There is a certain trilogy of movies, all American made, all wonderful to behold; that opened up a new avenue of creativity for generations to come. I’m not talking about any wars that happened amongst the stars, no. I’m speaking of Evil Dead, or The Evil Dead, depending on the movie title. With four movies under it’s franchise name, a myriad of video games, comics, and a gigantic range of other mediums, it would only be fitting that we would continue to want more. Let it never be said that Sam Raimi and The Chin don’t deliver.
With the fate of the rebooted movie’s sequel in perpetual development hell we are given, instead, a 10 episode look into the life of the original Deadite killer, himself: Ashley J Williams. I’ve watched this series with a glee that is hardly able to be successfully described, every joke, every reference, and every gratuitous splash of blood was taken in with nothing but sheer adoration. And that is what this series does, it brings back the character of Ash, still played by none other than The Chin, himself, and puts him in all new situations. After a drunken night capped off with a little recreational self medication Ash is trying to impress a girl with “Poetry” and opens that most sacred of books: The Necronomicon. Of course, he’s too inebriated to realize what he’s doing, but that doesn’t stop our hero from reciting the same summoning spell that got his friends killed. You’d think he’d get it through his head to never open that thing again, but he doesn’t. But, I mean, who hasn’t accidentally read from an ancient, evil scripture, summoned demons, and got a whole lot of folks killed? Just me? Anyways, true to form, this is when things start going south, and in a hurry.
At his job, not S-Mart, unfortunately, we meet Ash’s new sidekicks, Pablo, and Kelly, and our adventures really begin. We get a lot of story from the man, himself, as to why he’s hiding out in a crappy trailer in a no-name town in Michigan, and it all boils down to the fact that Ash has developed a streak of yellow, choosing flight over fight. While I’d like to fault him for that, truth be told, I can’t. Every time that book and him come into some kind of contact folks die horrible deaths. But, let’s get to the fun! ENTER THE DEADITES! Exposition be damned, it’s time to go full Evil Dead ahead! Pablo and Kelly are grabbed in Ash’s trailer, and the fight for their life can be only be tipped by an act of heroism or cowardice. For a moment or two the titular hero contemplates leaving his new friends to their fate, but has a change of heart. With all the Raimi directing glory we love Ash enters the fray, flinging axes, blowing skulls into mush with his trusty Boomstick, and dismembering his sweet, old, neighbor with that signature chainsaw arm. And where there’s blood, there’s a lot of it, and I do mean a lot. Holy glorious globs of ooey-gooey, Batman! One-liners are delivered, and we speed off into the credits, ending our first episode.
I think it worth mentioning, at this point, that from his last appearance on screen we’ve glorified Ash, a little. And the series is hilariously aware of that, reminding us constantly that he is, indeed, a complete moron who does one thing well: killing Deadites. I’m highly grateful for this, because it would’ve been easy to write Ash into this perfect hero, developed through his years of solitude, and all the tropes we could’ve seen come with re-entering a character like this, but instead, we get that love-able screwhead we all got some of our best one-liners from. Maybe there is hope for Michigan U graduates, after all. Now, enter more characters and arcs. We get a cop, her partner, and even get to find out what happened to that girl that loved poetry. Hint: It doesn’t end well for a lot of people. Practical effects make the ‘Ick’ factor register high in these episodes as we witness that poetry lover twist her own head 180 degrees to stare down the two police officers. Amanda, the cop that will be hunting our main guy, watches in horror as she loses her partner to a set of taxidermy horns, and then proceeds to blow his head off. Literally. We watch it happen, in full HD glory.
As Ash and company head towards a man that can give them more information about the book Amanda sits in contemplation of what happened. Enter Ruby, played by the beautiful Lucy Lawless, yes, THAT Lucy Lawless. I’ll give you a second to fangasm. Okay? Moving on. Ruby starts up the motor in Amanda’s head about what’s really going on, urging her to find Ash, the cause of all of this. So we have our two main plots, folks! But it doesn’t stop there, no, no, no. This series takes us all over the place, throwing demons, Deadites, and other ghouls at us, and never, ever, not once shying away from the gore. The comedy will have you laughing, the horror is actually pretty damned good, and the characters are all highly love-able. Although the series does get a little Game of Thrones-y by killing off some titular characters later on, it is still just as awesome. We get a giant chunk of Evil Dead and all it does is leave fans wanting more. Bruce Campbell resuming the role of Ash is just as entertaining as it’s ever been, Lucy Lawless joining him on screen is just as awesome, Pablo and Kelly do an outstanding job of supporting roles, and even manage to get in on some of the action.
It is with no hesitation that I recommend this series, and cannot wait for the second season to release. If you’re an Evil Dead fan you’re going to absolutely love it. If you’re just a fan of horror, in general, the humor might be hit and miss, but the experience is just as fulfilling. Go give it some love, and tell them Deadman sent you. Thanks for reading, folks. Stay Tuned!
Watch the trailer for Ash Vs Evil Dead