Anchor Bay Horror on the Go: Evil Dead II, Near Dark, The Hills Have Eyes (UMD)

Evil Dead II, Near Dark, The Hills Have Eyes

Starring Bruce Campbell, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, Dee Wallace Stone, and Michael Berryman

Directed by Sam Raimi, Kathryn Bigelow, and Wes Craven

Released by Anchor Bay Entertainment

Evil Dead II UMDNear Dark UMDThe Hills Have Eyes UMD

Another trio of terror comes home for us horror hounds on the go courtesy of the fine — yet blissfully evil — folks at Anchor Bay Entertainment. Charge up your PSP’s batteries, and don’t forget your napkins because this group can get very messy!

First up is the Sam Raimi classic Evil Dead II. There’s been much discussion about this film amongst fans. Is it a remake? Is it a sequel? I say who cares?! It’s a violent little go-around with everyone’s favorite wise-cracking hero, Ash. Gaze in horror at the dancing corpse! Feel for Ted Raimi as he sweats off most of his body weight in his cellar witch suit! The best part? You can do so right next to the guy in the three-piece suit that’s been staring down his nose at you the entire time! Portable horror is good.

Next we have one of my favorite vampire films of all time, Near Dark. For those that haven’t seen it yet (shame on you, by the way), this film treats vampirism in a whole new light. You won’t find any — as James Woods put it so lovingly in John Carpenter’s Vampires — “Pulse Smoking Fashion Victims” here. Instead we have a ruthless band of outlaws hell bent on causing as much misery and mayhem as they can before the sun comes up. Hey, at least one of the conventional vampire rules applies!

Finally we have Wes Craven’s classic The Hills Have Eyes. This is the real deal, folks. Hills piles on the scares from its opening seconds and never lets up. Don’t let his later work like Red Eye or Cursed fool you. When he was young and in his prime, Craven could scare the shit out of you. I’m not saying he’s incapable of still delivering the goods, but when you compare his older work to his new . . . well, judge for yourselves. The Hills Have Eyes is a great place to start. Besides that, just think of how cool you’ll be having this classic on your PSP when the remake rears its head! Teach your friends!

Sadly, just like the other UMD’s that have been released, there are absolutely no special features to speak of. I don’t what the deal is with that. Maybe UMD’s are not as programmer friendly as DVD’s are. That hasn’t stopped Anchor Bay though; as an added bonus each film here is presented with a 5.1 Stereo Surround mix, and believe me they’ve never sounded better. Now Pappa Jup can sound like he’s sneakin’ up right behind you without an expensive home theatre setup. Very, very cool!

So there ya have it, kids! Another reason to shell out the cash for Sony’s portable wonder machine. If you have one and you’re a horror fan, you need these. It’s just a simple fact! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna fill up the tub and watch good old Ash chainsaw the hell out of his girlfriend. Sweet.

4 out of 5

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Steve Barton

You're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be.

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