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Preview Review: Ash vs. Evil Dead

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Ash vs Evil Dead / STARZ

Ash vs Evil Dead / STARZ

Groovy.

It’s such a laid back word to show excitement for something, as if you were in the middle of watching Justin Bieber and Drake fight to the death in the Thunderdome and your friend tells you the food vendors just started selling popcorn at 20% off. Groovy. It’s cool and all, but not an event that’s going to make me drop everything and run to the nearest concession stand and miss Mel Gibson drop from the top of the dome with a grenade vest. Sorry, I just don’t find deals that important sometimes.

So when I heard that the decades-old rumor of Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell getting together to create a new chapter to the Evil Dead franchise was actually going to come true, my response was, “Groovy.” Yup, that’s it. It was as important as a deal on popcorn in the grander scheme of things. My response probably would have been much more excited ten years ago, or even five years ago, but I had been strung along for so long that I had stopped caring so much. The final nail in the coffin of my eagerness for Army of Darkness 2 or Ash vs. Evil was the stellar Evil Dead remake. They did it. They made Evil Dead as scary as I remember when my uncle let me watch it at eight years old, instead of how campy I realized it was when I had grown up. It was a great movie to me at both ages, just for different reasons.

The Evil Dead / Renaissance Pictures

The Evil Dead / Renaissance Pictures

Now we have the cable network STARZ finally pulling the trigger on my childhood boomstick by creating the Ash vs. Evil Dead television series, created by Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell, produced by the two and Rob Tapert, and starring Bruce Campbell, which is all any Evil Dead ever wanted since Army of Darkness. The series is set to be released October 31st, 2015.

But how fresh can it be after the idea has sat for so many years? Did it ferment or spoil? We only have the preview to go on, so let’s have at it.

I can honestly say that groovy doesn’t do the trailer justice. We may not be able to really tell if Ash vs. Evil Dead is going to rehash and drag out the entire Evil Dead canon like the Robert Rodriguez From Dusk Till Dawn series on the El Rey Network, but it looks like Ash will be picking up right when he is talking to a co-worker at S-Mart about his adventures killing deadites, except now he’s at Value Stop (probably because S-Mart is now a thing) and the co-worker he is talking to looks like Ash’s replacement to killing ghouls.

What follows seems to be Ash’s version of Jedi training mixed with a good, old-fashioned Griswold road trip, some self-deprecating jokes about Bruce Campbell/Ash’s age, and buckets of blood in HD goodness. It’s the sort of follow-up that not just extends the Evil Dead franchise, but updates it in a way that holds true to the original. This is not to say that the remake was bad. It was just different. Higher polish, updated, and lacking those over-the-top scenes that seem so bad that they’re good. Ash vs. Evil Dead looks like it will be good on par with the original films. And that’s, well… groovy. Yup, still groovy, but in the cool, Bruce Campbell-y way that says, “All is well in the universe.”


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Patrick began collecting a library of VHS tapes, DVDs, and CDs when he was young, and continues to build a library that could easily double as a video store and/or a revitalized Tower Records.

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