The Evil Dead franchise has a strong cult following and has made quite the resurgence in recent years with 2013’s reboot and a rumored official sequel in the works. Premiering on the Starz network also is the spin-off Ash vs. Evil Dead which has Bruce Campbell reprising his role as Ash Williams 30 years after the events of Army of Darkness. For any fan of the franchise or someone just looking for a groovy time, it’s a must-watch show.
After getting high and accidentally reading from the Necronomicon, Ash releases Deadites upon the unsuspecting world and only he can stop them. With the help of his ValueShop co-workers Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo), he must get back into killing shape and once again go up against the Kandarian Demon.
Now available on Blu-ray, the first season of Ash vs. Evil Dead is a great reintroduction to the franchise. Starz has done a wonderful job at capturing the same comedy, horror, and over-the-top gore you expect from the films. There’s clearly a preference for practical effects as CGI is kept to a minimum. It shows too because many scenes look absolutely amazing and some are even downright creepy, despite their humorous overtones. Evil Dead creator Sam Raimi wrote and directed the premiere episode, which is fantastic, and it only gets better from there.
The Blu-ray includes audio commentaries for all 10 episodes, which is a nice touch you don’t see on too many television shows these days. Bruce Campbell appears on all of them with additional appearances by Sam Raimi, Executive Producer Bob Tapert, Co-Executive Producer Ivan Raimi, and actors Dana Delorenzo, Ray Santiago, Jill Marie Jones, and Lucy Lawless.
The special features are somewhat sparse and include two featurettes and a montage promo. The best of the features is a behind-the-scenes look entitled Ash Inside the World which goes into detail about the production of each episode one by one. How to Kill a Deadite is just as it sounds as we get to see Bruce and friends explain in bloody detail the best methods for taking out the undead. I was somewhat disappointed with the Best of Ash featurette, though. It’s mostly just a promo featuring clips of Ash killing Deadites. After watching the season, it’s just repetitive.
Ash vs. Evil Dead may have flown under your radar when it debuted on Starz last year but now that it’s available on Blu-ray you have no excuse for not picking it up, especially if you enjoyed any of the previous films. You’ll definitely want to catch up before the season season premiere later this October.