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The Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn

( 12 )

Overview

This high-octane semi-sequel to Sam Raimi's cult hit The Evil Dead has nearly eclipsed its predecessor's reputation thanks to an endless barrage of hyperkinetic camera acrobatics, rapid-fire editing and "splatstick" gore effects ... not to mention a truly goofy performance by Bruce Campbell. Nearly the entire storyline of the previous film has been re-shot and presented in a drastically condensed form within the first few minutes: rock-jawed but clueless "hero" Ash Campbell now visits the mountain cabin only with...
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Overview

This high-octane semi-sequel to Sam Raimi's cult hit The Evil Dead has nearly eclipsed its predecessor's reputation thanks to an endless barrage of hyperkinetic camera acrobatics, rapid-fire editing and "splatstick" gore effects ... not to mention a truly goofy performance by Bruce Campbell. Nearly the entire storyline of the previous film has been re-shot and presented in a drastically condensed form within the first few minutes: rock-jawed but clueless "hero" Ash Campbell now visits the mountain cabin only with girlfriend Linda played here by Denise Bixler. Upon arrival at the cabin, Ash discovers the Sumerian Book of the Dead, the ritual dagger and a reel-to-reel tape containing the professor's translations of the book's hieroglyphics. The incantations summon an unseen, growling spirit from within the woods, which bursts into the cabin and takes possession of Linda's soul. Ash is forced to decapitate her with a shovel, after which he buries her in the forest. At first dawn, Ash tries to make his escape, but is promptly set upon by the spirits, given a solid thrashing and nearly possessed himself, saved only by the arrival of sunlight. Cut off from the outside world, Ash is forced to hole up in the cabin and wait for the next demonic onslaught -- which arrives sooner than expected, led by Linda's rotting corpse. After being bitten by Linda's chatty decapitated head, Ash's hand becomes independent of his body and begins pummeling him repeatedly. The story then jumps to a local airport, where the professor's daughter Annie Sarah Berry and her partner Ed Getley Richard Domeier have just arrived with the missing pages to the Necronomicon. They employ a cranky pair of local rednecks, Jake Dan Hicks and Bobbie Joe Kassie Wesley, as guides to lead them through the dense woods to the cabin ... where, at that very moment, Ash is removing his belligerent hand with a chainsaw, creating yet another ambulatory foe. Driven to the brink of insanity, Ash fires blindly at a noise outside, unaware that the new arrivals are Annie and company. Bobbie Joe is injured by the gunshot, which incurs the wrath of Jake, who knocks Ash senseless and locks him in the fruit cellar. Believing her father was murdered by Ash, Annie plays the rest of the professor's recording to learn the truth, and discovers her possessed mother was buried in the same cellar -- and not exactly resting in peace. This touches off a string of unbelievably gruesome and hysterically funny events, including Henrietta's transformation into a stop-motion creature reminiscent of a Ray Harryhausen creation, Ed's sudden metamorphosis into a toothy, levitating ghoul, and Ash's climactic confrontation with the forest demon itself. The obvious glee with which Raimi and company present this cavalcade of slime-drenched monstrosities and Three Stooges pratfalls makes it impossible to take seriously as a horror film, but Evil Dead 2 is nevertheless essential viewing among connoisseurs of truly demented cinema. The film's sardonic coda opened the way for a slightly less successful sequel, Army of Darkness.
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Special Features

Full-length movie; Widescreen presentation; DVD picture quality
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Robert Firsching
This zany comic remake of the original plays more like a bloody Looney Tunes cartoon than a horror film. Once again, Ash (Bruce Campbell) is trapped in a cabin with demons, but this time they do far more than possess his friends: they possess his hand, the furniture, etc. The hand incident causes Campbell to lop off the offending extremity at the wrist and strap a bucksaw to the stump for his battles with the evil dead. The family who owns the cabin arrives in time for more nutty antics, finding the place trashed and a blood-covered Ash having to save them from the demonic scourge. Director Sam Raimi's camera zooms, pans, and cranes to achieve a frenetic, kinetic effect. At one point he uses a POV shot of a demon's eyeball flying into a woman's open mouth. A batty cross between Dead-Alive and The Mask, this gory funhouse ride is easily the best of the series and is a tremendously entertaining low-budget film.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/3/2006
  • UPC: 013131418583
  • Original Release: 1987
  • Rating:

  • Source: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • Time: 1:24:00
  • Format: UMD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bruce Campbell Ash, Ashley J. Williams
Sarah Berry Annie Knowby
Dan Hicks Jake
Kassie Wesley Bobby Joe
Theodore Raimi Possessed Henrietta
Denise Bixler Linda
Richard Domeier Ed Getley
John Peaks Prof. Raymond Knowby
Lou Hancock Henrietta Knowby
Snowy Winters Dancer (Dance sequence)
Josh Becker Fake Shemp
Scott Spiegel Fake Shemp
William Preston Robertson Voice Only
Sam Raimi Knight
Technical Credits
Sam Raimi Director, Screenwriter
Wendy Bell Makeup
Randy Bennett Art Director
Doug Beswick Special Effects
Andrea Brown Choreography
Bruce Campbell Co-producer
Rick Catizone Special Effects
Kaye Davis Editor
Alex DeBenedetti Executive Producer
Peter Deming Cinematographer
Joseph Lo Duca Score Composer
Philip J.C. Duffin Art Director
Vern Hyde Special Effects
Elizabeth Moore Set Decoration/Design
Irvin Shapiro Executive Producer
Eugene Shlugleit Cinematographer
Mark Shostrom Makeup Special Effects
Scott Spiegel Screenwriter
Tom Sullivan Special Effects
Robert Tapert Producer
Tam G. Warner Choreography
Joseph Winogradoff Asst. Director
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2002

    Chainsaws, Shotguns ,Yeah Baby!!

    Ok, the story's a shocker, the acting's a bit dusty and the costumes and effects are sub-par compared with todays standards. But that's the beauty of it. For the lack of money spent on this flick, you've got to be happy with the results. Campbell is a blast as the goofy heroe battling the undead. It's a shame there weren't more movies made like this starring him. 2/3 of the flick is spent with just Campbell and the camera, and he pulls it off, with a funny and satiric performance. Throw in a couple of cheesy one liners such as ''Groovy'' and ''Let's go carve us a witch'', add a chainsaw attached to Campbells amputated hand and a double barrel shotgun (obvious gore), and you've got the goul battling hero of all heroes. Raimi did well to create a movie so bad that it's great, which was obviously his intention. There's not much seriousness to Evil Dead 2 but it's one of those rare movies that outdoes it's prequel, and sequel: Army of Darkness, which was OK but can't match up to this. Campbell is a riot from start to finish as he gives a performance that allows him to play the part of hero and comedian. His lines are terrific, his screams are hilarious and he shows off some good move. Look for his awesome mirror scene, which was obviously the basis for Willam Dafoes mirror scene in spider man. Campbells is way better. The camera work looks as though it's second rate but it's done in a way that suits the rest of the movie, allowing the humour of it to be seen. It's great in a bad way. I'm sure this movie will remain in the top of the horror top ten for a long time (even though it's not scary). Fun, whether you like horror movies or not.PS: Look for Campbells cameo in Spiderman, he's still got the classic grin.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2001

    Best Film Ever Devised!

    This is by-far the greatist film in cinema history! Marvelous! Supreme! It reigns!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2013

    This movie is two thousand times better than the first! The orig

    This movie is two thousand times better than the first! The original was okay and creepy, but the slapstick in this one blows most comedy's away! The scene where the entire cabin is roaring with laughter over Ash is just a gem!

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  • Posted September 30, 2011

    this takes place after the 1st film.

    the sequal pick up right where the first movie left off, sort of. almost more darker than the 1st evil dead i think. the new characters are well thought out but none of them can eclispe bruce campbell as ash. the ending gives a preview for the final film, army of darkness. enjoy all 3 movies on halloween night.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Welcome to the evil book of the month club...,

    If you liked the first Evil Dead movie then this will be a nice refresher of some very similar scenarios. After seemingly escaping with his life intact, Ash is back in a cabin! I tell you that boy has no common sense but without his poor judgment who else would release demons back onto our domain? So back in the cabin - check, new girlfriend - check, recycled gift given ( necklace) to new girlfriend since the last one died - check, demon book in cabin - check, tape recorder with the words needed to release the evil - check...we are back in business! Ash gets back to doing what he knows best - unleashing havoc into the world of the living. One would think that he has joined some wicked book of the month club, where the books end up getting people killed as he's always finding them. Best part is that the action starts right of the bat, there is no sitting around waiting to be attacked and when few more people get stranded in the cabin the real fun begins. <BR/><BR/>This movie was insane, I mean bug out crazy! All the things you think you'd do in your wildest dreams come to life - horror style. Not only is Ash running in circles from the menacing evil, but his own body turns on him and starts to betray him, leaning towards the dark side. Best part was the puppets again, there were some gooey gross faces from the demonic possession due to the transformation and sometimes I didn't know whether to laugh or just watch in disbelief. <BR/><BR/>This movie felt very short in comparison but the ending was fantastic, it really sets you up for a grand finale that I can't wait to watch. <BR/><BR/>- Kasia S.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2004

    And you thought it was all over in film one.

    Evil Dead 2 is one of those sequels that have nothing to do with the first one...and yet it does. Let's just say this, this is a different scenerio to the first one. Probably not as gory as the first, maybe as scary as the first one. But the catchy phrases and the humor seems to let you know that this movie stands it's ground as not only a good horror flick, but a classic. Now, after you see this film, go get the last chapter of the Evil Dead series, the Army of Darkness.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews