I came to Evil Dead 2 late. After all, in 1987 I was only six, and as cool as my mom was – not censoring me and such – she didn’t go out of her way to show me gory stuff. Years later, when I was eleven or so, I started renting my own videos with money I earned mowing lawns. I was already obsessed with horror movies, even though at that time I had only seen a handful.
The fixation came a couple of years earlier. My mom took me to the movies with my aunt. We saw two films that day – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for me, and Arachnophobia for them. I was a crazy TMNT fan, because what kid wasn’t at that point, but it was Arachnophobia that stuck with me. We all know that movie isn’t all that fear inducing, but at the time it freaked me out. I was checking my shoes, drawers, blankets, and shower for spiders for weeks.
I became fascinated by how much the movie got to me and loved it, so when I started renting videos, they were almost always from the horror section – which was pretty substantial for such a small town. Funny enough, I had rented Army of Darkness several times without ever knowing that it was a sequel to something. When I finally picked up Evil Dead II from the shelf – they didn’t have Evil Dead – I was blown away, not just by the movie itself, but from the moment I realized it was the same characters as AoD. Obviously, like everyone worth a damn, I’ve been a big fan ever since, so when Ash vs. Evil Dead was announced, I was over the bloody red moon.
I don’t have STARZ, and I go back and forth on whether to torrent stuff, so I didn’t see the show until I got it on blu-ray. With the release of the second season just last week, I decided to re-watch season one, and have had it on for a few days in the background while I worked. Going into it the first time, I was convinced that it would let me down, and not be a worthy addition to the franchise. I mean, think of all the other shows based off horror movies, and you can see why I would be skeptical. Ever seen the Friday the 13th show…..yeah. I am thrilled to say that the show is amazing, and truly holds up to the impossibly high bar I set for it.
The one liners come fast and furious, both funny and so-horrible-it’s funny. All of the effects are great, and keep with the Sam Raimi signature style for the most part. The music is equally wonderful; both the score and song choices. Bruce Campbell hasn’t really changed at all, and that is a good thing. In fact, I would venture to say that his best portrayal of Ash is in this show. As silly as it all is, the character gets a little more depth. The addition of Lucy Lawless as Ruby makes for an interesting WB reunion, and she is still a badass. I think her character gets a little more interesting in season two, but that’s not really a complaint.
To give away the plot would be a massive disservice for anyone who hasn’t gotten the chance to see it yet, but in a nut shell: Ash and his companions go on a quest to destroy the deadites by destroying the Necronomicon, which eventually takes them back to the cabin and an ending that I didn’t expect. I may do another one of these when I finish season two, but we’ll see. I give this season 4.5 stars only because the second season is better – so far anyway, I’ve got two episodes to go.
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