Modern horror movie remakes don't have the best reputation among genre fans, but Fede Alvarez's Evil Dead revival proved to be the rare exception to the rule. Not only could the new Evil Dead stand on its own as a gorehound's dream come true, some fans even think the remake surpassed Sam Raimi's original cult classic.
With Halloween fast approaching, and on the 35th anniversary of the original version of The Evil Dead, Alvarez revealed that his remake will be released in an unrated cut when it hits Blu-Ray later this month.
The Unrated 'Evil Dead'
During his guest appearance on Blumhouse's own podcast Shock Waves, Alvarez discussed Evil Dead's longer cut. He also explained why the special edition of his remake can't really be called his "true" vision.
Yes. There is (a longer version) but it’s not a director’s cut. Usually what I do, like most directors, is you do a first cut, look at it, and it’s usually too long. So I made the decision, and I really cut it to the bone to make sure that’s the sharpest piece of storytelling I can tell. I try to take it to a very effective machine of storytelling if I can... The extended version is just that longer version of the movie we had at the beginning which I didn’t think was the best version of the film.
But even before Evil Dead's upcoming unrated Blu-Ray release, a lucky few were able to see Evil Dead uncut - albeit by accident. Alvarez told Shock Waves that people from the United Kingdom are currently the only audience to have seen the full version of Evil Dead.
And that movie, it’s funny – it got leaked! It was an error – Sony shipped the wrong version to the UK, so the one that’s airing in the UK (on cable) is the extended version. I just thought they were going to do a new edition at some point, and now maybe they should anyways! The UK ended up airing the extended version. I was reading that tweet and looking at it and thinking ‘wow, that is the extended version!
Now with an official unrated release, fans and newcomers alike can finally see the Evil Dead remake in all of its gory and nightmarish glory.
What To Expect In The Unrated Cut
The unrated Evil Dead restores five minutes worth of footage cut from the theatrical release. Among the restored scenes are additional dialogue between the characters, additional gore for sequences such as Jane Levy's character Mia slitting her tongue, and a few scenes that were originally removed completely. Some of the removed scenes were prominent in Evil Dead's trailers, and Alvarez took the time to explain the process behind this creative decision.
So on EVIL DEAD, we had a scene where David was going to the shed and chopping his girlfriend to pieces to fulfill the prophecy, and there were a couple of (other) things that were in the trailer. But the trailer is usually from that long cut; it’s what you send to marketing so they can start working on the trailer. So while they’re doing the trailer, we’re still editing the movie. So my cut is the movie they put out.
Another stand-out deleted scene is an entirely different ending where Mia escapes to a nearby road and hitches a ride out of the cursed forest. Contrary to rumors, the friendly driver who gives her a lift is not portrayed by original Evil Dead star Bruce Campbell.
For a more comprehensive look at the differences between the theatrical and unrated cuts of Evil Dead, check out the breakdown from Movie Censorship.
It's good to know that the excised scenes were deliberately taken out by Alvarez himself rather than by an outside influence making cuts to satisfy a certain crowd. Unlike other recent extended cuts, Evil Dead can stand on its own without the deleted content. The restoration of said scenes will only improve an otherwise great slasher horror movie instead of salvaging it.
Though only five extra minutes of blood and guts may sound disappointing for those who were expecting more from Evil Dead's Blu-Ray re-release, this just goes to show how good a director Alvarez is. The filmmaker reaffirmed his horror movie chops with this year's sleeper hit Don't Breathe, which, and like his take on Evil Dead, made an impressive impact in its theatrical version regardless of deleted scenes that may one day be added to a different cut.
When it comes to old-school horror movies, Fede Alvarez knows what he's doing and horror fans are lucky to have him in the director's chair.