Does the world really need yet another edition of Sam Raimi’s oft-released indie-horror classic “The Evil Dead”? When it comes to the new, super-sweet three-disc “Ultimate Edition,” the answer is a resounding “Yes!”
If you thought Anchor Bay put a lot of effort into its recent “Ultimate” releases of “Re-Animator,” “Phantasm” or “Hellraiser” this year, wait until you see this. In a fold-out box that thankfully utilizes the original poster art, the sturdy packaging keeps throwing surprises at the fans.
Of course, it’s what’s on those shiny discs that counts, and the film “ detailing Bruce Campbell’s first brush with grueling terror in the woods, thanks to a cursed book “ is available in widescreen and full-frame formats. (Apparently, the hard-core fans have been calling for the latter, although I prefer to stick with the bars.) Although the sequels went jokey, “Evil Dead” was made with an intent to scare and disturb, and does.
Don’t miss the hour-long documentary covering the inception, shooting and enduring legacy of the film; Raimi and Campbell aren’t among the talking heads interviewed, by the highly appreciative Eli Roth (“Cabin Fever”), Edgar Wright (“Shaun of the Dead”) and drive-in movie critic Joe Bob Briggs are. Throw in a taped live cast reunion and a featurette on how its three female stars how come to terms with this little movie that won’t die, and horror fans have a must-purchase package, even if they’ve purchased the movie before. One by one, they will take you! —Rod Lott