It’s been approximately 22 years since we’ve seen any sort of entry in the classic Evil Dead lexicon. Sure, we got the 2013 remake that actually wasn’t as bad as we thought it’d be, but we’re talking about the story arc following Ash Williams, the chainsaw-wielding, deadite-killing S.O.B. who slaughtered his way through the original Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn and Army of Darkness.
Well, after countless hours of begging by fans, Starz finally answered the call and brought Bruce Campbell back to the role he made famous with Ash vs. Evil Dead. In this series (which, by the way, has already been renewed for a second season), Ash finds himself facing the deadites once more, but this time, he’s got some unlikely back-up in the form of Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly (Dana Delorenzo). On top of that, a mysterious hunter named Ruby (Lucy Lawless!) is hot on Ash’s trail.
Even from what we’ve seen so far, this is one of the best damn TV shows out there. And here are five reasons why, screwheads.
There are minor spoilers ahead if you haven’t started the show.
It’s Bloody As Hell
Some might think that the transition of The Evil Dead to a television series would tone down the violence. Um, nope. Director Sam Raimi and his team assured its fans that the series would stay true to its roots. In the debut episode alone, we had everything from scissors getting stabbed through a hand to a head being partially torn off to Ash gloriously cutting up a Deadite with a swipe of his chainsaw. Yep, it’s completely bloody, and doesn’t back down in the least.
It’s Not Just Ash’s Fight
Had Ash been the primary focus (well, he still kind of is), the series would’ve been fine on its own. But Raimi and company decided to throw in a secondary factor to make things interesting, in the form of Amanda Fisher (Jill Marie Jones). She’s a state trooper who finds herself right in the middle of the deadite battle, after having to kill her partner during a visit to a spooky home. That gets her suspended from the force pending an investigation, but she won’t rest until she knows what’s going on. For good measure, it looks like she’ll be getting some help from Ruby as well, though to what extent isn’t known yet.
Nevertheless, it’s good to see a new factor inserted into the story, without distracting from Ash’s actions.
Ash’s Sidekicks Are Actually Pretty Cool
Saddling Ash with a couple of sidekicks may make it seem as if he’s on babysitting duty, but judging by what we’ve seen in the debut episode, that’s not the case. Pablo, for instance, has no trouble mopping up the floor (literally!) with a demon doll, while also taking a knife like a champ and shaking it off. As for Kelly, she demonstrates early on that she can handle herself, taking Ash down when he tries to hit on her, and then smacking around an old lady deadite without a second thought.
The (Original) Gang Is All Here
What’s great about Ash vs. Evil Dead is that everyone important to the original film trilogy is involved with this project. Sam Raimi directed the debut episode and will serve as one of the executive producers; Robert Tapert is back on board, along with Renaissance Pictures; Joseph Deluca is back composing the project; and, of course, there’s Bruce, who we’ll talk about in a moment. Having these original people involved shows their devotion behind the project, assuring fans that it’s not just another quick port to television. Nope, it’s Evil Dead. And while Army of Darkness isn’t likely to be mentioned due to Universal holding the rights (notice why S-Mart became Value Mart?), there’s still plenty of deadite-bashing fun in store.
Of Course, Bruce Campbell
Finally, let’s be honest, Bruce Campbell IS Evil Dead. Even with all the other work he’s done over the years, he’ll always be remembered as the bad-ass that managed to take down zombies like a pro. Having him back at center stage, even in his 50’s, is like watching an artist do his thing, whether he’s spewing the kind of one-liners that can coerce a girl into having sex with him (right at the bar, for crying out loud) or letting loose with the easy things, like spinning around a shotgun or locking a chainsaw onto his stump. He is the man, and he’s one of the primary reasons Ash vs. Evil Dead kicks so much ass. Just him saying “Groovy” again sends chills down the spine. Out of goodness, of course.
Image Credits: Starz