I’ve been a Sam Raimi/ Bruce Campbell fan since the first Evil Dead movie. The over-the-top gore, and the zany humor just captured me as a teen. It was like watching live action Looney Toons. I’ve tried to watch everything these two have created together since then, (even sitting through Spiderman 3), and have mostly never been disappointed.
I very much enjoyed Ash Vs. The Evil Dead, the first episode of an ongoing series on the Starz Network, and I’d better like it, because I’ve been looking forward to it, since I heard about it. And yeah, it was every bit as profane, disgusting, and crazy funny, as I hoped it would be and I also hope the show can keep up the momentum.
I love the diversity of the cast. Jill Marie Jones is a Black State Trooper who lost her partner to the demons, got blamed for it and is now in disgrace. She’s being set on Ash’s trail by Lucy Lawless’ character. I love Lawless. I ve been a huge fan since she first starred in Hercules:The Series, and it’s great to see her and Bruce reunited for this show. Ray Santiago plays a Latino character, who is a fan of Ash, and is inspired to fight demons with him. I don’t care for the sidekick angle, but this is Bruce’s vehicle and of course he’s going to be front and center, but I hope Ray gets to be heroic, too.
And there’s Bruce Campbell, stepping back into Ash’ shoes, which must have been a lot of fun for him. The last action-y type thing I watched with him was Burn Notice’s The Fall of Sam Ash. He gets a lot of action in the pilot. There are some great, crazy fight scenes, and maybe we’ll get to see some of the other characters do a little more fighting during the season, but this episode was almost all Ash, which was great.
What a sorry and demoralized hero we have. I’m sure he’s still emotionally suffering from the events of the last Evil Dead film, but he’s trying really hard to be as unheroic as possible, even going so far as to try to skip town when he realizes that The Deadites are back. He’s a womanizing, lying, manipulative, lazy, and vain person, which are some serious flaws in a hero, but Bruce still manages to make these flaws funny and likable, by making him bumbling and occasionally not very bright. And of course these flaws make it all the sweeter whenever he steps up to be a big damn hero. He’s brave in the midst of a fight, and fearless and relentless, which is awesome to watch.
Naturally, the situations he gets into can only be gotten into by Ash. Like having to put down his elderly possessed neighbor, a woman with whom he has casually flirted, without conscience, and a hilarious fight with a teeny, tiny talking doll, who almost kicks his ass. He saved by Ray’s character, Pablo, who manages to take it in stride because his uncle is a Brujo. This may factor into a later episode called, what else, Brujo.
When we first meet Jill Marie’s State Trooper, she’s fighting a Deadite in an abandoned house. These moments are genuinely scary even if somewhat predictable. After she’s forced to kill her partner, she’s in some disgrace. I think she’s been fired. At a local diner, the other Troopers won’t even talk to her, but Lawless’ character has some mysterious advice for her. I don’t know what role Lawless plays in the show, but she seems to be someone who knows what’s going on. Perhaps she’s had her own run in with the evil dead. Hopefully, she’s on Ash’s side.
Since this is the pilot, I didn’t expect a lot of plot, but I did get plenty of action and Yes! we get to see Ash donning the famous chainsaw, in a spectacular scene in his trailer. It’s interesting to note that this is the second actioner I’ve seen this year, (Mad Max : Fury Road), where the main character is a total badass with a disability, although Ash mostly uses his to pick up women in bars.
I’ve seen all the Evil Dead movies but one thing that still confuse me is, what does a Deadite look like without a host body. We do get some classic scenes of “something” chasing people, their reactions to it, and I always wonder what people are seeing when this happens. Although part of me really doesn’t want to know because I don’t want my imaginings to be supplanted by the director’s depiction.
This episode was not especially plot heavy. Most of the time was spent establishing who the main players are, and what side they might be on. Some of them are pro-Ash, but I’ve heard there will definitely be some characters who are not on his side and will be hunting him.
It looks like an exciting start to to the series. If you’re a fan of zany Horror Comedies, like me, then it’s worth checking out.