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This review appears direct to the web courtesy of THE CINEMA LASER.


If you are a horror fan, then you definitely must add Elite Entertainment’s wonderful new collector’s edition of EVIL DEAD 2: DEAD BY DAWN ($50) to your Laserdisc collection. For the uninitiated, EVIL DEAD 2 is one of the absolute "fall on the floor" funniest gore-fests ever committed to film. This sequel to the cult classic stars Bruce Campbell as Ash, the world’s dumbest (but you gotta love him anyway) hero. Case in point, not having learned the dangers of staying at deserted cabins in the woods from the first film, Ash takes his girlfriend to the cabin and soon finds himself again besieged by demons. The cause of his trouble is the "Necronomicon Ex Mortis" or "Book Of The Dead", an ancient text that contains rites and spells that can summon forth the ancient dark powers and their demon hordes. The cabin was home to an old scholar, who discovered the Necronomicon and was in the process of translating the book. Unfortunately, while recording some of the ancient incantations, the old scholar unleashed some of the demons into the woods. Things get weirder when the scholar’s daughter and a few companions show up and find themselves at the mercy of the demonic forces. The rest of the movie is a wild ride as Ash and company do battle with demons while trying to find the incantation which will send the evil back to its point of origin. In addition to the wonderfully entertaining Bruce Campbell, the cast of EVIL DEAD 2 also features Sarah Berry, Dan Hicks, Kassie DePaiva, Ted Raimi, Denise Bixler, Richard Domeier, John Peaks and Lou Hancock.

Elite Entertainment Inc. has done a spectacular job with their Letterboxed presentation of EVIL DEAD 2: DEAD BY DAWN. The Letterboxed Super-Scan transfer was personally supervised by director Sam Raimi and restores EVIL DEAD 2 to its proper 1.85:1 theatrical proportions. This transfer is crisp and has excellent detail. Colors are vivid; flesh tones along with the abundant blood tones appear natural. The digitally encoded monaural soundtrack is strong and will take a fair amount of amplification. The initial production run of EVIL DEAD 2 features a blood red Laserdisc, which played back flawlessly. The Japanese pressing itself was pretty much free from inclusions and video noise. As its chief supplement, the Elite Entertainment Laserdisc offers an audio commentary featuring star Bruce Campbell, director Sam Raimi, co-writer Scott Spiegel and special effect artist Gregory Nicotero. The commentary, which appears on the disc’s analog track, is an absolute hoot. Campbell and Raimi are absolute cut-ups and they make listening to the commentary a blast. The commentary contains insights and anecdotes which will double the value of this Laserdisc for fans of the movie. Other supplements include a theatrical trailer, plus behind the scenes home video footage of the original production. The video footage is consumer quality, but shows the good-natured production featuring cast and crew in all their glory.

Elite Entertainment Inc. deserves resounding praise from horror fans for making this fantastic Laserdisc available. EVIL DEAD 2: DEAD BY DAWN is one of the most eagerly anticipated Laserdiscs of all time and it certainly delivers the goods. Absolutely recommended!


Laserdisc reviews are Copyright 1998 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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