Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Review Tuesday: ASH VS THE EVIL DEAD - Season 1

Season 1
Thirty years after the events of The Evil Dead 2, Ash unwittingly unleashes the evil upon the world again, this time while trying to impress a girl.
One of the big deals at last year's Comic Con was ASH vs THE EVIL DEAD. Seemingly from nowhere STARZ decided to go ahead with a television series based on the cult classic horror flick. 

Before I discuss the show, we NEED to go back in time and analyze the complete situation. In 1981 Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell gave us THE EVIL DEAD which was awful. In 1987 he gave us  Evil Dead II, which was what we now call a reboot. It ignored what happened in the first movie and started all over again with a more cohesive story, better special effects and a real ending. In 1992 they wanted to put out Evil Dead 3, but the studio wouldn't do it, nor would they give him back the name. Raimi went elsewhere and made ARMY OF DARKNESS. After that Raimi's career blossomed and he brought Bruce Campbell with him. They worked together in many projects including XENA: Warrior Princess and the Tobey Maguire SPIDERMAN movies. 

Over the years Evil Dead kept up some sort of cult status that they even wrote a musical version that traveled all around the world. Even your humble narrator went to see it and found it outstanding that such a fun yet blood-soaked horror-comedy-musical could be so charming despite the source material.

Years later word that a television series based on THE EVIL DEAD was in the works with Bruce Campbell reprising his legendary role as Ash and the Raimis producing. They built up the anticipation during 2015, built a special display at NYCC and the show hit for Halloween 2015. It ran 10 episodes. 

Ash unwittingly unleashed the evil upon the world again while high on drugs trying to impress a girl and, hopefully, get laid. Instead he has to don the chainsaw and dust off the shotgun and undo his mistake, with the help of two friends from the walmart-like store that he works at. 

Since I seem to be a fan of the source material, I found all this to fit perfectly into the realm of The Evil Dead. I have friends who went on far extremes either way regarding how much they liked it. Usually the first comment is, "it's SO bad," then it's backed up with whether or not that's a good thing. I would say yes, a very, very good thing. 

It would seem that they ignored ARMY OF DARKNESS and brought back the infected hand and the Evil Ash concept back for the series which was pretty fun and well executed. The level of violence and gore was high and depicted better than many famous horror movies. Bruce is perfectly Ash and makes each episode golden. His helpers, Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) played their roles well. Lucy Lawless did a great job as Ruby the villain. Then the cast of dozens who supported and contributed to the story were amazing. Hell, they even brought back the crappy old beige Oldsmobile!

So I liked it and look forward to when / if ever they give us a second season. In the meantime I am left to ponder those who watched it and didn't like it. Did they even watch the source material? If so, did they even like it? If not, why would they bother with this?