Hello and Hallo-welcome to our final blog of the season! Please, hold your weeping to the end, and join your bloggers, Andy and Lilly, in their excitement over the return of Ash Williams to their lives.
Today’s (final) film offering: Ash Vs. Evil Dead, “El Jefe” (which isn’t a film, a fact duly noted by your bloggers!)
Lilly: This month, we’ve been delving into the world of Evil Dead to make sure we were ready for one thing: the end of days. On top of that, it made watching a reboot series starring Ash all the easier, since we were caught up in all the mythos. That was also helpful.
Andy: And whaddaya know, Starz have just started showing a new series, following our favourite chainsaw-and-shotgun wielding hero!
Lilly: Ash vs. Evil Dead takes place thirty years (to the day) after Ash’s horrible cabin vacation, and we find him working at a Value Mart and rocking a wooden hand. He is still Ash–a bit dumb, a bit of an asshole, minus both ‘bit’s–and he has done something incredibly dumb. He’s read from the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis. Uhwhat.
Cue evil! And dead! The evil dead!
Andy: The scene where he realises what he’s done is pretty funny, as well as his attempts to immediately run far, far away. He’s the only one who knows how dangerous this all is, but he’s also a coward and an idiot – one who is essentially working the same job he was when we last saw him in one of the endings to Army of Darkness (presumably the canonical one now).
His best moments though, come when he flashes back to the night in question. Buffoon he may be, but he was clearly very disturbed by what went on in that remote cabin, and his mild PTSD helps to humanise him, as well as generate sympathy for someone who is a fairly reprehensible character.
Lilly: See, yes. I hated Ash in Army of Darkness for exactly that reason–he didn’t seem to show any real…realness. Like, I know it was a comedy horror film, but this is comedy horror, too, and it took a moment to give us an insight into Ash that made him a little less sarcasm asshole monster and a little more a guy who had a really, really bad experience, so is just going to punch and sex his way through life to try and forget it. That I can totally get behind.
Also, hey! There is another character besides Ash! I mean, there are of course side characters around Ash, with his little Honduran friend and the girl that is way, way, waywayway too young for him, but there is also Officer Fisher, who suffers one of the creepiest nights on the job ever, and is somehow involved in all this. Oh, and Lucy Lawless! Xena! Xena is in it! Very exciting. Not that we know anything about her yet, but still.
Andy: Yeah, unlike a movie, this is essentially a pilot – there’s a lot of stuff being set up and not a lot being knocked down yet. But there’s enough here to hook a fan.
Lilly: This first episode, El Jefe (meaning The Boss), is where we see Ash confront himself and the role he has to play in this whole evil taking over the world thing, and it’s a fantastic opener to the series. It was funny, with just enough asshole-saying-dick-things moments balanced out with physical comedy and good script writing, and it had more of the tone of Evil Dead 2 than any of the other films in the series.
Andy: It was actually funny, but also gory and grim, with several callbacks but scope to expand the mythology – which I suspect they’ll have to do to maintain some momentum in the plot.
Lilly: I am actually really curious and excited about what is to come, and if that isn’t a sign of a good premier episode, I don’t know what is!
Andy: Check it out. It’s Groovy.