The first episode of Ash vs Evil Dead sees the return of Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) re-introduced with a mistake by him. Reading from the Necronomicon to impress a date he brings about the return of the Deadites once again. Only this time, with the help of Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly (Dana Delorenzo) Ash must find a way to finally end the Deadite threat. While all the time being pursued by Special Agent Amanda Fisher (Jill Marie Jones) and the mysterious Ruby (Lucy Lawless).
For horror fans, especially the ones who love Evil Dead there has always been the dream of the Bruce Campbell in another film. Yet with the remake by Fede Alvarez hope was somewhat lost. That was until we found out that Ash vs Evil Dead, the television series was coming.
Bringing back Bruce Campbell as Ash, and with the involvement of Sam and Ivan Raimi this is something of a dream come true for fans. That is of course, if they didn’t take a misstep and ruin the big return of such a favourite character. Thankfully this isn’t the case, and Ash vs Evil Dead is something very special. The fact that Lucy Lawless has been included in the cast just seals the deal.
I’m a big Evil Dead fan, and I loved Xena too so the reunion of Lawless and Campbell was a pretty big deal. What is an added bonus is the fact they are used right. Ash is back, and Campbell plays the part well, including the fact that he and the character have aged. The fact that the show is set thirty years after the original events in the cabin allow for this. Even though he has aged though, he is still the “superhero” the world needs against the Deadites.
What makes Ash vs Evil Dead work is the chemistry not only between the actors but also the chemistry with the audience. The show not only shows respect for the original films but also knows its horror and has plenty of references. There is a huge amount of pandering to the fans, but this is a good thing. For Ash vs Evil Dead to work, it has to bring back the gore, it has to have the humour back and it has to have the confidence to survive the new age of horror, and this is what the show does well. Very well.
If I had one worry it comes from the finale, which I won’t spoil but I do have to touch on. There is a decision made and I felt it was wrong for the Ash character. In ways it felt like it was a way to set up the show to survive other seasons, but also threatened to put it on a path to be similar to Supernatural. Thankfully having seen the first few episodes of season 2, I’m glad to say this was a needless worry, and thinking about the character of Ash, a mistake his foolish ass would always make.
Ash vs Evil Dead is exactly what the fans needed, and if we never get Evil Dead 4 we can cling to this series as proof it could be done. Ash is back, and it looks like he is going nowhere for now. While bringing something like Evil Dead to television was a big risk, it looks like that risk was well worth it.
Ash vs Evil Dead: Season 1 is available on VOD, DVD and Blu-ray now.