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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Supernatural > Comedy > Demons > Evil Dead 2 (25th Anniversary)/Intruder/More Brains! A Return To The Living Dead (1987/89/2011/Lionsgate Blu-ray/Synapse Blu-ray/MPE DVD)

Evil Dead 2/Intruder/More Brains! A Return To The Living Dead (1987/89/2011/Lionsgate Blu-ray/Synapse Blu-ray/MPE DVD)


Picture: A-/A-/C+     Sound: A-/B/B-     Extras: A     Films: A-/C+/B+



Evil Dead 2 is Sam Raimi's sequel to the ultimate experience in grueling terror.  After being brought up to speed through a condensed recap of the events of 1981's The Evil Dead, the story kicks off with Ash becoming possessed by the evil force that plagued he and his friends throughout the first film.  Soon a new set of characters will happen upon the secluded cabin and be forced into dealing with the demonic presence.  The movie is famous for its balancing act of horror and comedy, approached in a way that made both aspects work well, when many times in the past one or the other would typically suffer.  It makes for a fun time, and is my personal favorite of the series.


Much of the cast and crew from this picture soon went on to make another, less remembered film together – Intruder, directed by Scott Spiegel.  While its status as a classic isn't as assured as the Evil Dead films, it does make for an adequate slasher movie, and has some of the best gore effects of the era thanks to the crew at KNB Effects.  This was the company's first film credit, though Robert Kurtman, Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger had all worked on Evil Dead 2 together under Mark Shostrom.


The Blu-rays for both of these movies also happen to have some excellent special features produced by Red Shirt Pictures.  Rarely outside of the Criterion Collection is such attention lavished upon a film, but here we see every facet of the productions through the recollections of nearly every significant cast and crew members’ viewpoint, and far more than just a few short minutes worth.  Upgraded picture and sound aside, genre fans would do well to double dip with these discs, just for the special features alone.


Another release, More Brains! A Return to the Living Dead, makes for an excellent companion to The Return of the Living Dead series.  While not quite as slickly produced as the featurettes from Red Shirt Pictures, with a runtime of two hours (plus an additional two hours of bonus material), you can't say that this documentary is lacking in content.  The first two sequels are touched upon briefly as well, though the most recent made for TV installments have been overlooked, and rightly so.


Much of the bonus content here is just as good as what's been left in the documentary, with little that could be described as dodgy.  Also included is the final interview with Dan O'Bannon shortly before he passed, and while sad knowing he's now gone, it is comforting to see the level of respect and admiration he had for fans of his work.


Picture and sound on Evil Dead 2 are excellent, and this is the best the film has looked yet, besting the previous Anchor Bay Blu-ray.  It is presented in anamorphic widescreen with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and with 5.1 DTS-HD lossless surround sound. Intruder also looks great, with a 1.78:1 anamorphically enhanced aspect ratio.  The original soundtrack mix has thankfully been preserved in 2.0 DTS-HD stereo.  More Brains! looks decent for what it is, having been shot digitally, but isn't the best ever.


Each of these releases would make an excellent addition to the discriminating horror collector's library, and I recommend them highly.



For your reference, here is our coverage of the trilogy on home video to date:


Evil Dead Ultimate Edition 3-DVD U.S. Set


Limited Edition U.S. Blu-ray



Evil Dead 2 U.S. DiviMax DVD



Army Of Darkness: Evil Dead 3 MGM Region 3 NTSC version vs. Anchor Bay Boomstick Region 1 Edition DVDs


HD-DVD/DVD Combo Edition




-   David Milchick


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