ByMatt Cordisco, writer at
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Matt Cordisco

The TV series Ash vs Evil Dead follows up with groovy antihero Ashley Williams some 30 years after the events at the dreaded cabin in the woods that tormented him in The Evil Dead (1981) and Evil Dead II (1987). Present-day Ash accidentally summons the evil force that he has been hiding from for decades when, one fateful night, he reads from the Necronomicon in an attempt to impress a woman with whom he is smoking weed in his trailer (spoiler alert: It totally worked! At first).

That's the "how did my weed get there?" look.
That's the "how did my weed get there?" look.

Thanks to one careless (and very foggy) evening, Ash once again finds himself chainsaw deep in Deadites and it is every bit as funny/scary/gory as fans of the original trilogy hoped it would be. We Deadheads have been waiting patiently for more Ash for over 20 years, since the trilogy left off with Army of Darkness (1992).

Best Show On TV

When you think of the best shows on the box, which shows come to mind? For me, there are two specifically that I know to be fantastic and that have a large enough following that they dominate social media and general chitchat during their seasons — The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. So where does Ash vs Evil Dead stand among those big shows of today?

Consider this: Ash Vs Evil Dead has a higher rating on IMDb than The Walking Dead and it has a higher rating than both TWD and Game of Thrones on Rotten Tomatoes. Beyond the thoughts of critics and film aficionados, the first season of Ash vs Evil Dead did a really good job of just being really good. The acting, the music, the suspense, the gore and, of course, the humor are all on point, every episode.

But It's More Than Scares And Gore

Part of what makes Ash vs Evil Dead so good is the way the writers were able to capture the tone that fans appreciate from the series — slapstick, over-the-top gore splattered with palpable suspense and an onslaught of belly laughs.

Every episode feels as if executive producer Craig Digregorio is one of us — the legion of Evil Dead fans who have been begging for years for more Ash. The scary scenes are scarier than most other shows on TV and the humor is so well executed that you can go from shitting bricks to shits and giggles at breakneck speed.

Emmy Worthy?

Horror is notoriously overlooked as a genre when it comes time for awards season — if you disagree, feel free to ask the army of The Walking Dead fans, who are consistently disappointed that Andrew Lincoln can't get a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor (for one of the best performances on TV, in my opinion). This has been true for as long as I can remember, with a few exceptions (most notably The Silence of the Lambs). Horror, as a genre, is the Rodney Dangerfield of awards season.

Rodney never got any respect, either.
Rodney never got any respect, either.

No matter how well-crafted a horror movie/show is, chances are it will receive little recognition for anything outside of makeup or special effects. I don't say this to downplay the importance of makeup or special effects, but Ash vs Evil Dead is not your typical horror. Times change. And with them, so do the metrics by which we gauge artistic excellence. Sure, a piece of horror fiction is more inclined to have better special effects than your average sitcom, but when that same horror fiction has better special effects and better laughs, doesn't that count for something?

In response to the overwhelmingly positive critical reception of the debut season of Ash vs Evil Dead, Bruce Campbell has started a campaign to reverse this trend.

Half serious, half joking, half-assed. That's just the Ash we all know and love.
Half serious, half joking, half-assed. That's just the Ash we all know and love.

Check It Out!

Season 2 is slated for this fall, though there is as yet no official date. There was a tweet shedding some insight into when we could expect, but it has since been removed. Either way, you still have plenty of time to catch up.

If you haven't seen Ash vs Evil Dead yet, you're really missing out. You can wait until August 23 to buy the Blu-ray and DVD, or you can get your ass over to the Starz channel (which has a nifty little add-on subscription if you're an Amazon Prime subscriber already) and get caught up on the new king of TV.

Matt is a writer/filmmaker in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Follow me on Twitter @Matt_InTheWoods


Is 'Ash Vs Evil Dead' the bomb diggity?