When I first heard that Anchor Bay was releasing a new Evil Dead DVD I got real excited considering the fact that my Elite version now has a scratch on it and doesn’t play very well anymore. Then I heard they were going to include the mini-film “Within the Woods” and I got really exicted. Sadly, they did not include Within the Woods because of legal reasons. Since I heard that I decided that I wouldn’t buy this version. But soon enough after hearing what else was going to be on this DVD I preordered it. I for one am glad that I did grab a copy of this DVD. When the DVD finally came in I couldn’t wait to check out all those features. As I opened it up I couldn’t believe it by how the packaging felt. The case is designed like the “Book of the Dead” which is featured in the film. The texture of the package is some kind of rubber that is quite soft. Also, there is a strange smell to the packaging. I think that this adds to the quality of the DVD. I am sure that the Book of the Dead actually does have a strange odor, since the book is supposedly bound in human flesh.
Upon watching the movie I noticed that the sound quality is really good. When the characters in the film who are infected scream it comes in quite loud and clear in the rear speakers. This really adds to the enjoyment of watching this cult classic. I had heard that the picture quality on this DVD wasn’t all that great. Well I really couldn’t find anything all that bad about it. Sure there were a few spots where it wasn’t perfect, but the movie was filmed around 20 years ago. Also, the film is presented in a matted widescreen; many are against this, but it didn’t bother me any. Comparing this picture quality on this DVD to other recent Anchor Bay releases, for example Bad Taste and the rerelease of Zombie, this isn’t that bad of a picture quality.
As for the special features on this DVD; we get the same commentaries that was placed on the Elite version DVD. We get the Bruce Campbell commentary and the commentary by Director/Writer Sam Raimi and Producer Robert Tapert. Still it is quite amusing to listen to the commentary from Bruce Campbell again. It has remained my favorite commentary on a DVD still. Also included on this release that is also on the Elite version is the Behind the Scenes and Outtakes. This is another feature that I enjoy. Now on to the new features on this DVD that makes it different than the Elite version. We get the Fanalysis which is what was shown when The Evil Dead got a theatrical release not that long ago. This feature was shown before the film at the screening. It is quite an interested feature where Bruce takes us on a tour through a fan convention. We are also treated to the “Discovering Evil Dead” feature. This feature is a short interview with the people who helped to get Evil Dead released on the big screen back when it was made. To round off this DVD there are also 4 TV Spots, a Theatrical Trailer, Poster and Still Gallery, and Talent Bios. If that isn’t enough I have found two hidden features. The first hidden feature is a look at the make up designs. You can find this by pressing the left arrow button and pressing enter while at the first page of the special features. For the second hidden feature I found, you get to see an interview that took place at the screening of Evil Dead. To access this hidden feature go to the second page of the special features and press the left arrow key and hitting enter.
Overall this is a wonderful DVD. I really couldn’t have asked for a better treatment to such a beloved classic that Evil Dead is. The only thing that could have made this better is if they would have included the prequel to Evil Dead, “Within the Woods” on this release. Sadly since they couldn’t get the rights we do not have that feature. Though it was reported by Anchor Bay that they will more then likely never get the rights to that short film. Still, even though it’s not included, you can’t let this wonderful DVD pass you by. Each one was hand-made and they are for a limited run. So you better hurry and snag you a copy of this DVD before it is gone for good. This DVD may very well become one of my favorite DVD’s that I own. I give this DVD a 10 out of 10.