Beware: Spoilers for Ash vs Evil Dead Episode 2 'Bait' lie herein.
If you were concerned the second episode of Ash vs Evil Dead would dial down the fountains of corn syrup, chainsaw revving and general decapitation, then no doubt your qualms have now been laid to rest.
Although the second episode, 'Bait,' was not directed by The Evil Dead creator, Sam Raimi, it still had all the hallmarks of a classic Evil Dead experience - complete with snappy one-liners, practical effects and deadite decapitations. With that in mind, let's take a look at the five most 'Groovy' moments from Ash vs Evil Dead Episode 2.
Ahem, Did You Spot the Name of the Trailer Park?
Although it was introduced in the first episode, I have to admit, this rather subtle joke slipped me by the first time. Indeed, I even had to ask around the Moviepilot office to make sure this was actually a subtle double-entendre and not just a product of my filthy mind.
So, in 'Bait,' we see Kelly make a hasty retreat from the Mossy Haven Trailer Park. Now, this could just be a nice, rustic name designed to conjure up peaceful relaxation, but considering Evil Dead's tongue-in-cheek style, I think its safer to assume its a double-entendre for something else...
A Practical Solution to the Deadite Curse
Despite being on a scaled down medium, Ash vs Evil Dead has arguably already provided us with longer, and more dramatic, action scenes than either of the first two Evil Dead movies.
Furthermore, although there's been a shift of 30 years, they're still delivered in almost the exact same way. The original Evil Dead movies closely adhered to the cheap and schlocky practical school of special effects, and this is something the television series has also signed up for. Due to this, the Oldsmobile fight scene gave us one of the bloodiest, and practical, special effect scenes we've seen on television for a while.
Discussing the Chainsaw-Wielding Elephant in the Room
From the second movie onwards, The Evil Dead franchise has never been a afraid of throwing some laughs into the horrific mix. In many ways, which has become Ash Williams entire raison d'être.
However, with more people around and new situations, Ash vs Evil Dead has allowed that comedy to be expanded into new areas. Although the movies mostly adhered to The Three Stooges type skits and badass one-liners, the television series also allows for some more creative jokes.
For example, my favorite joke of this episode was a fairly simple line that allowed Bruce Campbell to capitalize on his impressive comic-timing. When standing in front of Kelly's shocked parents, Ash refers to a dead deer and deceptively claims:
"So we had to cut it up with my chainsaw... arm..."
His almost meek admission of his bizarre iconic weapon acts to subtly remind us of just how ridiculous the concept of having a chainsaw strapped to your self-amputated right arm really is.
The Mother of Decapitations
Considering Ash vs Evil Dead is only on its second episode, it already has a pretty high decapitation per episode ratio, and this episode's final beheading was certainly the most visceral.
Although the entire episode was filled with graphic violence, Kelly's mother's decapitation by Ash's chainsaw was definitely the culmination of all that had come before. The moment was pure Evil Dead and while watching it, I couldn't help recalling some of the similarly horrific and intense moments from the Evil Dead back catalog. In fact, I'd even go so fair to say it was one of the most horrific moments of the entire franchise, thanks partly to the operatic chanting that played over the scene and the fact Kelly was being sprayed with the blood of her own, albeit deadite, mother. What made the scene ever better was it immediately cut to a nice little Evil Dead 2 callback:
Credits Where It's Due
One of my fast-becoming-favorite Ash vs Evil Dead moments is the end credits, and its accompanying barnstormer of a final song. Sure, I'm disappointed the episode is over, but I can't be that sad when I'm listening to Emerson, Lake & Palmer's 'Knife Edge.'
We're only two episodes in but it seems Ash vs Evil Dead is planning to end each episode with a banging anthem that sounds like it comes from Ash's very own 1960s and 70s cassette collection. We've already heard lots of Deep Purple in the series, while the premiere episode was played out with the equally catchy 'Journey to the Center of the Mind' by Amboy Dukes. In fact, I've compiled a Spotify Playlist of all the Ash vs Evil Dead songs thus far, hopefully I can add some absolute belters every week. Make sure to follow it to get your weekly dose of Ash vs Evil Dead musical goodness.