Ash Vs Evil Dead premiered on Starz on October 31st, 2015. The first season consists in 10 episodes of 30 minutes. Needless to specify that the show is based on The Evil Dead movies (minus Army of Darkness for which the creators did not obtain the rights). Bruce Campbell reprises his role as Ash Williams and Sam Raimi directed the pilot episode. The second season of Ash Vs Evil Dead is premiering on October 2nd, 2016 so in anticipation, let’s recap and review the first season of this amazing series !
30 years after the events of Evil Dead 2, Ash is living in a trailer home and working at a retail store. One night, drunk and high, he reads the Necronomicon to impress a girl who likes poetry. This, of course, has the same result as previous times : evil arises and deadites start popping up everywhere. Helped by two colleagues (and soon-to-be friends), Pablo and Kelly, Ash goes on a quest to stop evil from ruling the Earth, trying to undo what he unleashed.
The most important thing to point out is that Ash Vs Evil Dead is an excellent show and any fan of The Evil Dead, or horror in general, should watch it. That being said, let’s explore it in more details. The majority of the episodes are great, with only a couple feeling like filler episodes. It is surprisingly extremely gory, which should please any genre fan. Most of the special effects are practical but they are (sometimes unfortunately) mixed with CGI. It is overdone in the pilot episode but it is then toned down to reach a level that doesn’t put you off. There’s plenty of dismemberments and there’s not one episode in which one character or the other doesn’t get splattered with a huge amount of blood. The show is also filled with genuinely creepy moments. Some of the deadites and demons are really scary, some tense moments will have you biting your nails and a few scenes are disgusting. It is simply awesome !
But Ash Vs Evil Dead is not only about the blood and gore, it also has lovable characters who you end up really caring for. First, let’s talk about the iconic Ash. It is important to note that we are very lucky to have none other than Bruce Campbell himself playing Ash again. Let’s be honest, just like Robert Englund and Freddy Krueger, nobody but Bruce Campbell can play Ash Williams. The show begins 30 years after the second Evil Dead film but Ash hasn’t changed a bit. He is still egotistical, a bit of an idiot and spits out the funniest lines ever ! However, the show does the smart thing of actually developing the character through the course of the first season but without completely changing his essence. Closer to the finale, Ash genuinely cares about his new friends and their well-being and proves that he is capable of caring about somebody other than himself. His sidekicks, Pablo and Kelly, are also great to watch, fighting deadites alongside Ash. The characters are so well written than even if Ash isn’t in a scene, you don’t feel like it’s not as interesting. They have their fair share of amazing moments and they are as essential to the story as Ash is. The secondary characters are just as fun or badass which really shows that the creators of the series are not attempting to cash in on the cult status of The Evil Dead but rather remain faithful to the original material while expanding its universe. In my opinion, they are succeeding in every aspect.
Ash Vs Evil Dead is the true heir of Sam Raimi’s cult films from the humour to the cinematography. The directors attached to the show do a very good job at recreating and appropriately using some of Raimi’s trademark shots such as the legendary evil-point-of-view shot. The first season of Ash Vs Evil Dead is overall well written, well directed, well crafted and well acted. There’s nothing not to love and hopefully the second season will be just as great ! It has a very short running time of 30 minutes and yet, there is so much happening in each episode, you never get bored ! I binge-watched the first season in less than two days which, I think, is the best way of watching it since it does feel like a worthy Evil Dead 4, which runs at 5 hours instead of a feature film length. Groovy !