Saturday, October 31, 2015

Everything's "Groovy": The King is Back!

Happy Halloween! Hope everyone had a wonderful day of creeps, ghouls, and goblins! Mine didn't start out that way, since I had to work at the day job, but it's sure ending on a much better note.

See, I thought by working that shift today, I was going to miss out on something I'd been looking forward to for months officially, and twenty years unofficially. But I came home, checked On Demand, and there it was on the main page. I went into it hopeful but not expectant. I was rewarded. I immediately started it up and for the next forty-five minutes or so sat on my couch with a grin that wouldn't go away.

I'm talking, of course, about the premiere of Ash vs Evil Dead on Starz tonight. After seeing the trailers and hearing everyone talk about it, I was psyched. After hearing the feedback when they debuted the first episode at New York Comic Con, I was delirious. Now that I've actually seen it, I'm ecstatic.

Ash is back, and baby he's better than ever. Well, not really. He's actually worse of an idiot than he was in Army of Darkness, but isn't that what we wanted? He's older, but not really wiser. Unless it's about fighting Deadites. Then there's nobody better.

It's been thirty years since Ash faced the armies of the dead and saved the day. He lives in a run-down trailer and is still a stock boy at ValueMart (who we can assume bought out S-Mart at some point). He spends his nights looking for that one last lonely drunk woman at the bar just before closing time, and doing stupid things with the Necronomicon that even he regrets. When the result is the return of the evil he thought he defeated, the results are carnage, slapstick, and buckets of the red stuff.

Seeing how this plays out, I have to wonder how long Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, and Rob Tapert have been wanting to do this. It's obvious they're having fun revisiting this world, and it's also obvious they're trying to do things right while not taking anything too seriously. From Sam's frenetic camera movements to Bruce gleefully chewing the scenery every time a camera's pointed at him, it's that taste of the familiar in a whole new way.

I don't want to go into too much detail and spoil it for any of you who haven't been lucky enough to see it yet. What I will say is that when the credits rolled, I applauded from my sofa, laughing my head off, and drew some strange looks from my beagle who I apparently woke up with my enjoyment. The weeks will not go fast enough between these episodes, and I definitely see myself binge watching the entire ten episode run at the end of all this. I'm sure even that won't be enough, but not to worry! Starz has already renewed the show for a second season, even before the first episode hit the airwaves.

Will it go on for a long run? I doubt it, but then again, why should it? This is the Evil Dead 4 we could never have dreamed of in a million years. What I am curious to see is the impact this has on television in the future. If it's anywhere close to what Raimi and company did for the horror movie industry since that first low-budget splatterfest in 1981, we horror fans should be in for an interesting time to come.

Bottom line: stop reading this review, go find the show, and watch it. When it's over, watch it again, then you can wait breathlessly for the next episode like the rest of us!

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