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DVD Reviews:  The Evil Dead

The Final Say!

Feature Score:
DVD Extras Score

Reviewed by Tory Favro
Distributed by:
Big Sky Video
Running Time: 85 Minutes

I was so keen to watch this film, being a fan of the series for many years and many hires at the video shop. For those not in the know, this film is the first of three starring our hero Ash, played by the wonderful Bruce Campbell. Evil Dead takes a group of young adults to a mountain cabin where they plan to spend a weekend partying when it all goes wrong.

A book of the dead, also known as the Necronomicon is found made of human flesh as is a tape recording made by someone chanting the spell to raise evil spirits. Before we know it, the quiet cabin is awash with blood and the undead!

Whilst not rocket science, this film has a certain something to it that has allowed it to become somewhat of a cult classic, and certainly a favourite or yours truly in the horror department. This film was also the directorial debut of the esteemed Sam Raimi who also is briefly featured in the film in a cameo role.

For those readers with a weak stomach, this may not be the film for you. For the rest of us, this is a great film with plenty of B-Grade claret being thrown around for our benefit as the stars slowly are taken over by the Evil Dead. Just be ready for some of the bloodiest scenes you have seen in a movie for some time and get ready to cringe when the famous tree scene eventuates.

The quality of this film is lovely and there was nothing really to complain about considering the source material. This was a movie that was made on a next to nothing budget using (relatively) unknown actors. There are bits a pieces visible through the movie however if anything they enhance the gritty experience, not taking anything away from it.

Audio is also a treat being in a pretty decent 5.1 mix. I found this more than sufficient to ensure the "jump" factor took place more than nicely. Whilst some filmgoers won't be too impressed by this mix, once again the age of the movie needs to be taken into consideration. On every level this movie worked for me, other than the final credits which appeared to be all over the place. This is sometimes called a telecine wobble, a telecine being a device used in the converting film into a format that can be used in video.

The extras on this disc are a great thing for fans to salivate over and they do provide a good insight into the making of the film and what the motivations were (other than giving us a good fright of course) behind the filmmakers decisions as far as the movie making process was concerned. There is also a booklet included with the disc that is packed full of information as well in the form of a journal written by a crew member Josh Becker. Possibly the only wasted extra was the text inclusion of the credits which I thought to be rather silly.

All things said and done, this is a very solid release for Big Sky Video. The quality is there and it shows that there has been a fair amount of thought put into the title. Possibly the only things that stop it from being perfect is the lack of a Bruce Campbell audio commentary that was on the Region 1 release.


The Evil Dead Features

  • Booklet-The Evil Dead Journal

  • Main Menu Audio & Animation

  • Notes - About The Remix

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Featurette - Discovering Evil Dead

  • Outtakes

  • Gallery - Posters & Stills

  • Filmographies - Cast & Crew

  • Notes - Quotes & Trivia

  • Notes - Credits


 Copyright 2003