Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) leads the life of a swinging stud. Working at ValueShop and scoring women with stories about his missing hand, Ash thinks he has it all. Unfortunately, Ash doesn’t learn from his lessons and when he reads from the Necronomicon, evil is once again released on the world. As Deadites threaten to destroy Earth, Ash finds himself teamed with his coworkers Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) and Pablo (Ray Santiago) while being pursued by Detective Amanda Fisher (Jill Marie Jones) and a mysterious woman named Ruby (Lucy Lawless). The evil has never been greater, and Ash has never been cooler!
Ash vs the Evil Dead—Season 1 aired from October 30, 2015 to January 2, 2016 on Starz. The series serves as a quasi-sequel to the Evil Dead films which began in 1981 with The Evil Dead and ended with Evil Dead in 2013. The series was relatively well received by critics and fans.
For years, fans of the Evil Dead have been promised a sequel by Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell. With both behind the camera and in front of the camera in agreement, it seemed strange that the cult films couldn’t muster up a modest budget to greenlight either Evil Dead IV or Army of Darkness II. When Evil Dead (aka the remake) was released, it seemed like the death knell for an Ash themed sequel…except with one surprising cameo in the credits. Ash vs Evil Dead is the sequel fans have been wanting.
There is a big caveat involving Ash vs. Evil Dead. From all appearances, Army of Darkness never occurred in this universe (at least not yet). There is no reference to Ash’s trip into the past (but his picture in the Necronomicon does look a lot like his trip). Fans will have to accept this but it is reminded that none of the Evil Dead movies really fit together correctly. Ash vs. Evil Dead—Season 1 is primarily a sequel to Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn, and that is ok.
Bruce Campbell continues to drive the series. He’s over the top, a hack actor, and exactly what the goofy combination of horror and comedy needs to survive. With his combination of friends played by Dana DeLorenzo and Ray Santiago, it almost has a Napoleon Dynamite feel if Napoleon Dynamite and his friends solved crimes like Scooby Doo. Raimi brought in his ringer Lucy Lawless to liven up the series, and I did like the doomed Jill Marie Jones as a romantic Javert foil.
The series does follow the shooting style and visuals of Sam Raimi. It is actually probably better looking than the first three Evil Dead films in effects, but it also sometimes is a bit much in big chunks. With only thirty minute episodes, you find yourself binging this series easily and all the visuals can become eye-popping and overwhelming after a while.
Ash vs Evil Dead is a fun and quick ride. The ten episode series really flies by and leaves you waiting for the sequel. It is good that Ash is so fallible and you just keep waiting for his next mistake. Ash’s last mistake sets up the season’s cliffhanger and leaves you looking forward to the second season…the Deadites will rise again!
Ash vs. Evil Dead—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:
1.1 El Jefe Airdate: 10/30/15
Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) is on the run from his past, but his past is about to come back to haunt him. When he accidentally reads from the Necronomicon (to impress a girl), the book unleashes evil once again. As a detective named Amanda Fisher (Jill Marie Jones) deals with effects of Ash’s actions, Ash finds himself team with his ValueShop coworkers Pablo Simon Bolivar (Ray Santiago) and Kelly Maxwell (Dana DeLorenzo) as the evil threatens their world.
1.2 Bait Airdate: 11/07/15
Kelly takes off to find if her mother (Mimi Rogers) is alive, and Ash is forced to follow her with Pablo when he learns that Kelly has taken the book. Amanda learns that a man named Ash might be behind the death of her partner and the killings and seeks clues to his identity. Ash and Pablo find things with Kelly’s mother and father (Phil Peleton) might not be all they seem and have an uncomfortable dinner.
1.3 Books from Beyond Airdate: 11/14/15
Ash, Pablo, and Kelly’s quest for answers leads them to Books from Beyond and its owner Lionel (Kelson Henderson) who could unlock the secrets of the Necronomicon. Unfortunately, Amanda has also found Books from Beyond and is setting a trap for Ash. Meanwhile, a mysterious woman (Lucy Lawless) is also in pursuit of Ash and the Necronomicon and nothing will get in her way.
1.4 Brujo Airdate: 11/21/15
Pablo reveals his uncle (Hemky Madera) is a brujo and can potentially discover how to seal the Necronomicon. Lucy finds her encounter with the demon Eligos has altered her in ways she won’t reveal. Amanda finds an ally in Ruby who reveals her connection to Ash. When Ash enters his own mind, the truth about Lucy could be revealed.
1.5 The Host Airdate: 11/28/15
Kelly is possessed by Eligos but is framing Ash. As Pablo’s uncle tries to exorcise the demon from Ash, Kelly makes her move to gain control of Pablo.
1.6 The Killer of Killers Airdate: 12/05/15
Ash, Kelly, and Pablo move on from the home of Pablo’s uncle, and Pablo finds his uncle’s amulet could be a key in fighting the evil of the Necronomicon. An encounter at Pablo’s uncle’s home with the Deadites sets Amanda off on her own in her quest to bring in Ash. Ash reconnects with an old friend named Lem (Peter Feeney) and learns Lem could have something he needs. Ash, Lucy, and Pablo debate going to the cabin for a final showdown with the Deadites but discover that a roadside diner could be their final battle.
1.7 Fire in the Hole Airdate: 12/12/15
A trip to Lem’s militia base reveals that Lem has already returned as a Deadite. With Amanda now teamed with Ash, Pablo, and Lucy, the militia suspects they are with the government seeking to destroy them…but the Deadites might kill them first. Plus, Ruby is back and hot on the trail of Ash.
1.8 Ashes to Ashes Airdate: 12/19/15
Ash has returned to the cabin where the horror has all started but his attempts to ditch Amanda, Pablo, and Kelly have failed. When Ash’s old hand shows up, things could get bloody.
1.9 Bound in Flesh Airdate: 12/26/15
Amanda has been killed by the evil Ash, and Pablo and Kelly find hiker Heather (Samara Weaving) and her friends (Indiana Evans and Ido Drent) could become the evil’s next victims if they don’t get them out of the forest. As Ash tries to stop the Necronomicon forever, the return of Ruby could reveal the book’s true origins!
1.10 The Dark One Airdate: 01/02/16
Ruby has been revealed as the Necronomicon’s creator and she intends to unleash all the horror inside. With Pablo now wearing the face of the Necronomicon and Kelly and Heather fighting for their lives, Ash must make a big decision that could damn the Earth forever!