With Halloween fast approaching and the Saw series blunted to the point of self parody there’s never been a better time to look back to an original video nasty, and discover (or in most cases re-discover) Sam Raimi’s stroll in the woods, better known as The Evil Dead.

The story behind this impressive film is part of what makes this blu-ray a must buy for those who have fond memories of well worn VHS copies in the early 80s as the whole story is made available thanks to the extensive extras and a decent commentary from Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Bruce Campbell.

The film has been given a fresh polish for the blu-ray and looks perfect with the inherent imperfections in place – this was never going to be a George Lucas special edition now was it? And it certainly doesn’t need any enhancement – ripping the camera from its tripod Raimi lets loose with a visually stunning film, with the grisly sound effects adding an extra dimension to the horror on screen. It’s a joy to behold, and to see how influential this film has become.

The young kids lost in the woods has long been a staple of the horror genre and Raimi imbues the proceedings with a playful sense of fun and a bucketload of inventive tricks that convey a love for the film and an enthusiasm for the hands-on production techniques which are, of course, dated – but that’s the beauty of this blu-ray – you’re given the film and a comprehensive look behind the scenes, warts, pulsating sores, stabbed ankles and all.

Though I’ve read a bit about the film previously the special features on the disc provide hours of entertainment which give a look at the struggles to get The Evil Dead on the screens, from pre-production to notoriety and distribution to the legacy of the film – it’s all here and is highly recommended.

  • All New Commentary with Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Bruce Campbell
  • Picture-in-Picture: Join us! The Undying Legacy of The Evil Dead
  • One By One We Will Take You – The Untold Saga of The Evil Dead
  • Treasures from the Cutting Room Floor
  • At the Drive-In
  • Discovering Evil Dead
  • Ellen and Drama Teacher
  • On-Stage Interview
  • Make-Up Test