Groovy, Indeed: A Review of “Ash Vs. Evil Dead”

Sam Raimi’s cult classic film series Evil Dead has made its way to television with the Starz series Ash Vs. Evil Dead. B-movie star and Evil Dead mainstay Bruce Campbell is back as Ashley J. Williams, the hero of the Evil Dead series, and even Sam and Ivan Raimi came back to write and direct the pilot episode. As a long-time big fan of the Evil Dead series, I’m glad to say that the show retains everything that has made people fall in love with those movies for more than thirty years. Only three episodes have aired so far, but it is safe to say that I really love this show and it has met and even surpassed my expectations. I even feel as though the show is getting better as it continues, making me extremely excited for what might come next.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the film series (you should be ashamed of yourself), the films focus on Ash Williams. Ash and a group of friends once stayed in a remote cabin in the woods, where Ash came across an old book called the Necronomicon. Within this flesh-bound, inked-in-blood book is an old language that, when spoken aloud, brings forth demons from Hell. The original film was played as more of a straight horror flick, and Ash was more serious. The sequels became increasingly more ridiculous and slapstick in nature, making Ash into a bumbling idiot but also creating one of the best demon-killing machines in all of film. It’s in the second film that Ash loses his hand and iconically replaces his stump of a hand with a chainsaw. Yes, it is ridiculous and stupid, but in all the right ways.

So, chronologically, Ash Vs. Evil Dead takes place after the events of Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn. Due to legal issues, the show is not continuing from the final film in the series, Army of Darkness. So, Ash is about 30 years older than he was when we last saw him, and yet he’s still the same ol’ Ash. Ash is still one-handed, constantly spouting one-liners, all about the ladies and genuinely pretty sexist, and good at nothing but killing the undead. Ash always was and still is one of the best characters in all of horror. Bruce Campbell gracefully slips back into the role that made him famous 30 years ago, and it’s is an absolute delight to see this character again, chainsaw and all. Continue reading