Holy smokes! This past weekend, ASH VS EVIL DEAD just wrapped up their second season on Starz, and boy was it quite a ride!
First and foremost, can we just take a moment to acknowledge how amazing it is that Bruce Campbell is back as Ash? For years, fans have begged, pleaded and demanded for the return of the EVIL DEAD franchise, and over the course of the last year, we’ve gotten over 12 hours of some of the craziest, zaniest horror/comedy goodness we could possibly want!
While season one had its strong points (that killer pilot helmed by Sam Raimi himself, a slew of memorable one-liners), overall, Season Two felt like a far more polished and consistent season. Thankfully, the gore and FX were 99 percent practical this season, with only a hint here and there of CGI enhancements, and Bruce himself has never been funnier or better as Ash. The supporting cast consisting of Dana DeLorenzo (Kelly), Ray Santiago (Pablo) and Lucy Lawless (Ruby) all got their chance to shine. And granted, while I loved almost everything about this season, minus the finale (this could be why), we have to give it up for their ambitious ideas, all done for the sake of both grossing us out and making us laugh out loud.
There were so many outrageous EVIL DEAD moments sprinkled throughout the entire season, but here are my 5 personal favorites!
Ash vs little… whatever the hell that thing was!
In the second to last episode, Ash decides to use the book to time travel back to 1982 (since he went to medieval times once!) and stop his younger self from ever finding the Necronomicon. When he enters the old cabin, he accidentally steps on a rusty nail. It causes his entire leg to go black, and after deciding not to cut off another appendage, he theorizes that an evil “bite” like this is akin to a snake bite. He stabs his leg, and begins to suck out the poison! In doing so, a little bugger starts poking at his stomach! What followed was a great call-back to him fighting the “little Ash’s” in ARMY OF DARKNESS. He uses cinnamon, Tabasco sauce and even boiling water before this thing pictured above came out of him, and when it did… well, it was far more horrific than we could’ve ever imagined! Easily one of the funniest gags this season.
The Return of Cheryl!
The first season had its fair share of nods and homages to the original films. What could they possibly do for season 2? Early on, Ash decides to return home to Elk Grove, Michigan where he’s been dubbed by the locals as “Ashy Slashy” for supposedly murdering all his friends at the infamous cabin in the woods. While staying at his childhood home, he’s surprised by the sudden reappearance of his sister Cheryl, reprised by the great Ellen Sandweiss from the original EVIL DEAD! It’s always great to see someone from the EVIL DEAD family come back into the show, and Sandweiss looks like she hasn’t aged a day! But really, it was some of her one-liners that put the outrageous level of the episode over-the-top, in particular “I’m going to make like a tree and fuck you!”
Ash’s Car Doing A Killer CHRISTINE Imitation!
Another “character” in the EVIL DEAD franchise, and in the Sam Raimi movie-verse in general, is his good ol’ Oldsmobile. When a bunch of teens steal Ash’s main mode of transportation and read from the book, his car comes alive and becomes a demon on 4 wheels! Best moment: it jumping up on top of one of those teens and ripping his face off. Ouch! (But cool!)
Another welcome addition to this season was Ted Raimi, Sam’s little brother who got his start in horror and went through hell to play the possessed version of Henrietta in EVIL DEAD 2. He’s introduced early in the season as Chet Kaminski, Ash’s childhood best friend! But in the final 2 episodes, when Ash travels back in time to the events of EVIL DEAD 2, we get another fun surprise. Henrietta in the basement of the cabin! At first, she appears as a sweet little old lady, but then, she morphs into the same possessed version we know and love from EVIL DEAD 2, with Ted Raimi back behind that make-up! There’s so many fun moments in their epic 2-episode battle, including Ash’s chainsaw getting stuck in Henrietta’s gooey torso, but the one that made me wince and laugh simultaneously was when Henrietta squirted corroded milk out of her bosom straight into Ash’s mouth! Good thing Ash downs a can of beer before almost every scene.
Getting Into A Whole Mess Of Shit!
Prior to the premiere of Season 2, I was fortunate enough to get a sneak peek at the first 2 episodes of the new season. Naturally, I invited a few DEAD-heads over to watch it with me, because come on! Any EVIL DEAD is best shared with a group of friends! We were with it, liked what we saw, were laughing at a lot of the gags of episode 1, then episode 2 started. Still with it, still digging it, and then… the “colon monster” appeared. Ruby hid the Necronomicon in the corpse of a dead body at the morgue, so Ash is there to retrieve it. What he doesn’t count on is the “colon monster” the sprouts out of the belly of the cadaver that held onto it for a bit. It wraps its tentacles around Ash’s neck and drags him… straight up the corpses butt! Seriously? I don’t know if any moment in the EVIL DEAD franchise can possibly be more outrageous than this. My friends and I were literally clutching onto each other, crying from laughter, hardly able to breathe.
ASH VS EVIL DEAD Season Two was an absolute blast from start to finish, and it was also my comedic relief on Sunday evenings after a dour season of THE WALKING DEAD. It made for fun television, and the perfect palette cleanser. I’m looking forward to revisiting the entire season when it comes to Blu-Ray next year, and here’s hoping Season 3 is equally, if not more fun and outrageous!