Monday, November 2, 2015

Groovy: Ash Vs Evil Dead

Gimme some sugar, baby!
Ash is back!

At the end of the cult classic, Army of Darkness which is the third entry in the Evil Dead series, fans were clamoring for more. Twenty three years later, creator Sam Raimi and star, Bruce Campbell have given the fans what they have been patiently waiting for. Ash vs Evil Dead is a new TV series on Starz. As I'm writing this, there is only one episode, which premiered on Halloween. How was it? Read on.

Possible lite spoilers in the following paragraph...

Twenty three years after the events of Army of Darkness, we find Ash, considerably older, living in a trailer, boozing it up, and being promiscuous. He is still working at a department store. It isn't S-Mart, but its essentially the same store. He's the popular cut-up, but for all intents and purposes, he's a loser. He still has the old Delta 88. But, Ash is hiding from his past, which is why he's doing his thing. The Deadites don't know where he is, and he's okay with that. But, a series incidences make him realize that he has summoned the Deadites. He has a pal at the store named Pablo, who looks up to him. Pablo witnesses one of the incidents, and tells Ash of a prophecy about an unlikely hero who defeats evil. Ash doesn't want to hear it, but when the Deadites find him, he reluctantly realizes he has to dust off the boom stick and the chain saw.

End spoilers.

Pablo, Kelly, the Delta 88, and of course, ASH!

That was just a very basic synopsis of the first episode. There are certain things I didn't talk about because I didn't want to spoil it. There is also something other than the Deadites that are after Ash, but I'm not telling. You just really need to see the show. The rest of this post, I'll be discussing the episode, but not what happens in the episode. You know, a review. And a groovy one at that.

Bruce Campbell said in an Entertainment Weekly interview that Ash basically has PTSD. He is after a war vet, and that's why he's just existing, and living self destructively. Its important to remember that because we're likely to see some mention of that in the weeks to come. But, does this show capture the magic of the three movies? The answer is a resounding yes. Ash is the same rude corny perverted cool dude that we all love so much. And, you'll like Pablo too. He is instantly likable, and you'll care about him before the episode ends. Kelly will have to grow on you a bit, but she plays a critical part in the story that will be revealed likely in the next episode. 

As I watched it, I really felt like I was watching a movie. The formula that worked for the movies obviously works for the TV series as well. From the gritty looking screen shots to the jerky point of view camera angle as the evil approaches. The Deadites look the same, and there are effects done with makeup and costumes rather than CGI. All of which have to be present in order to make this series seem like a sequel to Army of Darkness. This show is extremely well done.

Excuse me...I'm going to need a new chiropractor.
Do you know any good ones?
My guy is too rough.
There is another thing I was concerned with. Seeing as all the zombie shows out right now, could Ash Vs Evil Dead deliver something different from all the others? Would it be Evil Dead or The Walking Dead? The beauty here is that like I said before, it seemed like I was watching one of the movies. Evil Dead 4 or Army of Darkness 2, or whatever you'd like to call it. 

Yes, Starz and Sam Raimi collaborating has produced another home run. Raimi's work with the Spartacus series is apples and oranges compared to Ash vs Evil Dead. Both are great, but don't think that you'll see any similarities between the two shows. I'll be doing another review after the first season is over, so keep your eyes out. I loved the pilot. You will to. If you haven't seen it yet, see it. I could have simply done this review with one word:

Do NOT miss this show.

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