Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete First Season (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
August 20, 2016 by Dennis Amith
Possibly the goriest, yet funniest series on television, “Ash vs. Evil Dead” is a series that “The Evil Dead” fans will no doubt love. “Ash vs. Evil Dead” is highly recommended!
TITLE: Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete First Season
TV SEASON AIR DATE: 2015
DURATION: Episodes 1-10 (294 Minutes)
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 1:78:1, English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Surround, Subtitles: English SDH
RATED: TV MA
Release Date: August 23, 2016
Directed by Rick Jacobson, Michael J. Bassett, David Frazee, Michael Hurst, Tony Tilse, Sam Raimi
Written by Michael J. Basseett, Sean Clements, Nate Crocker, Craig DiGregorio, Dominic Dierkes, James Eagan, Zoe Green, Rick Jacobson, Ivan Raimi, Sam Raimi, Alex Sobotowski, Tom Spezialy, Rob Wright
Produced by Sean Clements, Aaron Lam, Chloe Smith
Co-Producer: Dominc Dierkes
Executive Producer: Craig DiGregorio, Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert
Co-Executive Producer: Rick Jacobson, Dominic Dierkes
Associate Producer: Charles Knight, Bob Murawski
Cinematography by John Cavill, Dave Garbett
Edited by Tom Eagles, Bryan Shaw, Bob Murawski
Casting by Lauren Grey
Production Design by Nick Bassett
Art Direction by Nick Connor, Robert Bavin, George Hamilton
Set Decoration by Mark Grenfell
Costume Design by Barbara Darragh
Bruce Campbell as Ashley “Ash” J. Williams
Ray Santiago as Pablo Simon Bolivar
Dana DeLorenzo as Kelly Maxwell
Jill Marie Jones as Amanda Fisher
Lucy Lawless as Ruby Knowby
Samara Weaving as Heather
Ben Fransham as Eligos
“Ash vs Evil Dead,” a 10-episode, half-hour series, is the long-awaited follow-up to the classic horror film franchise The Evil Dead. The series follows Ash, the stock boy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter who has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead. When a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind, Ash is finally forced to face his demons –personal and literal. Destiny, it turns out, has no plans to release the unlikely hero from its “Evil” grip. The cast is led by Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams, Lucy Lawless as Ruby a mysterious figure who believes Ash is the cause of the Evil outbreaks, Ray Santiago as Pablo Simon Bolivar, an idealistic immigrant who becomes Ash’s loyal sidekick, Dana DeLorenzo as Kelly Maxwell, a moody wild child trying to outrun her past and Jill Marie Jones as Amanda Fisher, a disgraced Michigan State Trooper set to find our anti-hero Ash and prove his responsibility in the grisly murder of her partner. The series is executive produced by Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, and Bruce Campbell, the original filmmakers of the franchise, and Craig DiGregorio (“Chuck”), who serves as executive producer and showrunner.
Back in 1981, Sam Raimi (“Spider-Man” films, “Evil Dead” films) would direct the American supernatural horror film “The Evil Dead”. A film which introduced the story of five college students who vacation in an isolated cabin in a remote wooden area and find an audiotape that releases demons and monsters (aka “deadites”) in the area.
The film would introduce Bruce Campbell as the role of Ashley James “Ash” Williams and the character has become an iconic cult horror movie character, as the film’s anti-hero.
“The Evil Dead” would lead to “Evil Dead II” (1987), “Army of Darkness” (1993) and a reboot/remake/sequel titled “Evil Dead” in 2013.
And in 2015, Bruce Williams would reprise his role as Ash in the American comedy horror TV series “Ash vs. Evil Dead” which aired on the Starz network and a second season is set to premiere in October 2016.
Alongside Williams, also starring in “Ash vs Evil Dead” are Ray Santiago (“Girlfight”, “Meet the Fockers”, “In Time”), Dana DeLorenzo (“A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas”, “The Mad Ones”), Jill Marie Jones (“Girlfriends”, “Drool”, “The Longshots”), Lucy Lawless (“Xena: Warrior Princess”, “Spider-Man”, “Bedtime Stories”) and Samara Weaving (“Mystery Road”, “Out of the Blue”, “Home and Away”).
And now the first season of “Ash vs. Evil Dead” will be available on Blu-ray in August 2016.
The film is set 30 years after the first three “Evil Dead” films. Ashley “Ash” Williams (portrayed by Bruce Campbell) works at the “ValueShop” mart as a salesclerk and works alongside Pablo Simon Bolivar (portrayed by Ray Santiago) and Kelly Maxwell (portrayed by Dana DeLorenzo).
As Ashley works a dead-end job and loves having fun with the women, unfortunately Bruce brings a girl over and while having fun with her, he reads passages from an evil book known as the Necronomicon and unleashes the deadites on the Earth.
Meanwhile, Amanda Fisher (portrayed by Jill Marie Jones) is a Michigan State Trooper who comes with her partner to an evil home and immediately fight against deadites. Her partner is murdered, while Amanda is left trying to investigate what really happened (as other’s think she’s going crazy and don’t believe in the things she told about the death of her partner).
She comes across a woman named Ruby Knowby (portrayed by Lucy Lawless) and finds out about how the answers point to one man, Ash Williams.
At the ValueMart, many evil deadites start to appear and threaten Ash and are wanting revenge on him. Pablo catches one of these monsters going against him and saves his life.
As more evil deadites start to show up (moreso because of Ash’s rash decisions), Ash, Pablo and Kelly must try to survive against the evil deadites.
Will they survive?
“Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete First Season” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1 aspect ratio). The picture quality for this series is fantastic. With its high production value and many outdoor scenes, the cinematography really showcases the darkness and creepy atmosphere of surrounding areas where evil exists.
Closeups are very good, showing excellent detail from skin pores to the grime and blood splatters on people’s faces. Outdoor shots allow for great detail and skin tones are natural, black levels are nice and deep and I didn’t see any problems with banding or artifacts. The film also features wonderful visual effects!
Overall, picture quality for “Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete First Season” is very good on Blu-ray!
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete First Season” is presented in English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital. The series is crystal clear when it comes to dialogue and music. And because the sheer amount of action sequences, the TV series does a great job of using the surround channels for gun/rifle shots, Ash’s chainsaw revving, the shrieks of the Deadites, people screaming and more! An awesome lossless soundtrack!
Subtitles are in English SDH.
“Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete First Season” comes with the following special features:
- Ash Inside the World – (15:58) Craig Digregorio (executive producer and showrunner) discusses each episode of “Ash vs. Evil Dead” season one.
- How to Kill a Deadite – (2:31) A featurette about how the characters would kill a deadite and the characters feelings about the Deadites.
- Best of Ash – (1:24) A compilation of short scenes of how Ash defeats deadites.
“Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete First Season” comes with a lenticular slipcover.
“The Evil Dead” actor, Bruce Campbell reprises his iconic horror character, Ash in the Starz Network TV series “Ash vs. Evil Dead”!
And as Ash reads passages from the Necronomicon book which he has kept in his possession after all these years and he unleashes the deadites onto the world of the living and now they are after him.
But he’s not alone as this time in battling the deadites, as Ash has a team which includes his ValueMart co-workers, Pablo Simon Bolivar and Kelly Maxwell.
And as Ash tries to find a way to send the deadites back to where they come from, he ends up making things worse and the challenges for his and his team’s survival becomes even more scarier and improbable.
Meanwhile, a Michigan State Trooper who lost her partner in a battle against the deadites receives help from the mysterious Ruby Knowby, the daughter of Professor Raymond Knowby and sister of Annie (from “Evil Dead II”) and she has been seeking Ash for the death of her family and has been tracking him for years in order to kill him.
A series full of humor and gore, “Ash vs. Evil Dead” is reminiscent of the 1993 film “Army of Darkness” in which there are many horror attributes, but there are plenty of splapstick humor and action.
For people who are not fond of horror films, may find “Ash vs. Evil Dead” easier to follow because although it features plenty of gore, the humor tends to balance out the horror and making it not too scary but yet still keeping fans of “The Evil Dead” films entertained.
If one thing you will learn from season one, anyone can die, a lot of characters will die and not since “Lost” have I seen major characters get easily killed off from the series. But these actions fit the context of the series, that no one is really safe form these powerful demons.
Featuring wonderful set and costume design, especially visual and special effects of making the scary deadites, I was amazed by the production quality of this TV series.
And last, Bruce Campbell is absolutely magnificent in the role of Ash and it’s no surprise of why this character has become a cult horror icon. He’s a man that’s not afraid to take on evil, he’s definitely an anti-hero but most importantly, it’s his crazy actions and bad decisions that make the series quite entertaining because he causes so many problems that he and his teammates are often put into horrific, deadly situations.
As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality for “Ash vs. Evil Dead” is fantastic! The lossless 7.1 soundtrack is wonderful and manages to utilize the surround channels very well. And there are a few special features included.
Possibly the goriest, yet funniest series on television, “Ash vs. Evil Dead” is a series that “The Evil Dead” fans will no doubt love.
And it’s a series that I found entertaining and couldn’t stop watching and I can’t wait for season two!
“Ash vs. Evil Dead” is highly recommended!
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