After a condensed recap, Evil Dead II continues where The Evil Dead left off; with the Evil Force rushing towards Ash.
It catapults him through the woods, and subsequently possesses him. Ash is saved by the dawn, but his attempts to escape the woods prove fruitless. As night falls, Ash is forced back into the cabin, and a vicious cat-&-mouse game ensues. First, the decapitated corpse of Linda rises from the grave and tries once more to attack him; Ash dispenses of the head and body with his trusty chainsaw. Next, his own right hand becomes possessed, but Ash is able to sever it, again with the chainsaw. That doesn’t stop the disembodied hand from scampering around and terrorising Ash, however.
Soon, Ash is joined in the cabin by four more people: Annie Knowby, the daughter of the Professor who read aloud the incantations from the Book Of The Dead on the tape Ash played; Ed, her boyfriend; and finally, Jake and Bobbie Jo, two country hicks who led Annie and Ed to the cabin. Seeing the bloody mess and thinking Ash is responsible for murdering Professor Knowby and his wife Henrietta, they lock Ash in the cellar of the cabin. But someone (or something) else is in the cellar with him...
You can read about & download a personally preserved HD digital transfer of the 35mm Evil Dead II trailer shown above, on the The Evil Dead Trilogy 35mm Trailers page in the Features section. As of the date of writing, this transfer is the only HD version of the trailer available anywhere in the world. It's included in standard definition on a plethora of DVD & Blu-Ray releases, but none of these are in high definition. It's freely available for personal use and fanmade DVD/Blu-Ray projects. Should anyone want access to the untouched 2K transfer, or should any professional media companies wish to include this trailer on a retail release, please contact me first. You can read a PDF version of the script below. This is the original shooting script not a transcript so there are some sections & alterations you can read that didn't make it in to the final film. Its formatted as per the original script and is the seventh draft written by Sam Raimi & Scott Spiegel together completed May 5, 1986.
Openly considered a way for Sam, Rob and Bruce to lick their wounds following their disheartening experience on Crimewave, their reinvigorated desire to prove themselves once again leaps off every frame of Evil Dead II, resulting in one of the wildest, most kinetic and outrageous experiences in horror cinema history. The decision on the part of Sam and co-writer Scott Spiegel to make more overt the Three Stooges-style humour prevalent in their early Super-8 shorts but only latent in the original Evil Dead created what is still seen as Sam's signature style - a heady brew of eerie chills and broad “splatstick” humour. Bruce Campbell’s lasting screen persona as half-action hero/half-doofus started right here, and many still feel it is his most memorable performance.
Though not a major box-office success on its original theatrical release, Evil Dead II's reputation has grown dramatically through the years, rising through the ranks from cult favourite to cinematic classic, surpassing even the original. Its impact on the films of directors such as Peter Jackson (Braindead) and Edgar Wright (Shaun Of The Dead) is still felt to this day - note the UK quad poster for the film seen on the main characters’ living room wall throughout both series of Spaced.
Perhaps the most lasting consequence of Evil Dead II is on the career of its makers. Making a sequel to their breakout hit may have been a safe business decision after the sophomore slump of Crimewave, but it was an opportunity they attacked with everything at their disposal. Sam Raimi's confident strides forward as a director, utilising every magic trick at his disposal, are still a delight and an inspiration to watch.
Indeed, Campbell considers it the best film in the trilogy, mainly because it was the perfect synthesis of having studio money yet total artistic freedom, executive producer Dino De Laurentiis trusting them to deliver the goods. His trust was not misplaced; without Evil Dead II, not only would the careers of all involved have been very different, but horror cinema would be much poorer for its absence.