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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Horror DVD Of The Week: Ash vs Evil Dead, Season One (2015)


Having successfully hidden from the demons he awoke 30 years earlier, ageing stockboy and would-be lothario Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) accidentally summons them again and finds himself back fighting monsters once more.

And this time the fate of the world is at stake.

With co-workers Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) along for the ride, Ash and his friends begin an Evil Dead road trip, pursued by state trooper Amanda Fisher (Jill Marie Jones) and the enigmatic Ruby (Lucy Lawless). Ultimate destination? Back where it all began for Ash.

The first season of Ash vs Evil Dead comes in 10 half-hour episodes, but is, essentially, one long, breathlessly-paced, movie, peppered with cheesy one-liners and chocked to the gills with outrageously over-the-top gore that puts the Grand in Grand Guignol, served up with buckets of blood, and disgusting mutilations, all delivered with tongue firmly in cheek.

Which isn't to say it doesn't go to some dark places on occasion and the emotional horror can be very real at times.

The spectacular special effects (most of which are practical) harken back to the original movies, while blending in some modern twists on the mythology.

A good use of flashbacks (to Evil Dead II) also keeps reminding us of the deep backstory.

Initially when I learned of the show's half-hour episode format I didn't see how it could work with this subject matter, but the truth is it means there's no padding here, every episode is trimmed to the bone and as action-packed as possible while still maintaining the momentum of the narrative.

Except for the fact that I already knew a second season of Ash vs Evil Dead was coming, I might have preferred a more definitive ending to season one, but the slick writing and direction tells me that any dangling plot threads will be addressed in the upcoming episodes.

Next Season:

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