Tuesday, October 7, 2014

"The Evil Dead" DVD / Movie Review (Anchor Bay "Book of the Dead" Edition)

"The Evil Dead" DVD / Movie Review (Anchor Bay "Book of the Dead" Edition)


This is the fourth installment of blood splattered cinema from the 1980's! This time around we're hitting closer to the mark with the original "The Evil Dead" from 1981!

1981 Theatrical Poster.

The story goes that childhood friends Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi & Robert Tapert were making 8mm short films as kids. One day, one of them said, "Let's make a real movie!" Well, that's what the modern myth is of the origins of the most famous horror film ever made.

The real story is close, but a lot more interesting.

The idea first sprang into existence in the minds of those young men sometime in October of 1978 regarding making a horror movie.By Spring of 1979, they had raised about $1,600 to make a "Within the Woods" - the seed in which the mighty "Evil Dead" would be grown.

I'm not going to go into detail regarding the production here, as it would suffice to say that even the most lightly interested individual should pick up a copy of "The Evil Dead Companion" by Bill Warren. His book is an absolute treasure trove of information regarding all three movies comprising the "Evil Dead Trilogy".


By todays standards, the story seems cliche but at the time it was an original piece of work using fantastic elements, great effects (albeit low budget), and unique film making techniques.

Five Michigan State students Ash (Bruce Campbell), Linda (Betsy Baker ), Cheryl (Ellen Sandweiss), Scotty (Hal Delrich ), and Shelly (Sarah York) go to a secluded cabin in the woods of Tennessee for their Spring Break.

In the basement of the cabin, they find the Necronomicon (aka "Noturon Demonto"). This cabin had been used by Professor Raymond Knowby to translate the book in seclusion. Of course, playing the recordings of Knowbys translations unleashes a demonic force that possesses and successively kills each of the students.

The gang looks on as...

...Scotty approaches the cabin.

Ash finds the "Book of the Dead".

Possessed Cheryl locked in the basement.

Possessed Linda with the Kandarian Dagger.

Possessed corpse of Scotty.

Scotty is having trouble with his eyes, thanks to Ash.

Scotty has a slight meltdown.



This is probably my favorite edition of this movie! It's a replica "Necronomicon" built from latex (for that fleshy feel!)! Tom Sullivan (FX & original sculptor of the book) re-creates the infamous tome in a perfectly good-humored way! You can even "translate" the book which reveals various in-jokes from the film & production. 

Special Features:

Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TV's.
Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Sam Raimi & Robert Tapert
Audio Commentary with star Bruce Campbell.
Behind the scenes footage & outtakes.
Fanalysis: An all-new 26 minute Documentary by Bruce Campbell.
Discovering Evil Dead: An all-new featurette tracing the films history.
Theatrical trailer.
TV Spots.
Poster 7 Still Gallery.
Talent Bios.
Languages: English & French

(Plus: a few hidden Easter Eggs you gotta find for yourself!!)

Hey, "Evil Dead" is one of my favorite movies of all time. Of course I recommend it!

But, since we're about to get really groovy in the next installment, I'll let you be the judge of which is better..."Evil Dead" or..."EVIL DEAD 2" (1987)!!!!!

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