Blu-ray Review: Ash vs Evil Dead – The Complete First Season
By Dr. Zaius
Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 at 10:00 am
Ash vs Evil Dead – The Complete First Season Blu-ray | DVD
Directors: Sam Raimi, Michael J. Bassett, David Frazee, John Scott, Ivan Raimi, Rick Jacobson, Tony Tilse
Writers: Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi, Tom Spezialy, Dominic Dierkes, Sean Clements, James Eagan, Zoe Green, Michael Hurst, Craig DiGregorio, Rob Wright
Starring Bruce Campbell, Dana DeLorenzo, Ray Santiago, Lucy Lawless, Jill Marie Jones, Kelson Henderson, Ben Fransham, Peter Feeney
Created by Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi, Tom Spezialy Starz | Anchor Bay Entertainment
Release Date: August 23rd, 2016
More than 30 years after Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, and Rob Tapert created The Evil Dead, the trio came back to work on Ash vs Evil Dead for the Starz network. The series debuted late last year after premiering at New York Comic-Con. Fresh off their appearance at SDCC, and with a little more than a month till its season 2 premiere, the first season is being released on Blu-ray this week. Season 1 saw Ash Williams (Campbell) accidentally conjure the Evil Dead again after reading from the Necronomicon while getting high with a young fluzy. Soon demons and deadites are everywhere and Ash is left to grab his boomstick and rev up the ole chainsaw hand. Joining him in his quest to vanquish evil are his former co-workers and sidekicks Pablo (Ray Santiago), and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo). Together the trio was forced to deal with the evils of the book as well as a rogue FBI agent (Jill Marie Jones) and a strange woman with connections to Ash’s past (Lucy Lawless).
The set includes 2 discs featuring the ten half-hour episodes all available with commentary from members of the cast and crew. The pilot episode “El Jefe” features commentary from Executive Producers Sam and Ivan Raimi and Rob Tapert, as well as Campbell. They discuss how after Army of Darkness (1992), there didn’t seem to be a ground swell of support for more Evil Dead, but Campbell noticed that the fanbase was growing steadily while on the convention circuit. They joke about the attention spans of the viewers, ideas for Evil Dead 4, and ways to handle the character of an aging Lothario, tasked with saving the world… jokes about adult diapers follow. If you’re a fan of the films, then it’s fantastic listening to these lifetime friends mock each other and simply have fun. The other episodes feature audio from co-stars Santiago, DeLorenzo, Jill Marie Jones, and Lucy Lawless.
The special features include:
Inside the World of Ash vs Evil Dead – This feature gives a short (16-minute) behind the scenes peek of the series, episode by episode. After a quick intro to the characters, Showrunner Craig DiGregorio discusses the decision to use practical effects to better capture the feel of the original films. Sam Raimi, the director of the film trilogy, also directed the pilot episode and he’s shown flicking blood onto Santiago and DeLorenzo. “It was refreshing directing television,” Raimi admitted. Episode 2 sees a massive blood injection as the cast and crew get covered in the stuff. DiGregorio compliments Mimi Rogers for doing her own stunts, and volunteering to get bloody with her castmates. In episode 3, the demon Eligos is actually done partly with CG but also a real naked human covered in body paint. We see clips from each episode narrated by DiGregorio, who truly seems giddy discussing his favorite parts and scenes. He credits the art department for recreating the cabin from the film. Nick Bassett, the production designer, discusses getting all the little things right, like the deer head, the mirror, the clock (the same from the original thanks to Rob Tapert). “You gotta have the fun old stuff the fans will love.” Finally, in the finale they mention needing 400 liters (!!!) of blood. Overall, this was a really fun look back at each episode.
How to Kill a Deadite – This hilarious 2 1/2 minute segment narrated by Bruce Campbell, shows the various ways to rid yourself of deadites, with the most obvious being boomsticks, decapitations, and trusty chainsaws. Of course there are plenty of clips provided featuring many of the gory and graphic deadite slaying moments from the series.
Best of Ash – A real quick 90-second peek at some of Campbell’s best moments and one liners. “What? Never saw a guy with chainsaw hand?”
My favorite new show of 2015, Ash vs Evil Dead season 1 on Blu-ray hits the shelves next Tuesday, August 23rd. Season 2 premieres Sunday night, October 2nd only on Starz.
Ash vs Evil Dead | Official Trailer | STARZ
“Evil is always waiting in the shadows.” See what’s waiting for you in the STARZ Original Series Ash vs Evil Dead.