Spoiler-Free Review: ASH VS. EVIL DEAD–Episode 01
Before we get into that thought, allow me to set the scene. I attended New York Comic Con this past weekend, and ASH. VS. EVIL DEAD pretty much ruled the entire show. Smack dab in the middle of the front lot was an exhibit that allowed fans to go into the trailer that Ash lives in on the new show.
On Saturday at 3pm, over a thousand EVIL DEAD fans filed into the historic Hammerstein Ballroom for the ASH VS. EVIL DEAD panel. Moderated by Kevin Smith, the panel featured the cast of the show–Bruce Campbell, Lucy Lawless, Ray Santiago, Dana DeLorenzo, Jill Marie Jones, showrunner Craig DiGregorio and the man himself–Sam Raimi. Bruce came out to show a clip of the movie, and then Sam interrupted him, making fun of him for not bringing anything new to the NYCC crowd. As Bruce stammered, Sam said “Why don’t we just show them the whole first episode right now?” The crowd erupted, the lights went out, and before I knew what the hell was happening, I was watching something I’ve been waiting more than 20 years for.
So, how was it? Freaking fantastic. I will spoil nothing for you that you have not already seen in the trailer. What I will say, is that the trailer is very representative of the show, in all the best ways. ASH VS. EVIL DEAD is gory, funny and legitimately scary at times. My biggest concern going into the show was the half hour run time, but after seeing episode one, I think this may turn out to be a strength. The show moves fast, and for this property, that’s a great thing.
Bruce Campbell is hysterical as Ash–he’s a complete jackass, and the same chauvinistic jerk you remember from when you last saw him in ARMY OF DARKNESS. The show is completely over the top in every way–the gore, the humor, all of the characters–everything. If you’re looking for a more realistic, gritty take on the genre like WALKING DEAD–look elsewhere. But if you’ve been waiting two decades for the return of fun, ’80s’-style horror, then you’ll be grinning like an idiot for the entire show, just like I was.
Seeing the premiere with the cast of the show and a concert hall full of screaming fans was absolutely amazing. Every line, every kill, every laugh elicited roars from the crowd, and the episode ended with a mic drop moment that caused the roof to blow off the place.
So, to recap–EVIL DEAD fans, you have nothing to worry about. ASH VS. EVIL DEAD is exactly what we had hoped it would be.
Here’s a couple blurry pics from the panel–they were pretty strict about not filming anything, so I didn’t have a chance to get anything better.
I’ll be live-tweeting the premiere of ASH VS. EVIL DEAD on Halloween at 10pm EST under the #OctFearFest hashtag. This Thursday at 8:30pm EST, I’ll be live-tweeting EVIL DEAD 2 and on 10/21 I’ll be live-tweeting ARMY OF DARKNESS. Jump on Twitter and join the discussion as we celebrate EVIL DEAD all month long!