This is going to be the best Halloween ever — at least for deadites, fans of the cult classic “Evil Dead” movies.
Here’s a few reasons why this show is going to be amazing.
1. The new show follows Ash in real time
“The Evil Dead“, made in 1981 by director Sam Raimi and producer Rob Tapert, follows a group of friends who find a mysterious book of the dead, called the Necronomicon. The group of friends falls to demonic posession one by one, until just one person is left — Ash, played by Bruce Campbell.
The 1987 sequel “Evil Dead II” is a remake of the first with updated special effects, a more refined directorial style, and more developed characters. In the 1992 “Army of Darkness,” Ash battles skeletons, witches, and demons in medieval England.
“Ash vs Evil Dead” is a continuation of the original trilogy, so we’ll be checking in with Ash two decades after his showdown with demons. After a reboot to the franchise in 2013, it’s refreshing to see the character played by the actor who made us fall in love with him in the first place.
2. Ash is the same wisecracking jerk
Over 20 years after “Army of Darkness,” not much has changed for Ash. He still works as a checkout clerk for a chain store, lives alone in a trailer home, and doesn’t have many friends, apart from his coworker Pablo.
But now, Ash has gotten older, but not necessarily wiser. He’s not as trim as he was when he first encountered the demons of the Necronomicon, so it will be a lot of fun to watch the ageing Ash fight the demons of his past.
3. Director Sam Raimi’s crew is back
Raimi filmed the first “Evil Dead” from the ground up. Raimi funded it with donations and populated the cast and crew with his family, friends, and former collaborators. He and Campbell grew up filming short movies together. His brother Ted Raimi played one of the monsters.
With “Ash vs Evil Dead,” a lot of Raimi’s collaborators are back.
Raimi and his brother Ivan Raimi wrote the screenplay. The show lists Tapert as the executive producer. Campbell returns to reprise the role that skyrocketed his careers. Lucy Lawless, who played the eponymous role in “Xena: Warrior Princess,” appears once again in a Raimi and Tapert franchise as the mysterious Ruby Knowby.
4. We’ve got some tough heroines
Lawless isn’t the only woman handily beating up demons in “Ash vs Evil Dead.”Jill Marie Jones from “Sleepy Hollow” plays a Michigan state trooper trying to get to the bottom of the demonic horror that’s taking over. Dana DeLorenzo of “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas” also unwittingly joins the fight against the evil dead.
From what you can see in the trailer, it looks like Lawless, Jones, and DeLorenzo can hold their own against the monstrous hoarde and won’t be playing second-fiddle to Ash. As someone who grew up in the days of “Xena” and “Buffy: the Vampire Slayer,” I can’t get enough of female characters kicking monster butt on TV every week.
5. Raimi’s comedic horror takes a brighter look at demonic possession
Though Raimi has directed and produced other movies since the success of “Evil Dead,” like the 2002 “Spiderman” trilogy, the show is a true return to form. His over-the-top gore and slapstick comedy stylings will set the show apart from other horror shows currently on TV, like “American Horror Story” and “The Walking Dead” — especially if the show looks anything like the original “Evil Dead” movies.
Horror comedy is a tough genre to get right, but Raimi pretty much got it right the first try, with very little money and no name recognition. The “Evil Dead” movies hooked me when I was a kid — I used to play the “Army of Darkness” on VHS on loop for hours on end. Now, I can’t wait to watch it every week.
Watch the trailer for “Ash vs Evil Dead,” which premieres on Starz October 31st, below:
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