Sunday, November 1, 2015

Ash vs Evil Dead...At Long Last Unleashed!!!

It was a damn fan demand that Bruce Campbell reappear as Ash Williams, and since it didn't manifest in a much anticipated "Army of Darkness" sequel, STARZ has blessed us instead with a series.

Produced by Campbell, Craig DiGregorio, Robert Tapert and maestro director/creator, Sam Raimi, "Ash vs Evil Dead" is (as Campbell has assured us) better than a mere movie sequel. With a television series, we get many mini-sequels, which for the immediate stretch guarantees at least a consistent flow of the outlandish antics and crazy carnage that's made the films so gruesomely endearing. 

The show is a perfect vehicle for the affable Campbell, but then Ash has always been a perfect fit for the actor, going straight back to the original "Evil Dead". Campbell has the right bumbling, every-guy gait for Ash: a reluctant hero, who against perplexing odds, emerges victorious against the dreaded Deadites...well, most of the time, anyway. 

In the series, he's not relegated to the past or future, but rather the present: a reluctantly renewed adventurer, sharing the madness with State Trooper Amanda Fisher (Jill Marie Jones); the flustered Kelly Maxwell (Dana DeLorenzo); and the optimistic Pablo Simon Bolivar (Ray Santiago). Campbell's old co-star, Lucy Lawless, is in for the fight, too, as the resilient Ruby! Groovy!

The first episode (directed by Raimi) proved a veritable hoot, with Campbell hitting all the required notes. The "Army of Darkness" buffoonery remains at its heart, and though we don't get those swell Medieval trimmings, the tongue-in-cheek spunk stays ever present. (A good deal of Campbell's "My Name is Bruce" also figures into the plot.) 

"Ash vs Evil Dead" has immense potential and like Raimi's "Hercules" and "Xena", should attract weekly devotees. (Heck, STARZ has already approved Season 2 in anticipation of such.) 

Like the films that inspired it, "Ash vs Evil Dead" should encourage many a hapless fool to plug along, against whatever obstacles may emerge in life. Campbell's beloved character represents this notion better than most. Yep, if he can do it, so can you, even if your circumstances aren't generally plagued by an onslaught of smart-ass demons. 


  1. Thanks for the review. I'll admit, I was a little hesitant to watch this show as I was afraid it may not live up to the hype. The Evil Dead movies were some of my favorite spooky movies of the past, especially 2. I really enjoyed the little fragments of nonsense and buffoonery too. After reading your thoughts, I'll think I'll give it a try!

  2. Yes, please do give it a try, Kayla. It absolutely captures the flavor of "Evil Dead 2" and "Army of Darkness" to the tee. Campbell is (as always) spot-on.

  3. Terrific second episode. The tone is set and confirmed. This is gonna flow nicely.

  4. Just encountered Campbell on the second season of "Fargo", playing Ronald Reagan. I had read that he was to appear as the President, but had forgotten about such until I saw the installment. A most pleasant event, I must declare and all the cooler in that it's occurred right along with "Ash vs Evil Dead."

  5. Gotta say, "The Host" is a most significant episode of the series. The "Don Juan" angle worked well for our hero and led to some pretty darn funny stuff.

    It was cool to get the real gist of Lawless' Ruby. That Ash's severed hand prevails was a welcome touch.

    Yeah, I'm diggin' it all...diggin' big-time.

  6. "Bound in Flesh" (the back-to-the-cabin episode) was pretty heavy. Did one of the major characters just get killed? Makes me wonder, but then tricks are always at play with the damn Deadites. The episodes are now using more distinct cliffhangers to keep us guessing. Can't wait to see how things turn out.

  7. Great finale with the door wide open for all sorts of mayhem next season! Also, lots of surprises in the last couple episodes, which by gosh,I certainly didn't see coming.

    I think the shorter formats for the episodes works to the series' benefit. I believe that such brevity could also benefit some of the other fantasy/adventure shows, whether "Arrow","Flash", "Supergirl" and most certainly "S.H.I.E.L.D" (which does tend to get rather bloated at times).

    Anyway, "Ash vs Evil Dead" hit the mark on all counts and turned out even better than I anticipated. Thumbs up to Campbell, Raimi and the gang for a sequel well done! Now there's all the more reason to get hyped for Season 2!