First of all, it should be The Evil Dead, but that's the only complaint I have about Sam Raimi’s reboot, running on Stan here and Starz in the US. It’s way better than I imagined or hoped, partly because everyone – producers, writers, actors, everyone – has taken the cheesy awfulness of this idea and run hard with it. The balance between scares and larfs is pretty much just right and there were more than a few times while I was watching that I thought, “We really don’t need an adaptation of the Dave novels. They’ve been done.”
The premise is pretty simple. Thirty years after Ash Williams bested the beasts of Hell, he’s living in a trailer park, possessed of just enough remnant mojo to have his way with the less choosy ladies and inspire the admiration of the weak willed and infirm of mind. After getting stoned with one of his conquests he foolishly reads her some ‘poetry’ from the Necronomicon, opening the gates to the UnderRealms or the Hellmouth or, you know, whatever.
Hell is back, and after some initial reluctance to get involved, so is Ash.
A hiatus of twenty or thirty years has allowed for a few quantum leaps in special effects and the show looks really good, without ever abandoning its pulpy origins. The script is witty and although Army of Darkness can legitimately lay claim to being one of the holy texts of the comedy-horror genre, the genre did continue to develop in the years after 1993 and this series really benefits from that. It’s genuinely funny, but still scary enough at times that you might not want to serve it up for the kiddies after dark.
I’m still at the start of the series, with new eps every week, meaning a binge is off the table unless you want to wait for the whole season to drop. But I’ll be happy calling in on Ash and THE evil dead over the summer as deadlining allows.