The premiere home video release this week is, without question, the Blu-ray for Sam Raimi's cult classic, "Evil Dead." To put it simply: the movie has never looked better in its shiny, new high-def ensemble. It can be viewed with one of two aspect ratios-- a widescreen 1.85:1 or a fullscreen 1.33:1. Most will automatically opt for the widescreen view, but it's worth noting that the 1.33:1 is the film's original format, as is noted in the all-new audio commentary (more on that in a moment). The fullscreen option looks slightly better overall, but the difference isn't a huge one-- viewer's preference can reign here, and be equally pleased in either case.
Then there's the new commentary. Raimi, star (and living legend) Bruce Campbell and producer Robert Tapert gather for an informative chat about the making of the film. They don't break it down scene by scene, but rather discuss the entire, harrowing four-year process of getting "Evil Dead" made, beginning to end. It nearly killed a few people, quite literally. Especially during the actual shoot, which went down at a backwoods cabin in Tennessee. With no town close by and lots of expensive equipment lying around, one member of the crew had to stay there each night to protect everything. Then there's the cabin, which has a history all its own. They don't get into in during the commentary, so I asked Campbell about it when I spoke to him recently...
"Supposedly there was a woman who was born there in the '30s," he said. "During a horrible lightning storm, both of her parents were killed. So she was found wandering in the woods in the middle of the storm."
"So supposedly whenever a storm would happen, the same little girl would wander the woods and go back to the cabin. She was an old lady now and there was a storm and supposedly they found this old lady wandering near our cabin right around the time we were getting ready to shoot there. So I think the cabin does have a little bit of a history. We never saw her, but we heard through the local guy Gary Holt [about] the story."
There you have it. Mystery revealed. There's also a packed in DVD that includes an assortment of behind-the-scenes documentaries and featurettes. Three or four hours worth of content, all told. If you're an "Evil Dead" fan and you've got a Blu-ray player, this is the definitive version of the movie to own (until holographic technology makes HD obsolete, that is).