'Evil Dead 2: 25th Anniversary' Edition Review

'Evil Dead 2:  25th Anniversary' Edition Reviewby Jason Lees, MoreHorror.com

Anyone reading this site knows and loves Evil Dead. Hell, they probably own multiple copies, multiple editions, and probably even have multiple tattoos. How many of us have those Book of the Dead editions sitting on the shelf right now?
The thing about EVIL DEAD 2, is that it’s probably the most loved horror flick out there, even more so than anything else that came out of the 80’s. It may not be the best made or scariest flick, but I can’t think of another movie that has so much damned heart to it, while still delivering the goods. There have been funnier movies, and even gorier movies, but nothing has ever been so oddly balanced and unique. I love me some DEAD ALIVE, and I swear by SHAUN OF THE DEAD, but EVIL DEAD 2 sits on a shelf all its own.

And that shelf is pretty cluttered with all the versions of the film. I have it on VHS and two versions on DVD. I don’t even think my VHS player works anymore, but I’ll never get rid of my tape because I just love that damned cover so much. This week I was all set to pick up yet another version on DVD but then I discovered to my embarrassment that the 25th Anniversary Edition was pretty much bare bones. Nope, if I wanted the bells and whistles, I was going to have to take that step into 2006 and buy a Blu-Ray player, which is exactly what I did.

But was it worth it?

When I say HELL YEA, know full well that this is coming from one of the cheapest bastards on the planet, but this was worth every dime. This may be my first Blu-Ray, but I’m not so backwards that I’ve never seen one before. I know how good they look, but this one still blew me away. I’ve never seen EVIL DEAD 2 looking so sharp. It’s almost too clean, too crisp. I like my films with a bit of grit on them, and I remember really thinking that the Blu of TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE was just too ‘nice’ looking, but here it actually works. "EVIL DEAD 2" doesn’t have to be dirty to work, it just has to be seen, and now you can see (and hear) it better than ever.

But now for the real reason to pick up this edition: the special features. RED SHIRT PICTURES is a name you can trust. When you see that logo splash across your screen, or see the name Michael Felsher anywhere on a project, just sick back and smile because you know you’re in good hands. The meat here is a feature length documentary entitled “SWALLOW THIS” which plays like a class reunion of cast and crew. The box art has it broken up into its components, but it plays nicely as its own beast. Good stuff. We also get a rerun of an old commentary (which is still good) with Raimi and all, and some new stills and a nice travelogue back to visit the sets. Luckily we also get the classic featurette of “The Gore the Merrier” which means I can pitch my old disc.

One other little golden nugget is an expended look at Make Up deity Greg Nicotero’s on set video diaries. We got a peek at them on older editions, but now we get huge chunks of them. It’s like being there almost. Some of the footage is reused in the docu, but it’s still worth seeing in its raw form.

EVIL DEAD 2 is a must own, in any form, but this double or triple dip finally got it right. With the last reissue of the original EVIL DEAD, there was still room for improvement, but with its sequel, I don’t see what else they could hope to include to sweeten the deal.

Unless Sam Raimi hand delivers a future edition right to my door, this is the one we’ve all been waiting for.

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