The campy writing, the cheesy blood and gore effects, the weird camera shots and innapropriate, NSFW jokes… The Starz network premiere of Ash vs Evil Dead was everything I expected and more. It was awesome, but considering the language and subject matter, this thing is definitely intended for mature audiences.
For those of you not familiar with the franchise, the first Evil Dead movie was put together on a shoestring budget. Starring Bruce Campbell as Ash, it told the story of a bunch of college friends who go out to vacation at a cabin in the woods. They find a book, bound in human skin, with pages written in blood ink. This was the Necronomicon – the book of the dead.
In spite of a warning not to read out loud from it, of course someone has to read out loud. One by one, the kids start getting possessed and turned into Deadites. Ash is the only survivor, and he spends the next three decades hiding from whatever was turned loose that night.
Ash vs Evil Dead – El Jefe
The premiere episode presents us with Ash looking for a good time. He heads to the local bar, where he has a drink and a quickie in the bathroom with a lady he picks up. Just as they’re about to get to the good part of their session, she’s possessed by a Deadite. This puts a pause on his action, but only for a moment… just long enough for her to tell him “We’re coming for you!!!”
When Ash gets home, he checks the chest where he keeps the Necronomicon. It hasn’t been stolen.. but wait – what’s this? A baggie of weed and a few roaches? How the hell… He remembers that he got stoned one night recently with a girl he picked up somewhere, and they both read from the book. Out loud.
A couple of State patrol officers get called to a house for a disturbance – screaming was reported. They go in, and one of the officers is posessed, then killed. The other officer is suspended pending the I.A. report and psych evaluation. She goes back to the house, and finds a scrap of her partner’s shirt. “It really did happen,” she reassures herself. In a diner, she sees a little girl who for a moment appears as a Deadite. A woman at the next table asks her if she’s alright, then tells her that sometimes the things you see are exactly as they appear to be.
Ash realizes that there’s another plague of Deadites, and he’s probably the cause. He asks his neighbor to clean up his place since he’s going “out of town” for a while. When he goes to pick up his paycheck at the ValueStop and tell his manager that he needs time off, the manager refuses. That soon becomes moot, because Kelly (a new co-worker) has a problem – her deceased mother has returned as part of the plague. Pablo, a friend and co-worker, takes her to Ash for help.
At first, Ash refuses. But when the neighbor Deadite attacks them inside his trailer, he rescues the girl and puts down the Deadite. In pieces. Ash decides that he can’t run anymore. He decides that it’s time to start fighting, and he promises Pablo that he’ll not stop until he finds the spell that will stop the plague.
So who was that lady at the next table in the diner with the cop? And the girl with the tatoo on her wrist … what was she doing in that house – besides dying, that is? And who’s gonna clean up that mess at the TrueValue? Do Ash, Pablo and Kelly even still have their jobs? I guess we’ll have to wait until next week to find out!