Anchor Bay's The Evil Dead (bastardization)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark Palermo, Jan 6, 2002.

  1. Mark Palermo

    Mark Palermo Second Unit

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    This is fatuous! Forget that $49.95 is insanely pricey for the limited edition. I'll even, begrudgingly, allow the remixed soundtrack to slide. Anchor Bay and Sam Raimi had a chance to release the definitive version of The Evil Dead on DVD, but don't see fit to include the proper (read: historically and cinematically correct) aspect ratio! I guess there's no need to sell off your old versions.

    From DVDFile:

    Not one but two versions will be released on 3/5. The standard edition features a new 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround EX and DTS 6.1 ES mixes, a French 5.1 Dolby Digital dub, audio commentary with Raimi and producer Rob Tapert and a second commentary with star Bruce Campbell, outtakes and deleted scenes, still gallery, trailers, and TV spots. The full-on "Book Of The Dead" special deluxe edition is a two-disc set with all of the same features as above, plus a second disc with the all-new 26-minute documentary "Fanalysis" by Bruce Campbell and "Discovering Evil Dead" featurette, plus "Within The Woods," the original "Evil Dead" short film that started it all. Retail is $19.95 for the standard edition, and $49.95 for the limited edition, which comes housed in a deluxe book-like package with exclusive liner notes and conceptual art.
     
  2. Chad Ferguson

    Chad Ferguson Supporting Actor

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    How limited is the book edition?
     
  3. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    I saw this theatrically during its initial run - the aspect ratio was approx. 1.85:1. What's wrong with this release (other than the lack of the original mono - they would be better off leaving off the DTS track and providing the mono track)? I understand Raimi & co. personallly supervised the framing & transfer.
     
  4. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Screenwriter

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  5. Mark Palermo

    Mark Palermo Second Unit

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  6. Mitty

    Mitty Supporting Actor

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    Frankly I have no f*cking idea what the OAR/OTAR for this movie is.
    The Elite special edition says, in plain English:
    "New Digitally Remastered Transfer Personally Supervised by Director Sam Raimi and Presented in its Original Aspect Ratio of 1.33:1."
    So, are we assume that this was simply horseshit?
     
  7. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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    Raimi always intended for the film to be in 1.85:1, but since they had very little money to afford mattes to make the film 1.85:1, they went with 1.66:1 for it's theatrical release.
    All video versions as of now have been in 1.33:1 open matte.
    When Anchor Bay approached Raimi and Campbell on what they wanted on this new release, Raimi said he wanted to frame the film at 1.85:1. Since Raimi would be busy with Spiderman, Campbell supervised the transfer and what extras would be on the DVD. I'm sure Raimi witnessed what would be the final transfer as it appeared in R2 (from Anchor Bay) months ago.
    If this is what Raimi wants, I'm fine with it. I would've rather had the film in 1.66:1, but hey, I'm not Raimi and since it's his film, he can do whatever he wants to with it.
     
  8. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Screenwriter

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    Page 82 of the Evil Dead Companion, a book in which Sam Raimi participated heavily, spends a good half page discussing the aspect ratio and how its premiere at an older theater was the one and only time the film was screened without mattes. Raimi intended for his film to be seen theatrically, and 1.37:1 was about as uncommon an aspect ratio for theatrical exhibition twenty years ago as it is now. He framed for 1.66:1 accordingly. Bruce Campbell's commentary on the Evil Dead also mentions that they were aware the movie would be matted theatrically. He says something about how they knew certain portions of the melting animation near the end wouldn't be seen by the audience... I suppose there are cases where "original aspect ratio" and "theatrical aspect ratio" aren't one and the same, and maybe this is one such instance.
    This exact discussion has already taken place in the following threads:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=28762
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=16708
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...&threadid=5751
     
  9. Jim Bivins

    Jim Bivins Stunt Coordinator

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    My ...head...is...going...to...explode...in 1.85:1!!!

    Which AR was it meant to be seen in? Maybe all?

    Well, it seem's one way to find out, is to look at the version available as well as the new edition, take a bit of moviemaking and composition knowledge, and see what works best visually!

    just a thought

    Jim
     
  10. Mitty

    Mitty Supporting Actor

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  11. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

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    Here are the links directly to the Anchor Bay website:
    The Evil Dead: Book of the Dead Edition
    The Evil Dead (Regular Edition)
    I don't think that $49.99 MSRP is too much for this set. While I don't know enough about the aspect ratio debate to offer anything of value, unless Sam Raimi or likewise comes out publicly and renounces the transfer (yeah, right), I plan on picking up this set. I just wish the original soundtrack was included.
     
  12. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Screenwriter

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  13. Matthew Beechin

    Matthew Beechin Auditioning

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    We finally got a DVD release of The Evil Dead in the UK (Reg. 2) late last year. The disc includes; dolby 5.1, DTS 6.1 soundtracks. Plus 2 commentary tracks - one by Raimi and producer Tapert, then a second by Bruce himself.

    Unworthy extras such as a trailer and photo gallery were also included, sheesh, how generous.

    Anyway, with regard to aspect ratios we received a pleasant 1.85: 1 version.
     
  14. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Fifty bucks? Ouch! Oh well, you know damn well I'll be picking it up anyway. Hopefully, the pre-order prices will be lower...
     
  15. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    Well I will be picking up this release (and keeping the original Elite SE as well). If Bruce Campbell who had a big part in making this film supervised the new transfer why would anyone complain. If you want to be a completest, just go buy the current Elite disc as well (I am not sure if it will go OOP).

    As for the price, 49.95 is just the retail price. I just pre-ordered this from Amazon for 35 bucks shipped using a coupon. It will probably be had for less at DDD, though you will not get the disc as quickly as from Amazon. I can't complain getting a limited book packaging and second disc for this price. Plus it will look good next to my Evil Dead 2 Tin and Army of Darkness LE.

    J
     
  16. Brian Lawrence

    Brian Lawrence Producer

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    It's nice that they can throw all those new fangled soundtracks and bonus stuff on there yet don't even bother with the original mono track [​IMG]
    Nice! The more they fuck up the film the more money they want for it. Anchor bay are really starting to piss me off over their crude treatment of sountracks. Yes I understand that many of the films they handle might not otherwise even see the light of day on dvd and we owe them that much. But they seem to be confusing restoration with revisionism.
    And the ratio , 1.66? ,1.37? ,1.85? Who the hell knows? Perhaps in a couple of years from now when yet another dvd version is matted to 2.35 and packed in a gold plated tin box, We can compare all four ratios [​IMG]
     
  17. Artur Meinild

    Artur Meinild Screenwriter

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    I don't understand why the 1.33:1 version isn't included on the disc. Most current Anchor Bay titles have both versions (WS and P&S), so why not here???
     
  18. David Ki

    David Ki Agent

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    Since I want to own both versions, which current 4:3 ratio version is the best Elite or Anchor Bays?
     
  19. Josh_Hill

    Josh_Hill Screenwriter

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    Man $50 is a lot for just one movie, but I'll pick it up.
     
  20. Jussi Tarvainen

    Jussi Tarvainen Second Unit

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    A few points I want to make:
    1. Only a sucker is going to pay full retail price for the disc. With appropriate discounts the total comes to about $30.
    2. I understand completely the reasoning behing matting the film to 1.85:1. I also have no objections to this. (I ran a test with my Elite SE by matting the top and bottom of the frame with black paper [​IMG]. In addition, I believe Campbell has not just added mattes but actually reframed the film so it works as well as it can in widescreen.)
    3. I really don't need the original mono track for this film since the surround track works so well (as witnessed on the Elite disc).
    4. It would be nice to have the original full frame version on the disc as well. Since Anchor Bay included FF transfers on both Evil Dead II and Army Of Darkness, I see no reason why it isn't included here. (Although I certainly wouldn't watch the film in 1.37:1 if the 1.85:1 ratio is available.)
    5. I'm not so sure if the UK release from September(?) is the same as the upcoming R1 edition, at least as far as the transfer is concerned. I read from reviews of the former disc that the top and bottom of the frame had just been matted off; hopefully that's not the case for the R1 disc.
     

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