Sign In

Book Of The Dead AKA The Evil Dead - Preservation Edit

Replies
33
Author
Time

UPDATE - 01/06/13

If you're interested in my Book Of The Dead AKA The Evil Dead - Preservation Edit DVD project or the various tweaks to the recent Blu-Ray disc, see the following website page first, which has a proper writeup of the completed DVD project;

http://www.bookofthedead.ws/website/the_evil_dead_dvd_book_of_the_dead.html

 

 

 

This is a new project which draws together two previous threads, one of which my own;

The Evil Dead Treasures Collection

Book Of The Dead Preservation

Recently I've been giving thought to re-visiting my January 2008 Evil Dead - The Treasures Collection DVD. Since the original version was released my collection of rare Evil Dead material has grown, and some previously included items have been upgraded.

Just to jump back a moment and give my new project some context, Evil Dead - The Treasures Collection DVD emerged out of an earlier project. In April 2008 I attempted a re-edit of The Evil Dead, which was to be re-titled back to it's original title of Book Of The Dead, editing back in some of the raw footage found in the 'Treasures From The Cutting Room Floor' extra from the 2007 Anchor Bay Ultimate Edition DVD and the raw footage extra from the 1999 Elite Entertainment DVD. The edit was quite involved even going as far as things like repairing unusable raw footage matte shots, by matting together two separate shots in Adobe After Effects.

I had got around half way though editing the video (leaving the audio for a second pass) when I discovered a forum thread detailing the rare 1985 Japanese 'Herald Videogram' laserdisc release at the end of May 2008, which you can see Here. This laserdisc is arguably the best transfer of Evil Dead ever made available, which I won't go into in detail here, but due to its colour timing, picture framing, and lack of any editing tweaks, along with having the original untampered mono audio track. I decided this laserdisc would be far better editing source material than the 2007 Anchor Bay Ultimate Edition transfer I was currently using, and put the whole project on the back burner. After much searching, I tracked a copy down on an Ebay auction in Kagawaken, Japan, which I won on May 26, 2008, which I recieved a few weeks later on July 9, 2008. Rather than buy my own laserdisc player especially for this project, I made contact with Moth3r from these forums, who was able to transfer the laserdisc to his PC as an uncompressed AVI, then encode it into an NTSC MPEG file with AC3 audio. I finally received the transfer back on October 10, 2008. I decided not to immediately launch back into the editing project, as I thought a DVD containing the untouched laserdisc transfer itself would be a worthy project, so I began work on that instead, which with motion & audio menus, is the most complex I have done to date, and the entire project took around 6 months to complete from start to finish, and was released at the start of 2009.

A month or so back, I started working through ideas for a revised release, upgrading some features and adding some new ones. Then I took a look at the new 2010 Anchor Bay Blu-ray release which then posed a problem. Up to that point it was true to say that the 1985 Japanese 'Herald Videogram' laserdisc release was indeed the best in terms of framing/cropping, colour timing, and editing tweaks, but now with the Blu-ray release this was not now quite the case. They're both in the full 1.33:1 full OAR, and the framing/cropping on both is virtually identical. The laserdisc transfer has a few pixels more to the left & bottom sides, but looses a few pixels over the Blu-Ray on the top & right sides, the gain/loss is about the same over the two transfers, and the actual frame sizes are identical, just one is panned diagonally left & down on the image a fraction. The colour timing on the Blu-ray transfer is probably truer to life than the laserdisc, or any other previous release, although the laserdisc transfer does have a darker cold blue colour timing to it which does add to the overall feel of the film. The Blu-ray does have at least one editing tweak (the removal of Rob Tapert from the background of the car/bridge sequence), but this could be easily replaced.

With all that said, I'd have trouble doing a revised Treasures Collection DVD WITHOUT replacing the old laserdisc with the new Blu-ray transfer, as I can't really now say with any conviction that this is the best overall version. Obviously this would then lead my DVD into direct competition with the current retail release from which it draws. Four things do argue the other way; the first is that Blu-ray & DVD are different formats, and you cannot (currently) buy the 1.33:1 Blu-ray transfer on any standard DVD worldwide, the second is that mine would be in a lower definition, and who would watch a SD DVD when they could see the same thing in HD? (other than people that can't play BD discs obviously) The third is that technically speaking, I live in the UK, and the 1.33:1 open matte version has only been released here once, and that was on the long OOP 2003 Anchor Bay R2 Evil Dead Trilogy DVD box-set. It isn't currently available to buy on any current DVD, unless you import one of the R1 US versions. Finally, I can encode the whole movie at the highest 9mb/s CBR bitrate, so as much of the high-res quality is retained as possible. Having done a few comparison encodes, it does come out looking a fair bit better than the 1999 Elite Entertainment US DVD version, which is easily the highest quality retail SD DVD available.

So that brings me to the crux of this project, to make my version different enough to the Blu-ray version by restoring The Evil Dead to the version shown theatrically under the title Book Of The Dead. For those who don't know what this version is, you can read about it HERE. This will mean a number of changes including;

  • Remaking the Book Of The Dead title

  • Revert the other three Book Of The Dead editing changes

  • Swap out the mono audio track from the old laserdisc

  • Revert any Blu-Ray editing tweaks

  • Adjust the levels & colour timing more towards the darker cold blue of the laserdisc


Just to mention that I'm aware that DVDCompare.net has the Italian CDE Eagle Pictures 2-disc DVD as having an English 1.0 mono audio track, but having actually checked this, it's actually 2.0 AC3, which could mean that the mono audio was just copied to both the left & right channels to make a 'fake' stereo track, or maybe it's just a listing error. Besides this, the Italian 2.0 audio seems to have a slight high pitched tone/wine when it's played at full volume, so I'll stick with the old laserdisc track.

Here are my ideas for some other new/upgraded features or changes over the original DVD;

  • Within The Woods - Using a better VHS to DVD transfer, which I did myself some months back. I also could do some restoration work on as I did with the original Treasures Collection DVD version using the uncompressed capture AVIs as source material, which I still have saved. Using the (almost) complete soundtrack project I've been running, I could also do a music only alternate audio track or a separate score section too?

  • Possibly add a compilation of the edits/censored bits from the BBFC certified 1990 Palace Pictures UK VHS release

  • PM Magazine Detroit TV Spot on Renaissance pictures (which I now have the full segment from at 7m 28s)

  • Tom Sullivan TV interview circa 1982

  • The uncut version of the Incredibly Strange Film Show

  • Maybe some of the other horror-ish Super-8 Shorts such as Clockwork


The original Treasures Collection DVD is one dual layer disc, which is virtually at capacity, so I'd either need to delete something off the disc to make space, or bump the release up to a two disc set. Given that the DVD-ROM folder has come on so much since 2008, it would seem logical to remove it as it's so far behind the current version; v1.2 (1791mb) was on the original Treasures Collection DVD, and the current version is v1.8 (7638mb), which is now one dual layer DVD just by itself.

It's worth saying that I'm a massive fan of the trilogy, and really not out to rip anyone involved in the movie off. I want my DVD to be a companion to bought retail releases, not a 'free' bootleg replacement. In that spirit, any sharing of this DVD will be far more tightly controlled than the original DVD, which ended up being shared widely online. That disc did however have form of semi-pirate/bootleg protection in that who would watch a DVD with a softer laserdisc transfer and burnt in Japanese subtitles over any of the retail releases, unless they specifically wanted to watch that version. This new project will have neither of those drawbacks and will be kept strictly offline for physical trades only. Anyone wanting a copy would already need to own both one of the many retail DVDs, along with either the US or (forthcoming) UK Blu-ray releases. Incidentally for anyone looking at it, I'd recommend the US Blu-ray, as the 1.33:1 open matte transfer has been dropped from the UK release.

I've already started work on this project and will post updates and additional information as I go. Anyone any thoughts or ideas?

 

 

---------------- UPDATE (30/09/10) ----------------

Thanks tomsycamore for the heads up on a couple of tweaks. I've been working away at this edit for a few days now, and keep finding new tweaks to fix/restore. Since there will be so many little fixes, I've decided to leave the colour timing as per the Blu-ray. This is for a number of reasons; I was doing this to differenciate my version from the retail version but that is somewhat unnecessary given all the fixes I'm doing to my version, the original Book Of The Dead transfer wasn't particularly blue, just the 1985 Japanese 'Herald Videogram' laserdisc, also the colours on the Blu-ray are really true to life and it would be a shame to mess with them.

Just to be sure I don't miss anything, I'm encoding a side-by-side picture MPEG with the Blu-ray on the left frame-for-frame synced up to the 2007 Anchor Bay US R1 Ultimate Edition open matte version on the right, so I can watch it through and just be sure I don't miss anything.

 

 

---------------- UPDATE (01/10/10) ----------------

I've gone through the side-by-side comparison video of the US Blu-ray and the 2007 Anchor Bay US R1 Ultimate Edition open matte version, and drawn up a list of all the tweaks I could see. This doesn't include any audio changes (I haven't checked) as I'm just replacing the entire Blu-Ray audio with the laserdisc mono track. I'll be reverting everything listed below for my version.

 

00:03:05:10 to 00:03:08:18 - Rob Tapert standing in the background has been digitally painted out
00:06:07:20 to 00:06:25:12 - Cameraman's reflection in window has been digitally painted out
00:16:19:04 to 00:16:21:08 - Cabin/moon matte shot tweaked; blending, levels, and movement steadied
00:19:21:00 to 00:19:26:00 - Cabin/moon matte shot tweaked; blending, levels, and movement steadied
00:23:38:00 to 00:24:00:11 - Shelly/moon matte shot tweaked; blending, levels, and movement steadied
00:34:13:11 to 00:34:25.17 - Background lights have been digitally painted out
00:36:47:10 to 00:36:49:09 - Linda screaming has been horizontally flipped to correct screen direction
00:36:51:22 to 00:36:54:02 - Linda screaming has been horizontally flipped to correct screen direction
00:38:21:14 to 00:38:25:21 - Cabin/moon matte shot tweaked; blending, levels, and movement steadied
00:52:19:09 to 00:52:24:22 - Hair in camera gate painted out
01:05:05:09 to 01:05:06:18 - Two lens flares painted out
01:05:09:22 to 01:05:10:14 - Two lens flares painted out
01:05:15:07 to 01:05:16:07 - Two lens flares painted out
01:05:18:04 to 01:05:19:06 - Two lens flares & dirt painted out
01:16:12:09 to 01:16:21:15 - Jump cut while Ash is moving the dresser has been smoothed with a fade
01:21:16:17 to 01:21:26:06 - Camera movement during animation digitally steadied
01:22:47:22 to 01:22:51:02 - Hand-held shot digitally steadied

 

 

---------------- UPDATE (03/10/10) ----------------

 Just completed the last of the edits for the main film (which are all detailed below). In all, 131 seconds (3141 frames) of footage was either like-for-like replaced from the Blu-ray transfer with one of the DVD versions, or was entirely new material added in, with other effects such as the new opening titles overlaid on the existing Blu-ray footage in addition to this.


Audio Editing
The 1985 Japanese 'Herald Videogram' Laserdisc seems to be the only true mono audio track source available. Both the 2003 'Anchor Bay' UK R2 Trilogy Box-set bonus disc and the 2006 'CDE Eagle Pictures' Italian R2 Special Edition DVD were listed at DVDCompare.net as having mono or dual-mono audio, but upon proper checking both turned out to be the remastered stereo track.

The Laserdisc audio needed some work. Even though both are NTSC sources, the sync between the Blu-ray image and Laserdisc audio was inconsistent phasing in & out of sync, which meant synching up short sections by altering the audio playback rate to compress or expand the audio to fit the picture and achieve a complete A/V sync from start to finish. The Laserdisc transfer was not of the highest quality and there are numerous pops/clicks (which could be from from dust or dirt on the print during the original telecine). Given the source material available to work with, not all of this could be removed, particularly in the film's louder moments, without replacing much longer sections.

The majority is noise fairly inaudible, but there we some places where a burst of louder clicks was quite distracting. For that, some very short pieces of the Laserdisc track were substituted for the 1999 'Elite Entertainment' US R1 Special Collectors Edition 2.0 stereo track, but even when this DVD stereo track had been down-mixed to mono, the two tracks did not sound identical. 'Remixed' didn't just mean taking the mono audio elements and panning some of the effects to the left or right speakers. In places the bass and treble levels were in stark contrast and some of the effects and musical elements had been mixed at differing levels in relation to each other to accentuate certain instruments. In order to get rid of absolutely all the audio noise, much longer sections would have needed to have been replaced in order to hide the obvious transitions between the two versions, and I wanted to retain as much of the original mono track as possible. The section around 28:21 (NTSC) is a good example of pop/click removal problems; As Cheryl runs from the woods up to the cabin door, the background music simply stops in the original mono track, but fades out in both the DVD & Blu-ray versions. Another is around 41:40 where Scotty looks out of the broken cabin window. The wolves howling off in the distance are quite loud in the mono track, but are much quiter in relation to the cabin ambience/wind in the Blu-ray, and have been removed all together from the 1999 Elite DVD. Rather than simply replace both these sections, I ran them both through a pop/click removal filter. The removal isn't perfect, but is better than either leaving it as it is, or fully replacing it with the remixed audio. In total around 360 seconds (9358 frames) of of Laserdisc audio has been replaced with other sources, with another 45 seconds (1092 frames) pop/click filtered. The the 1999 'Elite Entertainment' US R1 Special Collectors Edition 2.0 stereo track was also used to replace the Laserdisc side 1 into side 2 fades.


Reinsertion Of Cue Marks
All six Cue Marks have been re-inserted using the 1985 Japanese 'Herald Videogram' Laserdisc as a source for exact placement and style. While the 1985 'Video Standard' label PAL Greek VHS tape also has Cue Marks, I preferred the look of the former over the latter. They're in SMPTE-301 (Theatre Projection Leader) format, with the first cue in each pair shown for 4 frames, then a 172 frame gap, then another 4 frame cue followed by another 18 frames until the end of the reel. You can see the frame placement details listed below. If you want to know more about Cue Marks, see the Wikipedia entry here; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cue_mark

End of Reel 1 - Cue Mark 1 starts at 00:21:38:00 (Frames; 31120, 31121, 31122, 31123)
End of Reel 1 - Cue Mark 2 starts at 00:21:45:08 (Frames; 31296, 31297, 31298, 31299)
End of Reel 2 - Cue Mark 1 starts at 00:43:08:06 (Frames; 62056, 62057, 62058, 62059)
End of Reel 2 - Cue Mark 2 starts at 00:43:15:14 (Frames; 62232, 62233, 62234, 62235)
End of Reel 3 - Cue Mark 1 starts at 01:04:25:16 (Frames; 92684, 92685, 92686, 92687)
End of Reel 3 - Cue Mark 2 starts at 01:04:33:00 (Frames; 92860, 92861, 92862, 92863)

 

00:00:14:05 to 00:00:20:07 - Recreated The 'Book Of The Dead' Title
The 'Book Of The Dead' version obviously plays with a different title. The font, colour & animation style are the same as 'The Evil Dead' titles playing at 00:00:14:05 to 00:00:20:07. I composited together a number of the smoky blank sections of the credits sequence to give a blank canvas. The 'Book Of The Dead' title animation was taken from the 1985 'Video Standard' label PAL Greek VHS tape. The quality of the source transfer was too degraded to just splice into the Blu-ray footage, and a little tricky to recreate from scratch, so I used various AVISynth filters to reduce the VHS footage to a solid black title with white background. I outputted all 165 frames of animation as BMPs and cleaned up any dust, dirt or scratches to leave a clean image. These were then strung back together with another AVISynth script and used as an image mask in Adobe Premiere over a red solid colour layer, with a second slightly offset white layer to give the highlight.

00:03:05:10 to 00:03:08:18 - Replaced Rob Tapert Shot
Rob Tapert is stood in the background a shot where the car crosses the bridge; from 00:03:05:10 to 00:03:08:18. This has been digitally painted out of the Blu-ray version, and has be replaced with the original shot taken from the 2007 Anchor Bay US R1 Ultimate Edition open matte version. The DVD shot's Levels, Colour Balance (RGB & HLS), and Sharpness were tweaked to match the original footage as closely as possible.

00:06:07:20 to 00:06:25:12 - Replaced Cameraman's Reflection In Window Shot
A cameraman's reflection (probably Sam Raimi) can be seen in a window where Scotty first looks round the cabin at 00:06:07:20 to 00:06:25:12. This has been digitally painted out of the Blu-ray version, and has be replaced with the original shot taken from the 2007 Anchor Bay US R1 Ultimate Edition open matte version. The DVD shot's Levels, Colour Balance (RGB & HLS), and Sharpness were tweaked to match the original footage as closely as possible.

00:16:19:04 to 00:16:21:08 - Replaced 1st Cabin/Moon Matte Shot
Moon/cabin matte shot from 00:16:19:04 to 00:16:21:08 had a couple of tweaks on the Blu-ray; the levels were adjusted to blend the matte sqaure with the rest of the frame and to increase the brightness and tweak the colour of the moon, and also the slight motion mis-match between the two matted shots had also been corrected to give a stable image. The entire shot was replaced with the original taken from the 2007 Anchor Bay US R1 Ultimate Edition open matte version. The DVD shot's Levels, Colour Balance (RGB & HLS), and Sharpness were tweaked to match the original footage as closely as possible.

00:19:21:00 to 00:19:26:00 - Replaced 2nd Cabin/Moon Matte Shot
Moon/cabin matte shot from 00:19:21:00 to 00:19:26:00 was tweaked as per previous matte shots. The entire shot was replaced with the original taken from the 2007 Anchor Bay US R1 Ultimate Edition open matte version. The DVD shot's Levels, Colour Balance (RGB & HLS), and Sharpness were tweaked to match the original footage as closely as possible.

00:23:38:00 to 00:24:00:11 - Replaced Shelly/Moon Matte Shot
Shelly/moon matte shot from 00:23:38:00 to 00:24:00:11 was tweaked as per previous matte shot, and the whole image really brightened up. The entire shot was replaced with the original taken from the 1999 Elite Entertainment US R1 Special Collectors Edition. The DVD shot's Levels, Colour Balance (RGB & HLS), and Sharpness were tweaked to match the original footage as closely as possible.

00:34:13:11 to 00:34:25.17 - Reinserted Background Lights
Some lights in the background of the crane shot during Shelly's breakdown with Ash, running from 00:34:13:11 to 00:34:25.17, have been digitally painted out in the Blu-ray transfer. These have been re-inserted using the a 2007 Anchor Bay US R1 Ultimate Edition open matte version. Rather than dump the whole Blu-ray shot, a combination of travelling matte & chroma key effects were used just leaving the lights themselves which were superimosed over the Blu-ray frame to recreate the original shot.

00:36:47:10 to 00:36:49:09 - Flipped Linda's Screaming Face
Two shots of Linda screaming as Shelly stabs the pencil into her ankle were horizontally flipped, presumably to correct the screen direction. This is the first at 00:36:47:10 to 00:36:49:09. Both were flipped back

00:36:51:22 to 00:36:54:02 - Flipped Linda's Screaming Face
Two shots of Linda screaming as Shelly stabs the pencil into her ankle were horizontally flipped, presumably to correct the screen direction. This is the second at 00:36:51:22 to 00:36:54:02. Both were flipped back

00:38:21:14 to 00:38:25:21 - Replaced 3rd Cabin/Moon Matte Shot
Moon/cabin matte shot from 00:38:21:14 to 00:38:25:21 was tweaked as per previous matte shots. The entire shot was replaced with the original taken from the 2007 Anchor Bay US R1 Ultimate Edition open matte version. The DVD shot's Levels, Colour Balance (RGB & HLS), and Sharpness were tweaked to match the original footage as closely as possible.

00:52:19:09 to 00:52:24:22 - Reinserted Hair In Camera Gate

A hair can be seen moving across the top of the frame while Scotty is dying on the sofa at 00:52:19:09 to 00:52:24:22. This has been digitally painted out of the Blu-ray version, and has be replaced with the original shot taken from the 1999 Elite Entertainment US R1 Special Collectors Edition. The DVD shot's Levels, Colour Balance (RGB & HLS), and Sharpness were tweaked to match the original footage as closely as possible.

01:04:37:13 to 01:04:38:09 - Reinserted Reel Change Delay
20 frames of black with one shovel/digging sound effect running from 01:04:37:13 to 01:04:38:09 were missing from the Blu-ray, but present on the Laserdisc transfer. This is a reel change point so probably accounts for the missing frames. These frames are also missing from the other two DVD open matte transfers; the 1999 Elite Entertainment US R1 Special Collectors Edition and the 2007 Anchor Bay US R1 Ultimate Edition open matte version.

01:05:05:09 to 01:05:06:18 - Reinserted Lens Flares
Two lens flares can be seen in the centre of the screen on a number of shots where Ash is being attacked by Linda emerging from her grave at 01:05:05:09 to 01:05:06:18. This has all been digitally painted out of the Blu-ray version, and has be replaced with the original shot taken from the 1999 Elite Entertainment US R1 Special Collectors Edition. The DVD shot's Levels, Colour Balance (RGB & HLS), and Sharpness were tweaked to match the original footage as closely as possible.

01:05:09:22 to 01:05:10:14 - Reinserted Lens Flares
Two lens flares can be seen in the centre of the screen on a number of shots where Ash is being attacked by Linda emerging from her grave at 01:05:09:22 to 01:05:10:14. This has all been digitally painted out of the Blu-ray version, and has be replaced with the original shot taken from the 1999 Elite Entertainment US R1 Special Collectors Edition. The DVD shot's Levels, Colour Balance (RGB & HLS), and Sharpness were tweaked to match the original footage as closely as possible.

01:05:15:07 to 01:05:16:07 - Reinserted Lens Flares
Two lens flares can be seen in the centre of the screen on a number of shots where Ash is being attacked by Linda emerging from her grave at 01:05:15:07 to 01:05:16:07. This has all been digitally painted out of the Blu-ray version, and has be replaced with the original shot taken from the 1999 Elite Entertainment US R1 Special Collectors Edition. The DVD shot's Levels, Colour Balance (RGB & HLS), and Sharpness were tweaked to match the original footage as closely as possible.

01:05:18:04 to 01:05:19:06 - Reinserted Lens Flares & Dirt
Two lens flares can be seen in the centre of the screen on a number of shots where Ash is being attacked by Linda emerging from her grave at 01:05:18:04 to 01:05:19:06, along with some white marks on a couple of frames. This has all been digitally painted out of the Blu-ray version, and has be replaced with the original shot taken from the 1999 Elite Entertainment US R1 Special Collectors Edition. The DVD shot's Levels, Colour Balance (RGB & HLS), and Sharpness were tweaked to match the original footage as closely as possible.

01:16:12:09 to 01:16:21:15 - Reinserted Jump Cut
The jump cut as Ash is moving the dresser to barricade the cabin door from possessed Shelly at 01:16:12:09 to 01:16:21:15, has been smoothed over with a fade for the Blu-ray transfer, but not removed/fixed altogether. This has been replaced with the same shot taken from the 1999 Elite Entertainment US R1 Special Collectors Edition. The DVD shot's Levels, Colour Balance (RGB & HLS), and Sharpness were tweaked to match the original footage as closely as possible.

01:21:16:17 to 01:21:26:06 - Reinserted Camera Movement
There is some camera movement during scotty's meltdown animation shot at 01:21:16:17 to 01:21:26:06, which has been digitally steadied in the Blu-ray version to give a perfectly static shot. This has be replaced with the original shot taken from the 1999 Elite Entertainment US R1 Special Collectors Edition. The DVD shot's Levels, Colour Balance (RGB & HLS), and Sharpness were tweaked to match the original footage as closely as possible.

01:22:27:15 to 01:22:33:22 - Recreated Sunrise Shot
The alternate sunrise shown in the 'Book Of The Dead' 1985 'Video Standard' label PAL Greek VHS tape was too degraded to just splice into the Blu-ray footage, so a new one was composited from scratch. I trawled 1000's of Sunrise/Sunset Mountain/Forest photos on Flickr, but had to composite 3 separate images to get a good enough match. I used an AVIsynth script to make a video file, along with the AddGrainC plugin to add film grain. This was then imported into Premiere and replaced the shot at 01:22:27:15 to 01:22:33:22. It was desaturated & darkened and a slight handheld camera wobble was added using the motion tracked from the below sunrise shot. Just to add to the realism, I superimposed a flock of birds flying way off in the distance.

01:22:47:22 to 01:22:51:02 - Recreated Camera Movement
There is some camera movement during the second sunrise shot at 01:22:47:22 to 01:22:51:02, which has been digitally steadied in the Blu-ray version to give a perfectly static shot. The same shots from both the 1999 Elite Entertainment US R1 Special Collectors Edition and the 2007 Anchor Bay US R1 Ultimate Edition open matte version looked markedly poor in comparison to the Blu-ray, with an overly bright the sky bleaching out much of the finer detail in the trees. Instead using either DVD version, the camera wobble was recreated with matching frame-by-frame movements of the Blu-ray original to recreate the un-tweaked shot.

01:23:53:01 to 01:24:02:23 - Reinserted Ash's Scream Resonating Before The Credits Roll
The 'Book Of The Dead' titled version has Ash's scream resonating over a black screen for 9 seconds before the credits roll. The extended ending/credits segment audio was taken from the 'Book Of The Dead' 1985 'Video Standard' label PAL Greek VHS tape, a processed to match the laserdisc audio track as closely as possible, and was then edited into the timeline at 01:23:53:01 to 01:24:02:23, overlaid with a black screen as per the VHS.

01:25:18:01 to 01:25:27:11 - Recreated End Credits Screen
The very last page of the credits at 01:25:18:01 to 01:25:27:11, reads slightly differently and was recreated from scratch using the 'Book Of The Dead' 1985 'Video Standard' label PAL Greek VHS tape. It appears and fades exactly as per the Blu-ray

 

 

---------------- UPDATE (10/10/10) ----------------

Here are a few updates which are a combination of explanatory text for the release and technical information. I've also added some pieces to the above BOTD edit too.

 

Within The Woods 2010 Restoration
In order to raise initial financing for Evil Dead; Sam, Bruce & Rob along with Ellen Sandweiss, Scott Spiegel & Mary Valenti made this 31 minute short film at the Tapert family farmhouse near Marshall, Michigan. Shooting over a total of 6 days during the spring of 1979, and with a budget of $1600, it was a far bigger Super-8 production than any of the renaissance team had attempted previously. It combines script elements of both the first and second Evil Dead movies, but with a much tighter, and arguably more effective plot line.

Anchor Bay had restored ‘Within The Woods’, for their 2002 Book Of The Dead release. The short was pulled at the last moment, although the exact reason for this was never explained. It had been speculated that they had problems with music rights, although this wasn’t the case as their version had already been re-scored with new music, especially for that release.  Last minute reluctance on Sam Raimi’s part or legal issues involving one of the actresses have also been speculated as possible reasons.

I have built up a fair collection of 'Within The Woods' DVDs over the years, currently seven, all ranging in quality from the widespread internet VCD MPEG up to a VHS to DVD transfer I did personally in 2009, which is a slight upgrade on the version previously released on The Evil Dead - The Treasures Collection DVD. This transfer was from from one of a pair of incredibly rare NTSC VHS tapes borrowed from an American forum user, which also contained a number of other previously unavailable Super-8 shorts, additional material, footage & interviews, some of which is include on this DVD. These tapes are an entirely separate compilation from the various generations of the standard 'Sam Raimi Super-8 Shorts' VHS tape & DVD. Further to this, I have digitally restored some sections where possible, using professional software.

Possible Other Super-8 Shorts To Be Included
As well as Within The Woods, two earlier related Super-8 shorts may also been included; It's Murder & Clockwork. It's Murder is a slapstick comedy, but one scare moment served to teach the group the power of the horror genre. Clockwork was Sam's first foray into all out horror film making. With the exception of their availability on YouTube, both shorts are very rare in terms of offline/physical trading between fans. Having built up a large collection of rare Evil Dead Trilogy material & Super-8 shorts over the last few years, I have only ever had contact with one other fan who owned them, picked up at a New York comic fair which had been captured from VHS and written on CD-Rs in MPEG-1 25P PAL (352 x 288) VCD format. The 25fps/25P progressive framerate was simply slowed to 23.976fps/24P (meaning there was no interpolating between the frames due to the framerate change, loosing further quality) and then both were resized re-encoded into NTSC DVD format.


The Incredibly Strange Film Show
'The Incredibly Strange Film Show' was a programme profiling offbeat (usually American) directors hosted by Jonathan Ross, which ran for two series over 1988 to 1989 on UK TV Channel 4. Episode 5 of Series 1 was first broadcast on the 2nd of September 1988, and featured Sam Raimi, along with interviews from Rob Tapert, Bruce Campbell, and Scott Spiegel. It covered their early Super-8 days with clips from 'Six Months To Live', 'Attack Of The Pillsbury Doughboy', and 'Within The Woods' (although the music cue taken from 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' was replaced, likely because they were unable to clear the rights for TV), then moves on to 'The Evil Dead', 'Crimewave' and 'Evil Dead II', and up to Scott Speigel's 'Night Crew' (later renamed 'Intruder').

Neither series of this TV show has been given an official DVD release, but 'Anchor Bay' included this specific episode on the bonus disc of their 2003 UK R2 Evil Dead Trilogy Box-set. Likely at Sam Raimi's request, all the Super-8 short clips were omitted, along with the footage from 'Crimewave', while some of the missing sections were replaced with alternate material to allow the show to make sense (38m 38s as broadcast, edited down to 34m 09s for DVD). Bootlegs of both series are available, and the full uncut version of this episode can be found in varying quaility, the best of which is a fairly good VHS to DVD transfer.

Rather than simply dump the higher quality DVD version for a bootleg VHS transfer, I've edited the two into a composite version to give the original version of the full uncut show, while all in the highest possible quality. Because the DVD version was poorly edited, some of the footage either side of the omitted sections has also been trimmed, so you may notice some fades from VHS to DVD footage which allows every last frame of additional VHS material to be included. Both DVD & VHS sources were interlaced PAL, which have been converted to progressive NTSC during the editing process.

 

 

---------------- UPDATE (11/10/10) ----------------

The Book Of The Dead restoration is now complete, along with the Within The Woods restoration and the The Incredibly Strange Film Show DVD & VHS composite edit. I've started working through the final list of items for inclusion. One idea I looked at was adding Bruce Campbell's text commentary from the Evil Dead Companion, but going through it there isn't much that's really new there that isn't covered on one or other of the existing audio commentary tracks. Then I had the idea to add the original shooting script as a subtitle track which you can read (and see the differences) as the film plays through. Since I have it, I thought I'd do the same for Within The Woods too. Rather than try to just pad out the two discs with any material available, I'm restricting myself to items I'd really want to see, and going less on just whether items are rare or not.

Disc 1

  • Book Of The Dead Theatrical Restoration
        (Original un-mixed mono audio track)
        (Shooting script subtitle track)


  • Within The Woods
        (Shooting script subtitle track)
        (Isolated score audio track)


  • Book Of The Dead Trailer
  • A censored compilation sequence of the BBFC 1990 UK VHS
  • Palace Pictures Ident
  • Release notes & information pages



Disc 2

  • The Incredibly Strange Film Show (Composite DVD & VHS)
  • PM Magazine Detroit TV Spot on Renaissance pictures (Full 7m 28s segment)
  • Tom Sullivan TV interview circa 1982
  • Release notes & information pages
  • Super-8 Shorts; It's Murder & Clockwork

 

Here are some other possible ideas for inclusion.

  • The Evil Dead standard open-matte trailer, or other foreign versions
  • Evil Dead deleted scenes edited & mixed from the various raw footage available
  • Old Book Of The Dead VHS version differences edited sequence
  • New Book Of The Dead/Blu-ray version differences edited sequence
  • Photo/video montage to music or stills gallery of modern movie location visits
  • Photo/video montage to music or stills gallery of Tom Sullivan's ED Museum

 

 

 

---------------- UPDATE (22/10/10) ----------------

Still working away at this release, just about finished the main menu for disc 2 (disc 1 will use the existing Treasures Collection DVD menus). It's the table in the cabin cellar. Virtually every single element in it has been composited from different images, then coloured & graded to match the scene. Will post more as I go.

 

This post has been edited.

Book Of The Dead DVD    The Evil Dead DVD    Dick Spanner PI DVD      Gamesmaster S1-7 DVD Box-Set
Dawn Of The Dead - Extended Cut OST    BookOfTheDead.ws Website    EvilDeadChainsaws.com Website

Author
Time

This, I'm looking foward to! But to me, use the Full Screen transfer from the R1 UE cause that features no tweaks whatsoever and in my opinion, the best full screen transfer on DVD. But if you choose any other transfer, that's OK with me.

Author
Time

I just wanted to say thank you to See No Evil and Moth3r for the beautiful original Treasures Collection DVD, one of the finest fan preservations I've ever seen. Looking forward to your new edit. It would be great though to have the original film with the improved transfer from the Blu-ray with original audio mix and color timing, but I can understand your decision. It's funny, there was a time when I never would have thought to have this film on home video in better quality than Star Wars.

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

Author
Time

See No Evil said:

Just to mention that I'm aware that DVDCompare.net has the Italian CDE Eagle Pictures 2-disc DVD as having an English 1.0 mono audio track, but having actually checked this, it's actually 2.0 AC3, which could mean that the mono audio was just copied to both the left & right channels to make a 'fake' stereo track, or maybe it's just a listing error. Besides this, the Italian 2.0 audio seems to have a slight high pitched tone/wine when it's played at full volume, so I'll stick with the old laserdisc track.

Many mono mixes are presented as a 2.0 dual mono track, it doesn't have to mean it's a fake stereo. I think that many mono mixes were actually heard through several speakers in the cinema sometimes. Anyway, the LD track seems to be the best way to go, as you can also decide the bitrate on it. :)

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

Author
Time

Yeah, most mono tracks are technically "dual mono," meaning that it's encoded as 2.0, but each channel carries identical information.  It's still mono, it just provides better compatibility, if I understand it correctly.

Author
Time

In addition to the removal of Mr. Tapert on the new blu-ray:

Several background lights have been digitally erased in the shot of Cheryl collapsing on discovery of the destroyed bridge.

The shot of Linda’s screaming face (in close-up) during the ankle attack has been horizontally mirrored.

A fade has been applied to the jump-cut of Ash when Scotty emerges from the floor as a demon.

 

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

Author
Time

I didn't, I just picked it up on several forums but it seems to be real information, there is probably a few more changes done, stop-motion fx and the matted moon shot. Sam Raimi have gone Lucas-mad.

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

Author
Time

I think it's really sad that Raimi have done a Lucas on the blu-ray as the restoration on it is looking damn good. It could finally have been such a perfect release. :(

I hope you somewhere down the road decide to make a fan-restoration of the theatrical cut also, as there's still no perfect version out there, (though your earlier version comes very close) and it doesn't seems like it will ever be released with the original audio again either.

Impressive list of work done already!! :) Keep up the good work.

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

Author
Time

Well if you think about a 2-Disc set, here's my suggestion:

Disc 1: The Film (which should feature the classic New Line Cinema logo)

-English 2.0 Original Mono

-Blu-Ray Audio Commentary with Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, and Bruce Campbell (or maybe all 3 commentaries combined)

-Reconstructed Full Screen Theatrical Trailer (using Disc 2 of the R1 UE. Featuring the classic New Line logo, and the Knowby narration at the beginning)

-Reconstructed US TV Spots (Again, using Disc 2 of the R1 UE)

-Book Of The Dead Trailer (Semi-Reconstructed)

Disc 2: Within The Woods/Bonus Material

-Within The Woods 

-UK TV Spot (can be found on Youtube)

-Japanese TV Spot (Again, found on Youtube) 

-Compilation of the edits/censored bits from the BBFC certified 1990 Palace Pictures UK VHS release

-1983 Vintage Interview with Sam and Rob (possibly found on Youtube, but it could've been deleted)

-PM Magazine Detroit TV Spot on Renaissance Pictures

-1982 Tom Sullivan TV interview

-The Uncut Version of the Incredibly Strange Film Show

-Siskel and Ebert Review on The Evil Dead

 

If you're trying to find the classic New Line logo in full screen, the original individual single disc of A Nightmare On Elm Street has it. If you need any ideas for future Evil Dead Treasures Collection DVDs, don't hesitate to ask. ;)

Author
Time

Would you consider using alternate angles to include both the "Book of the Dead" and "The Evil Dead" titles, similar to how multiple languages of the Star Wars crawls are presented on the DVDs?

Author
Time

I haven't finalized which items I will be including, but just some thoughts on your list;

 

-The Film (which should feature the classic New Line Cinema logo)

-Reconstructed Full Screen Theatrical Trailer (using Disc 2 of the R1 UE. Featuring the classic New Line logo, and the Knowby narration at the beginning)

The version titled Book Of The Dead which I'm restoring was completed in October 1981, Irvin Shapiro (who ran 'Films Around the World'), and made a deal for foreign release on December 10 1981 whereupon he suggested they changed the title to The Evil Dead. It wasn't until mid 1983 that the movie was picked up for domestic US distribution by 'New Line Cinema', opening in New York on April 15, of 1983. Based on that timeline, the Book Of The Dead titled version would never have ran with a 'New Line Cinema' before it, only the later The Evil Dead version.

 

-Blu-Ray Audio Commentary with Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, and Bruce Campbell (or maybe all 3 commentaries combined)

-Reconstructed Full Screen Theatrical Trailer (using Disc 2 of the R1 UE. Featuring the classic New Line logo, and the Knowby narration at the beginning)

-Reconstructed US TV Spots (Again, using Disc 2 of the R1 UE)

These elements are already available on retail DVDs, including the new Blu-ray commentary which will be released in the UK on a standard DVD along with the Blu-ray disc on the 11 of October 2010. As mentioned in the first post, I'm aiming for this project to be a companion to the official releases, with material not found on any of the on retail DVDs, not a 'free' replacement filled with pirated material.

Book Of The Dead DVD    The Evil Dead DVD    Dick Spanner PI DVD      Gamesmaster S1-7 DVD Box-Set
Dawn Of The Dead - Extended Cut OST    BookOfTheDead.ws Website    EvilDeadChainsaws.com Website

Author
Time

See No Evil said:

  • Book Of The Dead Trailer

 Will you (semi) reconstruct it?

 See No Evil said:

"Here are some other possible ideas for inclusion.

  • The Evil Dead standard open-matte trailer, or other foreign versions
  • Evil Dead deleted scenes edited & mixed from the various raw footage available
  • Old Book Of The Dead VHS version differences edited sequence
  • New Book Of The Dead/Blu-ray version differences edited sequence
  • Photo/video montage to music or stills gallery of modern movie location visits
  • Photo/video montage to music or stills gallery of Tom Sullivan's ED Museum"

 

That would be perfect for a 3rd disc. But if you add the US theatrical trailer, at least reconstruct it and add the classic New Line logo and the Knowby narration at the beginning (which I know you will).

Author
Time

Looking forward to this, the amount of work you're doing to restore this cut sounds mighty impressive!! :)

Let me know if you're interested in hi-res poster scans of the films...

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

Author
Time
The colour timing on the Blu-ray transfer is probably truer to life than the laserdisc, or any other previous release, although the laserdisc transfer does have a darker cold blue colour timing to it which does add to the overall feel of the film.

 

I saw the film in the theatre recently and the colors look more like BD than LD.

To the top