With Ash vs. Evil Dead due to return to Starz in February, it feels like a fine time to take stock of The Evil Dead franchise. Though it now encompasses a TV show, a couple of video games, various comic book crossovers, a pretty good remake and a bunch of other multimedia projects, the roots of the franchise lie in Sam Raimi’s 1981 classic – the original ‘video nasty.’
Shot on a shoe-string budget and crammed full of dynamic camerawork and neat gore effects, the film was such a hit that it spawned two bigger budget sequels in the form of Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness. Now, perhaps to amuse himself or to cater for those without much free time, Vimeo user Jorge Torres-Torres has recut the entire trilogy into Evil Dead Revision, which he describes as “a 72 minute, black & white ballet of gore.”
After watching it myself, I can definitely say he’s succeeded in what he set out to achieve and that aforementioned description is certainly appropriate. This is indeed a greatest hits compilation from the original trilogy.
Despite the obvious effort that’s been poured into this though, it’s still a stupendously unnecessary and wrongheaded re-edit. First of all, the original films are hardly ponderous: The Evil Dead clocks in at 85 minutes, Evil Dead II at 84 minutes, and Army of Darkness at 88 minutes.
Not only that, but turning the films monochrome gets rid of a lot of personality in the gore effects. I mean, why on earth would you want to lose those deliciously fluorescent slime and blood effects? Also, the relationship between The Evil Dead and Evil Dead II isn’t exactly that one follows the other, rather (as Bruce Campbell has explained) it’s a ‘requel,’ essentially remaking the original with a bigger budget. Besides, only a fool would cut even a second out of Evil Dead II – that film is basically perfect as is.
So, while I appreciate the time that this recut must have taken to make and think it’s an interesting to flick through, it is a terrible way to actually experience the classic Evil Dead movies, which every single horror aficionado owes it to themselves to do.