For the second time in two years, I began my NYCC experience with Ash vs Evil Dead. Once again emanating from midtown Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom, the panel was bigger and bloodier for Starz’s hit show. The panel this year included Bruce Campbell (of course), dressed very dapper (of course). He was joined by his colleagues Ray Santiago (Pablo), Dana DeLorenzo (Kelly), Lucy Lawless (Ruby), Ted Raimi (Chet), Michelle Hurd (Linda B.) and Lee F*CKIN Majors (Brock Williams).
The moderator asked Lee Majors first if he was an Evil Dead fan, and he gave a resounding “No.” He said Bruce Campbell chased him down in the parking lot, so he binged the first season and called it, “Batsh*t crazy!” “Thanks for being my dad Lee,” added Campbell. Bruce (Ash) gave a summary of the first season, which ended with him taking a deal with Ruby to keep him, Pablo, and Kelly safe and sound in paradise… Jacksonville, Florida. Of course things went south in the first five minutes of season two’s premiere and deadites were once again spewing gallons of blood, and ruining Ash’s chance for peace, happiness, and a threesome.
Probably the best part of the panel was the back and forth between Campbell and Ted Raimi, brother of Evil Dead creator Sam Raimi and longtime collaborator on the Evil Dead franchise. They traded jabs and told stories of Ted’s trip through the Evil Dead universe from 14-year-old on the set of the original who played a foot, to playing four roles in Army of Darkness to finally playing Chet, the loser who stays in hometown, Elk’s Grove in AvED. DeLorenzo chimed in, “We need a Bruce and Ted spinoff.” On the topic of the original films, Campbell promised the fans some Easter eggs with “Holy Sh*t” moments. They, of course, also got in to the massive quantities of blood used, 26 gallons for one scene with DeLorenzo, and Lawless discussed getting “baptized” when a demon “power-vomited” on her in the premiere.
They had a Q&A with fans. Some highlights included, Campbell addressing a question about Sam Raimi by saying the Sam’s style is “humiliation and torment with plenty of physical abuse.” He joked that Tobey Maguire thought Sam hated him on the set of Spider-Man, but being mean was Sam’s way of showing love. Of course Ted abstained from the question. One woman teared up seeing Bruce Campbell so close, so he comforted her with a $10 bill. I tried the same tactic with Lawless and DeLorenzo, and Campbell actually gave me $10. I asked whether they would ever do an Evil Dead musical episode, Bruce responded: “Season 4.”
If you couldn’t tell, I am a huge Evil Dead fan and Ash vs Evil Dead is my favorite show on television. This was an incredibly fun 45-minute panel/Q&A. The crowd was putty in Bruce Campbell’s hands. We were hysterically laughing nearly the whole time. You can really see how much the cast gets along and enjoys working and spending time with each other. Particularly hilarious: Lee Majors and Ted Raimi imitating each other as the crowd AND panel guests lost it.
The panel ended with a screening of the second episode of Ash vs. Evil Dead — review to come.
Ash vs Evil Dead can be seen on Starz, Sunday nights at 8:00pm ET.
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[Photo via AvED]