Ash vs Evil Dead finally came to our screens on Halloween night, 2015 and after 10 episodes and almost 5 hours later the show's debut season was rounded up. Critics have been full of praise for the show and fans alike. Fans have helped voted the show up to a rating of 8.9 on IMDB and on Rotten Tomatoes the show currently holds an astounding 98% fresh rating. Hell, even Breaking Bad is at 95%. The show worked on so many levels and sure Season 1 wasn't without some problems but all in all the 10 episodes were a lot of fun and enjoyable. I covered every episode of the show and below are tidbits and fun bits, and stats from Season 1. Enjoy!
FROM EL JEFE TO EL JACKSONVILLE
Had Bruce Campbell rejected reprising Ash again this show could never have realistically happened. Okay scrap that this is Hollywood, it may still have happened, y'know somewhere along the line Ash would have had a child by the name of, oh I don't know Ash Jr and we would have rolled like that. Thankfully Campbell is with us and thankfully he jumped at the chance to have a chainsaw as a hand, continously have his face splattered in blood and kick deadite ass. Hey it wasn't all bad at least he was able to do it in scenic New Zealand where the show was shot.
So what did we learn about Ash since last time we saw him in 1992's Army of Darkness? Truth is Ash had buried himself in the sand. He still works for a DIY store, he isn't married he has no children and he lives in a trailer park. But he seems happy enough, he drinks, he smokes, he makes love like Bruce Campbell and he has a pet lizard.
But Ash of course has many secrets and stories, I mean this guy had to fight off the living dead in a cabin once. He was also transported back in time, hailed a hero, and killed a lot of demons on the way. When you think of it Ash's life does make perfect sense, I mean who is he going to tell about his past? He'd be locked up for his own good before you could say Groovy!
But what we did learn about Ash is that he still had the book of the dead. What was he thinking? But hey, that's Ash. So on one drug fuelled night he goes and reads the book after 30 years to some doll and all hell literally breaks loose.
Ash teams up with shop co workers Pablo and Kelly and the rest is history, as Ash inadvertenly causes quite a few deaths but gets some deadites along the way and even just maybe learns a thing or two about himself. He also almost falls in love but the deadites take care of that, and oh he trades in humanity for a trip to Jacksonville, Florida.
FROM BROKEN BEER BOTTLE TO ROCKET LAUNCHER
PABLO! You'd have to try really hard not to like this character. We are introduced to Pablo through Ash's work where Pablo works the stock room. He really wants to be Ash's friend and when Pablo witnesses the killer doll attacking 'his friend', he steps in. Indeed Pablo isn't fazed about what he has seen since he used to live with his supernatural acid dropping Uncle Brujo.
However Pablo is very naive and at the shows beginning doesn't have a clue how to deal with deadites. Indeed Pablo spends most of the season screaming and when he isn't testing his vocal chords he's getting splattered big time by gushings of blood.
Pablo also has one eye on co worker Kelly and the two of them during the season grow close. However Pablo learns that even though Kelly is protective of him, they are really best suited to just being friends. However Pablo has the slight advantage that all humans on Earth may die anyway and he may end up being the only male on the planet for Kelly, so.......
Pablo really does grow as the season goes on though. From broken beer bottle to launching missiles, though the missile part he had no former training, and almost kills himself. Pablo's changed his weapon of choice though for the good old firearm and he knows how to use it and has really grown in confidence, because if he hadn't, well, he'd be deadite meat.
FROM BEER BELLY TO FIGHTING DEADITES (Possibly same thing)
To her own admission actress Dana DeLorenzo confirmed that she was working at Beer Belly before getting the job as Kelly Maxwell on Ash vs Evil Dead. What is Beer Belly you may ask? Well first up she wasn't working off a beer belly, but this is in fact an LA restaurant that specializes in fried chicken and dumplings and bowls of fries. Yes that sound was your belly rumbling. One can only guess that they must also serve beer to wash it all down.
So Dana auditioned for Ash vs Evil Dead coincidently on the first anniversary of this very piece and then went back to her work with chicken skin and dumplings. Her story is a great one and certainly carries hope that even if the chips and chicken are down it isn't over till the fat lady (a regular at Beer Belly)? sings.
We first meet Kelly as the check out girl at Value Stop where both Ash and Pablo work. She is a new member of staff and Ash is onto her like a fly on shit, even though Kelly is not shit, if that makes sense! She rebuffs his silky moves and confesses that she is having a hard time given that her mother has just passed away. But then she receives a phone call from her dad that says mom is back!
With the deadites out and life as we know it going down the plughole Kelly teams up with Ash and Pablo and eventually they get to Kelly's house where his dead mom (played by Mimi Rodgers) is serving up dinner. Okayyyy..... so Ash figures out that Mimi Rodgers is a deadite and by the end of the second episode Kelly is offically an orphan.
Kelly also gets possessed by the hell raiser looking deadite Eligos and does weird things like coming onto Pablo and trying to kill Ash. Hey life is a learning curve. Kelly along with Pablo become over the course of the season steady back up for Ash and save his ass on several occasions. They both somehow make it out of Season 1. Somehow.
FROM NON BELIEVER TO DEADITE IN 9 EPISODES
Amanda Fisher oh how we'll miss her but hey she went for one hell of a ride and it really was a genuine shock to see her die this season, given that all of the signs were there for her to be a regular.
Amanda was a detective who was checking out some odd deaths happening around town at a growing rate. In the first episode her partner was killed and heads twisted but she still didn't believe what she was seeing- she ended up with a busted hand by the end.
Once she had a good description she was convinced that Ash was the killer and went off to track him down. First at Books from Beyond where she saw even more crazy stuff, Eligos anyone? Then at The Western Moose when she beat the hell out of Ash, before finally at the end of the episode realizing that Ash was telling the truth. That may have been down to the random massacre of all patrons in The Western Moose that morning! In between she befriended Ruby a strange secretive woman who also wanted to catch up with Ash.
Whilst out on their adventures Amanda and Ash a wholly unlikely couple realize that they are becoming very close, but darn that's Ash's luck isn't it? The bloody cabin strikes again. An evil Ash fools Amanda and they kiss before evil Ash gruesomely leaves Amanda for dead.
After, she returns as a deadite and runs into the woods before despatching two innocent hikers. On her return to the cabin, Ash finally kills her with his chainsaw. At least Amanda was a cool deadite.
FROM THE BOOK OF THE DEAD TO DODGY DEALS
Now this character took no crap. Ruby loved killing, in fact she would double kill deadites just because she felt like it. She wore the expression above most of the time during the season on her quest to find the book of the dead and Ash.
Played by Lucy Lawless, Ruby actually only appeared in snippets of the first season until she arrived at the cabin in episode 9, here she made her intentions clear to Ash that she had to help him get rid of the book in order to send the demons away.
We the viewer are a few steps ahead of Ash and the group given that we have already seen Ruby dragged into fire and disappear and then re emerge again, she sure isn't human.
Once Ash gives Ruby the book she reveals that she is the author! She then continues to read from the book, probably summoning more spirits and uses Pablo as a gateway. With everything clearly turning to shit for Ash he makes a deal with the devil so to speak. Ruby promises him that the dead will back off as long as he leaves them alone, she throws in a trip to Jacksonville and that seals the deal. No doubt we'll be seeing more of Ruby in Season 2.
IS ANYONE WATCHING? - TV RATINGS
When Ash vs Evil Dead debuted on Halloween night the show pulled in 437,000 viewers which was seen as a disappointment. However the show came up firstly against viewers watching college football and also Halloween night itself where viewers may have been out or busy having their own Halloween parties. However worse was to come for the show when episode 2, Bait drew in just 276,000 viewers this was a massive drop, however the show never reached these lowly depths after.
Episode 3 gained another 100k viewers and episode 4 became the highest ranked of the season so far with 448,000 viewers. The next two episodes dipped but only by 7% of total viewership and episode 7 was the new highest ratings episode.
Ashes to Ashes continued that trend with 465,000 viewers but episode 9 titled Bound in Flesh was down to 343,000 the lowest since the second episode. However this lull in viewership could be down to the fact that the show was shown one day after Christmas and traditionally famalies were spending time together or away on vacation. This was proven somewhat when the final episode of the show became the highest rating and broke through the 500k mark with 508,000 people tuning in.
It's still unclear how happy/unhappy Starz are with the ratings given that only around 2% of its subscribers are tuning in. However it will be interesting to see how DVD's and Blu rays of the show sell. Those releases are bound to be filled with extras and fans especially who have missed the shows opening run will be snapping these up.
THE BODY COUNT
Fans expected it and the show had to deliver it and it did. Deaths and gore by the bucket load. But what was actually the offical body count figure? Well that's not as easy as it sounds when you deal with a show like Ash vs Evil Dead. First up there are human deaths and most of these humans are great at coming back and having to be killed as deadites. After a total up I came up with this figure:
Total : 37
So we actually saw 37 deaths in total that includes 37 people or things being or having to be again butchered to death, that's not bad going at all. That's an average then of 3.7 deaths per episode and give or take a death every 12 minutes during the season!
THE GREATEST DEATH GOES TO........
Okay we lied, deaths: This is one hell of a statement from deadite Amanda who kills the two hikers in one foul swoop. First she guts the girl and then she rams her fists through the back of both of their skulls, her hands come out of their mouths and she does their bidding. Oh my what a great double kill. In truth the FX on the show despite some CGI was pretty impressive and led to quite a few memorable kill scenes but it helps when the ones that are killed are a bit annoying and useless, right? Oh and Amanda wins hands down the best deadite of the season.
BEST EPISODE OF THE SEASON
Everyone's going to have their personal favorite and different choices for many different reasons. But the best episode of the season in terms of feeling Evil Deadish, some character development, deaths and plenty of gore is going to........... Episode 6: The Killer of Killers. Below is a run down of how the episodes are ranked:
1. Episode 6
2. Episode 9
3. Episode 2
4. Episode 1
5. Episode 10
6. Episode 8
7. Episode 7
8. Episode 5
9. Episode 4
10. Episode 3
ROB TAPERT, BRUCE CAMPBELL AND SAM RAIMI
It makes sense to end these blogs on the show with these three guys who are responsible for bringing us the Evil Dead universe. The headline tells you who they are and these are the guys that ultimately we have to thank for 3 Evil Dead movies and okay yes the reboot too and 10 episodes so far of Ash vs Evil Dead. Tapert kept the movies beating along, Campbell excelled himself and Raimi's camera mindfucked us all, so thank you a thousand times over- roll on Season 2.