Monday, May 13, 2013

The Blu-Review: Evil Dead II 25th Anniversary

With the Evil Dead remake still in theaters, the original and its sequels are getting a lot more attention lately. So finding the Blu-Ray of Evil Dead II on sale at Target doesn’t exactly surprise me. It had been years since I had last seen this film so an opportunity to own it, especially on Blu-Ray, was not one I was going to miss. I have to admit I was a little unsure how well the movie would transfer over to the high-def format, but I was willing to take the gamble on it.

I’ll give a quick overview of the plot, even though the story really isn’t what’s on trial here.

I swear, the trees aren't sex offenders this time around...but I can't vouch for this guy

Ash (Bruce Campbell) and his girlfriend (Denise Bixler) plan to escape to an empty cabin in the woods for the weekend. Upon discovering a tape player, left by the cabin’s owner, that plays an ancient incantation unleashing unspeakable evil on the couple. After his girlfriend is possessed, Ash is forced to defend himself against the evil forces in the woods, and the basement, alongside a young archeologist (Sarah Berry,) her boyfriend(Richard Domeier,) and a local couple (Dan Hicks and Kassie Wesley) investigating the disappearance of the archeologist’s father who owns the cabin.

Picture/Presentation  - 8.0

I was quite excited to find that the film transferred to the high-definition Blu-Ray format quite well. Crisp lines, solid display, and vibrant colors make the film look to be one of the most beautiful slap-stick horror/comedies I have seen in a long time.

Until I kick ass for The Lord with this treasure.

The downside that comes with the Blu-Ray conversion is bringing to light the bits of filmmaking trickery or outdatedness of special effects for a mid-eighties splatterfest. The stop-motion and clay-mation effects used in the film look even more grainy and unrealistic on the crisp backgrounds and superimposed sets of the film.

Sound – 5.0

Sadly, the sound presentation of the film seems, in my opinion, to be nothing more than it would be on DVD. The dialogue still holds a tinny quality to it. The music and sound effects seem to hold a better quality, but I believe my current audio set up may not be one that can offer the highest quality in sound.

Special Features – 8.0

The disc contains a collection of featurettes and mini documentaries chronicling the making of the film, as well as several that show Sam, Bruce, and others involved in the film’s creation looking back at the experience. For fans of the film, fans of the genre, or filmmakers in general these are quite interesting and fun to watch. I personally enjoyed the look back at the production videos taken on set during filming, as well as the trip back to the filming location. I have yet to watch the film again with the commentary, but I know it’s not something I will pass up.


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