Evil Ed
Arrow Video // R // $39.95 // May 30, 2017
Review by Kurt Dahlke | posted August 7, 2017
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
E - M A I L
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R E V I E W S
Graphical Version
Evil Ed:
Despite Sam Raimi's best attempts, the Gore Comedy never really caught on in the USA. Maybe we take things too literally. Nonetheless, this '90s Swedish Gore Comedy does its best to honor Raimi, sometimes in none-too-subtle fashion. It's a goofy, splattery enjoyment, worth watching for die-hard horror fans, and in this outrageously extras-laden release might just be a good addition to your shelf, if only for the fact that it will take several hours to plow through everything offered.

Ed works for the government censorship office, snipping boring movies, until he's lured into making edits for a popular horror movie franchise, a fateful occurrence which drives him insane. In between making cuts to the hyper-gory, delightfully offensive 'Loose Limbs' series, he does battle with actual demons or something. But is it all in his mind? And does it even matter?

Evil Ed is yet another in the storied tradition of movies lurking on the shelves at your Olde Timey Mom & Pop video stores, dolled up in lurid VHS artwork, causing you to ask yourself, "is this movie I've never heard of worth a rent?" (Well, you'd ask yourself that if you're middle-aged, my younger readers probably just watched it in 10 parts on Youtube.) But here it is now in this rapturous special 'Ed-ition' and definitely worth a rent and then some.

The humor is broad, and plot negligible, but it keeps the gore coming at an appropriate pace, about every eight minutes someone's arm gets hacked off, or a monster starts cursing Ed out. The movies Ed edits are allowed to be gorier and more offensive than normal, since they're just 'movies', much to the delight of gorehounds everywhere, but there is plenty of 'real' gore as well, especially a lovely shotgun blast to the head. It's only when Evil Ed goes into homage mode that things get dicey. When the demons look like bargain versions of Tim Curry's 'Darkness' from Legend, or cutting room rejects from Raimi's Evil Dead movies, it's a bit unclear if we're supposed to take them on their own merits or acknowledge them as cheap call-outs to their forebears.

Evil Ed won't disappoint inveterate horror fans looking for cheap thrills. It's silly and broad, though not the least bit scary, and it piles on the gore in steady and reliable form. This Arrow Video 'Special Ed-ition' throws two versions of the film your way, over four hours worth of documentaries, plus more! It's no classic, but serious horror collectors will still find it Recommended.

The DVD

Video:
Arrow Video brings you this sharp as can be expected, AVC encoded 1080p transfer in a 1.78:1 ratio, (identified as 1.85:1 in the booklet) scanned in 2k from the original 16mm AB negatives, cleaned up and restored for your viewing pleasure. As a shot-on-16mm feature, Evil Ed just doesn't have the visual information to be rendered into a sharp Blu-ray. At times details are OK, at times things get very gritty. Interior, darker scenes, of which there are many, suffer the most, though exterior footage, and well-lit scenes fare better.

Expect a fair amount of mostly natural looking film grain, which sometimes but not always gets a bit buzzy. Colors are mostly vibrant and well saturated, and black levels are OK, but lose definition while struggling with artifacts, upon occasion. For a super low budget film shot on 16mm, this edition of Evil Ed looks better than serviceable, but those who enjoy reference quality will have to check their expectations at the door.

Sound:
Can you hear that scratching sound inside your skull, driving you insane? It may be from the English language LPCM 2.0 and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks on offer. (Not that the tracks sound scratchy, but Ed's interior voices do drive him crazy, if you catch my meaning.) Dialog is all clean, clear, easily discernable and free from damage. The audio design leaves something to be desired, with not much dynamism, but is punchy nonetheless. Faring best of all is the musical soundtrack, with a number of nice tunes including the ultra-catchy song 'Doughnut Lady' as performed by the Mango Kings. This song floats over the menu screens as well, and will be pleasantly stuck in your head for days.

Extras:
Arrow Video throws everything including the kitchen sink into this package of extras. A lengthy Liner Notes Booklet with essays is included, as well as Reversible Cover Art, to start things off. Three discs are included: a DVD Copy, and 2 Blu-rays, for both the Special 'Ed-ition' Cut (98 minutes) and the Original Cut (93 minutes, and not much difference between the two save for a little more gore and what-not).

The extended cut disc includes seven Trailers, five for Evil Ed and two others. A four-minute Introduction can be viewed or skipped, and you can also enjoy an Image Gallery. But that's not all! Enjoy several Documentaries, including a 45-minute Making Of doc which is amusing and charming, plus three other docs (40 minutes total) expanding on the 'before, during, and after' of Evil Ed. Six minutes outlines the Added Footage as its own featurette, and 21 minutes of Deleted Scenes outline some of the original ambitions of the movie.

The Original Cut disc includes four minutes of Bloopers and a three-hour(!) Making Of Documentary which brings new meaning to the term 'exhaustive'.

Final Thoughts:
Evil Ed won't disappoint inveterate horror fans looking for cheap thrills. It's silly and broad, though not the least bit scary, and it piles on the gore in steady and reliable form. This Arrow Video 'Special Ed-ition' throws two versions of the film your way, over four hours worth of documentaries, plus more! It's no classic, but serious horror collectors will still find it Recommended.



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