An aging Ash is now working as a stock boy at Value Stop (There was a licensing issue with S-Mart but that is really not a deal breaker). He fancies himself something of a ladies man and takes great effort in coming up with new and creative ways to explain the loss of his hand. But our reluctant hero is forced out of retirement and back into commission as an ass-kicker when the evils of the Necronomicon find him. The series will make its premiere on Starz Saturday October 31 at 9 PM.
I was really kind of blown away by Ash vs. Evil Dead. I was fortunate enough to get to check out the first two episodes a few days ago and thinking back on what I saw makes me grin a big, stupid grin. The show is essentially based on Sam Raimi’s idea for Evil Dead 4. It takes place after Army of Darkness (depending on which ending you take into account). Sam Raimi’s fingerprints are all over the series, particularly the pilot episode, which he directed but his influence can be seen in both of the first two episodes. The frenetic camerawork and signature Raimi gags are all present. The Three Stooges inspired slapstick is definitely there but not so much as to steer the series into entirely comedic territory. There are plenty of chills and thrills worked into the thirty minute episodes, which are jam-packed, by the way.
If it’s one-liners and good natured camp you are after, there’s plenty of that in this new chapter. Ash goes head to head with an elderly neighbor in one memorable scene and quips that he hopes she took her Geritol because it’s time to dance. There are plenty of moments like that throughout that have the potential to become as memorable as, “Gimme some sugar, Baby.”
There is a tonal difference in the second installment, which is directed by Michael J. Bassett (Silent Hill: Revelation) but that’s not a bad thing. Bassett makes the material his own while sticking to what makes the Evil Dead franchise great. I’m left curious to see where the bevy of other directors on board to helm an episode take us in the next eight installments.
There is a ton of blood spilled within the first two episodes. The thing I was most concerned with was the abundance of CGI. But interestingly enough, it was layered over practical effects. I’m not entirely sure why both were used. The CG sticks out like a sore thumb. It’s not the worst I’ve seen but it is definitely easy to identify without really looking for it. But that’s a minor quip. And considering that television episodes are made on a much quicker schedule than feature films, it’s probably a matter of what can be accomplished in a short amount of time.
If you are even a casual Evil Dead fan, this series is a must. This is what fans have been waiting the last twenty years for. As a long time Evil Dead fan, I am very pleased with what I’ve seen thus far.