It was with absolutely zero trepidation that I plunked down my subscription for the otherwise seemingly useless Starz channels that I could watch the new TV series, Ash vs. Evil Dead. I'm not a grade-A screwhead, but I am a fan of the Evil Dead movies, star Bruce Campbell and director Sam Raimi.
We also get Dana DeLorenzo and Ray Santiago as the new generation to ride shotgun with Ash.
It certainly didn't hurt my decision to get onboard that the show would co-star Lucy Lawless, who - spoilers - does not actually appear in the pilot aside from her credit. So, sorry about that.
What the pilot does have is a remarkable mix of comedy and horror in the Evil Dead 2 tradition, a supporting cast that seems to fit well into the Evil Dead spirit, and a parallel storyline with actress Jill Marie Jones, who looks vaguely familiar because she was briefly on Sleepy Hollow.
I don't really know what you people want to hear. It's a first episode, and much like Supergirl, it's working itself out as a show, but it's one that will rely perhaps on less of a single tone for the characters. Because if Bruce Campbell has figured anything out in this life, it's how to be Ash and what will make his fans cheer. The show is a hard-MA or R rating, and the gore factor is tuned up to Evil Dead 2 levels with improbable amounts of blood in the human body, and Raimi clearly happy to exploit CGI to get more creative exploding heads and whatnot. While the non-practical FX take a beat to adjust to, of course it makes sense that the show would exploit the potential there.
Ash seems to have accidentally unleashed hell on Earth once again, but rather than doing so in a secluded cabin, he's let it out in suburban Michigan in a way that, frankly, it seems surprising he hasn't done in the previous 30 years since the events of Evil Dead 2 and his return to the world, which we can pin to 1985, meaning his return from Army of Darkness occurred during the correct timeframe.
Anyway, I'm pretty much in the bag for this one, so don't expect a lot of critical viewing of this show. My biggest fear was it would be neither funny nor scary, and before we ever even get the title up, bother were more than taken care of.
Oh, the show must have drawn in a massive flood of Starz subscribers, because it was renewed before it ever even aired. So, look forward to two seasons of Evil Dead mayhem.