Evil Dead / Evil Dead 2 Book of the Dead collection

Today we're going to take a trip back in time and take a look at what's arguably Anchor Bay's best genre-themed release.

It started way back in 2002 Anchor Bay began promoting the ultimate Evil Dead DVD, a disc housed in an actual Naturum De Montum (roughly translated "book of the dead") The advertisement ran in most of the major horror publications.  Two major things set this apart from the past few releases.  The most obvious, the packaging, the second being the inclusion of the rough "Within The Woods" short which was originally created to fund the feature length film.  Shortly before the set was to be release Anchor Bay begrudgingly pulled the plug on that highly touted feature, much to the dismay of fans.  Still to this day we have yet to see an official release of Within the Woods, why?  It was never really made clear, some unmentionable
legal issue stopped the releasing of the short dead in it's tracks.

Anchor Bay would release the first BOD edition on March 5th, 2002.  This was a very touted "ultimate edition" of the film, it was very well received.  So well in fact, that Anchor Bay decided to grace the sequel with a similar treatment.

The Evil Dead 2 BOTD edition was released on September 27th, 2005.  Much like the first, this was modeled after the sequels incarnation of the book, right down to a pages featuring Ash and the big Kandarian demon from the finale (aka "Rotten Apple Head.)  This edition also had another gimmick that set it apart from it's predecessor, when you pressed the eye of the book you'd hear a woman shriek.  While I prefer the first release, the sequels book was a very solid release.

Anchor Bay would give these books one last release in November of 2005.  Shortly after the release of the second film a "Book of the Dead" collection was released.  The set paired both books in one nice collector friendly package.  This in my opinion is the way to go if you're looking to pick up these two releases.  Since that release Anchor Bay has lost the rights to Evil Dead 2.  Anchor Bay would go on to release the original film a few more times but nothing will ever be as cool as their Book of the Dead release.  It was the first gimmicky DVD I ever bought, I literally counted down the days until I could go into my local Best Buy and get that thing.  It was the best fucking Birthday present I ever got, and likely will ever get.

It's worth noting that the Australian company Via Vision Entertainment has released a Book of the Dead edition for the fan favorite Army of Darkness, however I've chosen to skip buying that release for a few reasons.  One, I was a bit turned off by the way the final product looked.  It looks kind of messy, not nearly as nice looking as the AB releases.  The second reason is because I've always preferred the director's cut of the film, and while it is on this release the company chose to use the same master Anchor Bay did, which looks pretty rough.  If I can ever find the thing cheap enough I'll bite.

So glad I didn't pre-order...
As of now the best release of the flick you can get is the MGM Region 3 DVD.  The PQ/AQ of the directors cut on this disc are worlds better than any of the previous releases, it's honestly the only way to go.

So that about covers it for Evil Dead week.  I hope everyone enjoyed reading the posts, I especially hope those who were able to score some passes from me dug the movie.

Anyhow, be sure to get out there and support the remake this weekend.  While I did have a few issues with it, how often does a horror movie of this caliber come to theaters?  Let's face it, we're in a world dominated by sparkling vampires.  So get out there and show some of these companies what horror fans really want in a film!

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