Movies Till Dawn: The Saturday Morning Strange – “Evil Ed” (1995)

Swedish-made horror-thriller about a mild-mannered film editor (Johan Rudebeck) whose work on the “Loose Limbs” horror franchise – a seemingly ceaseless stream of slaughter footage – leaves his own mind loosened and primed to repeat the atrocities he’s witnessed on anyone unlucky to encounter him. Made over a series of years for less than peanuts by hardy genre fans inspired by DIY horror icons like Sam Raimi (as the title indicates, the “Evil Dead” films are quoted visually and stylistically throughout), “Evil Ed” lacks much of a plot or focus – a deliberate experiment by the filmmakers – but brims with broad, morbid humor, a modest amount of production value for its price tag, and buckets of unfettered gore, which was its chief selling point during the VHS days. Time and technology have resulted in independent feature films with equally impoverished budgets but greater polish and narrative drive, so “Evil Ed” works best as either a sloppy chunk of splatter nostalgia or a testimony to the determination of director Anders Jacobsson and his creative partners, who are showcased in a dizzying array of supplemental features on Arrow’s Blu-ray/DVD “Special Ed-ition” set. Their efforts before and after production are detailed exhaustively across the three discs, including a staggering, three-hour making-of documentary that includes their drive to rework the film (with the addition of deleted scenes, new credit sequences and edits) over a five-year period between 2011 and 2016 into a slightly longer and more cohesive “Ed.” A sizable gallery of deleted scenes – including whole storylines trimmed from the final release – and promotional material round out the set.

About Paul Gaita

Paul Gaita lives in Sherman Oaks, California with his lovely wife and daughter. He has written for The Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Variety and The Fix, among many other publications, and was a home video reviewer for Amazon.com from 1998 to 2014. He has interviewed countless entertainment figures from both the A and Z lists, but his favorites remain Elmore Leonard, Ray Bradbury and George Newall, who created both Schoolhouse Rock and the Hai Karate aftershave commercials. He once shared a Thanksgiving dinner with celebrity astrologer Joyce Jillson, and regrettably, still owes the late character actor Charles Napier a dollar.
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