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Cth's DVD Buys

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Evil Dead II:  Electric Boogaloo

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                                by Cth (cth@clickcom.com)

 

This Weeks DVD selection(s) are brought to you by:

The letter "C" and the number "i"  

What you can expect from this review:

- Evaluation of the "extras"

- General synopsis of movie with comments

- Overall presentation (menus, layouts, ease of use, innovation, etc)

- Cover evaluation

What will not be covered in this review:

-Sound options [Dolby 5.1, etc, unless someone is willing to sponsor my purchase of such a setup ;) ]

Disclaimer:

As always, if there's a DVD you'd like me to review, I'm always willing to do so, just send it my way and I'll return it to you when finished with my review.  You will get credit in the review for providing the loan, and can help contribute in promoting something cool for everyone to see. Go ahead and force me to watch your worst DVD. Do your worst!   And remember, these reviews are my opinions, feel free to use them in assisting your decision, but not to supplant them.

So without further ado let's jump into things.

First up let's take a look at the Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn limited edition tin.

 

"EVIL DEAD 2: DEAD BY DAWN"

Cover: 2/5  (poor shelf presence, colors, subject matter wrong, no focal pt for eye)

Direction/Story: 5/5  (Innovative style; unique; perfect blend of humor and horror)

DVD Layout: 4/5 (animated menus would have been nice)

Extras: 4/5 (storyboards/script/history all would have been nice; lots of cool features)

Overall: 4/5  (Few flaws, but a recommended purchase that should be in everyone's collection)

COVER

No offense to the artist in question, but the color scheme is totally off on the cover.  In addition, there isn't any real "focal point" for your eye to be drawn towards.  If this was sitting on a shelf, there's nothing to distinguish it from all the other DVDs, contrast this to the REPO MAN limited edition tin.  Plus, from the cover, it appears the professor's daughter becomes possessed when the pose in question is that of her boyfriend. 

 

DIRECTION

Next, we come to direction.. Evil Dead 2, is to horror what Star Wars is to Sci-Fi.  It's held up as one of the finest examples the genre has produced.  It's long lasting endurance on the cult film circuit is a testament to just how good this movie is.  One of the first of its kind, Raimi and his cohorts produced a "Splattstick" …a horror film with comedic overtones.  As stated in the commentary, you can tell the obvious love of comedy that Raimi and Campbell share in making this film.

Raimi utilizes many innovative techniques in his films.  From his camera angles, to his choice of camera speed, to the overall direction…each one adds up to contribute something unique and this film is no different.  For example, to simulate a spirit chasing Campbell through the woods, Raimi built a wooden box around a camera and smashed it through objects.  Lots of reverse filming was used, which required a great deal of talent on the actors and actresses parts to pull off properly.  Raimi's vision alone is well worth viewing this film, but when you add in the comedic talents of Bruce Campbell, well, you've got the makings of a perfect film.

STORY

The story is essentially a reinvention of the first film, but with a different cast. The first film?  Ok, supposing you haven't seen this film before, here's what it's about: A guy goes into the woods with his girlfriend.  The cabin they're staying in was used by a professor to translate the Necronomicon, which in doing so, conjured up something in the woods.  It took the guy's ("Ash") girlfriend and then went after him.  Only the dawn of day saves Ash from becoming one of the zombies in the woods. Ash has until sundown before he reverts back into being a zombie again.  The professor's daughter

comes to the woods with more pages from the Necronomicon and meets a hillbilly couple along the way.

This new group and Ash are forced to contend with threats both outside and from within, without turning upon one another. Ultimately, their goal being to survive and escape the cabin.

 

LAYOUT

The layout. My personal taste is some form of animated menus or something.  Without it, you might as well be looking at a slideshow in my opinion.  Navigation is easy, and you shouldn't get lost going wandering on the DVD.  The looping sequence in the beginning could use a little work however, as it becomes annoying due to the short loop.

EXTRAS

I'll admit to being disappointed with the booklet included.  I was hoping for notes by Bruce Campbell or Sam Raimi, which weren't included.  The director's commentary was excellent, illustrating for budding filmmakers how to make due with the budget you have.  The interplay between Campbell, Raimi, and crew on the commentary track as well as the featurettes, give you a glimpse at how much fun it must have been to make this film.  A sneak preview of the upcoming Playstation video game is promised, unfortunately it's only a full motion video intro sequence.   No actual game sequence is shown or heard (voices, sound effects, animation, etc.  I would have liked also to see some storyboard comparisons similar to those shown on the Army of Darkness Special Edition DVD, or the inclusion of the actual script as a DVD-ROM feature, or a history of the film from cult viewings to multiple DVD editions.

 

DON'T MISS              

When running through the cabin, you can see where the crew didn't frame the shot properly and you can clearly see a crew member in the rafters of the cabin instead of a ceiling.  This and many more "Did You Notice?" moments can be found in the commentary track and on the featurette "The Gore The Merrier"

 

FINAL WORD

One of the ‘MUST HAVE’ movies in your DVD collection, but pick up the regular edition (sans tin) instead to save a few bucks.  Be careful,  though, there are 3 editions, so be sure to pick up the one that features a director’s commentary with Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi.

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