Author Topic: Evil Dead Fans, I need your help!  (Read 821 times)

Offline Jim

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Evil Dead Fans, I need your help!
« on: October 31, 2003, 08:36 AM »
I own all 3 movies on VHS but am looking at upgrading to DVD's.  My question is with so many versions available, which ones should I pick up.  Are any versions expanded?  I see there are 3 versions of Evil Dead available: SE, THX and Book of the Dead DLX.  Only one version is available for part 2 and four versions are available for Army of Darkness: Bootleg, Boomstick and two regular versions. Thanks in advance.

Offline DoctorPadawan

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Re: Evil Dead Fans, I need your help!
« Reply #1 on: March 7, 2004, 07:12 PM »
I was just perusing the archives and noticed nobody had replied to you about this RT, so here you go, some five months later. :)

Basically, with "Evil Dead" the best version to get if you just want the movie itself is the single disc Anchor Bay SE released in 2002.  It has all the extras included on the "Book of the Dead" set (although some of them aren't accessible through the menu; you have to manually enter the title numbers; if you'd like, I'll do some digging to see if I can find the info on how to access them) but at about a third of the original retail price.  I see this at Wal-Mart on a regular basis for just under 15 dollars.  If I'm not mistaken, the BOTD version is out of print now and the SE has all the material it has anyway, so unless you're wanting the packaging (which admittedly, is extremely cool), I'd say to go for the 15 dollar SE.

As you noted, there's only one version of Evil Dead II available at this point and it's actually quite good.  The transfer is the best I've ever seen the film look and the commentary is easily one of the funniest and most entertaining I've ever heard on any DVD.  This one is fairly cheap these days as well, and is well worth picking up.  It's my favorite of the three films and my favorite of all the DVDs done of the trilogy.

"Army of Darkness" is a film that I'm still not as fond of as the other two.  That said, the best version of the film can be found on the two-disc "Boomstick" version.  It is actually just a repackaging of the Anchor Bay THX version and the "Bootleg" (also released previously as the "Director's Cut") version in one two-disc package.  Disc one is the theatrical version and only has a trailer, the alternate "future" ending, and a short (30 minute) documentary on the making of the film.  The second disc (the "Bootleg"/"Director's Cut") has a version of the film that is about 15 minutes longer, a commentary track with Bruce, Sam, and Ivan Raimi, and a few deleted scenes.  If you get the "Boomstick" version, you've got everything that has been released before.  Anchor Bay just keeps changing the names and artwork for reissues and what not.

That being said, the transfer on the "Bootleg"/"Director's Cut" disc is horrible at times.  They used some really dodgy sources (often video dailies) for some of the added scenes and it looks like a tenth generation bootleg VHS copy at times.  Plus, and this is just my opinion, the film works better with the S-Mart ending and at the shorter theatrical run time.  Your mileage may vary, though. :)  AOD's European distributor actually released a DVD of the Director's Cut with a pristine transfer (apparently they had the original source material on film whereas AB/Universal US didn't), so with AB's history of releasing this title over and over, it wouldn't surprise me if yet another version of AOD is coming in the next few years with the improved transfer.

So, to sum up, if you're keeping score, here's how I would go with the discs:

Evil Dead: Anchor Bay SE (2002) in keepcase
Evil Dead II: Anchor Bay SE (2001) in keepcase
Army of Darkness: Anchor Bay Boomstick Edition (2003)

Hope that helps you out and sorry it was so late in coming! :)

SilverZ

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Re: Evil Dead Fans, I need your help!
« Reply #2 on: March 9, 2004, 01:19 AM »
Whew, DocP summed that up rather well.  8) Like he just said, there's better versions of AOD floating around the world and I'd recommend tracking one down. AOD was released in Region 3 Hong Kong (officially) by MGM. Its NTSC and is the Directors Cut with 5.1 audio. Take a look at the difference here:

AOD Comparison

Personally, I find the benefit of a region-free DVD player a godsend for just there instances.

Offline jokabofe

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Re: Evil Dead Fans, I need your help!
« Reply #3 on: March 9, 2004, 01:25 AM »
wow, that r3 version looks really awesome... might have to track that one down myself. i didn't see it on that page (might have just missed it) but does it have subtitles? considering it's r3 i'm guessing that it would have to have some kind of foreign language subtitles... and are they removable?

Offline DSJ™

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Re: Evil Dead Fans, I need your help!
« Reply #4 on: March 9, 2004, 08:50 AM »
I have the Army of Darkness Boomstick version.  I really like that set.  8)  

I got news for you pal. You ain't leavin but two things right now, Jack and ****, and Jack left town.  Groovy!  8)

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Evil Dead Fans, I need your help!
« Reply #5 on: March 9, 2004, 10:42 AM »
I just saw Army of Darkness on AMC (AMC picks some odd films as "classics" anymore), and even though I saw it about a week or so ago, I still don't know what it was I saw...

All I know is AOD is getting a 1:18 scale toy line that I wanna get for custom fodder if it's not horribly expensive. :)  The film made me laugh, but I don't know that it was for the right reasons...

The skeleton army was pretty damn funny though, no matter what.
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Offline Famine

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Re: Evil Dead Fans, I need your help!
« Reply #6 on: March 9, 2004, 01:06 PM »
I just saw Army of Darkness on AMC (AMC picks some odd films as "classics" anymore), and even though I saw it about a week or so ago, I still don't know what it was I saw...

All I know is AOD is getting a 1:18 scale toy line that I wanna get for custom fodder if it's not horribly expensive. :)  The film made me laugh, but I don't know that it was for the right reasons...

The skeleton army was pretty damn funny though, no matter what.

You cought that on AMC too?

I was like...hey...its Ash...

Wow.

Kevin
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Re: Evil Dead Fans, I need your help!
« Reply #7 on: March 9, 2004, 05:28 PM »
There were 2 versions of "Evil Dead 2", one came in a collectors tin. Dunno if there is any difference with the discs however.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Evil Dead Fans, I need your help!
« Reply #8 on: March 9, 2004, 06:04 PM »
Yeah, I had no clue what the movie was even...  Had to do the menu lookup.  I found it interesting...  Not my c up of tea really, but I watched it off and on, and got a chuckle here and there.

I'm actually curious about the figures though, which is a good thing. :)
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Offline DoctorPadawan

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Re: Evil Dead Fans, I need your help!
« Reply #9 on: March 9, 2004, 06:57 PM »
CinemaAddiction, re: the Evil Dead II:  the disc in the tin and the disc in the keepcase are the exact same thing, actually.  The only difference is in the packaging, and I believe that the tin also came with some mini-lobby cards of some sort as a bonus.  Plus, as always with Anchor Bay's interesting packaging, the tin was very limited, meaning it's near impossible to find at retail these days.

Even though AOD is my least favorite of the three (and I'm not even that fond of it as a whole, really), I'd really like to see the transfer from the R3 version show up here in the US sometime in the next few years.  


SilverZ

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Re: Evil Dead Fans, I need your help!
« Reply #10 on: March 9, 2004, 08:45 PM »
DocP - The R3 AOD doesn't have any subtitles (at least they don't default to ON). Honestly, you'd be hard pressed to know it was even an overseas disc. I think it was pretty cheap too, but its been a while.

I ended up with the tin of ED2, and there's something really lame about it - the DVD itself inside comes in a clear plastic CD case, not a keepcase. So there's no way to display it outside the tin unless you do a color printout of the regular release's cover.