Hail to the King, Baby! ‘Ash vs. Evil Dead’ is Gory, Glorious, and Groovy

GameStop, Inc.


Ever since the end credits of Army of Darkness, fans of the Evil Dead series have been vocal in their demand for a continuation of Ash’s battle against the Deadites. As the Evil Dead series carried on in different mediums – video games and comic books – along with a remake, the demand for seeing Bruce Campbell reprise his role as Ash remained unchanged. There was even a rumored Ash vs. Freddy vs. Jason, though the lacking success of Freddy vs. Jason ensured that movie would never get made. But alas, here we are in 2015 and Starz has teamed with Campbell and series creators Robert Tapert and Sam Raimi to bring us Ash vs. Evil Dead, the new series which faithfully continues Ash’s damned misadventures against the Deadites. Whatever concerns one might’ve had about continuing a series nearly 25 years after the last installment should be put to rest following the first two episodes. This show is as much fun as the classics that inspired it.

Due to complications with film rights, Ash vs. Evil Dead doesn’t deal with the events of Army of Darkness. Taking place 30 years after the events of Evil Dead 2, Ash (Campbell) has been living a low-rent lifestyle. He lives alone in a trailer at rundown trailer park and works at Value Stop, an S-Mart-like superstore. Ash is more or less a failed lothario, using a fake story to explain his missing hand in a vain attempt to pick up drunken women. Before long, the Deadites that used to haunt Ash start appearing in hallucinatory manner, making Ash doubt his own sanity. But Ash soon realizes that in a haze of booze and weed smoke that he read certain passages from the Necronomicon in an attempt to impress a local floozy, thus resurrecting the Deadite plague.

While Ash is trying to weasel his way out of work in order to flee the danger he created, Michigan State Trooper Amanda Fisher (Jill Marie Jones) has just had her own encounter with the Deadites, having to slay her possessed partner. The scene is unmistakably the work of Sam Raimi, yet proves that Ash vs. Evil Dead isn’t merely content in finding humor in gushing gore, there’s a strong and effective horror angle to the work. The incident with the Deadites leave Amanda forced to take a leave of absence from her work, as none of her colleagues believe the fantastical story of demonic possession and the undead. The character has one of the more intriguing story arcs in the first two episodes. Being a rational, evidence-based officer of the law doesn’t lend itself to a belief in the supernatural. While doubting her sanity, Amanda has brief encounter with Ruby (Lucy Lawless), a mysterious woman who only tells Amanda not to doubt what she sees.

Ash isn’t able to flee as he intended. Instead, he’s forced to confront the demons which he resurrected, which seems to have spread farther than it has before. One of Ash’s co-workers at the Value Stop, Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo), has just watched video of her dead mother greeting her father. Another co-worker, Pablo (Ray Santiago), who has always looked up to Ash, believes him to be the embodiment of a prophecy from his uncle. Reluctantly, Kelly joins Pablo and Ash to retrieve the Necronomicon in order to find an expert who can translate the passages and dispel the evil. Oh yeah, and Ash reunites with his chainsaw and boomstick.

Through the first two episodes, what really stands out about Ash vs. Evil Dead is how much it feels like an anti-Walking Dead. While a number of things are being set up in the first couple episodes, there are payoffs and conclusions for each individual episode that will fit into a larger scheme. There’s no oppressive bleakness or flat characters or extended waits for resolution. There’s no way this series would ever waste our time hanging around a barn for an entire season.

Of course, it’s interesting watching how little Ash has grown in the years since the previous films. He’s still the same cowardly hero, and Campbell hasn’t lost touch with what made the character endure for so long. But it’s the supporting characters that help Ash vs. Evil Dead stand out. At first, one might suspect that Pablo is just a doofus character inserted for comedic relief, yet as the episode progresses Pablo proves himself as a real character with his own set of competency and foibles – not to mention on badass kill. Kelly, too, is given a bit of depth in the early episodes, especially the second where we see a delightfully awkward family dinner with Ash in attendance, chainsaw and all.

First and foremost, this show is made for fans of the Evil Dead series, and those fans (like myself) won’t be disappointed. Ash vs. Evil Dead has the buckets of blood and physical comedy that fans of the series have come to expect. It maintains a strong streak of horror throughout, but Raimi and company still take sick pleasure in drenching Bruce Campbell in gallons of fake blood while making him flail about the screen like a member of the Three Stooges. There’s even a rock ‘n’ roll element that’s added to the series, with the opening scene to the rockin’ “Space Truckin’” by Deep Purple and concluding with “Journey to the Center of the Mind” by the Amboy Dukes. It all works in unison to make Ash vs. Evil Dead just a lively and entertaining show, one that is able to tap into the elements that made it a classic while feeling entirely fresh.

In all honesty, I was nervous entering Ash vs. Evil Dead. I feared that this would by my Phantom Menace. But it isn’t, not even close. Ash vs. Evil Dead is its own thing. It’s not a series that is rooted in nostalgia. It doesn’t want to take us down the same path while reminding us of the past. Ash vs. Evil Dead is carving out its own path, a path carved with a chainsaw and liberally splattered in blood. This is a show that hits all the right notes in humor, horror, and glorious gore. It is, well, groovy.

Ash vs. Evil Dead premieres Saturday, October 31st at 9pm only on Starz.

Anytime Costumes

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Luke Dimyan Talks About Portraying Judas Iscariot in, ‘The Chosen’ – Interview

Luke Dimyan Talks About Portraying Judas Iscariot in, ‘The Chosen‘, with...

Brett Harvey Talks ‘Breaking Olympia: The Phil Heath Story’

International Award Winning Director and Writer, Brett Harvey takes us  into...

‘Wednesday’ Comes to Blu-ray on Tuesday from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

‘Wednesday‘ Comes to Blu-ray on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, from Warner...

Event News Event Reviews
It’s Showtime! ‘Beetlejuice’ is a Hit at Segerstrom Center of the Arts – Review

It’s Showtime! ‘Beetlejuice‘ is a Hit at Segerstrom Center of the...

‘MJ the Musical’ Chronicles the Life of the ‘King of Pop’ Running at Segerstrom – Review

‘MJ the Musical‘ is the Ultimate Stage Adaptation, Chronicling the life...

Aiden Sinclair and Michael Rangel Talks ’57 Ghosts’ Aboard the Queen Mary Séance

Aiden Sinclair and Apparitionist, Michael Rangel Discuss their new Theatrical Séance...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Olympic Runner Colleen Quigley ‘On The Road to Paris’

Team USA Olympic Runner, Colleen Quigley is On The Road to...

Paralympian Swimmer Ahalya Lettenberger On The Road to Paris

Team USA Paralympian Swimmer, Ahalya Lettenberger is On The Road to...

Ultimate Women of Wrestling Comes to the Globe Theatre – Interview

Ultimate Women of Wrestling Comes to the Globe Theatre on Sunday,...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse, battle at the Infernal gate pt 2

Oh Bruh, you did NOT just quote "Predator"!

Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse – Battle at the Infernal Gate pt 1


Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse – SID SPEAKS!

"We Demons! Let's go CRUNK on this punk-ass world!"

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs & Sketches’ – Interview

Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs &...

Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her Career in the Arts

First Generation Assyrian-Chaldean, Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her...

Louden Swain Headlining Los Angeles Show at The Echo

Press Release – Louden Swain are headlining Los Angeles show at...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Gameplay Trailer

The first Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League gameplay trailer was revealed during...

Wonder Woman Game
Wonder Woman Game Announced By DC and WB Games

Wonder Woman game will feature the iconic hero in a 3rd...

MultiVersus brings Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny, and More

MultiVersus is bringing Shaggy, Harley Quinn, Jake, Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny,...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Gary Morgenstein Talks ‘A Dugout to Peace’ the Final Installment of his Trilogy

Gary Morgenstein Talks About ‘A Dugout to Peace‘ the final installment...

Chris Clews Is ‘Raised on the 80s’ and Shares Those Life Lessons

Chris Clews was ‘Raised on the 80s‘ and Shares Those Life...

Roye Okupe Brings Authentic African Representation to HBO Max and Cartoon Network

Nigerian-American, Roye Okupe brings authentic African representation to HBO Max and...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand Demo

The new ‘Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand‘ is ready to ship...

Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the ‘Good Flour’

Canadian Super Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the...

Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide
Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

The Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide is now available to help...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...