Review: Ash Vs. Evil Dead (Season 1, Episode 8)

If people can pry themselves away from the Star Wars lollapalooza this weekend, they’ll realize that another franchise was revived with effortless efficacy too. We’re about to round third base with Ash vs. Evil Dead and it’s showing no loss of vital signs (excluding Ash’s beloved Tweety bird).

The atmosphere is crisp with the haunting homecoming of Ash as he walks towards the immortal cabin. The lead-up to his re-entrance is phenomenal with faint callbacks to Linda’s dialogue at his makeshift cross. Whoever redressed the set to juxtapose it next to the original must’ve been very meticulous with every detail from the deer’s taxidermied head to the boarded windows looking painstakingly recreated.

“You’d never gotten laid here” states Amanda in a matter-of-fact deconstruction of Ash’s womanizing delusions. Shivers travel up and down our spines when Ash points to the chained basement hatch. I’d be surprised if fanboys didn’t convulse into cardiac arrest from diabetic recognition.

Split up from Ash and Amanda, Kelly and Pablo encounter new fodder for the slasher spirits in the woods. The Australian backpackers are actually pretty charismatic but I’m pretty cocksure that their fates are sealed with only a flare gun and pepper spray to ward off Deadites. Naturally, Ash abhors responsibility and it’s a monumental insight into his character that he wants to settle down with someone he cares about and forget about the Necronomicon altogether.

Fans’ favorite part of the Evil Dead franchise was the unhinged doppelganger of Ash and it’s delirious to see Campbell tap back into his nefarious side. Campbell’s hammy acting style has always been his most endearing quality and the split-screen fight between twin Ashes is tremendous fun when they are targeting each other’s weak joints (glancing at his stump, “look at the time”). Shades of misbegotten emotion in Ash’s vacant skull resonate loudly in this episode and it is the pinnacle of the series so far.

Rating: 4.75 out of 5

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