I saw Army of Darkness in the theater when I was 11 years old, and it inexplicitly changed my life. It was funny, dark, full of adventure, and everything a child wanted in a film. At the time, I had no idea it was the last of a trilogy, so it wasn’t until a few years later that I saw Evil Dead 2, and then Evil Dead. Sure, I may have seen the story of Ashley J. Williams backward, but that didn’t make it any less enjoyable. The EVIL DEAD series was a staple of my up-bringing, and like many others, I was obsessed with it.
After clamoring for EVIL DEAD 4 for many years, I was stoked, like all of you, when Starz agreed to bring ASH VS. EVIL DEAD to the small screen. I was unsure what the continuing adventures of my favorite, reluctant, anti-hero might entail, but I was along for the ride. What followed was three seasons of a story that we had no idea what to expect, but it was even more of what we wanted. And now, ASH VS. EVIL DEAD THE COMPLETE SERIES has come home for you to enjoy on Blu-ray over and over again.
The Ash of ASH VS. EVIL DEAD seems exactly what you’d expect Ash to have grown up to be: a drunk, kind of racist, yet lovable asshole. While his did change as a person, his worldview (and personality) seems to be perpetually stuck in his hey-day. He’s kicked some deadite ass, and taken their names, but that was over twenty years ago, and yet, he’s still riding that wave. Everyone’s favorite cult classic actor, Bruce Campbell, plays Ash with glee, really letting lose and helping the character become what he was always meant to be. It’s sometimes hard to know where Ash ends and Campbell begins, but I’d say that this is one of Campbell’s best performances.
When we find him, he of course accidentally awakens the forces of darkness again, setting the course for one final battle of good versus evil. Joining him along the way are two kick-ass sidekicks, in the form of Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo). Both are perfect fodder and help keep him in check when he gets too out of hand.
The story of ASH VS. EVIL DEAD really runs the gauntlet, letting Campbell explore more of the original series mythology, while also adding new twists into the mix. In a world where we are constantly rebooting fan favorites or bringing revivals to the fold, ASH VS. EVIL DEAD is one of the few that rises to the top. It’s not a shameless cash grab by the original producing team; it’s a product that is lovingly done, to give the fans more of what they want. Even with the struggles behind the scenes with the series showrunners, the show still manages to hold true to what we love dearly.
I’ve avoided talking about the plot overall, and that’s with good reason. I want you to see if yourself if you have not already. It’s fun, it’s scary, it’s gory, and god damn, it was worth the wait. Hell, even going in with the knowledge that they swear this is the end of the series and the character, it’s still an emotionally satisfying end. Sure, Ash may have grown along the way, but he’s still that lecherous ass we know and love.
This complete set is jam packed with special features to keep you busy. The bulk of them come from Season 2 (my personal favorite), and really showcase the behind the scenes stuff that we, as fans, want. It’s pretty noticeable that Season 3 is lacking, as they knew they were not returning beyond, and that’s a little sad. It would have been great to see a retrospective view of the entire franchise, but I get it. But what Is there is fantastic.
The entire series is what we have been waiting for as fans. This complete set is definitely a must own for ALL horror fans, because it delivers the gore and the humor you’re wanting. Hail to the king, baby.