Bruce Campbell is Ash, the most-abused character in film history. Ash and his girlfriend break into what they think is a deserted cabin in the woods. Trouble is, it was occupied only recently by an archeologist who made the mistake of reading the wrong passage from The Book of the Dead into a tape recorder, with the result that he's awakened some very pro-active demons. Naturally, Ash plays the recording and finds himself besieged not only by his own possessed girlfriend, but practically everything else in the house; armed with only a shotgun, an axe and a chainsaw, Ash settles down to the grueling business of surviving the night.
When is a sequel not a sequel? When it's a remake with a bigger budget! Director Sam Raimi has re-created his first film with more of an eye towards bizarre, slapstick humor, while beefing up his special effects. The result is one of the best, most absorbing horror films of the late twentieth century, a funhouse for gorehounds and the strong-stomached casual viewer. Read the full review at The Bad Movie Report.
I had anticipated a hands-down replacement for my old Image laserdisc, and I was sorely disappointed. Though the widescreen presentation is welcome, the transfer has a marked tendency to artifact heavily during the darker scenes and Raimi's bravura camera moves - and these types of scenes make up the bulk of the movie. Additionally, the Dolby soundtrack seems to squash the sound effects, which is disheartening when you consider that Raimi has always paid as much attention to his sound palette as his visuals.
The interactive menus switch sections with some nice film clips, but these hardly make up for the paucity of features. There is a theatrical trailer - which is, for once, in very good shape - and a mere twelve chapter stops.
Our advice is to wait for Anchor Bay's THX version of this movie, scheduled for release in August 2000. Not only does it boast many more extras, but it is hopeful that the soundtrack is not the only thing that will be upgraded.
Dr. Freex, 4/15/00