eye.
The DVD itself has also been updated over the previous version
with one short behind-the-scenes feature added to all the old
extras, including a great commentary track with Raimi, Campbell,
co-writer Scott Spiegel and special make-up effects artist Greg
Nicotero. Most importantly, the transfer has been upgraded, with
the process supervised by no less than Sam Raimi himself - I don't
have the previous edition to compare it to but it looks great
to my eyes.
If you don't already have the first Evil Dead Book of
the Dead edition, however, you may want to hold off your purchase
until next month, as Anchor Bay is releasing a limited
edition set of both movies at a significant discount. That
will also apparently be the last chance to get the Book of the
Dead edition of the first film.
Melanson is the editor-in-chief of Mindjack and a freelance
writer for hire.
In addition to Mindjack, his work has appeared in The
Globe & Mail, Engadget,
and MovieMaker Magazine.