BLU-RAY REVIEW: EVIL ED

By Nick Durham

1995’s Evil Ed is one of my favorite foreign horror films of the 90’s just based on the fact that it’s so damn ridiculous that if you’ve never seen it, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Making its way to our shores a few years after its initial release, Evil Ed is a Swedish horror/comedy hybrid that satires the harsh censoring that films were subjected to in Sweden from 1911 to 1996. Knowing this information helps going into Evil Ed, as it becomes much easier to appreciate what the filmmakers were going for here in terms of the sheer over the top carnage and screwball hilarity that follows.

The story of Evil Ed (not to be confused with Evil Ed from Fright Night) follows relatively conservative film editor Ed, who gets charged with cutting and editing the Loose Limbs slasher film series. After going through numerous scenes and cuts that feature copious amounts of blood, gore, dismemberment, nudity, and the voice of the great Bill Moseley (who is a hoot whenever his voice is overheard), Ed begins to slowly lose his mind. Eventually Ed goes on an ultra gory rampage, culminating in a showdown with film geek Nick along with the cops too. In between all that is plenty of zaniness, slapstickery, and plain old bloody fuckery to boot.

While Evil Ed on its surface may not appear to be anything too special, deep down this film is a gem. It’s well shot, well-directed, and the scenes of carnage and nastiness are well done as well, with some pretty good effects and makeup too. The English dubbing is hilarious to listen to, and only makes the film more enjoyable in my opinion. Not to mention the fact that the few times Bill Moseley’s voice shows up in scenes wherein Ed is working are worth the price of admission here alone. Even though the film kind of begins to fall apart in the beginning of its third act, Evil Ed is still a totally enjoyable horror hoot regardless.

Arrow Video’s Blu-ray release of Evil Ed, dubbed the “Special ED-ition”, is a wonderful limited edition set. The first two discs of the set are the Blu-ray and DVD versions of the new 99-minute cut of the film, and features an introduction by writer/director Anders Jacobsson and editor Doc. There’s a long featurette that details the making of the film and the trials and tribulations associated with making a splatter film in a film industry that was ruled by censors, which is very interesting to watch. There’s also retrospectives on the careers of the filmmakers pre and post-Evil Ed; as well as deleted scenes, trailers, and a video on how this new cut of the film was assembled. The third disc of this set is a Blu-ray featuring the oringal 93-minute cut of the film, as well as a three-plus hour long documentary on the making of the film which is ridiculously in-depth and informative. This set is rounded out by the typical collectible booklet featuring new writings on the legacy of the film which have become standard issue for Arrow’s bigger-ticket Blu-ray sets as well. 

It goes without saying that Arrow’s Blu-ray release of Evil Ed is most definitely worth picking up. The film itself isn’t for everyone to be sure, but Arrow’s Blu-ray set is flat out wonderful. If you’re a fan of the film, it goes without saying that you should definitely pick this up, and if you’ve never seen Evil Ed before, there’s no better time to do so than now.

Rating: 4/5

 

EXCLUSIVE NEWS: BILL MOSELEY IS CREPITUS

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By Nick Durham and Amy Mead

We here at DEATH & GIGGLES are proud to announce to you our exclusive breaking news that Bill Moseley has been cast in the title role as a vicious serial killer clown in the upcoming film CREPITUS. This marks the first time that horror stalwart Moseley (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Devil’s Rejects, c’mon you know) has portrayed a creepy clown on film.  As for the film itself, CREPITUS is the first feature film to be shot in Cheboygan, Michigan.

Joining Moseley in CREPITUS are cast mates Raiden Moore as Julian, Caitlin Williams as Eli, and Mike Hard as Jed. The film is directed by Haynze Whitmore, written by Eddie and Sarah Renner, and produced by Lance Paul. Scott Kodrick provides the film’s visual effects.

We here at DEATH & GIGGLES are proud to break this news to you, and we would like to extend our thanks to Haynze Whitmore for allowing us to announce this exclusive here on our site.

BLU-RAY REVIEW: TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2

By Nick Durham

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Out of every big name horror franchise out there, I can’t think of one more oft-maligned than Texas Chainsaw Massacre (well, maybe Hellraiser?). I say maligned because just looking at the logistics each installment of the franchise can confuse the shit out of anyone, even if they’re a diehard horror nut. We’ve had sequels, remakes, prequels to remakes, reimagining’s, and films that ignore the ones that came before it.  Ugh.

 

Anyway, the first sequel of the franchise, 1986’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, is the only film in the franchise to feature the first film’s director Tobe Hooper in the director’s chair. Widely regarded as the best sequel in the franchise, it’s easy to see why, considering its hysterically creepy performance from Bill Moseley as Chop-Top, and the wonderful gore effects from Tom Savini. Chances are though if you’re reading this, you already know all about this film and it’s wackiness, so I won’t talk too much more about all that. Instead, let’s focus on what all you get from this release of the film from the fine folks at Scream Factory.

 

 

This two-disc set is packed to the brim with features. First and foremost, the film itself has been remastered in a new 2K scan, and holy mother of fucking god, it is glorious. The film’s colors pop and are so vibrant that you’ll notice things in the movie you’ve never noticed before. Not content to stop there, we have a handful of new bonus features thrown in here, including a new commentary track, a half hour’s worth of interview outtakes, more behind the scenes footage archives, and a new special effects featurette called House of Pain among others. In addition to this, the original MGM scan of the film from the 2012 Blu-ray release is included for shits and giggles, along with previously released special features such as deleted scenes, older commentary tracks (that include Hooper, Savini, and Caroline Williams among others), and tons more. Most of these are ported over from the 2012 MGM release of the film, but they’re more than welcome here regardless.

 

The question you’re probably asking yourself is whether or not it’s worth it to lay down the cash for this Scream Factory release of Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 if you already own the MGM Blu-ray. Well, I say yes. Scream Factory’s new transfer of the film is the best that it’s ever looked, and they really outdid themselves here with it. That in itself is worth the price of admission. That being said though, if you’re more of a casual fan of this film and not a diehard fan of the film, and you already own the MGM release, maybe it might not be worth picking this up. For the rest of us though that enjoy the out of control wackiness of this flick, this Blu-ray release deserves to be in your library.

 

Rating: 4/5