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DVD Reviews

HTF DVD REVIEW: The Evil Dead: Ultimate Edition



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#1 of 10 Michael Osadciw

Michael Osadciw

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Posted December 16 2007 - 09:27 AM






What we get is a lot of new features from convention events that happened in 2005. Much emphasis has been placed on The Ladies of Evil Dead, which is also the name of disc three where most of the content is placed. But let’s start with disc one, shall we?

Disc 1:

  • audio commentary by director Sam Raimi and producer Robert Tapert. This is the same one that’s on the Book of the Dead and Elite disc.

  • One by One We Will Take You: The Untold Saga of The Evil Dead – features relatively new interviews from the cast and crew and they discuss (and praise) Raimi for his work on this film. It’s interesting to see the personalities of the actresses, especially Ellen Sandweiss who comes across as a bit bitter towards life in general.

    Disc 2:

  • audio commentary from actor Bruce Campbell. Again, same funny one as in previous releases. Bruce’s humour and sarcasm really comes out here and is worth the listen.

  • Treasures from the Cutting Room Floor - the highlight of this set for me is this 59 minute assembly of cut scenes and alternate takes in film-chronological order. This is essentially the raw footage with clapboard and all and presented much like the 20 minute assembly on the Elite disc, but just with all new stuff. It has all been “restored” and reframed for 1.85:1 for this release. Very scary stuff…!

    Disc 3:

    All features, with the exception of the TV spots are 16:9.

  • Life After Death: The Ladies of the Evil Dead (15min) - this featurette tells of how the three ladies in this film decided to get together and learn about horror conventions and how to (make money and) be guest stars signing autographs just as Bruce Campbell has over the past million years. This feature wasn’t done yesterday, but sometime between the Book of the Dead release and 2005. Since it’s just the three of them in chairs talking about the past, it’s a nice feature to watch the interaction of ladies off screen if studying the culture of actresses.

  • The Ladies of The Evil Dead Meet Bruce Campbell (29min) - this time Campbell is added to the group of girls. Either he puts on an act well, or he’s just naturally a sarcastically funny guy. I guess that is why the girls don’t seem to mind Bruce dominating the topics during this half hour conversation.

  • Unconventional (20min) - the three ladies, Campbell, Richard DeManincor, Tom Sullivan, and Ted Raimi discuss horror conventions and the fanbase.

  • At the Drive-In (13min) – the above mentioned hand out The Evil Dead DVD in 2005 to a group of hardcore fans that are camping out in a parking lot at Chicago’s O’Hara International Airport with a big screen ready to watch the film. This time it’s not the fans asking the questions, it’s the cast!

  • Reunion Panel (31min) - Chicago’s Flashback Weekend in 2005 hosted the actors and actresses of The Evil Dead. This is a recording of the panel fans don’t want to miss.

  • The Palace Boys Meet The Evil Dead (13min) – in association with Blue Underground, this featurette is a look at one British company’s finding of the film (considered a “Video Nasty” back in the day) and getting the rights to it.

  • Make-up test (1.05, 4:3)

  • Trailer and four TV Spots that were aired in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

  • Still Gallery and Poster & Memorabilia Gallery

    Look close for easter eggs, a few exist!


    IN THE END...

    I never thought another release of The Evil Dead would make it to DVD after The Book of the Dead release. Anchor Bay surprised me again. It’s a nice set for those who don’t own it. It gives you both full frame and widescreen editions of the film and a third disc full of new stuff. Like many other special editions…well, you’ll have to hang on to the old releases because all features but the commentary are release-specific. Regarding the sound and image quality, I wasn’t expecting anything new. But despite the limitations of the source, I’m looking forward to an HD release that would rid the image of DVD-related artefacts from compression and get the added benefit of a cleaner output for the Blu-ray players. My hopes is that Starz Entertainment does justice to this title. The title was announced and then postponed for a BD release. Even though unlikely, I’m hoping to see a three disc set with all features included here as well as features from the past. And even though this disc features a Campbell-approved image, I much prefer the Raimi approved transfer from Elite and would like Starz to attempt to acquire it or have Raimi revisit it again.

    Michael Osadciw
    December 16, 2007.

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    #2 of 10 Bill GrandPre

    Bill GrandPre

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    Posted December 16 2007 - 09:51 AM

    Quote:
    Disc 1 in this Ultimate Edition has this 1.85:1 version sans THX approval. It looks identical to the one in 2002.

    I've always thought the 1.85:1 framing was fine but there were always a few undeniable errors in it, such as the band-aid box being obscured by the framing.

    I've read on another forum that the handful of awkward-framing instances in the widescreen version have been re-framed for this release. The band-aid gag was specifically cited.

    Can you confirm that some reframing has occurred?
    Don't you ever, EVER compare me to "Family Guy," you hear me Kyle? Compare me to "Family Guy" again and so help me, I will kill you where you stand!

    Do you have any idea what it's like? Everywhere I go: "Hey Cartman you must like 'Family Guy,' right?" "Hey, your sense of humor reminds me of...

    #3 of 10 Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw

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    Posted December 17 2007 - 04:24 AM

    Bill

    Can you give me a time count to reference? I'm not sure where the band-aid point is.

    Thanks.
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    #4 of 10 Bill GrandPre

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    Posted December 17 2007 - 08:11 AM

    At 1:11:25 (based on the Book of the Dead edition) Ash is in the basement and he steps into a puddle of blood.

    There is a visual gag here as a tin Band-Aid box is literally floating in the blood. In the Book of the Dead edition this is almost completely obscured by the widescreen framing.

    Another thing that might be worth checking out is if the fullscreen version includes the lightning bolt animation. This is not present in any of the fullscreen releases on DVD. On the widescreen "Book of the Dead" edition it occurs at 16:16.
    Don't you ever, EVER compare me to "Family Guy," you hear me Kyle? Compare me to "Family Guy" again and so help me, I will kill you where you stand!

    Do you have any idea what it's like? Everywhere I go: "Hey Cartman you must like 'Family Guy,' right?" "Hey, your sense of humor reminds me of...

    #5 of 10 Robbie^Blackmon

    Robbie^Blackmon

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    Posted December 18 2007 - 12:55 PM

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bill GrandPre
    At 1:11:25 (based on the Book of the Dead edition) Ash is in the basement and he steps into a puddle of blood.

    There is a visual gag here as a tin Band-Aid box is literally floating in the blood. In the Book of the Dead edition this is almost completely obscured by the widescreen framing.

    Another thing that might be worth checking out is if the fullscreen version includes the lightning bolt animation. This is not present in any of the fullscreen releases on DVD. On the widescreen "Book of the Dead" edition it occurs at 16:16.

    The Band-Aid shot box is still obscured in the widescreen version. The elusive lightning shot is present in the full-frame and the widescreen version. When Cheryl first becomes posessed (at the window) there is no quick zoom to her face, a la the Elite version.

    And, all of the outtakes and trims are matted to 1.85:1, anamorphic.

    Hope that answers some of the inevitable questions.
    "A jerk with a quirk may do the work. Or,
    a turk with a dirk may stick a clerk!"
    -Shemp Howard in "Blunder Boys"

    #6 of 10 Bill GrandPre

    Bill GrandPre

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    Posted December 18 2007 - 03:11 PM

    That's cool that the fullframe version is actually uncut and unmodified for the first time in the history of the format.
    Don't you ever, EVER compare me to "Family Guy," you hear me Kyle? Compare me to "Family Guy" again and so help me, I will kill you where you stand!

    Do you have any idea what it's like? Everywhere I go: "Hey Cartman you must like 'Family Guy,' right?" "Hey, your sense of humor reminds me of...

    #7 of 10 Robbie^Blackmon

    Robbie^Blackmon

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    Posted December 18 2007 - 09:32 PM

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bill GrandPre
    That's cool that the fullframe version is actually uncut and unmodified for the first time in the history of the format.

    Visually, that does seem to hold true. However, the original, single-channel sound mix is not present. So, technically, one might say the feature has still been diddled with!
    "A jerk with a quirk may do the work. Or,
    a turk with a dirk may stick a clerk!"
    -Shemp Howard in "Blunder Boys"

    #8 of 10 SD_Brian

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    Posted December 21 2007 - 02:17 PM

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Michael Osadciw
    I never thought another release of The Evil Dead would make it to DVD after The Book of the Dead release. Anchor Bay surprised me again.

    Strange how it seems like Anchor Bay releases a new version of The Evil Dead every six months but, in reality, it has actually been almost 6 years since The Book of the Dead came out. To my knowledge, they haven't released another version since then--unless you count releases of the same disc with multiple covers as a new version. Then again, IMHO, if you're dumb enough to buy multiple copies of the same disc just for new cover art, you deserve to be double-dipped.

    #9 of 10 Bill GrandPre

    Bill GrandPre

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    Posted December 25 2007 - 01:19 PM

    Quote:
    Treasures from the Cutting Room Floor - the highlight of this set for me is this 59 minute assembly of cut scenes and alternate takes in film-chronological order. This is essentially the raw footage with clapboard and all and presented much like the 20 minute assembly on the Elite disc, but just with all new stuff. It has all been “restored” and reframed for 1.85:1 for this release. Very scary stuff…!

    From what I could tell this is all-new footage with none of the old outtake footage from the Elite and Book of the Dead editions.

    It's been a few years since I watched it so there could be some overlap but there is a very obvious omission: the older outtakes featured a scene of Ash standing outside the cabin on the porch crying (I believe it's after the Shelly scene). I just got my copy for a Christmas gift and that outtake always stood out among the last selection because it was the closest thing to a full-blown deleted scene, and it's not in the new selection of outtakes.

    The cool packaging on the Book of the Dead edition was enough to get me to keep it, and the fact that "Fanalysis" wasn't carried over from that edition was another reason why the Book of the Dead is a keeper but that was an omission I could understand as "Fanalysis" isn't really specifically about "The Evil Dead", but it is irritating to me that not all that outtake footage was carried over.
    Don't you ever, EVER compare me to "Family Guy," you hear me Kyle? Compare me to "Family Guy" again and so help me, I will kill you where you stand!

    Do you have any idea what it's like? Everywhere I go: "Hey Cartman you must like 'Family Guy,' right?" "Hey, your sense of humor reminds me of...

    #10 of 10 Charlie O.

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    Posted December 26 2007 - 03:14 PM

    Does any one know if The Evil Dead was shown as 1.33:1 or 1.85.1 when it was first in theaters?





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