Ash Vs Evil Dead
They Pulled It Off
Ash vs Evil Dead has wrapped up it’s freshman season, and goddamn was it good. This is one of the rare series where I was able to say they did everything right. The gore, the acting, the plot, the humor, this show was firing on all cylinders. It quickly went from a show I was a bit on the fence about before it started to a show that was hilarious, gory and endlessly quotable.
One thing I’ve always loved about Evil Dead is just how much it was able to shed it’s skin. Evil Dead went from a pretty straight up horror movie (cabin in the woods, young people and evil), pretty standard. It wasn’t until Evil Dead 2 that the franchise seemed to change gears and branch into horror comedy, which is the perfect place for this gem.
Season One Recap
We catch up with original franchise star Ash Williams, the genre’s douchiest final girl, and he hasn’t changed a bit. He’s the only character who would summon evil because he was high, and that be totally believable. Ash is that guy who thinks he’s the shit but is really just A shit, but that’s what makes him hilarious.
As great as Ash himself is, the real standouts here are Pablo and Kelly. Ash vs Evil dead is an ensemble show, and it works so much better than it would as Ash and Friends. Pablo’s blind loyalty to Ash was great and positioned him as a sort of Samwise to Ash’s Frodo.
But in the end Dana DeLorenzo’s Kelly has emerged from season 1 as the true standout character. She was funny (watching her attempt to punt a severed head and failing miserably made me crack up), didn’t mind getting her hands dirty (watching her cut a deadite in half with an automatic weapon was sexier than anything Kim Kardashian has ever done) and tough as nails. Plus she (the actress) is super nice and has tweeted with us several times. We love her. Yay, Dana!
The first season was a home run in almost every way, despite some pacing issues, and some slow episodes, which are understandable. Considering the nature of this show there’s bound to be some slower episodes.
One aspect of the show that didn’t quite track for me was Lucy Lawless’s Ruby. I’m sure the show meant well by including her, but she just didn’t get enough screen time to make an impact, and it took her way too long for her to connect to the rest of the story.
She always seemed on the outskirts of the story so the big reveal of her as the author of the Necronomicon didn’t have the impact it could have. Nonetheless, I’m always happy to see Lucy Lawless. She really is great. While watching the finale I could only hope that she didn’t get killed off, and she didn’t so that hopefully we’ll get to spend more time with her in the inevitable second season.
The action in this show was incredible albeit goofy as fuck. The fight in the diner in “Killer of Killers” was a particular high point as far as action is concerned. A child gets thrown into a ceiling fan, a deadite gets it’s face sliced up by a deli meat slicer, all while blood goes everywhere by the bucket load. It’s things like this that makes Ash vs Evil Dead so damn good. They are 100% willing to embrace the completely over the top, ridiculous and bloody disgusting, which are all things that make this show truly feel like the original films.
One thing I hope is that they’ll be able to work out the licensing issues with Army of Darkness so we can get a few more direct references to it, because that is truly Ash at his most outlandish.
In the end the show is hilarious, has great characters, great performances and turned the gore and ridiculousness up to 11. They didn’t change Ash one little bit. He’s still as doofy, idiotic and self absorbed as he ever was. That and Bruce Campbell’s performance go a long way in connecting this show to it’s predecessor, and truly makes it feel like a proper continuation of that series.
Both Ash and Kelly were huge factors in lifting this show beyond a gore fest or nostalgia kick, and I’m really, really excited to see what’s coming in season 2.