EDIT: Starz has put the first episode up for free streaming on their official Ash vs Evil Dead site. If you are on the fence about ordering Starz for this program head over tho the site and watch it now for free! It even works nicely on mobile devices. Have a bloody good time, and see if you agree with our review. Comment below.
Halloween has once again come and gone bringing horror movies nights, ghosts, goblins, and the occasional snowman from Frozen. For many geeks and horror fans around the world, Halloween night meant only one thing, the premiere of Starz’s new weekly series, Ash vs Evil Dead… that, and type 2 diabetes from excessive candy consumption. Be aware, I will try and limit my spoilers but you probably shouldn’t read this unless you have seen the episode.
Sam Raimi directs the first installment of our story, and his trademark style finds itself all over the pilot right down to goofy camera angles and extreme close-up shots of Bruce Campbell’s Ash Williams preparing for battle, although this time it is with a much more worthy foe than hordes of deadites… middle age, and this is one fight that one-liners, bravado, and impressive chainsaw and shotgun wielding skills have not helped him overcome. Our story picks up exactly where you would expect, with our boozing and womanizing hero using his missing had to pick up chicks and working at a big-box housewares store, although it is now “Value Stop” instead of “S-Mart” (perhaps he got fired from the latter for incompetence. It wouldn’t be much of a stretch.) with a couple of colleagues who, if the trailer is any indication, will eventually find themselves becoming his sidekicks. Pablo, played by Ray Santiago, looks up to Ash for some reason, while Kelly, played by Dana DeLorenzo, sees him for the giant trashy buffoon he is.
Ash manages to unwittingly unleash the hordes of Deadites on the world through a set of bone-headed circumstances that can only be described as “character appropriate.” I won’t ruin it for you, but it firmly cements Ash onto the pedestal of stupidity where he belongs. Ash is an idiot, make no mistake, but he is an idiot with one skill, fighting evil. That’s not to say that he jumps with delight at the chance to chainsaw a bunch of evil freaks into cold-cuts, his first instinct is to “haul noogies” and leave town. our hero’s cowardice thankfully doesn’t last when the chips are down, and the last 10 minutes or so of the episode finds him doing what he does best.
The first episode of Ash vs Evil Dead was a good time. It was filled with fanservice and horror movie send-ups as well as a heaping helping of the black comedy and slapstick that put the franchise on the map. It, of course, wasn’t perfect. I was happy to see quite a few practical effects but there was a bit too much cheap-looking CGI for my tastes and I am not sure how the famous loaner having not one but two sidekicks will play out, but I am willing to keep an open mind. All in all it was an excellent continuation of the world we know and I am looking forward to next week’s episode. Groovy!