Saturday, 20 August 2016

Popcorn & Coffee: Ash vs Evil Dead: The Complete First Season

TV-MA; 294 minutes; $49.99 - Blu-ray; $39.98 - DVD
Arriving on DVD and Blu-ray tomorrow from Anchor Bay Entertainment is Ash vs Evil Dead: The Complete First Season, featuring all 10 episodes from the hit STARZ Original series. 

Set 30 years after the original Evil Dead trilogy, Bruce Campbell returns as Ashley "Ash" Williams, the hero from film series. Despite being a little older, he's still the same old Ash with the same dead end job as a stock boy. 

After a drunken night trying to impress a woman, he accidentally recites the incantation from the Book of the Dead and unleashes the Kandarian Demon, again. Of course, Ash is determined to fix his deadly mistake by seeking out a book dealer who might be able to read the Necronomicon, but with the evil awaiting for him around ever corner, he going to need some help this time.

Yep, this time Ash has two sidekicks - Pablo Simon Bolivar (played by Ray Santiago), a young co-worker who thinks Ash is a hero, and Kelly Maxwell (played by Dana DeLorenzo), a new co-worker who was just trying to get home to her father, but ends up tagging along with Ash.

With his house trailer attached to his Oldsmobile, Ash, Pablo and Kelly head out to stop the Kandarain Demon, if they can outrun a state trooper, Amanda Fisher (played by Jill Marie Jones) and a stranger named Ruby (played by Lucy Lawless), who will do anything to get a hold of the Necronomicon.

Final Thoughts: While I became a horror fan at an early age in the late '80s, the Evil Dead franchise never hit my radar until I came across Army of Darkness (the third film) on the Sci-Fi Channel (now know as Syfy) when I was a teenager. I was fan of short-lived The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., which also starred Bruce Campbell, so of course I watched the movie. Though the film was edited for television, I liked the film quite a bit. Eventually, I found the movie, as well as the second film, Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn, on VHS at a Best Buy. Later, I rented the original movie at a video rental shop (Remember those?) So I basically saw the Evil Dead trilogy backwards.

Anyway, I (just like other fans) had pretty much given up on the hope of a third sequel when the remake was released in 2013, so it was a bit of a surprise when Starz announced the spinoff television series with the return of Bruce Campbell as Ash.

With a 30-year gap, it could have been a complete disaster, but Ash vs Evil Dead manages to successfully adapt the humor and gore from the films to the television series. Besides from the pilot episode "El Jefe" which runs for 41 minutes, the other 9 episodes are between 25 to 37 minutes. 

The picture quality on the 2-disc Blu-ray set is topnotch. 

Special Features on the Blu-ray includes:
  • Audio Commentaries on All Episodes
  • Inside the World of Ash
  • How to Kill a Deadite
  • Best of Ash

Overall, Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete First Season is a blast to watch, well, as long as you like one-liners, a 30-year-old decapitated evil possessed hand, and tons of splattered bloods & gore. Season two kickoffs on October 2nd, so there's plenty of time to binge watch the entire first season.

*I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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