Small Screen Big Frights: Ash vs The Evil Dead
The Evil Dead trilogy holds a special place in my heart, after all it was sneaking a peak at the first few minutes of The Evil Dead that started off my lifelong love of Horror. After Army of Darkness was released fans clamoured for more, we wanted to see Ash Williams once again battling Deadites with his trusty chainsaw and boom-stick while firing off one-liners which made us laugh and cringe at the same time. Director Sam Raimi had already moved into big Hollywood movies such as the original Spider-man trilogy so any new Evil Dead films looked like they wouldn’t happen anytime soon, but we kept on wishing and waiting for something to happen, then out of nowhere our wishes came true.
Starz announced that they had picked up the pilot for Ash vs The Evil Dead and were producing ten episodes, and the fans went wild. Bruce Campbell would be returning to take up his role of Ash and Sam Raimi, Ted Raimi and Robert Tapert who were all behind the original trilogy were back on board too. Then on October 31st, 2015 our wait was over, and we dove head first into Ash vs The Evil Dead. Ash is living in a trailer and still working a dead-end job at Value Mart (I wonder what happened to S-Mart?) One night while getting high with a girl he breaks out the Necronomicon and starts to recite some verses, once again awakening an ancient evil and unleashing it on the world.
Enlisting the help of his work mates Kelly Maxwell (Dana DeLorenzo) whose family are killed by Deadites, and Pablo (Ray Santiago) who believes that Ash id “El Jefe” and a true hero, they try to destroy the book and bring peace to the world, but in true Ash Williams style things never go according to plan. Facing off against the Demon Baal and hunted by Rebecca Prevett (Lucy Lawless) who isn’t all that she seems Ash heads back to his home town of Elk Grove where he is known as “Ashy Slashy” due to the events of the original Evil Dead films and is only welcome by his best friend Chet (Ted Raimi) and Linda Bates-Emery (Michelle Hurd) his High School girlfriend.
The show was a huge hit with fans and there was an outrage when after three seasons Starz announced that they were cancelling the show. An online petition and social media movement weren’t as successful as they were for Brooklyn 99 and Lucifer, and the final nail in the coffin came when Bruce Campbell announced he was officially retiring from Ash. As a fan I wanted the series to carry on, it had all the charm, fun and gore of the original films but you got to see Ash develop more as a character and see how his relationships built with Pablo and Kelly giving him a more human aspect than he has had before. But the comedy was the overriding factor in the show, and I can’t do it justice so here are some of my favourites from Season One….
Ash: Alright, look, we get this done quick enough, we might have time to stop for churros. And look, that's not a racist thing, Pablo. That's just a great dessert.
Pablo: You know I'm not Mexican, right?
Ash: That's the spirit!
Kelly: [after Ash has make makeshift graves for Kelly's parents] You know they were Jewish, right?
Ash: I-I did not. Wish you could have said somethin' before I made those dumb crosses, but, okay.
Pablo: Um, but reading from the book is what caused all this trouble to begin with, so...
Ash: Yeah, that's true, but reading from it again can't make things any worse. It's kinda like spilling paint on a, painting. It's okay 'cause there's already paint on it.
Pablo: That is incorrect.
While we may never get another instalment of Ash vs The Evil Dead or even another Evil Dead film, we can at least be happy that for a few short seasons Ash and his Boom-Stick were back in action.