EVIL DEAD II (1987) Reviews and overview

 

On March 16th 2021, Evil Dead II is being issued as a limited-edition Steelbook by FYE. Details of special features to follow.

Meanwhile, here is our previous coverage of this horror comedy classic:

‘Kiss your nerves goodbye’

Evil Dead II – often referred to on publicity material as Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn – is a 1987 American horror comedy feature film directed by Sam Raimi. More than a sequel, it is a reboot of the 1981 film The Evil Dead. Co-written by Raimi and Scott Spiegel, it was produced by Rob Tapert and stars Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams.

Filming took place in Michigan and North Carolina in 1986 and the film was released in the United States on March 13, 1987. It was a decent box office success, achieving $10.9 million. It also received critical acclaim. Watchers praised Raimi for the direction and Campbell for his role in the film. Evil Dead II was eventually followed by Army of Darkness.

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Plot:

Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) and his girlfriend Linda (Denise Bixler) take a romantic vacation in his 1973 Oldsmobile to a seemingly abandoned cabin in the woods. While in the cabin, Ash plays a tape of an archaeology professor (the cabin’s previous inhabitant), reciting passages from the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis (or “Book of the Dead”), which he has discovered during an archaeological dig.

The recorded incantation unleashes an evil force that kills and later possesses the body of Linda. Ash is then forced to decapitate his girlfriend for his own safety. After he buries her, a spirit is seen on the hunt for Ash. Ash becomes briefly possessed by the demon, but when the day breaks the spirit is gone, he is back to normal.

Ash finds little chance of safety, however, as the bridge leading to the cabin is destroyed. To make things worse, Ash is forced to sever his right hand, which has become possessed.

While Ash is dealing with this force, the professor’s daughter, Annie, and her research partner, Ed Getley, return from the dig with more pages of the Necronomicon in tow, only to find the destroyed bridge. They enlist the help of Jake and Bobby Joe to guide them along an alternate trail to the cabin. The four of them find an embattled Ash, who is, seemingly, slowly being driven insane due to his encounter with the demon…

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Reviews [click links to read more]:

Evil Dead 2 remains one the most truly joyful horror films ever made. Its macabre, maniacal and irreverent heart comes through the unique presence of Campbell. Never has an actor embodied a character as he does with Ash. Raimi ensures that the blood and gore is plentiful and frequent, as are the beautiful array of camera angles and shots, whilst Campbell brings a whole encyclopaedia of facial expressions.” Backseat Mafia

“It looks superficially like a routine horror movie, a vomitorium designed to separate callow teenagers from their lunch. But look a little closer and you’ll realize that the movie is a fairly sophisticated satire. Level One viewers will say it’s in bad taste. Level Two folks like myself will perceive that it is about bad taste.” Roger Ebert

” …the fact that Raimi and Campbell had begun their career alternating between horror shorts and Three Stooges knockoffs paid massive dividends: this is, without doubt, the most successful blend of horror and comedy, and a classic in either field.” Time Out London

Evil Dead 2:  Dead by Dawn is an assault on the senses.  It’s not scary exactly, but it’s disgusting, hilarious, and strangely enough; quite beautiful.  Not only is it one of the greatest horror movies ever made, it also happens to be one of the greatest FILMS of all time.” The Video Vacuum

In 2015, British artist and illustrator Graham Humphries was commissioned to provide a new version (above) of the artwork he designed for the original UK release.

In the US, Evil Dead II was upgraded by Lionsgate to 4K Ultra HD in a Combo Pack that includes Blu-ray and Digital on December 11th, 2018.

4K Ultra HD Special Features

New “Bloody and Groovy, Baby!” – A Tribute to Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead 2 Featurette

Audio Commentary with writer-director Sam Raimi, actor Bruce Campbell, co-writer Scott Spiegel, and special make-up effects artist Greg Nicotero

Blu-ray Special Features:

Audio Commentary with writer-director Sam Raimi, actor Bruce Campbell, co-writer Scott Spiegel, and special make-up effects artist Greg Nicotero

“Swallowed Souls: The Making of Evil Dead 2” Featurette
“Cabin Fever – A ‘Fly on the Wall’ Look Behind-the-Scenes of Evil Dead 2” Featurette
“Road to Wadesboro: Revisiting the Shooting Location with Filmmaker Tony Elwood” Featurette
“Evil Dead 2: Behind-the-Screams” Featurette
“The Gore The Merrier” Featurette
Theatrical Trailer
Still Galleries

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Buy: Amazon.co.ukAmazon.com 

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Buy: Amazon.co.uk

Buy The Unseen ForceAmazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca

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