Invaluable: The True Story of an Epic Artist (2014) [Blu-Ray]

Now Available from Synapse Films.

Behind every good movie series there are the fans that help fuel it and Tom Sullivan is probably one of the biggest and best of them all. One of the biggest indie horror success stories is Sam Raimi’s “Evil Dead” and how it rose from low budget feature to horror masterpiece. It wasn’t an overnight success but one that was helped by the fervent love and passion by its creators Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and Tom Sullivan. Sullivan was one of the FX artists that helped Sam Raimi engineer “Within the Woods” in to “The Evil Dead” and worked very hard on “The Evil Dead.”

He discusses the evolution of “The Evil Dead,” how it originally began its life, and there’s a great focus on his relationship with the Raimi brothers and Campbell. Director Ryan Meade garners interesting insight from folks like Bruce Campbell, Scott Spiegel, Josh Becker, Ted Raimi, Hal Delrich, Betsy Baker, Sarah York, and Ellen Sandweiss, respectively. While “Invaluable” can be considered a celebration of “The Evil Dead,” it’s more a heart felt look at Sullivan who a huge fan of “The Evil Dead” and has spent a lot of his life curating a lot of the film’s props and prosthetics. His discussion of these various nick nacks and props is a treasure trove for any respecting “Evil Dead” fan.

Sullivan is, behind the fandom, a very interesting individual who held a lot of foresight with the success of “The Evil Dead” and “The Evil Dead II.” There’s so much discussion about his love for filmmaking, his passion for horror, and his personal relationships along the way. There’s also heartbreaking focus on the tragic story of the death of his wife, a terrible loss that still affects him to this day. Nevertheless, “Invaluable” is an entertaining and engaging documentary that should serve as a new peek behind the scenes of a beloved horror series.

In bonus features, there’s an embarrassment of riches for fans. Included is a second very interesting documentary about the life of filmmaker and Evil Dead sound recordist Josh Becker titled “Other Men’s Careers,” that clocks in at almost eighty minutes in length. There are also two trailers for the “Invaluable” documentary, and Rhan Meade’s short films “Bong Fly,” and “Cosmos Locos,” as well as a Behind the Scenes for “Bong Fly” and a trailer for “Mega Monster Bongfly.” There’s also a trailer for “Other Men’s Careers,” as well as almost an hour of vintage interviews with Tom Sullivan. There are also extended interview segments with Josh Becker, and almost an hour of unedited interviews with Tim Philo. There’s a Bonus Clip for “Turkey or Chicken,” as well as a Still Gallery of Snap Shots. Finally, there’s a bonus clip for “Boobie” and a bonus clip for “The Cry of Cthulhu.”