While I didn’t get into the adventures of Ash Williams until quite a few years after the Evil Dead films and Army of Darkness were released, I enjoyed my time checking them out and all of the zany dark humor they contained. So it goes without saying that I was more than excited to learn about Bruce Campbell taking up the role again some two decades later in the Starz series Ash vs Evil Dead, which picked up perfectly where he left off with the Evil Dead films. I was bummed when I learned the third season would be the last, but at least we’re getting a nice collection of the show in the Ash vs Evil Dead: The Complete Collection that’s a nice send off to a great series that ended too soon.
Hard to believe it’s been a while since I reviewed the first season of the show, but just in case you’re unfamiliar with the premise, it follows the life of Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell), who is now older and still down on his luck after saving the world from demonic forces quite a few times while losing a hand in the process. After getting high with a young lady he was hoping to score with, they unknowingly unleash demonic forces once again from the infamous book known as the Necronomicon, and it’s up to him and two co-workers from his job to fight evil. Oh, and of course his trusty chainsaw hand and BOOMSTICK! (a shotgun) are along for the ride as well.
If you enjoy very dark humor along with gory horror, you’ll dig this show as I did. It’s definitely an acquired taste and won’t be for everyone thanks to the loads of practical gore effects and twisted comedy that comes with it (one perfect example is an episode where a demon pulls Ash’s head into the butt of a corpse, nuff said). I loved this series so much that each 20-some minute episode seemed to blow by as quick as I started watching them.
This brings me back to being bummed on how it just ends on a cliffhanger in the third season, as they could’ve at least made one more season to properly end it. Here’s hoping for a made-for-cable-tv movie to conclude the series the right way. I’m glad this was released on Blu-ray, as the picture and sound come in nicely, which is a huge plus given the jump scares and other horror bits that like to sneak up on you.
There’s a ton of special features to go through once the book is closed on Ash’s adventures, such as audio commentaries with various cast and crew members on select episodes from each season. You’ll also find loads of featurettes that go behind the scenes of each season, how certain special effects and scenes were made/shot, of course there’s a few dealing with Ash and how badass he is (or at least thinks he is), and more that’s sure to keep you busy long after the final credits roll.
It’s sad that it ended too soon for its own good, but the Ash vs Evil Dead: The Complete Collection is a nice send off for now (still hoping for a TV movie finale). It’s a crazy series filled with tons of gore and dark humor that’s not for everyone, but those who can handle it will want to grab their boomsticks and chainsaws and cut into this set.