Given that Evil Dead II was a far more professional affair, the lions share of the deleted material was ideas removed in the writing & planning stages, leaving quite a small amount that was actually filmed but not included in the final film, and most of this tended to be individual shots or short sequences as opposed of whole scenes. One major deleted scene 'myth' worth de-bunking is that some people adamantly recall a late 80's HBO showing of the movie which contained an alternate hand severing sequence, using a hatchet instead of a chainsaw. Its worth stating once and for all that no such sequence exists. There is however, a fair amount of new & alternate footage in the Evil Dead II: "Severely Edited For Television" TV version, as detailed on the Evil Dead II - Alternate Versions page.
Unlike The Evil Dead, there have been no deleted scenes or raw footage for Evil Dead II officially released to date. The 1997 US Elite 'Blood Red Edition' Evil Dead II laserdisc contains a featurette called Behind The Screams, which is 27m 43s of edited highlights taken from Greg Nicotero's behind the scenes camcorder footage. The 2000 R1 US Anchor Bay Evil Dead II DVD contains a documentary called The Gore The Merrier running at 31m 51s, which shows some alternate camcorder footage to the previous laserdisc release, intercut with clips from the film and interviews with some members of the special effects crew; Howard Berger, Robert Kurtzman & Greg Nicotero. This documentary can be found on a number of subsequent R1 & R2 DVD releases. The 2011 US Lionsgate Evil Dead II Blu-Ray release contains large number of new extras, including a fair amount of Greg camcorder footage spread over the various featurettes, and many previously unseen photos.
This page details some of the alterations and deletions made at various points between the scripting stage to the finished film. This only covers specific sequences or shots of merit, as opposed to accounting for every last frame. Screenshots from each sequence have been included where footage has been released. Some of the script excerpts further down have been edited down just to the important parts to shorten them, you can read the shooting script in full via the link of the synopsis page.
Greg Nicotero's behind the scenes camcorder footage
A member of the make-up effects team, Greg Nicoteros's camcorder captured much of the production, but only a small amount of this has ever been formerly released. The footage begins with the prep work in California, moulding the various cast members and prototyping many of the later make-up & effects, then runs through the main shoot & re-shoots, along with skits and hi-jinx shot by the make-up effects crew, and the wider crew. Highlights include Henrietta in her rocking chair becoming possessed, Linda's snake tongue, Ash's face reverting from deadite to normal, and Chop-top Ed, along with many unseen behind the scenes moments.
On October 12, 2016, president of Elite Entertainment Vini Bancalari offered a few items for sale on the 'Evil Dead Collector's Initiative' Facebook group. They were four restored-version D2 master tapes for the 1999 The Evil Dead Elite laserdisc (catalogue number: EE7264), and more interestingly, six Fuji 90min BetaCamSP tapes, labelled as 'Elite, Evil Dead II, Behind The Scenes Bump UPS, 08/21/97'. On the possibility that these set of six tapes may be unedited transfers of Greg Nicotero's Evil Dead II behind the scenes camcorder footage used in the creation of the Behind The Screams featurette on the 1997 Evil Dead II Elite laserdisc (catalogue number: EE3845REG), a French fan bought the set.
He sent the set on to myself, arriving on October 25 2016, in order for them to be transferred to DVD (thanks entirely to Ash in the Shepperton Sound Department who had the professional equipment). The tapes did indeed turn out to be Greg's camcorder footage. Upon viewing, it becomes obvious why it would be impossible for any DVD producer to release anything but a carefully edited 'highlights' package. Over the running time, the amount of people seen on screen (from the cast & crew, to family members, visitors and passers-by) is huge. Identifying, tracking down and obtaining clearance for a DVD release from every one of them, would be impossible. Plus you have all the copyrighted workshop radio background music, off-the-cuff remarks, swearing, impressions, in-jokes and other assorted unsavoury material which some may not be keen on having out there all these years later.
Tape one runs at 1h 32m 15s, two 1h 24m 05s, three 1h 30m 06s, four 1h 33m 53s, five 1h 31m 33s and Tape six 1h 02m 33s, giving a total of 8h 35m 12s of footage. Tape one is entirely workshop & prep footage in California, as is the first 38m of tape two, and the first 25m of tape three. The remainder of the running time in tapes two, three, four, five & six is footage shot entirely in North Carolina. While on the whole, the majority of the footage seems to play in chronological order, some sections do chop and change, while other short sections are repeated, mainly the California prep footage on tape one. It's entirely possible that Greg shot the footage across a fair few tapes, and swapped between them during the shoot, so some of the footage plays out of sequence when each tape is watched start-to-finish, and while they were being dubbed from the camcorder onto VHS at the time, some little sections were accidentally repeated. Each 90min tape was transferred to it's own DVD, making a six-disc DVD set.
Even though this transfer was created solely for myself and the tape set's new French owner, artwork was personally created. The design centred around an old VHS tape with a tattered VHS sleeve. The cover was assembled from edited high resolution photos of an original VHS tape to give a wraparound VHS-tape cover. The sleeve was created by scanning a flattened original VHS slipcase, tweaking the design & changing the size, printing it using an A3 printer, and cutting, assembling & ageing it into the final sleeve. While this DVD set is not being publicly shared, but may be available for trade if you have something equally special available in return.
Vern Hyde's behind the scenes camcorder footage
Not to be confused with Greg's footage, there is an unofficial Evil Dead II behind the scenes camcorder raw footage DVD running at 72m 00s available to buy on various bootleg websites. This seems to be taken from a tape shot by Vern Hyde and his effects crew, which leans towards more general on set footage, rather than special effects.
Evil Dead II Workprint
Commonly available on bootleg websites, the Evil Dead II workprint DVD isn't the full film, however. Running at 37:11, this only contains the first & last sections of the film and they're more or less shot for shot as they are in the finished movie except for 4 short pieces; a brief section as Ash discovers the destruction of the bridge, a shot of the cabin piano with steam pipes coming out, the talking demon heads scene runs a little longer, and the squence of ash travelling through the vortex has some additional shots and effects. The picture quality of the DVD is ok, but the source VHS tape seems to have a lot of damage making it break up frequently. It has a time code running at the top, and is scored with a temp music mix using cues taken other movie scores, including The Evil Dead, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, and Death Wish.
The Extended German 84 minute 'XXL Version'
There exists a German unofficial semi-bootleg extended DVD of Evil Dead II called the 'XXL Version', running around 84 minutes probably released in 2008, which has roughly 3 minutes of additional footage in comparison to the theatrical version. It's worth saying first that there is no new 'previously unseen' material here. The extra footage is drawn from Greg Nicotero & Vern Hyde's behind the scenes camcorder footage. The movie is presented in 16:9 anamorphic widescreen with German dubbed audio, but the original English audio is also included as a second track. You can see the DVD cover below.
Had the creators spent more time seamlessly blending the the video & audio of their source footage into the main movie, along with giving a little more thought to the edits themselves, this could have been a really worthwhile project. As it is, it may only be of particular interest to die had fans. Some of the edits are rather crude, obvious & jarring, and much of the extra material has been crow-barred in, simply serving to pad out the running time as much as possible while adding nothing whatsoever to the film itself.
While this 'Extended' version is very unlikely to have been officially sanctioned by Renaissance Pictures, it can still be bought as a retail DVD in Germany, either as a standalone release, or as part of the huge German 12-disc Evil Dead Trilogy DVD set. For anyone who is interested in tracking down this 12-disc set, Only 100 copies were made, so even though an unofficial bootleg, it will still likely be expensive.
Never having seen the set, there are only internet websites & forum postings to draw from, but here is a full list of what the set reportedly contains, although this may not be 100% accurate;
The Evil Dead (Uncut Version) 1:25:13 NTSC
Special Features PAL
Within The Woods
The Evil Dead Trailer & TV Spots
Discovering Evil Dead
The Ingredibly Strange Film Show
Bruce Campbell: Geek or God? featurette
Dead Good Marketing featurette
The Living Love The Dead
Making of Evil Dead 2 & Trailer
Making of Army of Darkness & Trailer
Bonus DVD NTSC
The Ladies of Evil Dead
The Ladies meet Bruce Campbell
Life after Dead
At The Drive In
Sam Raimi's Short Films
Behind The Scenes Of Evil Dead II
Tales From The Cutting Room Floor
Book Of The Dead - The Other Pages
FX Test Screening
DVD-ROM: Soundtracks of Evil Dead Trilogy
Evil Dead Regeneration (PC DVD-Rom Game)
The Evil Dead (Extended Version) 1:36:04 PAL
Evil Dead II (Uncut Version) 1:24:07 NTSC
Evil Dead II (Extended Version) 1:23:29 PAL
Army Of Darkness (US Theatrical Cut) 1.20:48 NTSC
Army Of Darkness (Director's Cut) 1:36:28 NTSC
Army Of Darkness (UK Television Cut) 1:28:15 PAL
Army Of Darkness (Restored Workprint Cut) 1:44:36 NTSC
Evil Dead - The Musical 1:35:10 NTSC
Virtually all this material has been copied from one or other of the various official US DVD, game & soundtrack releases, with the obvious exceptions of a couple of items; the Within The Woods and 'Sam Raimi's Short Films' included here are poor quality bootleg VHS transfers, and not the best generally available, the two 'Extended Versions', are both poorly assembled from widely available raw & on-set-camcorder footage, and the various unreleased versions of Army Of Darkness along with Evil Dead - The Musical, likely taken from leaked & pirated copies circulating on the internet.
Tanz der Teufel 2 - 25th Anniversary Edition
ELEA-Media in Germany released their hotly-anticipated 'extended' three-disc 25th Anniversary Blu-Ray Edition of Evil Dead II on September 24, 2013 (ASIN: B00E90Z54S). The 'standard' version came in a plastic case with 32 page Book Of The Dead style booklet featuring artwork by Tom Sullivan (below-left), while the 'special edition' version (limited to 1000) came in a pine box with a replica poster among other pieces (below-right).
It was hoped by fans that this DVD might contain some additional footage from the Mexican TV version which had surface on YouTube in the months before. Alas, much like the aforementioned Extended German extended 'XXL Versions' of The Evil Dead & Evil Dead II, the additional three minutes of footage consisted of behind the scenes camcorder video crudely edited into the main feature. Further, all the extras have been lifted from the 2011 US Lionsgate Evil Dead II Blu-Ray release so there is nothing new there either, making the packaging the only real reason to buy this set.
Early Script Differences
The early 1985 first draft of the Evil Dead II script was intended to follow on directly from The Evil Dead with original 1983 footage forming a brief prologue in the opening scenes retelling the events of the first film, and some of the same actors coming back to reprise their roles, especially Linda/Betsy Baker who also appears later in the script. Given that this follows on, a number of plot elements are changed by default; Linda is now already decapitated, dead & buried, the Book Of The Dead has been burnt and destroyed, and Ash begins the script already at the cabin, still trying to escape.
Probably the biggest difference is the larger scope (and likely budget) of the script, as it's far less limited to the cabin. There's even some underwater shots! That said, there are far too many smaller differences to cover here. A fair portion of the script's exposition is told in the form of voice-overs, and the main characters are variably different; Ed seems now to be a leering pervert, Both Bobby Joe & Jake are more like criminals, and Ash's leap from coward to braggart/hero is now far more stark given this follows directly on from the original character. Raymond & Henrietta Knowby's roles are greatly expanded, both in the prologue & later in the script, and Raymond's ultimate fate is revealed. The influence of the 'Evil Force' seems to extend much wider, affecting the whole area, manifesting in various wacky ways, and while the 'Force' in the films' is depicted as more-or-less invisible, here Ash sees figures outside moving & watching him. Lastly The Army Of Darkness subtitle to the script seems a little out of place, as at the end of this version, Ash is simply left stuck endlessly floating in the 'Vortex'.
For the May 2, 1985 second draft, the opening has been restructured, so that rather than being told in brief flashbacks, it plays out in full. From the Book Of The Dead being created, being found in Kan Dar, translated at the cabin, Henrietta's possession, along with a brief skip though the events of The Evil Dead (noted to take place one week later), the final burning of the book, then joining into Evil Dead II as the evil 'Force' rushes though the cabin towards Ash. One interesting aspect to this structure, is that possessed Henrietta removes pages from the book which are needed to banish the evil, hiding them from Raymond and thus saving them from being burned and allowing them to be used towards the end of the film by Annie to open the rift.
While the characters are largely similar to that of the first draft, Ed Getley has been entirely omitted, and Annie now travels alone to the cabin on a train, then rental car. There are scenes here which play out virtually word for word as the finished film, including Ash being sucked through the vortex back to 1300AD, but this draft pushes Ash's madness into a darker and less whacky area. Ghosts & visions are far more frequent and obvious. A good example is where the evil 'Force' tries to trick Ash into believing he simply murdered his friends from The Evil Dead in cold blood and the supernatural elements were entirely in his head, which would be an interesting twist.
The third, fourth, & fifth script drafts are not publicly available, but the March 5, 1986 sixth draft adheres pretty closely to the finished movie. Among the differences; the opening flows more directly on from The Evil Dead, rather than being re-told, and there is a new scene in which Professor Knowby's ghost appears to Ash alone in the cabin early in the script. The short scene at the airport with Ed and Annie is much longer here, and now takes place in a museum and over their journey to the cabin. The scene with Linda and Ash in the workshed isn't included, and possessed Ed fights back further after the top of his head has been chopped off. Annie stabs Jake with the dagger, but he falls at the door and Ash chases Annie into the cabin, rather than appearing inside later on, and the character of Henrietta is called Marie here.
Many ideas never got further than banter between Sam & Scott during the scripting stage. These included introducing escaped convicts in to the story. This was elaborated on by Scott; "In a pre-credit sequence, we would have seen the convicts escape and bury their loot right near the cabin, and then run away because the sheriff was on their tail. Then Bruce would arrive with his girlfriend and that whole thing happens, ending with him burying her. The convicts would come back, and dig up Lindas bloated, severed head instead of the loot."
Another sequence was deemed to be too expensive; Ash starts driving across the bridge, the sun is setting, its getting dark... Then from the other side of the bridge comes the evil Force, The wooden slats of the bridge rip up! Ash puts the car in reverse, but gets stuck. In the meantime the Force is barrelling down on him, and the bridge is going NNEEEEE, and the boards are going GHGHGHH! Its right on top of the car! He pulls the car out at the last moment and gets to the other side as the whole bridge collapses with the evil Force on it.
Early drafts had Annie travelling to the cabin alone on a train, and it was at that point that the spirit of her father would appear, but when the character of Ed was introduced, this was changed, although a further idea to have a seance in the cabin to contact Annie's father was also dropped.
Scott put forward the concept of having the movie narrated by Ash "'I tried with each passing moment to keep my sanity while this unstoppable evil...', you know," Scott describes, "but that would have been too corny. By not doing the voice-over its probably less annoying, and you have more of a suspicion that Ash might not survive the night."
The ending went through a number of changes, one put forward by Scott involved the idea that Ash was really insane all along, and that all of the supernatural manifestations were in his imagination.
The Evil Dead Continuity
Due to the fact that The Evil Dead had been sold to so many different little distributors in every corner of the globe, securing agreement with everyone to use footage from that film, in the opening sequence of Evil Dead II simply proved impossible. Earlier drafts for the script adhered far more closely to the continuity between the first and second film. In the commentary track for the 2000 R1 US Anchor Bay Evil Dead II DVD, Greg Nicotero recalls a vague memory of a Scotty dummy being made, and in the 2011 US Lionsgate Evil Dead II Blu-Ray release, David Goodman recalls that Sam may have been slated to play the role of Scotty. According to Tom Sullivan in the 'Behind The Screams' featurette on the same Blu-Ray disc, this photo is all that remains of that abandoned idea; Tom animating the burning Book Of The Dead in the fireplace, closely matching the same shot at the end of The Evil Dead.
Far more exposition & backstory was originally planned for the start of the movie. Sam describes; "What really happened with the discovery of the Book of the Dead, how it got here and what its true origins are. It was written by the spirits before mankind existed, when the oceans ran red with blood. We follow it through the ages as different civilisations find it and are destroyed by it. The spirits are awakened every century or so until it comes to this small cabin where the professor brought it so he could study it undisturbed."
Much of this had been trimmed back for pacing reasons by the time production started, but even as scripted the initial narration was more descriptive and continued up until Ash & Linda were in the cabin. Rather than being completely omitted from the final edit, much of the exposition was moved in to further in to the movie, playing out as professors voice on the tape recorder, with some visual flashback sequences. The text below has been heavily edited as it spans a good number of the script's pages, so is worth reading in full.
EXT. KANDAR CASTLE - DUSK - 4 WARRIORS - 4 HORSES
CAMERA panning down to reveal a magnificent newly built castle of stone. Bright banners fly from its turrets. An ox grazes nearby. 4 Warriors on horseback in the BG.
It was then that the dark spirits again rose up to battle the living.
The ground in front of the castle begins to split apart. A red glow and smoke pour from the growing crevice. Something evil is being unleashed. A strong wind kicks up blowing sand in a furious rage.
EXT. KANDAR CASTLE - DUSK
TRACKING SHOT - ASH
Through the blowing silt, a lone figure appears. An image of power and light. His clothing is ragged, and he holds what appears to be a jagged toothed longsword. Two massive columns of stone stand on either side. CAMERA slowly moves closer, but his face is still hidden by the darkness and blowing sands.
It is said that a hero came from the sky. A man who defeated this evil and buried the Book in the Castle of Kandar. And there it lay for 700 years...
DISSOLVE THRU TO:
EXT. CASTLE OF KAN DAR - DAY - RUINS
As the raging dust storm clears to reveal the same castle which we saw earlier, but now, in a ruined state. It has aged 700 years. The ox is gone. Now only its petrified skeletal remains stand in a weathered heap.
...Finding the book as per the original movie scene & taking it back to the cabin...
EXT. CABIN - NIGHT
An old log cabin, built in the valley of a dark forest. A great wind billows fog about the place...
INT. CABIN MAIN ROOM - NIGHT
Professor Raymond Knowby sits at a writing desk...
...The sound of RAYMOND reciting the passages is faded down AS THE CAMERA SLOWLY TRACKS away from RAYMOND and over to HENRIETTA as she rocks back into the darkness and forward into the light. As she rocks forward into the light, she comes into FULL CLOSEUP revealing that her eyes have changed to a milky white. She continues to knit...
INT. CABIN CELLAR - NIGHT (STUDIO)
A dank fruit cellar with shelves of half-rotten preserves. Raymond has his back to the stone wall. He is dictating into the tape recorder, sweating and distraught.
It has only been a few hours since I've translated and spoke aloud the first of the demon resurrection passages from the Book of the Dead.
The sound of heavy footsteps. Dust drifts down INTO FRAME. Raymond looks up to the ceiling of the cellar. It is also the floor to the main room of the cabin. He watches in horror as Henrietta's silhouette paces the floor above him. And then, the footsteps halt.
And now, I fear that my wife has become host to a Kandarian demon. May God forgive me for what I have unleashed onto this earth.
The milky eyed possessed figure of HENRIETTA jolts quickly into the frame, and shrieks in the voice of a demon! Raymond Knowby screams. He drops the microphone.
CLOSE SHOT - TAPE RECORDER
As the microphone falls atop it. High pitched feed-back screams from the speaker.
Linda's Head Attacks
During the scene where Ash is attacked by Linda's severed head, a reverse motion shot was filmed showing Linda's long snake like tongue going in to Ash's mouth. The shot was likely ommited as upon watching it in the dalies Sam pointed at the screen and shouted, "Thatís the worst reverse- motion acting Iíve ever seen!".
CLOSE SHOT - LINDA'S HEAD
It opens its eyes and looks to Ash.
Hello lover, I came from the other side of your dream to dance with you.
CLOSER SHOT - LINDA'S HEAD (BACKWARD OTION)
A four foot long blackened tongue emerges from her mouth like a lashing serpent.
MEDIUM SHOT - ASH - (BACKWARD MOTION)
The tongue enters Ash's frame and forces itself into Ash's mouth. Screaming as he clutches at the head of his former love. The tongue instantly retracts inside her head.
CLOSE SHOT - LINDA'S HEAD
As it bites deeply into Ash's right hand, drawing blood.
Probably the most infamous delete scene in Evil Dead II is the so called evil Ed Chop-Top sequence. This was supposed to take place while possessed Ed is being dismembered. After Ed's head is chopped in two he falls to the ground, and the severed section of his head crawls around on the floor, then his torso gets up again and continues to fight until totally dismembered. Rob Tapert said "it was too wacko of a shot" to be left in, Sam adds "it was a very good effect, but the scene had already climaxed when his head was lopped; that was just an after thought, an additional shot we didnít need to tell the story and wasnít thrilling to the audience in terms of pacing."
...We watch as the shadow of Ash with the axe, slices through the top portion of possessed Ed's head. Annie screams as she is splattered with green bile.
CLOSE SHOT - POSSESSED ED DUMMY
Missing Ed's right hand portion of his head. His brain, shriveled like the inside of a pumpkin.
POSSESSED ED'S POV - ASH - EYEMO CAMERA AND OUNT
Ash stands before us, his axe dripping green bile. Ed's arms flail wildly on either side of the camera, groping at the air. He slowly falls over and slams to the floor.
...It lays quiet for a moment and then begins to writhe and scream in its demonic death throes. Finally, he is silent.
....Possessed Ed stands up quickly into frame! The evil force having re-animated his lifeless body.
CLOSE SHOT ASH - OVER POSSESSED ED'S SHOULDER
As a hand grabs Ash's throat. Possessed Ed exits frame, revealing it to be Ash's evil hand on his own throat. It lifts him into the air...
...He pries the evil hand from his throat and falls.
As he slams to the floor the evil hand scurries away in the B.G...
MED. SHOT - ASH AND POSSESSED ED DUMMY
...Ash brings the axe down upon Ed's shoulder, knocking him to the floor. ASH swings the axe again and again. Different colors of bile and blood fly up into frame as Ash chops...
CLOSE SHOT - LOW ANGLE - FLOOR LEVEL
ASH AND ED DUMMY PARTS
...Ed's missing portion of his head sits upon the floor. His eye in extreme C.U. in the foreground. It looks wildly about into the CAMERA. In the background, we watch Ash bring down the axe until all is silent.
....Ash tosses a bloodied sheet, containing the remains of possessed Ed to the floor. It lands with a sickening thud. Wiping his face with a rag, Ash moves off in disgust. We hold on the bundled sheet as the trap door next to it silently opens. Henrietta's rotted hand emerges, unnoticed by the others in the room...
...Henrietta's rotted hand pulls the bundle of body parts silently down into the cellar and quietly closes the trap.
Bobby Joe's Death
When originally conceived, Bobby Joe's Death was to go a little further than it finally did. The vines pull her legs apart and she's split in half like a wishbone when rammed with a tree between her legs. For a time this was to happen to a man which would have been more painful for the audience. There were also later omissions from the scene as it was finally scripted. The scene was to climax with a wide shot of the forest with geyser of blood shooting up, although this effect was later recycled and used in Army Of Darkness.
BOBBY JOE'S POV - OVER HER LEGS - DRAGWAY
RIGGING EFFECT - UNDERCRANKED - STUNT
Darting in and around trees, a major stump is coming right for her. Bobby Joe's legs spread wide. The tree stump races closer. Bobby Joe SCREAMS . . . her last.
TREE STUMP'S POV - BOBBY JOE APPROACHES
BOBBY JOE'S LEGS - STUMP - DRAGWAY
STOP MOTION - REVERSE ACTION
Girl meets stump.
EXT. WOODS - NIGHT - OVERCRANKED
LOW SHOT - LOOKING UPWARD PAST THE STUMP -
BLOOD GEYSER EFX
We hear the RIP! And watch as a geyser of blood floods up into the night sky.
Attack Of The Helping Hand!
Ash's severed hand played a larger role in the original script, making a number of appearances. It was to be included in the Chop-Top sequence where Ash would be raised off the floor by a hand at his throat. You think its Ed's hand until the camera pulls back to reveal its Ash's own severed hand. This was shot but this was felt to slow down the action so was omitted. It was also to be included just before possessed Ash pops up next to Annie after she has stabbed Jake, although again this slowed the scene down. Sam even entertained the idea of having a giant version of the hand appear knocking on the front door, but this was deemed was too wacky. In much the same vain, Sam wanted the hand to fly after one of the characters, and someone suggested fitting the hand with a mini superman cape, an idea which was immediately vetoed by Rob Tapert.
Although not in the script, a shot was filmed for inclusion just after possessed Ash throws Jake at the tree, and starts chasing Annie. While stumbling through the forest he catches sight of a cute little chipmunk. With a roar, he grabs the rather dubious fake and bites it in two, then throws it away. This was caught on Greg's footage, but the final effect seems more comical than horrific which was probably why is wasn't included in the finished film.