Review: Evil Dead II (1987) DVD release

With the classic blood splattered horror-comedy Evil Dead II coming to 4K I take a look at the DVD release from Studio Canal

Evil Dead II, a classic blood splattered horror-comedy, will be released on 4K Ultra HD for the first time on 4th March 2019 by Studio Canal, shipping with over 4hrs of additional extras. A sequel/remake of the low budget comedy horror The Evil Dead (1981) it remains a favourite amongst horror fans.

Made with a bigger budget, Evil Dead II maintains Sam Raimi’s unique visual style and overall premise of the original story, but manages to surpass the original with its content, delivering some amazing over the top practical and stop-motion special effects, slapstick comedy and of course, more blood!

For those not familiar with the story, Ashley Williams (Bruce Campbell) travels to a secluded cabin in the woods with his girlfriend Linda (Denise Bixler), where they find a tape recording from a professor who is translating an ancient book of the dead called The Necronomicon. When they unwittingly play the tape, an ancient evil is unleashed, leaving Ash fighting for his life.

For the review Studio Canal have supplied the remastered DVD version of the film, which includes the audio commentary. Therefore, I was only able to review the quality of the DVD transfer and the extras included.

The DVD transfer for Evil Dead II is good and considering it is a low budget film made in 1987, the quality of the film and the special effects hold up surprisingly well.  Comparing to some of the earlier versions of the film, it does look cleaner with the print, although you are not going really see a huge difference unless you upgrade to the HD transfer.

With the DVD release of the film, the only extra on the disc is the audio commentary, with some nice artwork used in the interactive menu. The audio commentary with director Sam Raimi, co-writer Scott Spiegel, actor Bruce Campbell and special effects make-up artist Greg Nicotero. The audio commentary is a lot of fun, with the group reflecting over the film with a jovial tone that is reflective of the original film. The commentary will interest fans as it gives some insight behind the making of the film, with quite an in-depth account regarding a lot of the event, considering how long ago the film was made.  One of the main points of interest however will be the discussion regarding various scenes from the script, which were never filmed, and more importantly, some of the scenes which were filmed but later cut. They did mention that some of these scenes may be included as extras, so hopefully these will be incorporated within the 4k disc.

The quality of the Evil Dead II on DVD looks good, but if you already own a copy of the film, I don’t think the DVD version is the way. With most horror fans already owning a copy of this classic, the 4k release looks to be worth the upgrade (at least for now) for the definitive version of Evil Dead II.

Cult classic EVIL DEAD 2 arrived on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray™ and DVD on 4th March, and on digital download on 1st April.

Additional extras included on the 4K release includes

  • An audio commentary with director Sam Raimi, Scott Spiegel, Bruce Campbell and Greg Nicotero
  • Bloody and Groovy, Baby! – Tribute to Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead 2
  • Shallowed Souls: Making of Evil Dead 2
  • Cabin Fever: A “Fly on the Wall”
  • Road to Wadesboro: Revisiting the Shooting Location with Filmmaker Tony Elwood
  • The Gore the Merrier: Making of Evil Dead 2
  • Interview with Bruce Campbell
  • Trailer
DVD Extras
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