You can’t outrun evil, Ash!
Ash has been hiding for 30 years since the last time he encountered the evil in The Book of Death from the Necronomicon found in the movie “Army of Darkness.” But Ash’s dumbass reads just one stupid passage from the book in a stoned-out episode during a date and now all hell has broken loose as The Evil Dead have returned once more!
Ash vs Evil Dead is absolutely Sam Raimi through and through, so fans of his style will love it, and those who are not, will not be able to appreciate his brilliance. That brilliance is Raimi’s keen ability to make a high level production while threading that very fine line of great horror with his quirky humor. Not to mention the genius comedic acting provided by the ever so charming Bruce Campbell.
Immediately you notice that Ash vs Evil Dead takes full advantage of being on the Starz paid cable network. With Ash pounding his wood (his hand, you dirty minds) on some chick in the bathroom of a sleazy bar, swearing abound, tons of over-the-top gore and boobs, to appease that 80’s horror style storytelling of the Raimi’s and Campbell. The graphically outlandish death scenes and battles were such a delight for this fan of the cult classic films. The Evil Dead style makeup of the possessed demon humans was a bit bothersome to see over and over again.
I did enjoy the first Evil Dead possession battle we see, it involved another new mystery character “Amanda Fisher” (Jill Marie Jones) to the series we don’t know much about yet. Obviously she’s a police officer, as she and her partner investigate an abandoned house. In the house we find the date that was with Ash during his stoned-fiasco of reading from the book. The woman is now possessed and the whole Raimi-like horror fight scene ensues. As the woman transforms into a creature with a twisted-back head and arms, who is back-walking so awkwardly it’s funny and creepy to see at the same time. The whole fight was extremely quirky but at the same time brilliantly executed horror with fantastic use of lightning effects.
The new duo-team joining Ash in the adventure is consisting of his co-workers from ValueStop. One is a kid Ash saved 30 years ago, “Pablo Simon Bolivar” (Ray Santiago) who may be scrawny, but he’s a brave young man. Next is the dirty hot sexy ” Kelly Maxwell” (Dana DeLorenzo) (Ash’s description, not mine). She knows how to take care of herself and has more to do with Ash then she thinks. Don’t forget that in Army of Darkness, there were THREE books of the dead. The last character we don’t know anything about just yet is “Ruby” who is played by the dynamic Lucy Lawless.
The pilot episode is meant to recap the stories from the cult classic movies The Evil Dead , Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness while introducing a whole new story 30 years later. So basically I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on how good this first episode was. While Ash vs The Evil Dead pilot has plenty of fantastic glimpses of those great movies it is based on (especially Army of Darkness), there was also an equal amount of ultra cheesy CGI moments.
Case in point – is the possessed evil doll moment in the store. A nod to the time Ash fought his mini-self in Army of Darkness, this evil doll had its good moments and really bad ones. The switching between good CGI and bad CGI were too distracting to not notice. The fight with the old lady in Ash’s camper also had up and down moments for me. Why in the hell does Ash not suffer any face damage?! Is Bruce too cute to put effects makeup on? For the most part, overall, there were some pretty gnarly scenes to watch in Ash vs Evil Dead and other moments not so appealing. I am a fan of the Sam Raimi style and I do have an affinity for Bruce’s comedic acting, so I did enjoy the pilot episode. Ash vs Evil Dead is only going to get better and better as the story goes back to that cabin where it all started. We have a motion picture director, top quality writing and a legendary actor leading it all in a 10 episode weekly series. How can this show go any bit wrong! It’s just too Groovy Baby!
A show twenty years too old, still plays off great! Ash may be old but he’s still funny as hell! A MUST WATCH SHOW!!
“My heart is jackhammering like a quarterback on prom night” – Ash