Sam Raimi first delivered the original story of five friends encountering an ancient evil with the 1981 independent film, The Evil Dead. Two sequels and a remake later, the story and the main character, Ash Williams, have become a cult favorite. Despite the fact that the later Evil Dead films had more slapstick comedy aspects and the fact that Bruce Campbell has done everything from comedic memoirs to Old Spice ads, horror and nerd audiences alike always saw something to love with the original trilogy. You can tell from the amount of Ash cosplays I saw at Denver Comic-Con last year. This Halloween, we received a taste of a new continuation of the story with the premiere of the Starz original series, Ash vs. Evil Dead, but does it continue everything we loved about Ash and The Evil Dead?
I can assure you that this show continues the feel of the previous installments like we never took a break. Considering Army of Darkness is over 20 years old, many could assume that this new series feels forced and is just another attempt from a washed up story. That is not the case at all! It's obvious that Bruce Campbell has aged but the way he picks up the chainsaw and boomstick is like he never sat down to rest.
Fast-forwarding over 30 years from the original, we are reunited with our Deadite-killing hero, Ash (Bruce Campbell), as he is hiding from the evil in a small trailer park. Complete with a wooden hand and his ever so charming personality, his ambivalent attitude towards his job as a senior stock boy at the Valu-Mart shines through in a way that we primarily saw with Army of Darkness. When he's not hitting on random women at the bar or smoking weed in his trailer, he is spending his days in the warehouse. That is when he feels like showing up for work.
The show's "evil" presence appears rather quickly with two state police officers encountering a young woman possessed by the evil. Quickly the evil spreads to one of the officers and throughout the small community as it searches for Ash. As soon as he gets a hint that the evil is back and looking for him, Ash decides his best option is to skip town. We are introduced to the rather amusing supporting cast of Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) after they assist Ash in destroying his evil grandma neighbor.
The honest truth is this show contains the horror and humor blend that made this story a smash in the first place. If you are a fan of The Evil Dead you will no doubt love this new series because it's essentially another sequel. It just so happens that it's split up into episodes. We will learn more about this new brand of evil that has returned as well as our characters in the coming weeks, so there isn't much to elaborate on just yet. All I know is I am definitely looking forward to the rest of this season and the already confirmed second season.
Hail to the king, baby!
The questions I had at the end of the episode:
- Why does Ash have a wooden hand? He had that awesome bionic hand after Army of Darkness.
- Valu-Mart? What happened to the S-Mart?
- Has Ash continued to move around and hide from the evil, or is this where he's been the whole time?
- When will we see the cabin, if we see it at all?
- Will the show touch on Ash's trip back to Medieval times?