ASH VS.EVIL DEAD The Complete Collection Review
Ash vs Evil Dead is at it’s worst a victim of giving into relentless fan service and a fun adventure building it’s own mythos within that tight construct at best.
Season one goes narratively down familiar tropes with Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) and his two trusty sidekicks Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) and Pablo (Ray Santiago) as their chemistry providing grounding and balance to Ash’s quirky sensibilities and the demonic shenanigans they encounter as they make their make their way to an uninspired and familiar cabin before offering a glimpse of hope that the next season would mark a departure to the familiar and deliver a voyage with an identity to call it’s own. Season two does deliver on some things that gives this series more of it’s own identity. The inclusion of Ash’s father played by Lee Majors and bizarre yet fun inclusions like the Ashy Slashy puppet make for quite an improvement in comparison to the season that proceeded it.
In season three the introduction of Ash’s daughter Brandy (Arielle Carver-O’Neill) provides a counterpart to the careless and selfish motivations of Ash and gives him a reason to evolve and become the kind of hero he saw himself as all along but never portrayed by his actions. As the series concludes in the episode The Mettle of Man, Ash is faced with a difficult choice as a giant demonic CGI monster threatens civilization and requires a selfless act to make everything right again. There’s an interesting callback to a Blue Oyster Cult song that appeared in the very first episode that shows Ash once again pumping his fist triumphantly to the music, except this time it’s a seemingly wiser Ash that to me was a satisfying conclusion to a series that ironically was cut short by some self entitled fans who don’t feel the need to support their fandoms financially.
One has to wonder why this Blu-ray release wouldn’t reward the fans that do support this series legitimately with some rewarding special features, as all of the minimal extras don’t offer much of anything that Starz subscribers already had access to. Season 2 is the most generous with featurettes but aside from a commentary the bare bones season 3 is practically insulting. With mainstream physical media going the way of the dinosaur it’s not hard to see why when apathetic releases like this drop the ball. Maybe some day down the line Scream Factory can get the rights and deliver a release that Evil Dead fans can really sink their teeth into. For now I guess this release will have to make due.