10/31/2015

Ash Vs Evil Dead - S01E01 'El Jefe' (2015) ***1/2

I rarely write about or review television on my blog, but felt that I should make an exception with AvED. This first episode was directed by Sam Raimi and it certainly shows, though I wonder to what degree the future episodes/directors will emulate his style.

The episode has everything you'd expect from the EVIL DEAD franchise: shotguns, chainsaws, hammy dialogue, blood splatters, deadites, and of course the one and only Bruce Campbell as Ash. ARMY OF DARKNESS is treated as if it doesn't exist in this series, even though the Ash portrayed here is most like the AOD Ash. The action and tone is most akin to EVIL DEAD II - a strong balance of horror and comedy. I do feel that this first episode was a bit of a retread in some regards but not enough to detract from the overall experience. I like Ray Santiago as Pablo; he finds a good balance of nerdy and trying-to-be-cool. Less than stellar is Dana DeLorenzo's Kelly, who is given a "sassy" (and humorous) moment early on but is later reduced to uselessness.

So I ended up about where I thought I'd be: not willing to glaze over the faults and join the hive-mind, but also still excited and willing to have fun with the best parts. Here's hoping the rest of the series is decent.

Pros:
  • Bruce! (He's still great and obviously the highlight)
  • Those trademark Raimi shots
  • A few choice one-liners
  • Ash's recreation of his AOD intro speech was fun

Cons:
  • Dodgy CGI (some really bad, some not so bad)
  • The cellphone scene (just dumb)
  • I wasn't crazy about the method used to bring the dead back (also WHY does Ash have The Necronomicon??)
  • The supporting actors are solid, but overall could be better

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