The German DVD release by Kinowelt Home Entertainment GmbH (SPIO/JK without criminal liability) was compared to an undated TV broadcast on the Mexican TV station Canal 5 (probably in the late 1990's), which is available as a VHS recording converted to PAL and burned on DVD. The DVD version corresponds to the international theatrical version and was released in 1.85:1 widescreen format. Picture and sound quality are very good. The TV version was broadcasted in full-screen format.
The development of the TV version is curious. Evil Dead 2 was originally produced by Dino De Laurentiis' production company DEG, which was a member of the MPAA and thus contractually committed to bringing films to the cinema with an R rating at the most. Even before the film was completed, DEG had sold the film to around 380 American cinemas for screening. After reviewing the version produced by Sam Raimi, however, De Laurentiis and Raimi came to the conclusion that Evil Dead II would never be R-rated in the present version. This would require major changes, but they would destroy the pace and mood of the film, which De Laurentiis was convinced of. In order not to be in breach of contract and to be able to release the film unchanged, a trick was devised. De Laurentiis' employees founded the shell company "Rosebud Entertainment" (the name is a reminiscence of Orson Welles' Citizen Kane) and took over the national distribution of the film.
As early as the eighties and nineties, the TV release of horror films was also an integral part of the refinancing. In order to be able to bring the films to the necessary length of 90 minutes despite the necessary cuts in violent scenes, previously cut scenes were re-integrated or additional material was shot afterwards. Together with Raimi, DEG also produced a TV version of Evil Dead II, which was intended for the North American market. Raimi and his team were not really satisfied with the result, however. In their opinion, the self-styled "roller coaster ride of horror and black humor" lost too much speed and momentum. Especially leading actor Bruce Campbell was troubled by the fact that Ashs' character and his own acting performance in his opinion would suffer greatly from the filler material. In his memoirs, he expressed his happiness that the version was never broadcast in the US or Canada.
Through a detour via the Mexican channel Canal 5, the TV version of Evil Dead II was finally released to the public. The station broadcast it several times in the 1990's under the title El despertida del Diablo, segunda parte. Unfortunately, digital TV recording was not yet possible at that time. VHS was the only widespread medium. Some fans of the film recorded it on TV and later digitized their tapes. Corresponding copies circulated at fairs and on the internet. An official release on DVD or Blu-ray did not take place until today. This is unfortunate in that the TV version is an official version of the film produced by DEG, and many scenes that have been controversially discussed by fans (including the laughing books, the tears wiped away, the cereals or the whereabouts of the Necronomicon) are included here and are missing in the theatrical version. These scenes have also not found their way into the "Extended Version" by Studiocanal, which was released in 2016 in Germany and was only enhanced with material from several "Making Of" scenes - read our report on that here. Here, the opportunity was missed to additionally integrate the scenes of the TV version or at least to add this version as a bonus. But it's also true that many of the additional scenes in the TV version consist of the multiple use of shots of trees or the camera speeding towards the hut.
One of the alternative takes is especially recommended for fans of the film. Since the release of Evil Dead II, fans have been wondering why Annie's yellow shirt is almost clean again just minutes after Jake's death. A connection error was suspected here so far. In the TV version, an alternative take of Jake's death was used, in which (almost) no blood flows or splashes. Annie's shirt in this and the following shot corresponds to the shirt she wears in the later scenes of the theatrical version. Obviously this scene was actually planned and shot more harmlessly at first, and the take used in the TV version corresponded to the original planning.
Since the credits are cut off on the present VHS recording, the runtime in both versions was only measured up to the beginning of the credits.
Runtime uncut German DVD: 77:38 minutes
38 scenes with additional material in the TV version
DVD 00:00 to 00:11
(DVD) Before the actual film follows a note that some scenes might be unsuitable for persons under 17 years. Then follows the Rosebud logo with the opening rose blossom.
TV 01:03 to 01:53
(TV) Only the TV version shows the names of the actors before the title "Evil Dead II" is shown. The design corresponds to the insertion "Renaissance Pictures presents" (white writing before white smoke clouds and black background), which is also contained in the DVD version. In the TV version, the names are also read aloud by a speaker.
DVD 01:15 to 01:17
TV 01:56 to 01:58
(TV) In the TV version, the inserted English title is translated by a speaker as "El despertida del diablo, segunda parte" ("The Awakening of the Devil, Part Two").
No difference in running time
DVD 01:23 to 01:26
TV 02:04 to 02:07
(TV) In the TV version, a note is displayed during the tunnel exit that this version has been adapted for TV broadcasting.
No difference in running time
TV 03:23 to 04:31
(TV) Linda and Ash still dance and cuddle passionately in the TV version. This is followed by an exterior shot of the hut.
TV 07:18 to 07:22
(TV) As Ash steps in front of the cabin in search of Linda and calls for her, a short cut to ghostly and threatening looking trees in front of the cabin is made.
TV 07:27 to 07:32
(TV) As Ash runs away from the cabin to look for Linda, another cut follows on the ghostly and threatening looking trees.
DVD 05:55 to 05:56
(DVD) In the TV version, the way Ash hits Evil Linda's neck with a spade and cuts off her head is missing.
DVD 05:58 to 05:59
(DVD) The TV version lacks Evil Linda's head spinning through the air.
DVD 06:19 to 06:21
(DVD) After Ash rammed the cross at Linda's grave into the ground, it flashes in the DVD version.
TV 08:27 to 09:02
(TV) It keeps on flashing. Ash runs from Linda's grave back to the hut. He slams the door behind him and sees the Necronomicon lying on the floor. He takes the book and throws it into the fireplace where it begins to burn. The evil power withdraws from the hut deep into the forest.
TV 09:06 to 10:12
(TV) Ash stands in the living room and gasps again. He holds Linda's chain in his hand and looks at her. He has to cry. Then he steps in front of the cabin and holds his damaged head. He runs away from the hut out of the picture.
TV 10:47 to 10:58
(TV) Additional shots of Ash's flight through the treetops.
DVD 10:21 to 10:26
TV 14:28 to 15:04
Alternative material in both versions: In the DVD version, you see Ash behind the wheel of his car. He wipes the sweat and dirt from his face with a cloth. In the TV-version, there is another shot of the car driving through the forest. Ash looks at the road with concentration. While driving, he wipes the sweat and dirt from his face with a cloth (material from a different take than on the DVD version). Afterwards, at full speed, he pours breakfast cereals from a box into his mouth. He chews and swallows it hastily. He suddenly has to cough and choke. At first you think he has been seized by the evil power. Instead, however, he chokes a small toy figure out of his throat, which probably came with the breakfast cereal as a free gift and was swallowed by him. Scornfully, he looks at the figure and the box and throws them both next to him into the footwell.
TV 17:57 to 18:01
(TV) After the shutters have rattled, the TV version shows an additional view of the clock on the wall.
DVD 14:34 to 14:38
(DVD) In the DVD version follows an exterior shot of the hut, which was already shown in the TV version at 04:27.
TV 19:25 to 19:55
(TV) The evil power approaches the hut. Ash sits in a chair in the living room and sleeps. The evil power approaches more and more and at some point is right outside the hut.
DVD 14:37 to 14:38
(DVD) Ash sleeps longer before he wakes up horrified.
TV 21:20 to 21:25
(TV) An additional shot of the playing piano. You can see Ash's startled reaction.
TV 21:29 to 21:38
(TV) Ash continues to look at the piano in disbelief. Steam is escaping from a radiator.
DVD 18:04 to 18:09
TV 23:35 to 23:35
Alternative material: In the TV version, you can see a zoomed shot of Evil Linda. In the DVD version, Ash frees himself from Evil Linda and looks through the window as her head falls from her torso. In the TV-version, the first shots of Ash screaming are missing.
DVD 18:46 to 19:02
(DVD) The TV version lacks Ash desperately beating Evil Linda's head, which is biting his hand, against all kinds of furniture and walls to make him let go of his hand.
DVD 19:15 to 19:24
(DVD) In the DVD version, you can also see Ash running from the hut to the tree. While he is running, he falls over a barrel. In the TV version, after opening the door, Ash can only be seen banging his hand against the tree with Evil Linda's head biting his hand.
DVD 19:25 to 19:33
(DVD) After Evil Linda's head hits the tree, Ash recedes from the tree and runs towards the camera. He falls again. When he gets up, he pulls Evil Linda's head towards the camera.
DVD 19:54 to 20:37
TV 24:49 to 24:55
Alternative material: In the DVD version, Ash reaches over himself into the (supposed) compartment of the chainsaw. The compartment is empty. Suddenly, the door of the shed opens and the headless hull of Evil Linda enters the workshop, swinging the chainsaw. Ash fends off the attack with a nail gun, whereupon Evil Linda cannot hold the chainsaw and the saw in her hand turns towards her neck. The chainsaw "eats" into her neck stump and cuts deeper and deeper into her. Black blood splashes into Ash's face. Evil Linda can no longer control the chainsaw, which "eats" deeper and deeper into her. Ash tries to evade the staggering body with the running chainsaw stuck inside it. Evil Linda's head keeps on cheering the torso on. Finally, Ash wrestles the torso to the ground. The chainsaw stops working. Ash wants to take the saw and has to pull out Evil Linda's right arm. In the TV version, there is another shot of the evil power approaching the hut.
TV 24:55 to 24:57
(TV) Evil Linda's head hisses and fidgets furiously in a vice.
DVD 21:07 to 21:15
(DVD) As a shadow on the wall, you can see Ash cutting the head of Evil Linda with a chainsaw and splashing blood on the wall and on the light bulb on the ceiling.
TV 24:26 to 24:28
(TV) Before the camera shows the bull's head bone hanging on the wall of the shed, another red colored impression of the interior of the shed can be seen.
TV 24:32 to 25:16
(TV) After Ash has destroyed Evil Linda's head, Ash staggers backwards against a wall shelf. He looks startled at the bloodstained chainsaw in his hand and throws it away. He tries to wipe the blood on his hands on his shirt. When this fails, because all his clothes are also soaked in blood, he desperately throws some glasses and cans from the shelf to the floor. He clings to the shelf and shouts "O Dios" ("Oh God!").