The next chapter in the adventure of Ash Williams is here with Ash vs. Evil Dead and it is a return to everything a Evil Dead fans have come to love. Set 30 years after the incidents of Evil Dead 2 and Ash has lead a boring deadite-free life for awhile, but true evil can’t simply be ignored. After a series of events has awaken the Evil Dead and has turned Ash back into the reluctant savior the world needs to fight against the evil forces bend on terrorizing Michigan. Accompanying Ash are Pablo Simon Bolivar (Played by Ray Santiago) and Kelly Maxwell (Played by Dana Delorenzo), two fellow employees of Value Stop. (That’s right ED fans, there are some details that have changed due to legalities of copy rights!) In parallel to the main group, a Michigan State trooper named Amanda Fisher (Played by Jill Marie Jones) gets caught in the mix and is also starting her own journey with the forces of the Evil Dead. Along the way, Amanda meets Ruby Knowby (Played by Lucy Lawless), an unknown women with mysterious ties to the evil presence.
I believe the series is off to a great start spawning off the previous movies. The right people are behind the screens to deliver on what the fans have been demanding for years. “(Fans) They’re like it’s about time. They’re not angry, but they’re like okay finally. I think they’re really resolved. Their years of tormenting us have finally paid off. And I think they’re actually satisfied that it’s close to the real thing as you’re going to get of putting the original elements back together again” explained Bruce. As a fan myself, I was intrigued by how the series will connect the current state of Ash from where we last saw him on the films and the series will translate to the small screen. The first episode reintroduces Ash as an older, grumpier man but still as immaturity as before. Working as a stock boy by day and chasing tail at night, Ash has settled into a docile lifestyle that doesn’t reflect any of the nightmares he’s lived through. It is a much different take on the character as Ash in the past and its nice to know that the character has remained the same lovable goof now with some grey hairs. The introduction of Pablo and Kelly has Ash take more of a leader role in the group, a “mentor tormentor” as Bruce Campbell mentioned. Pablo looks up to Ash and believes he is the chosen one to vanquish evil. Kelly is dragged into joining Ash by Pablo and constantly fights off Ash‘s sleazy advances. Together, they are on a mission to slay the deadites that terrorize the area.
The first episode has all the flavors of a Sam Raimi production; tons of quick cuts, camera zooms, blood splatters and Bruce Campbell. For veteran fans, it has all the horror comedy elements that the movies are known for, and enough new material for incoming audiences to enjoy. It doesn’t have any of the tones set by the 2013 Evil Dead (Which is now a totally separate entity), but this show will contain enough horror to keep that fan base interested. “I would just like to focus on variety of horror. I want to mess with people’s minds. You want to startle them. You want to shock them. You want to disturb them. And you want to keep them on edge.” explained Bruce, adding that his focus on making a show that retains its roots, but dares to get creative. “It’s a horror show where we do take the horror seriously. So a fan of only horror, I don’t think will be insulted by our approach of horror. We take it very seriously and hopefully we’ll give them some good stuff to freak out about. The comedy is for me, let’s everybody know that *wink* this is ultimately entertainment. For me, it takes the creepiness out a little bit because it’s still over the top. But it becomes nothing that you can see on the six o’clock news. That’s what has always appealed to me about this approach”.
My feels towards the first episode has indeed satisfy my craving for more Evil Dead material and has definitely made a statement about the franchise premiering as a TV show. There are still many details about the series to flesh out and that means more deadnites to chop up, and I’ll be space trucking along for the ride.
You can catch the premiere of Ash vs. Evil Dead on the Starz Channel Oct 31 at 9 pm EST.