365 Days of Horror, Day 1: Ash vs. Evil Dead 1×01 – El Jefe

[I can’t fucking believe I’m doing this.

But since I consume an already unreasonable amount of horror, might as well. I’ll mix it up with feature-length stuff, TV shows, live theatre and shorts, but for every day over the next year, up to and including Hallowe’en 2016, I will be writing up some drivel on something horror-related. Wish me luck!]

ash evil dead groovy

Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell are back! So I’ve been waiting for Ash vs. Evil Dead since it was announced, and by the leathery biting pages of the Necronomicon, boy was it beyond groovy. In no way did it pander to the fans, feel stale or veer into post-post-modern, self-referential territory. It was just glorious. Six minutes in and I was already cackling like a maniacal Deadite; halfway through I was contorting my face at the balletic projectile gore; and in the last ten minutes I actually clapped and squeed and jumped a little in my seat becaUSE CHAINSAW

ash vs evil dead el jefe

It should be noted that the show sticks with the tone and portrayal of Ash from Army of Darkness, rather than the played-for-straight of Evil Dead 1 and 2. Ash is a cringeworthy, arrogant douche; at his age, living in a trailer, still working a shite job at an S-Mart-type store, it should seem tragic on paper, but he still gets to bang the odd trashy bar chick and doesn’t seem in any way disappointed with his life. But then, mid-said-bang, when his bangee’s face temporarily transforms into a Deadite face, he remembers a drunken night in which he and some prior trashy bar chick read stuff aloud from the Necronomicon and basically re-unleashed hell.

ash vs evil dead el jefe

By the end of the episode, he teams up with two fresh young recruits (his coworkers, to whom he’s fairly indifferent, aside from the chick), and my god CHAINSAW THE CHAINSAW IT’S JUST ALL SO GODDAMN PERFECT.

ash vs evil dead el jefe

There’s also a B story introducing a young cop who’s traumatised/confused from, well, having to kill a murder suspect plus her partner after they got Deadited in the face. It’ll be interesting to see those two finally meet. There’s also that pitch-fucking-perfect Evil Dead humour – absurd and madcap and screwball but with gleefully gratuitous violence – which all adds up to where the hell did those 43 minutes go?

ash vs evil dead el jefe

Can’t wait for next week. What a cracking, fitting start to this series.

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