As if there was ANY other day to debut something like this, Halloween night saw the premiere of ‘Ash Vs. Evil Dead’ – the new series on STARZ based on the original ‘Evil Dead’ franchise.
But how did Ash Vs. Evil Dead’s premiere stack up with such a hard act to follow? Read on to find out more! WARNING: this review may contain VERY MINOR spoilers (at least for those unfamiliar with the Evil Dead franchise) – you’ve been warned.
Still here? Good. Let’s get to it!
The pilot episode “El Jefe” – directed by none other than Evil Dead franchise creator Sam Raimi himself – brings us back to the twisted and hilarious life of Ash (played by -of course – Bruce Campbell) , some 30 years after his initial run-ins with the Deadites in 1981’s Evil Dead.
Ash is still the part-time retail clerk, part-time ladies man, and full-time lovable buffoon audiences came to know and love over the course of three feature-length films, video games, comic books, etc. Only now, he’s put his Deadite-fighting days behind him… until a night of partying-too-hard leads to him yet again reading some select passages from the infamous Necronomicon Ex Mortis (the book of the dead), which brings back the horrific Deadites- hellbent on destroying the world, and getting some revenge against Ash. Along with his young co-workers Pablo and Kelly, Ash must now take on the Deadite hordes once again. Groovy.
The entire premise of the show relies almost entirely on the charm, appeal and strengths of its leading man, and Campbell does not disappoint. In a role that’s become synonymous with its actor over the years, that’s not the least bit surprising… at least not to this writer, anyway. Sam Raimi’s signature blend of horror and comedy are also hard at work here, alongside some outstanding special effects and camerawork throughout the pilot episode. Carrying a TV-MA rating (as if you’d expect anything less) also works heavily in its favor, as anything less would’ve almost certainly just fell short.
The Bottom Line:
Overall, Ash Vs. Evil Dead is just flat out incredible. Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell return with one of the strongest showings of the year in any format – TV or otherwise – and breathe new life into one of the all-time cult-classics of horror to create a fun, edgy, and wonderfully bloody thrill ride of a series. I for one greatly look forward to seeing the rest of this season, and what all can be done with so much more space than your standard cinematic runtime. There really isn’t one single bad thing that can be said about it thus far. The king is back, ladies and gentlemen… hail to the king! – 10.0/10
Editor: Nerd Nation Magazine