By Octavio Karbank
Imagine if you will, entering a theater, only then to be greeted by strobe lights, 80s rock and roll, and a setup dedicated solely to the show Ash vs. Evil Dead. Fans dressed as their favorite Deadite slayer litter the interior of this miniature shrine; you can FEEL the energy resonating throughout the hall's chambers.
Fans rush all throughout the theater like a horde of zombies. They head to the second floor if need be to the balconies even, all in the name of claiming a better view of the large screen that beckons us all, with several chairs in front of it. One of those chairs will soon be holding the legendary, and ever gentlemanly, Bruce Campbell.
As the audience found themselves in their seats, the same seats holding large Styrofoam chainsaws as swag, the lights dimmed and the cast from Ash vs. Evil Dead came on stage. In attendance we had Lucy Lawless, Ray Santiago, Dana DeLorenzo, Ted Raimi, Michelle Hurd, Lee Majors and of course, Bruce Campbell, decked out in a glorious suit and purple bowtie.
From there on, it was pretty much a free-for-all, as the actors, visibly comfortable with one another, cracking wise the entire time. Sure, you had Lee Majors talk seriously for a moment about why he came on the show (because he was asked) and thought the first season was, in his own words, "batshit crazy."
Campbell, without offering spoilers, did his best to hint the return of characters of yore, played by some of the original thespians.
At this point, Campbell and Raimi went back and forth for several minutes, the entire panel focusing on them rather than the TV show they were there to promote; the audience couldn't have been happier. As Bruce Campbell, when asked about director Sam Raimi, reminisced about his time on the Spider-Man movies, decided to first give a spot-on Sam Raimi, and Toby Maguire, impression, then had nothing but the highest praises for the director. Following in kind, Ted Raimi did a masterful Lee Majors impression, who then responded, much to everyone's surprise and joy, with an even better Ted Raimi impression.
Before the cast left, Lucy Lawless was asked to do her famous Xena cry. I don't think anyone actually expected her to do it, but in spectacular fashion she belted one out, receiving terrific applause.
Once the cast departed the stage, the second episode for season 2 came on. Crazier and wilder than we were anticipating, Bruce Campbell promised there was a scene in this Sunday's episode, and you'll know it when you see it, unlike anything ever seen on TV. I refuse to spoil it, but just know it redefines the phrase "asshole" and will shock, repulse, and induce ridiculous laughter in you. It's certainly not for the faint of heart.
All in all, this year's Ash vs. Evil Dead New York Comic Con panel not only lived up to my expectations, but went on to cannibalize them until there was nothing left but a wet, gooey mess of astonishment and giggles.
Octavio Karbank is a writer and bona fide Whovian. Living in Massachusetts, you can find him on Twitter @TymeHunter and his blog www.cozmicventures.com