Saturday 9 September 2017

Ash vs Evil Dead ★★★★☆

Listen up you primitive screwheads…

25 years ago Sam Raimi gave us Army of Darkness, the final movie in the Evil Dead trilogy and the last outing of the series’ bumbling hero, Ash Williams. Now Ash returns as a middle aged slacker living alone in a trailer park, still working at Value Stop (formerly S-Mart) but now wrestling with a girdle. That is until he accidentally unleashes a new plague of Deadites. As you do.

Let’s take a look at whether Ash Vs Evil Dead lives up to its cult pedigree.

The Good

When it was announced that Raimi was back to helm a TV adaptation of the Evil Dead franchise with Bruce Campbell returning as the iconic Ash Williams, I have to admit I was more than a little excited. Yet after such a long absence would the magic and originality of the movies still be there and would they transfer to the small screen?

To sum it up in a phrase, Hail to the king baby.

Everything we loved about the previous films is there but it's been cranked up to the next level; some of Ash's one liners are comedy gold, but the gore hounds will be not be disappointed as there’s some truly toe curling moments of unpleasantness in the dispatch of some of the Deadites. Rest assured that all your decapitated granny needs are satiated.

Ash Williams is a character that Bruce Campbell was born to play and he really is the star of the show, although Ray Santiago as Pablo and Dana DeLorenzo as Kelly play their parts as Ash's faithful sidekicks extremely well. The production values are excellent, especially where the makeup and special effects are concerned, and it’s clear that the series is a labour of love for all involved.

The Bad

It's not always easy to find the right balance between comedy and horror and on the whole Ash vs Evil Dead gets it spot on, but just occasionally the humour threatens to become a little bit self indulgent at the expense of tension. To put this in context for fans, think more Army of Darkness than the original Evil Dead.

The Verdict

If you weren’t a fan of the original Evil Dead movies (what’s wrong with you!?), you're not going to be won over by Ash vs Evil Dead. That being said, every other person with a taste for nostalgia and passion for schlocky, classic horror will love seeing Ash rediscover his mojo and be reunited with his chainsaw hand and trusty boomstick.

Wayne Baker

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