The Evil Dead Blu-ray Review

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Reviewed by Chris McEneany, 22nd August 2010.
One of the most infamous horror films of all time gets its long-awaited Blu-ray release, and in a real turn-up for the books (of the Dead), we receive a director approved transfer that genuinely will be a crowd-pleaser. Authentic, grain-retaining, well-detailed and more colourful, The Evil Dead looks marvellously film-like and faithful. Plus, contention-aside, the cropped widescreen transfer is not an improvement on the original 1.33:1 full-frame image, although it still looks great, so all those initial reservations about Anchor Bay can be swept away. Even the sound-mix is a delight. Nothing too controversial added and nothing taken away, the lossless surround track adds greatly to the atmosphere and helps render some of those stingers that we all know so well with much greater emphasis, and any remix that can make this lunatic sound design fun has just got to be applauded.

The film remains an absolute classic. Inventive, imaginative, bravura and ferocious, Raimi's obsessive horror-homage is all these things and more. He may have refined the idea considerably for the sequel, inarguably maturing as a filmmaker in every aspect, but the rawness and ramshackle nature of the original guarantees a barbaric and remorseless attitude that utterly refuses to play by the rules. He may only have wanted to splash blood all over the screen, but he ended up creating a genre icon and an entire mythology to boot. Infectious thrills and chills, giddy levels of gore and violence, and a performance from Bruce Campbell that actually grows as the film rockets along – you are seeing a star in the making - The Evil Dead is the out-and-out “horror” film of the series … and it still packs a helluva punch.

It is easy to sit here and say that seeing the film in hi-def and with lossless sound is like experiencing it for the first time – and, of course, it isn't as devastating as that – but, man, it comes close! “The Ultimate Experience In Gruelling Terror” is still just as gruelling as it ever was … but now it looks and sounds much better. The Evil Dead comes very highly recommended, folks!

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Read the full review...
 

Soundwave

Distinguished Member
Another awesome review of one of my best horror films ever :) :smashin::smashin:

Please tell me this is region free???

Keep up the great work Chris :thumbsup:

Neil
 

Glenn01

Distinguished Member
ha ha ... how did I guess it would be YOU (Chris) that would review this movie ???

Brilliant review as ever ... but you need to stop as you are spending my money quicker than I can earn it adding new bluray movies to my list that i NEED to buy !

Great film though and did genuinely scare me as a kid ... but it was a hyped video nasty back then :rolleyes:

Ahhh the 80's, when you could go to the video rental shop as a kid and rent Zombie Flesh Eaters :)

I like how you say this new transfer makes the film almost feel brand new.

Looking forward to this one now cheers for the heads up :smashin:
 

Robert S

Novice Member
Excellent review. Can't wait for this to arrive.

Since you've seen the disc, can I ask: does that final shot of
Ash leaving the cabin still look awkward on the matted version, i.e does the lower half of Ash still vanish off screen?!

Caps reveal a more natural 1.85:1 version this time around, but having previously attempted to watch the 1.33:1 UE disc zoomed-in to 14:9, I still feel the extra vertical space is occasionally vital to the compositions.
 

Chris McEneany

Well-known Member
Another awesome review of one of my best horror films ever :) :smashin::smashin:

Please tell me this is region free???

Keep up the great work Chris :thumbsup:

Neil

Hi Neil,

Sorry, mate, but it appears to be region A locked. I just tried it in my UK panny to make sure and ... no can do.

But don't worry - there's supposed to be a UK release coming from Sony at some point, which even has a PiP track on, apparently. It is bound to be using the same transfer, but I have heard that it doesn't include the original 1.33:1 version.

But at least you'll get the film, dude! :smashin:

Cheers,

Chris McEneany :devil:
 

Soundwave

Distinguished Member
Hi Neil,

Sorry, mate, but it appears to be region A locked. I just tried it in my UK panny to make sure and ... no can do.

But don't worry - there's supposed to be a UK release coming from Sony at some point, which even has a PiP track on, apparently. It is bound to be using the same transfer, but I have heard that it doesn't include the original 1.33:1 version.

But at least you'll get the film, dude! :smashin:

Cheers,

Chris McEneany :devil:

Bums :(
I had a feeling you were going to say that.

At least I know there is a version on the way :D:D

I do think the Region A players in the classifieds are looking more & more attractive at the moment...The Roger Corman releases are almost enough to make me buy one anyway :smashin:

Thanks again for the help & the cracking review...here's hoping for a quick UK release.

Neil
 

Chris McEneany

Well-known Member
Excellent review. Can't wait for this to arrive.

Since you've seen the disc, can I ask: does that final shot of
Ash leaving the cabin still look awkward on the matted version, i.e does the lower half of Ash still vanish off screen?!

Caps reveal a more natural 1.85:1 version this time around, but having previously attempted to watch the 1.33:1 UE disc zoomed-in to 14:9, I still feel the extra vertical space is occasionally vital to the compositions.

Hi Robert,

Right, the 1.85:1 no longer loses the bottom half of Ash as it used to. Now we get to see his belt, hips and a fair bit of the cords, too :smashin: In fact, it mirrors the 1.33:1 very well in this regard. But, and here's something that I didn't really pick up on until you mentioned it, the 1.85:1 actually looks a little better framed as it does not have the excess space above Ash's head, the image now looking more natural.

I know what you mean about the vertical space being vital to compositions, though, but I think you'll find that this revamped 1.85:1 provides plenty of opportunity to see how the matted image can actually be a successful alternative if done correctly. And they have done a great job with this one. Some other scenes in the 1.85:1 present more depth and a more "dynamic" looking image as a direct result.

Having said this, though, I still think I prefer the original aspect.

But, as I say, with this release you get them both, so you really can't lose.

Cheers for you comments,

Chris McEneany :devil:
 

Chris McEneany

Well-known Member
Bums :(
I had a feeling you were going to say that.

At least I know there is a version on the way :D:D

I do think the Region A players in the classifieds are looking more & more attractive at the moment...The Roger Corman releases are almost enough to make me buy one anyway :smashin:

Thanks again for the help & the cracking review...here's hoping for a quick UK release.

Neil

No worries, mate!

TBH, I would plump for a reg A machine anyway. The Corman stuff and the Criterion titles, alone, make it a very worthwhile move.

But even if you don't bite the bullet, you should be able to resurrect the Deadites from their ancient slumber courtesy of Sony before too long!

Oh, but don't forget, we've got Caroline Munro in Starcrash from the Corman series coming along soon!!!!! ;)

You're tempted now, aren't you?!

Cheers Neil,

Chris McEneany :devil:
 

Robert S

Novice Member
Many thanks Chris. I imagine Raimi's to credit for this improved framing. AFAIK Campbell supervised the THX/BOTD master.

I wonder which framing Raimi prefers?
 

Soundwave

Distinguished Member
No worries, mate!

TBH, I would plump for a reg A machine anyway. The Corman stuff and the Criterion titles, alone, make it a very worthwhile move.

But even if you don't bite the bullet, you should be able to resurrect the Deadites from their ancient slumber courtesy of Sony before too long!

Oh, but don't forget, we've got Caroline Munro in Starcrash from the Corman series coming along soon!!!!! ;)

You're tempted now, aren't you?!

Cheers Neil,

Chris McEneany :devil:

Hmmmm Caroline Munro :D:D:D
Think I'm sold already ;)

Just been scouring the sales threads & think I might be grabbing a Region A Panny BD30
Those Corman titles are easily worth the price of admission alone :)

Fingers crossed I can get it.

Thanks again Chris...the missus might not thank you as your helping me spend money but I most certainly do ;) lol

Neil
 

Chris McEneany

Well-known Member
Hmmmm Caroline Munro :D:D:D
Think I'm sold already ;)

Just been scouring the sales threads & think I might be grabbing a Region A Panny BD30
Those Corman titles are easily worth the price of admission alone :)

Fingers crossed I can get it.

Thanks again Chris...the missus might not thank you as your helping me spend money but I most certainly do ;) lol

Neil

You know what, Neil, I've been getting in trouble with people's wives a lot lately! ;)

Seriously, tho, it makes sense. There's so much good stuff coming out Stateside that it just ensures you're equipped to deal with it, whatever the coding.

Oh, and btw, a BIG review of Escape From New York is coming next!!! :smashin:

Cheers,

Chris McEneany :devil:
 

Soundwave

Distinguished Member
You know what, Neil, I've been getting in trouble with people's wives a lot lately! ;)

Seriously, tho, it makes sense. There's so much good stuff coming out Stateside that it just ensures you're equipped to deal with it, whatever the coding.

Oh, and btw, a BIG review of Escape From New York is coming next!!! :smashin:

Cheers,

Chris McEneany :devil:

Lol well you should stop writing good reviews that make people want to buy the films ;)

Well I'm sold just waiting for a reply to see if I can knock the price down a little for the Panny

Ooooh haven't seen Escape in a long time now.
Look forward to the review, hoping for a good transfer of this bad boy.

Neil
 

Soundwave

Distinguished Member
Well I couldnt hold out & I've scored myself the region A Panasonic BD30 & popped my order in for this & Galaxy of Terror to start off the Region A collection.

Your definitely in the missus bad books now I'm afraid Chris ;) lol
That said I'll be joining you in there :laugh:

Neil
 

shawnduhast

Member
Excellent Review Chris :D

Another one of your concise and to the point reviews that Phil Hinton is always saying you do :smashin:

It's the main reason I come here as your reviews are always a joy to read!

Shame about Sony missing off the 1.33 as thats the way I always watch it via my Elite DVD but that just pushes me even nearer an OPPO BDP-83 from Henry at CRT Projectors.

So then you'll have issues with my missus as well!
 
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