Ash vs. Evil Dead, a Cult Classic Reborn

Kyle Lacey, Junior Staff Writer

The hit cult classic, The Evil Dead, has recently been revamped to a new television series on Starz. Set in the same universe of the original films, the series takes place several years later after Ash returns from being transported into the past where he is left in Army of Darkness.  Ash mistakenly opens the book of the dead (the Necronomicon) while trying to impress a random young woman in his rickety old trailer. Upon reading its contents, he reawakens the dead, allowing evil to once again roam the earth– third time’s the charm, right? Ash, along with several companions, must then travel back to the cabin in the woods to stop the book and once again defeat the evil in the world… or so we thought.

The series is a direct continuation of Sam Raimi’s original trilogy, replacing the original idea to have the sequal as a full length film to the trilogy. Starz made an official announcement in November 2014 that it would begin to air the show in the next year. The first episode aired on Oct. 31st, 2015 (Halloween, what a premiere night!), with the series ending on January 2nd, 2016. Starz also renewed the series for a second season, which should premiere this year. The original composer for the trilogy, Joseph LoDuca, returned for the series, along with several other project members. Recently (Jan. 8) Starz CEO, Chris Albrecht, said “development is moving full speed ahead [for the second season].” Albrecht also said he had seen “the first script a couple days ago, [and it] looks really good; second seasons are so important for series, that’s the difference between making a movie and making a series. The cast really gelled through the first season. They appropriately got a lot of acknowledgment from the fans and press. We’re really excited. This is a series. I think it’s got the legs of a real series. The storylines and what I’ve seen on paper back that up. We’re on track for another season in 2016.”

Ash vs. Evil Dead received a Rotten Tomatoes score of 98% (with the average rating 8/10, 44 reviews were counted with only one being rotten), top critics on the site gave it a 100% ( with the average rating of 7.5/10, 17 reviews were counted with them all being fresh), and it received an audience score of 94% (with an average rating of  9.2/10, based off of 1306 user ratings.)

Personally, I’m a huge fan of the entire Evil Dead franchise, beginning when I saw Friday the 13th. That peaked my interest in the classic horror film genre, including the Evil Dead. I recently got a chance to binge watch the series. The show most definitely reflects the movies tone of comedic horror, leaving viewers begging for more. When I finally watched episode ten, I was super bummed that the series hit its end at ten episodes (rather than the usual twelve for a series). If you are into classic horror or just want a good laugh, this show is definitely for you. Bruce totally nails Ash’s original arrogant attitude, while also keeping his bravado and heroism in tact. Ash’s sidekicks help to amplify Ash’s morality and humanity, allowing the viewer to really sympathize in moments of distress rather than just assume he’s an ignorant brawn, for example when his new found lover is impaled on the mounted deer head in the cabin (the same deer head that mockingly laughs in his face in Evil Dead II,). As well as sympathize for his love interest as her partner is killed in the exact same way. The cruel irony. You can also see this at the end of episode ten, where his worry is evident as his surrogate kids (sidekicks) venture off to complete their own missions. Overall, I’m highly anticipating season two and can’t wait to see where The Evil Dead will travel next.