‘Ash vs. Evil Dead’ Finds its Drunken Splatter Swagger in ‘Last Call’

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Ash vs Evil Dead Last Call

At the end of last week’s episode of Ash vs. Evil Dead, Ash (Bruce Campbell) and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) have secured the Necronomicon following an extremely messy search for the infamous Book of the Dead. However, an abrasive encounter with a couple of teenagers ends with Ash’s beloved car, the 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88, being stolen those vengeful teens, the sought after book sitting in the back seat. This week’s episode, “Last Call,” opens with Ash longingly thinking of his beloved car, which is much a part of the Evil Dead series as Campbell. It’s a comical homage to the car’s lasting legacy in the series and the connection that lead character has to his beat up old junker of a car.

This week, the basic mission of Ash, Kelly, Pablo (Ray Santiago), Ruby (Lucy Lawless) is retrieve the stolen car and the book resting in the back seat. Ash’s plan consists of holding a part at the local bar, with the bartender Chet (Ted Raimi) serving a special cocktail featuring liberal doses of ketamine. Meanwhile, Kelly is the midst of feeling dissatisfied with her new life as a traveling fighter in the ongoing war against the Deadites, and Ruby and Kelly forge an alliance that will split the quartet in future episodes. At the same time, Pablo is still feeling the pain of flashbacks that are rooted in the events of last season, horrible visions from the time the cover of the Necronomicon was attached to his face. Ash, on the other hand, is content with his white trash cocktails, hoping that it’ll ease the pain of his reputation as “Ashy Slashy,” which has ruined his relationship with his father (Lee Majors).

Across town, as Ash and company indulge in alcoholic excess, the teenagers that stole the fabled Delta 88 are filling the weathered interior with pot smoke as a horny couple uses the backseat as a make out spot. When the young girl in the back discovers the Necronomicon and begins reciting its evil spells, the Delta 88 becomes possessed with the Deadite spirit, and begins laying waste to the teen engaging in drug use and premarital sex. These are gory scenes of gruesome glory. The Delta 88 becomes a killing machine that makes Christine look like a low mileage car that grandma only drove on Sundays. Not only does it gleefully mock the old tropes of moralistic murders that occur in the horror genre, it’s a visceral sequence that’s suspenseful and features some wonderfully disgusting makeup work.

After last week’s episode, “The Morgue,” found Ash vs. Evil Dead traversing in the scatological form of humor for the first time, “Last Call” represents a righting of the ship. It moves the characters forward and establishes new threads that will continue down further episodes. It’ll be interesting to see where the split of Ruby and Kelly from Ash and Pablo will lead them, and whether or not Ruby can prove herself trustworthy in the long run. Beyond the groundwork “Last Call” leaves for the rest of the season, it also features the basest thrills that fans of Ash vs. Evil Dead tune in every week for. Not only does the Delta 88 increase the series body count, it grows when Ash is forced to decapitate a Deadite in the men’s room. As the icing on top, “Last Call” has a truly shocking ending, one that is excessively bloody and overwhelmingly sardonic.

“Last Call” continues the tradition of absurd violence and genuine moments of horror that has become the unique voice of the Evil Dead movies as well as Ash vs. Evil Dead. It’s an episode that does all it can with blood and guts, leaving the fecal matter firmly in the past. “Last Call” hits all the notes it aims for, with the gore liberally flowing and the demented sense of humor working at its best. The episode also features the most shocking episode ending of the series to date, one that leaves us wondering just which wild direction Ash vs. Evil Dead will go next week. After “Last Call,” it can go any number of places.

Ash vs. Evil Dead airs Sundays at 8pm only on Starz.

Ash vs. Evil Dead
  • Last Call
4

Summary

A wildly violent and absurd episode of Ash vs. Evil Dead, “Last Call” finds the show returning to its blood-soaked form following the scatological turn in “The Morgue,” and establishing a number of threads for the rest of the season.

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