It has been 34 years since the first Evil Dead hit us with a whole new genre of filmmaking, made our Achilles tendons hurt and showed us that when you have Candarian demons at your door, the only way to escape is to be Ash or join them. Along that 34 year journey, we got a sequel – which was actually more of a reboot with added comedy – and another sequel to finish the trilogy involving time travel and King Arthur, and even a dark gritty reboot not involving Ash at all, despite still being fun and with a great after credits scene! Enough about the past and what it took to get here; we are in the present and Ash is back in all of his glory. Well, Ash doesn’t have much glory, but yeah, you get the point. Also, this will be filled with tons of SPOILERS, I mean, of course it will. Ash would spoil the whole series for you already if it were up to him. I hope you have watched the episode and if you have any interest and have not seen it you must be on the phone ordering Starz now so you can watch it on Starz Play ASAP.
ASH IS BACK!: For many years, fans have been pining for another film with Ash Williams and to see Bruce Campbell take his chainsaw hand on another adventure, and not only do we get five hours worth of Ash (thirty-minute episodes and a ten-episode season, but it was just renewed for a second season before it even premiered! Which means we get more Ash than we could have ever hoped for with just a fourth Evil Dead film.
The whole cast is outstanding: We got to see a lot of the new characters with Pablo played by Ray Santiago, Kelly played by Dana DeLorenzo, a little less of character Detective Amanda Fisher played by Jill Marie Jones, and very little of Ruby played by Lucy Lawless. This cast did an amazing job with the first episode and were implanted into my mind as mainstays in Evil Dead alongside Ash for the whole ride that is this show. Ray Santiago and Dana DeLorenzo compliment Bruce Campbell’s Ash perfectly as both have very unique character styles that will likely help inspire and help Ash tremendously in his journey against evil. The story line with Detective Fisher and Ruby did not get too far in this first episode, but can guarantee they will both shine incredibly once Jones and Lawless’s characters get more screen time.
The plot is actually right on par: This entire episode felt just like an adventure you would expect Ash to be in from him mistakenly reciting some of the Necronomicon while high and trying to hook up with a woman, to his horrible lies about his hand and how he saved an eight year old from being hit by an oncoming train in order to, well, hook up with another woman. The story centered so much on the egotistical and pure asshole behavior we expect from Ash. It is definitely believable as far as having the Candarian demons return. Actually, I am baffled Ash did not do something like this years ago to awaken the dead again, but thirty-some years seems like a good time for him to forget just enough to do something insanely stupid.
New types of Deadite’s: We have seen previews of what is to come in new forms but this episode in particular we saw one of the first attacks on Ash come from a cute doll in the stock room of Value Stop. Although quite terrifying, it also made sure to be very comedic. For example, Ash can hardly fight this doll, so how will he ever end up defeating the Deadite army this time around? Then, “SPLAT!” Pedro comes in with a shovel and shows us exactly why Pedro and Kelly will be so useful to Ash in this adventure to finally rid the world of the Candarian demons.
The 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 is back as well: If having Ash, his chainsaw, and boomstick wasn’t enough, we get to see his classic Oldsmobile return in tip-top shape. This Oldsmobile has been in every Evil Dead film and is actually Sam Raimi’s car in which he has found a way to stick into just about every one of the films or shows he has directed. The car beautifully named “The Classic” is a staple for Raimi much like Stan Lee Cameos are to Marvel films and would be sorely missed without being the main car in which our heroes travel in. Always good to see a ’73 Olds still in working shape even with it being shipped to New Zealand to film this series.
Sam Raimi directed the first episode: Who else would be better to start of this series than the original director and brilliant filmmaker Sam Raimi. Raimi’s style is very iconic to any film fan and seeing him use his classic camera moves brought chills to any die-hard Raimi and Evil Dead fan.
Perfect mix of gore and comedy: Right from the start, we see Ash being his normal debacle of a self and lying to seduce a woman in a bar, and almost jump straight into the gore from there seeing Detective Fisher be stabbed in hand with scissors by a Deadite only to have her partner blow half the Deadites face off and then subsequently be knocked into the air onto a pair of elk horns. Within the first ten minutes, we see this show will likely get to be more gruesome than some of the worst Walking Dead moments and even if not, there will be a lot more blood. But we can not forget the comedy aspect that has made Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness so famous and we get a ton of that from Ash’s bar trip and especially once we see him in his new workplace, Value Stop, where we see him drop a while box of light bulb’s in a grand slapstick fashion.
C.G.I.: To be honest, it didn’t bother me too much because you expect it frequently in modern times, but I will say sometimes the special effects seemed blatantly obvious and sub-par to the other very practical effects they had going as well.
Just 30-45 minutes? : I really wanted this series to be full of hour-long episodes each week and had been expecting it to be that since it was announced. Maybe an hour of Ash a week is too much for some people, but I say, bring on the hour episodes for season two!
Army of Darkness not mentioned: This is definitely a studio issue and how Army of Darkness is owned by Universal, so although we all would have liked to have seen Ash with his robotic armor hand, or still working for S-Mart, these aspects from the trilogy may never make an appearance dues to the same damn studio issues that keeps the X-Men from ever meeting the Avengers.
Lucy Lawless’s Ruby will be a major pain in Ash’s behind: It has already been reported these two will not get along and that Ruby is on the hunt for Ash and blames him for everything happening. Her blame is actually spot on since he did start this whole mess, but he is also the only one who can stop it, and I expect Ruby will not understand the latter of that predicament since she will be a badass who thinks she can stop it herself.
Pablo and Kelly will be become heroes just as much as Ash: Even from some of the first moment of Pablo on screen saving Ash from the possessed doll, to his actions during the fight in the trailer, I imagine he will become a hero more suited to the title than even Ash. Plus we all know from the second Kelly grabbed Ash’s arm and held him against the counter that she would end up a HUGE badass.
Don’t expect the demons to all get vanquished: After all we know there will be a second season already and we know the second season won’t just be a new family vacation to Cabo with Ash and the gang where they get drunk every night and have hangovers. Wait… They could probably do that and I would still watch it every week.
Hush Comics gives “El Jefe” one thumb up plus a whole chainsaw hand – in other words an A+ for being exactly what fans have wanted for 20+ years while also adding new aspects that make what seemed to be a perfect franchise even better..
All images belong to Starz.