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Everybody dies here. It’s just a rule. Death, taxes, more death. And I don’t pay taxes, so all I know is death.
Like a shotgun shell to the face, the killer first season of Ash Vs. Evil Dead has come and gone. Highly praised by fans and critics alike, Campbell has brought Ash and his deadite entourage back from the dead and has taken us on one hell of a ride. The pseudo-sequel to Sam Raimi and the beloved Bruce Cambell’s cult classic, The Evil Dead (1981) has massive scores on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB. The season begins thirty years after the events in the originals and has Campbell reprising his role as the unlikely and very much unwilling hero, Ash Williams.
When first hearing about the show, I was extremely apprehensive. There have been many, many attempts at a decent horror series over the last few years and all of them (sans TWD) really fell flat for me. Extant, The Strain, Penny Dreadful, From Dusk Till Dawn, and American Horror Story (to name a few) all failed to hit the right buttons for me and I was left wanting more… wanting better. I thought Ash Vs. Evil Dead would probably go the same route and stain the memories I had of the original films. Nothing could be further from the truth though. The show surprisingly managed to stay faithful to the original and offered us the perfect storm of horror, humour and hemorrhaging gore. Campbell is in perfect form. His misogynistic blend of sexism, mild racism, one-liners and oblivious narcissism make for a character more memorable than Charlie Manson. I’d almost go so far as to say that I prefer him in his current form.
Ash Williams aside, we had a couple of new faces take on the deadites. Ray Santiago takes on the role of Pablo, the nerdy “loser” that idolizes Ash and becomes his quasi-sidekick. Dana DeLorenzo plays Kelly, the brutal yet beautiful vixen of vengeance and Pablo’s dream girl. Jill Marie Jones takes charge as Amanda, Ash’s luckless love interest and lady law-enforcer. Lucy Lawless also graced us with her presence but going into her character is going to be a little too spoilery for this review. All the characters were pretty stereotyped, which may sound a bit clichéd and drab, but trust me when I say it wasn’t. Although at times often cringe-worthy, Ash playing off the creeds and stereotypes gave us many of our memorable moments. It all just somehow seemed to work.
The series also stayed true to the visual experience that was the first film. Most of the costumes and makeup are pretty old-school but were done to perfection, and the special effects were pretty much gore and guts based. There was however a dashingly done demon named Eligos that seemed to be constantly shifting between planes; an absolutely brilliant villain that could have easily had his own movie.
The biggest winner has to be the writers though. By far the toughest job was turning a cult classic that most deemed untouchable into a series that was received with praise. Smart, quick, sharp and witty; the dialog was probably the most entertaining part of the show. Hats off and a standing slow clap to the ladies and gents that penned out lines like, “Shoot first, think never.” Or “Chopping up my evil clone. Maybe someday that will feel weird.”
Season 2 has already been confirmed and the script is in. Starz CEO Chris Albrecht had the following to say concerning the production:
Saw the first script a couple days ago, Looks really good. Second seasons are so important for series. That’s the difference between making a movie and making a series. The cast really gelled through the first season. They appropriately got a lot of acknowledgment from the fans and press. We’re really excited. This is a series. I think it’s got the legs of a real series. The storylines and what I’ve seen on paper back that up. We’re on track for another season in 2016.”
I personally cannot wait for the next installment. Hail to the king, baby. Trailer for season 1 below.
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.