When I entered New York Comic Con’s Hammerstein ballroom, I had high hopes. I was there for the Ash vs Evil Dead panel and I wanted to see Bruce Campbell take the stage like only he can. I wanted Sam Raimi to let a few precious details slip about the future of the Evil Dead universe. I wanted a better glimpse into the new Starz series than San Diego Comic Con goers had gotten, and I wanted it to be good.
What I got was infinitely better than anything I’d hoped for. I got Kevin Smith moderating a panel that included not only Sam Raimi and Bruce “The King” Campbell, but Lucy Lawless and a spate of Evil Dead newcomers as well. Oh, and I got to see the entire first episode of Ash vs Evil Dead three whole weeks in early. Before I talk about what I saw, yes, there are some light spoilers ahead. If you don’t want to know any details concerning the show, just know that the premiere was epic. Ok, turn away.
For those of you staying, here are a few quick fun facts:
- There’s a fight scene between Ash and a little doll, and it’s the best thing ever.
- Not only does Ash vs Evil Dead retain its humor and over-the-top gore, it’s downright frightening.
- Yes, the deadites are back. Yes, it’s been 30 years. And yes, it’s kinda Ash’s fault that they’ve returned.
- Special attention went into the series debut for everything from Ash’s boomstick to his blue shirt. And the chainsaw. Oh god, that chainsaw debut you guys!
- Be prepared for an even more R-rated Evil Dead experience than you’re used to, and I’m not just talkin’ F-bombs here, kids.
- S-Mart was purchased by a multi-national conglomerate and is now called ValueStop. Yes, Ash is still a store clerk. He has seniority now.
- Two words: light bulbs.
By the end of the 30-minute premiere, I was cheering. Ash vs Evil Dead really is shaping up to be everything this fan had ever hoped it could be. Not only did we meet new compelling characters, but I’m super unsure if they’re gonna make it through the deadite invasion. And that’s exciting.
The only downside to this newest chapter in the Evil Dead mythos is that the production company that holds the rights to Army of Darkness didn’t allow their content to be referenced in Ash vs Evil Dead. That’s why we’ve got no S-Mart and no mention of “deadites” by name. That said, Sam Raimi has alluded that the same may not be true for the film’s alternate ending, so we might someday be visiting that dystopic future. Either way, Ash vs Evil Dead is gonna be one hell of a ride.
Ok, ok, you talked me into it. Here are a couple more awesome reveals from the Q&A that followed the screening:
- When asked if any of the badass women in the cast would be taking up the hallowed chainsaw, Sam Raimi responded with “we will now.”
- In related news, when asked how badass her character will be, Lucy Lawless replied that this was straight-up the most hardcore character she’s ever played, Xena included. Best. Answer. Ever.
- There’s an episode that involves the in-combat use of a deli slicer.
- Sidekick character Pablo, played by Ray Santiago, may be destined for greater (read that “more terrible”) things. We’ll just say he doesn’t stay in Ash’s shadow forever.
That’s all for now folks, but let me know what you’re looking forward to most from Ash vs Evil Dead and maybe I’ll throw you a nod or a wink in the comments. Maybe.