23 years ago I went to the theater and saw Army of Darkness with my girlfriend. She was a horror film fan… I'm not… and it was her turn to pick. I wasn't sure what to expect and ended up loving the film. Bruce Campbell's portrayal of Ash Williams was brilliant and with the iconic status the film franchise has reached, I'm not the only one who thought so.
That brings us to Ash vs Evil Dead. Over two decades since the last time Campbell strapped on the chainsaw, loaded up the boomstick and started up the 73 Oldsmobile Delta 88… just how good could it be? They're had been talk about more AoD for years, but to finally get it on Starz? And how did Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess) fit into the thing?
Those were the questions I had going into watching the first season of Ash vs Evil Dead. The answers were simple. This is EXACTLY how the franchise should've been continued. Everything you'd want in the series is there from the humor to the gore to the outrageous moments. Campbell is once again brilliant and Pablo Simon Bolivar (Ray Santiago) and Kelly Maxwell (Dana Delorenzo) as his Value Stop co-workers breath a new life into the franchise. The chemistry between the three is something we didn't know was missing but now seems right at home. And Lawless is great.
I didn't get a chance to watch the series when it aired on Starz, but I sat down with the Blu-ray and binge watched… and that is a great way to go with this series. And for me, when you talk Blu-ray, you have to talk about the extras. This one is a mixed bag. It has a nice video going behind the scenes of different episodes, telling some of the secrets and funny moments. Then there are two short features on how to kill a deadite and the best of Ash which are more montage than anything else. But… if you are a fan of commentaries, every episode of the season has a commentary track. That's pretty unique.
Sam Raimi and company have done something amazing here. They took a cult-phenomenon franchise into a different medium and added to it in a way that not only honors the films that came before it, but feel like a worthy addition to the story.