Special TV Show Entry: Ash vs. the Evil Dead (Season One)
2015 television sequel
Rating: No rating for television shows! This isn't 'Nam. There are rules.
Plot: Aged Ash, now with a wooden hand, stupidly summons his titular foes while trying to impress a girl with some poetry. He and a couple new pals team up to try to figure out a way to stop them and save the world.
I know this isn't a movie, but it's so closely tied to one that I feel I have to write something about it. First, I'll say that there are things that really bug me about the whole thing. It's not Evil Dead 2, but I didn't really expect it to be.
Here's what I like and dislike about it:
1. The humor's there, sometimes a very very dark sort of humor, and there's a lot more gore than I think I've ever seen with something coming from television, just buckets of blood as you'd probably expect from anything related to the Raimi franchise.
2. Bruce Campbell knows how to ham it up as this character. Put a chainsaw on the guy's hand, and he knows what to do with that chin of his. I haven't liked much of Campbell's post-AoD career. His Elvis in Bubba Ho-Tep? They Call Me Bruce? It's not been pretty. He should have been like Shintaro Katsu who played Zatoichi over and over and over again and just been Ash for twenty or so movies.
3. Man, there's a lot of blood. And the writers of this series seem to relish in finding new ways to kill people. I mean, antlers? Twice?
4. Then again, maybe there is such thing as too much Ash. The forced one-liners, the questionable decision making, the misogynist attitude, the countless reminders of just how stupid the man is. One of my favorite exchanges in the first season though was when a character partially threatened him with "If you say one more dumb thing" and he replied, with perfect timing and delivery, "I'm gonna say a lot of dumb things."
5. Putting Ash and company on the road was probably a good idea. It gave them a chance to mix things up with different locales--Pablo's uncle's creepy place, a restaurant, etc. And it kept things from getting scale even when most of the episodes kind of had the same structure.
6. That said, at episode 8 when Ash returns to the cabin? Oh, the little girl in me just couldn't stop giggling. A trip to the tool shed. A trip to the basement. So, so good to revisit that setting.
7. I appreciate the whooshing demon cam perspective. I'm sure fans would have revolted if it didn't happen, but that doesn't make it any less awesome.
8. A lot of what made Evil Dead 2 so much fun for me is the creative camera work. There are some moments in Ash vs. the Evil Dead that are reminiscent.
9. I don't care to see Ash leaping through the air with an extended arm stump and catch a chainsaw thrown to him by Pablo ever again.
10. I'm not sure if Lucy Lawless adds anything. I really like Ray Santiago, the guy who plays Pablo. That's a fun character. He's also a sympathetic character. Dana DeLorenzo, who plays Kelly, is fine, too. But if Bruce Campbell decides to jump off this ship eventually, I'd have no interest in continuing to follow the adventures of these other people. Of course, a show called Ash vs. the Evil Dead that doesn't have Ash in it wouldn't make much sense anyway.
11. Ash's hand! That was fantastic, and I'm pretty sure it was supposed to be a plot point in The Force Awakens. Well, not with Ash's hand. That wouldn't have made any sense at all.
12. The lead-in to the title screen is always really cool. It usually involves a copious amount of blood.