On Halloween night, a 20Â year wait comes to an end as Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) once again dawns his chainsaw hand and shotgun to battle Deadites before they can infest and destroy humanity.Â Premiering on Starz is the 40 minute episode of Ash Vs Evil Dead entitled, “Pilot,” starring Bruce Campbell, Ray Santiago, Dana DeLorenzo, Jill Marie Jones, and Lucy Lawless.
It’s really no surprise that Bruce Campbell shines in his return to the Ash character. Ash is Bruce and Bruce is Ash. One thing to point out is that they are playing up the fact that he is older, with the girdle, the dentures, rather than slapping some Liam Neeson hair dye on him and moving around like this was 20 yrs ago. It’s just not going to happen, and that is a great point of realism. Also, Ash isn’t a superhero; he’s a retail slob, who’s past his prime, and he knows it, but he does what must be done, even if reluctantly.
The influences of the trio’sÂ (Raimi, Tapert, Campbell)Â youth are still supremely evident in the show. There’s a lot of slapstick, goofball comedy that hearkens back to The Three Stooges and Abbott and Costello. It also gets a little blue too, which the prior films didn’t get into.
Joseph LoDuca wrote the music for 4 episodes. For those, not in the know, LoDuca did the music for the entire Evil Dead saga, with Evil Dead being my personal favorite, so that is a treat for fans.
There are quite a few fun references to the past films, like when the 2 Officers get out of the car, they are shot at that weird angle from Evil Dead where Ash and Cheryl see the bridge for the first time. There is also a scene that is akin to Ash fighting his own hand requiring Bruce to do some physical stunts, and it is just wonderful.
Having personally viewed this episode multiple times…seriously, like Â times, I can say without hyperbole that this is what Evil Dead fans have been waiting for. The original crew of Raimi, Tapert, and Campbell are back together and it’s like they were never apart. With plenty of blood, guts, and humor, Ash Vs Evil Dead should please even the most jaded Evil Dead fan, and it’s already been picked up for a 2nd season, so what does that tell ya?
EPISODE RECAP (SPOILER ALERT)
The episode serves as a re-introduction to Ash Williams who, although 20 years older, is still pretty immature and cheesy, and only worried about one thing…getting some ass. He struggles to put his girdle on then strikes some poses in front of the mirror. Then, he grabs not 1, but 2 Magnum condoms, and heads out to the dive bar trolling for some last call tail. His trademark knight’s glove hand has been replaced by a rosewood hand, for which he’s made up a story about saving a kid from a train to get action from a milfy barfly. As they get it on in the bathroom in over the top Ash style, she turns her head to reveal she is a Deadite, scaring off Ash. She turns back and they go back to it.
When Ash gets back to his trailer, he opens a trunk and pulls out the Necronomicon, and notices a mostly empty bag that held is weed stash. He flashes back to a night with a cute blonde when he tried to get in her pants with some “poetry,” so he reads from the Necronomicon and all hell breaks loose.
Officers Amanda Fisher and Carson are responding to a call at a house that results in a Deadite encounter, Carson dead, and Fisher plagued with visions of Deadites.
Ash has traded in his S-Mart blues for Value Stop reds. The job it is still shitty, but he has a couple good friends and co-workers: Pablo (Santiago), sporting a “Kramer” haircut, pleasant demeanor and undying adoration for Ash, and Kelly (DeLorenzo), a spunky, cute, tough girl with a sexy, raspy voice. It’s a good thing they are around because, Ash is going to need all the help he can get.
Once everything starts going South, however, in usual Ash fashion, he runs home and plans on getting out of dodge. Pablo and Kelley track him down and try to talk him into finishing what he started, but it takes more than talk to convince him, though, say a trailer park full of Deadites. Ash steps on the floor, his shotgun jumps out of the floor like Luke’s lightsaber out of R2 in Jedi, and he dispatches the Deadite. Then when he goes to get the iconic chainsaw from behind a shower curtain, another Deadite is waiting and a bloody fight ensues with the awesome dramatic arming of the chainsaw and death of the Deadite.
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