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Ash stupidly chants an incantation from the Necronomicon and unleashes evil.  Realizing his mistake he sets out to right his wrongs once and for good by defeating all the deadites and destroying the book.

 

To put it simply, after all ten episodes, this would have made a better movie. The biggest reason is because the show and the story dragged and become repetitive and predictable. This is, of course, largely because in all of the Evil Dead films, there really has never been much story other than much more horror, action, and dark comedy. Therefore, if accustomed to the films, then this show will not really be impressive, but is still a moderately fun watch. However, there were a few highlights to the show.

The coolest parts of the show are, of course, the makeup, the costumes, and the effects for which this show were mostly done in the practical fashion, as Raimi wanted to keep it similar to his films and also to keep the television show budget in check. In the first Evil Dead film from 1981, the makeup is really kind of funny and looks a little clown-like, but that changed a fair bit with this show. It stayed true to the wrinkly bluish skin and the white-out eyes that are telltale signs of “deadites.” Deadites are the ones who have died and come back as the evil dead. Moments of the show had some pretty awesome deadites, beginning with a bang with an old lady in a trailer and a woman with her head backwards that dances around. All throughout the entire show, new characters are introduced and it is pretty much guaranteed they will die and turn evil, which gave the show a bit of the predictable nature. Later on, there is a demon named Eligos who is summoned from the book that looks as though it was filmed practically and then put into the show using computers so it was a blend of the two major effects styles. That was pretty neat as it gave this odd quality to Eligos, who was also clearly the most frightening of the show. Not even the final baddie was as scary as him. At one point there even is a demonic child summoned forth who has no eyes and razor sharp teeth and looks really dirty and dead. This was a really good makeup job and the demise of this demon was also impressive.

With the showing on STARZ, it seemed that the mature rating would mean the show had both gory horror and nudity, or something of that nature. There really wasn’t any nudity as that seems to not be Sam Raimi’s bag, but instead, the gore pushed the limits. With the show being all about demons, the dead, and the book of the dead, there is no way it could have been done without massive amounts of blood. There is no way that this show could have been shown on any regular channel as it seemed to have the most blood of any horror show before it, including American Horror Story (FX). The gore and violence in this show will continue to push the envelope for all the other horror shows that are out nowadays. After all, its roots are in deep from the horror films of the 1980s, and those are some of the bloodiest films to date. Both American Horror Story and the Walking Dead are different beasts as they are on regular network television and either change each season or are based off of a graphic novel series that are truly not about the undead, but actually about survival. Ash vs Evil Dead has it where it counts in this case and that is with it just being the straight up horror that it always has been. The show is nowhere near as tame as Army of Darkness was, but also isn’t too much to handle.

Naturally, Bruce Campbell has reprised his role as Ash and he has not aged that much, but still does look 30 years older. Bruce will always be the perfect person to play Ash and that goes without saying as that role really helped start his career. Having watched his career with Brisco County Jr, Bubba Ho-Tep, cameos in the Spider-man films, Old Spice commercials, and also a recurring role on Burn Notice, Bruce being back as Ash feels like home. What is odd but funny is that Bruce also had a role on Xena: Warrior Princess and who came along into this show, but none other than Xena herself; Lucy Lawless. Lucy shows up as an ass kicking character with knowledge about the book and the deadites that later gets explained. Besides Lucy, the other two main characters of the show are played by Ray Santiago and Dana DeLorenzo. They both make for great side characters and a team for Ash to have along for the ride in this battle against the evil dead. Jill Marie Jones is also a major player in the show as a cop who is following the trail of the dead to Ash and goes on her own adventure. Together they made up an interesting and fun cast to watch as the events of the evil dead came forth.

Besides the great effects and fun cast, the show really had a stellar soundtrack filled to the brim with classic rock tunes that seem like Ash staples. As Ash was a teenager during some great rock and roll years, it goes without saying that the tunes in the show should reflect the youth that he was trying to redeem. Logical choice, and it proved to work pretty well. In regard to the story, it really went a lot of nowhere and was repetitive in its nature. Everything Ash tried made things worse and every side character that came along either became a deadite or just died. This stuff got a little tiring, and add to that, the super cheesy humor and it could be enough to make people not want to watch the show. Truly though, the straw that broke the camel’s back and brought the show down a few pegs was the ending. There was no final payoff, things were left open ended, and matters are even worse. Evidently it was left open ended so that there can be at least one more season, but it really would have been a nice roundabout way to end things with evil dead had it ended with one season, at least for Ash. Passing the torch could have been possible, but the Raimis did not do that. Oh well. At least it was somewhat enjoyable, good and bloody, and felt true to what was Evil Dead.

 

Directed by: Sam Raimi, Michael J. Bassett, David Frazee, Michael Hurst, Tony Tilse, Rick Jacobson

Produced by:  Rick Jacobson

Written by: Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi, Tom Spezialy, Nate Crocker, James Eagan, Zoe Green, Sean Clements, Dominic Dierkes, Michael J. Bassett, Alex Sobotowski, Rob Wright

Starring: Bruce Campbell, Jill Marie Jones, Ray Santiago, Dana DeLorenzo, and Lucy Lawless.

Distributed by: Starz

Release Date: October 31, 2015

Run time:  Hour long episodes

Rated: TV-MA

 

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