Army of Darkness was released into theaters in 1992, making it 23 years since we last saw protagonist Ash Williams battling the forces of evil. Played by prolific B movie actor Bruce Campbell, Ash belongs to director Sam Raimi’s cult classic Evil Dead film series.
Now, after years of fans asking for more, the original team has come back together to produce Ash vs Evil Dead for the STARZ network. Yes, the chainsaw wielding, one-liner spouting, deadite killing machine has finally returned! But how does he measure up to the Ash that we all know and love so well?
The premiere episode of Ash vs Evil Dead, entitled “El Jefe,” aired on Halloween night. Helmed by Raimi himself, it decidedly has the same flavor as Evil Dead II. Wacky camera angles, practical effects, and fountains of blood- it’s just what the fans were asking for. The familiar floating first person perspective of the Evil Force is prevalent and the deadite make-up harkens back to their original designs.
The characterization of Ash is similar to the film series, but with Campbell at 57 years old time has finally caught up with Williams. They make it a point to repeatedly joke about how he’s aged with girdle and denture sight gags. Decidedly a bit dumbed down from the movies, a lot of the comedy comes out of Ash’s misplaced vanity and ego. Yet again, Williams is an unlikely hero forced into saving the world and not doing a very good job of it.
All and all, Ash vs Evil Dead has the blood and gore of a Saw movie but with the delightful slapstick humor of The Three Stooges. While they cater to fans of the original film trilogy, it does provide enough backstory for anyone to just tune in and pick the plot up. From the looks of the preview for the season, the remaining nine episodes are going to be a crazy (but groovy) ride.