Having been 23 years since Ash (Bruce Campbell) last saw screen time in Army Of Darkness, it was reasonable to question how the show would work in TV format via Ash Vs Evil Dead. As it turns out, we needn’t have been worried.
Following on from the alternate ending in which he makes it back to his own time (rather than the one in which he gets stranded years in the future, Ash is in a rut, working a dead-end job and living in a mobile home, breaking up the monotony occasionally by using fake stories surrounding his missing hand to get laid. It’s after one of these encounters that his problems start: after drunkenly reading from the Necronomicon, the Deadites return – throwing his (and everyone else around him)’s life into chaos.
Ably backed up by a likeable supporting cast (Dana DeLorenzo and Ray Santiago as his two co-workers/allies, Jill Marie Jones as a pursuing police officer, and Lucy Lawless doing her own thing and being brilliant at it), such is Bruce Campbell’s general excellence that you’re left wondering why it took this long to make a series. Everything just works somehow, backed up by a refreshing willingness to refuse to take itself seriously.
The series started as a horror with a slight tongue in cheek in Evil Dead, but here the transformation into full-blown comedy is complete, with Ash gurning and delivering pithy one-liners while buckets of blood rain down around him.
It’s exactly as cheesy as it sounds, and do you know what? It’s all the more glorious for it. Sure, the plot is paper-thin, serving as a canvas for all sorts of Deadite-themed shenanigans (if you think you’ve seen everything just because you’ve watched the original Evil Dead trilogy then think again), but then, were the original themes being showcased there ever any different? Roll on Season 2.