This past Halloween was the night I and countless other Evil Dead fans have been waiting YEARS for. Ash vs. Evil Dead was about to premiere – something we’ve bitched about and begged for but never thought would actually come to fruition. But thanks to Starz and an amazing R-rating, Ash vs. Evil Dead happened. Bruce Campbell finally revived the role of Ashley J. Williams and reminded us how effin’ groovy our favorite anti-hero is.
Ash, as expected, is still in retail. He’s quite the charming albeit arrogant hero we all adore and, of course, still a screw up. After spending the last thirty years on the run, Ash is now a long time employee of Value Stop, generally skating by and halfheartedly committing to anything. However, after trying to impress a lady (while completed smashed) he reads once again from the Necronomicon and the Evil Dead manage to locate him after all these years. While there’s no cabin in the woods this round, the entire town becomes prey for the deadites, and this time Ash is surrounded by a fantastic group of supporting characters to help carry this new story forward. Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo), his fellow Value Stop coworkers, join him on his unwilling journey to stop running and start fighting the hell he has unleashed upon the world once again.
Hats off to Sam Raimi for some phenomenal directing. From the camera angles to the cuts he utilized all his years of experience in film and brought it to a television show like I have never seen before. And as expected, the practical special effects were superb. The deadites felt like a cleaner more modern version of those we all remember from that infamous cabin in the woods – but ten time more terrifying – especially the one we see in early on in the episode in the abandoned house (no spoilers, just watch). But I have to say, other than casting Bruce Campbell as Ash once again and that sweet cameo by none other than Lucy Lawless, the best part of the episode was the return of physical comedy. From the slow motion leap of Ash reattaching himself with his chainsaw to the overly acted body movements required to whip out his boomstick, Ash vs. Evil Dead successfully captured the spirit of its source material.
And while I want to say the first episode was absolutely perfect, there was one cringe-worthy moment I could have lived without. That Bruce Campbell sex scene. Ash is a ladies’ man no denying it. Who wouldn’t want to give him some sugar? That being said, watching him nail a random chick at a bar in a bathroom was a little uncomfortable and unnecessary. Really, really unnecessary. Still, it’s just the first episode so any future awkward Ash sex scenes aside – this series is laying the building blocks to be simply amazing.
Did you watch the premiere? Let us know what you think!