Ash vs. Evil Dead’ full of gore, humor

By Izbel Torres

This Halloween, more than 30 years after the first installment of the “The Evil Dead” series premiered, “Ash vs. Evil Dead” aired its first episode on Starz.

The series, created by director Sam Raimi, boasts four films and now a TV show proving that it is the cult film series that just won’t die. But is that a good thing?

“The Evil Dead” series revolves around main character Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) who, after a cabin trip with his friends where they find the ancient text Necronomicon Ex-Mortis, is constantly facing against the evil, demonically possessed Deadites.

When we last saw Ash in “Army of Darkness,” he had just returned from the year 1300 after having saved the Middle Ages from an army of Deadites, and he defeated his evil counterpart, Evil Ash. After returning to his own time period, Ash is working in housewares at a store called “S-Mart.” He shares his “heroic” story with a woman before facing another Deadite threat.

Over 20 years since the last film, in “Ash vs. Evil Dead,” Ash is working at the discount “Value Stop,” where he often slacks off, takes naps during his shifts or doesn’t show up for work at all. He lives in a trailer and seems to spend his nights using concocted stories on losing his right hand to seduce women in seedy bars., Not much has changed from the Ash of 20 years ago except for the fact that Ash seems to no longer be plagued by Deadites.

But our blowhard anti-hero makes a grave error. While under the influence of pot, Ash attempts to impress a woman by reading “poetry” from the Necronomicon. This re-unleashes the Deadites on Ash and the rest of the world. And what does Ash decide to do? True to his character, he aims to ditch town and ditch his responsibility.

However, his no-nonsense boss thwarts Ash’s escape and Pablo (Ray Santiago), the innocent optimist who idolizes Ash, believes him to be “El Jefe,” the one meant to stand up against evil. But Ash pushes the idea aside and refuses to step into that role. He is, however, forced to face these demons again armed with his favored “boomstick” and chainsaw hand.

Ash is the type of cocky womanizer that will irritate many new female viewers. This is where Kelly (Dana Delorenzo) rectifies this. Kelly is a disinterested co-worker who refuses to put up with Ash’s egotistical, sexist flirtations. Upon first meeting him, she easily pins his arm to his back in retaliation. Here’s hoping that she continues to put him in his place.

Lucy Lawless also makes a brief appearance as Ruby Knowby, who may or may not be related to a character featured in the previous films. Characters Kelly, Ruby and Amanda Jones provide hope for viewers who are sick of Ash’s womanizing ways.

Being forced to constantly face against Deadites in the previous films, audiences have never gotten the chance to truly know Ash. “Ash vs. Evil Dead” finally presents viewers with a chance to get into the character’s life in a way they haven’t before. In the show we see Ash interact with neighbors, co-workers and hook-ups, not just the possessed dead out to kill him.

Much of the practical affects, humor and horror that made the original “The Evil Dead” series so great remains in this show, thanks to the continued collaboration of Raimi and Cambell. The show remains very faithful to the original series, which is sure to please many cult fans.

Overall, “Ash vs. Evil Dead” is full of gory moments and classic one-liners that are sure to entertain long-time fans. New viewers will find interest in the supporting characters of “Ash vs. Evil Dead.”

Will we be seeing more of Ash in the future? Absolutely. The show has already been renewed for a second season, and there are constant rumors of an “Army of Darkness 2” and a sequel to the 2013 film “Evil Dead.”

“Ash vs. Evil Dead” airs on Starz on Saturdays at 9 p.m.

4/5 Stars

Ash vs. Evil Dead

Courtesy of Renaissance Pictures

Ash vs. Evil Dead

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