Now on Blu-ray: The Gory, Groovy ‘Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete Series’

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Ash vs. Evil Dead Season 2

Do you believe in miracles? I do. There’s just one simple reason that I believe that divine can interfere in our modest mortal realm which often seems plagued by demons from Hell – Ash vs. Evil Dead. Ever since the end of Army of Darkness fans of Sam Raimi’s oddball horror series have been clamoring for an Evil Dead 4. The years passed on and Sam Raimi went onto bigger and better things, basically creating the modern comic book movie with his Spider-Man films. Then there was the remake by Fede Alvarez, produced by Raimi, and featuring a post-credits tease of Bruce Campbell’s Ash Williams’ return to world of fighting the Deadites. Although a success at the box office, there wasn’t a sequel to the 2013 Evil Dead, but Ash Williams did return to the screen in 2015’s Ash vs. Evil Dead, a series produced by Starz that would continue the misadventures of everyone’s favorite chainsaw-wielding lughead who just happens to be humanity’s only hope against the immortal forces of evil.

Ash vs. Evil Dead ran for three glorious seasons of gory insanity before being cancelled earlier this year. But we don’t mourn the end of Ash vs. Evil Dead. We celebrate the fact that this insane miracle exists. Now all three seasons, all thirty episodes (over 14 hours!) of the return of Ash Williams and the expansion of the Evil Dead mythology arrives on Blu-ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. It’s a repackaging of the previous season sets, so if you already own each season individually you’ve already got the goods. But if you never picked up the individual seasons of Ash vs. Evil Dead, this new set of the complete series is a necessity in making sure that you own every minute of Evil Dead mayhem.

For those who aren’t hip, Ash Williams (Campbell) travelled out to a secluded cabin in the woods over 30 years ago. Within the basement of that cabin was Necronomicon Ex-Mortis, the Book of the Dead. Within the book bound in human flesh and inked in blood were spells that would revive an ancient evil. Since travelling to that cabin, Ash has been spending his lite battling in Deadites. However, his ongoing war with evil has taken many lives and Ash is blamed by the people of his home town for the killings, dubbing him “Ashy Slashy.” Only a few within Ash’s orbit know the truth about the immense power of the forces of evil.

Typically a loner playing by his own rules, Ash must learn to work with a new team of allies in his ongoing battle against evil. Ash doesn’t make it easy with his aggressive ignorance, casual racism, and his predilection for excessive drinking. He’s joined by Pablo (Ray Santiago), an enthusiastic young man who idolizes Ash, and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo), a reluctant ally who quickly learns how to become a hardened enemy of evil. The unusual trio dub themselves the Ghost Beaters. Always hovering around the Necronomicon is Ruby (Lucy Lawless), an immortal demon who is sometimes friend and sometimes foe to the Ghost Beaters. On this bloody journey, Ash finds himself reunited with his estranged father Brock (Lee Majors) and long lost daughter Brandy (Arielle Carver-O’Neill). As Ash has learned time and time again, it’s hard to protect the ones you love from the horrors of the Deadites as well as the countless innocent lives in their path of destruction.

The miracle of Ash vs. Evil Dead isn’t just the fact that it exists but that the show was able to perfectly capture the oddball balance of humor and horror that made the Evil Dead films a cult sensation. It’s a real testament to the foundation built by the show’s developers of Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi, and Tom Spezialy and the team of writers and directors they assembled to bring this madness to the screen in way that expands the mythology while delivering what fans expect. Another aspect of the show that’s a miracle is the way that it utilizes the past of Evil Dead, often taking us back to the original cabin in the woods, but not allowing the show to become a nostalgia trip rooted only in fan service.

With the conclusion of Ash vs. Evil Dead, Bruce Campbell announced his retirement as the character that defined his career. The show concluded its third season with a fitting ending for the series, as if everyone knew that a fourth season wasn’t a realistic possibility. The ending was something that was a great little nod for Evil Dead fans, a wink aimed at those who know the original ending of Army of Darkness. That a show so violent, so politically incorrect, so bizarre could exist is a miracle. Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete Series is a must-own for every lover of the Evil Dead movies.

Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete Series
  • Overall Score
5

Summary

While not every episode of Ash vs. Evil Dead is perfect, the series as a whole is a perfect continuation of the Evil Dead franchise and the horror-comedy hybrid created by Sam Raimi and starring Bruce Campbell as the reluctant and incompetent last of hope for humanity, Ash Williams.

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