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Why your next TV binge should be... Ash Vs Evil Dead

The cult horror-comedy is back… and this time it’s on TV.

Your Next TV Binge is TheJournal.ie’s new Friday feature, recommending a box set for you to get stuck into over the weekend. This week: Ash Vs Evil Dead. 

AS FAR AS cult favourites go, there’s nothing in quite like the Evil Dead movies, and there’s nobody quite like their star Bruce Campbell.

Back in 1981, director Sam Raimi brought in the then unknown and untapped talent of Campbell to fight off The Evil Dead in a movie that would be banned from a number of countries due to its down-and-dirty style and OTT gore. Six years later, they reunited for Evil Dead II, which is essentially a remake of the first movie that ups the comedy angle – despite still being a gornographic splatterfest.

And then in 1992 they completed the trilogy with Army Of Darkness, which explained why Campbell’s heroic Ash Williams is the sole reason a legion of Deadites haven’t taken over the world as we know it.

After two and a bit decades of fans pleading for more of Ash and his one-handed, chainsaw-wielding ways, Sam and his brother Ivan finally gave them what they wanted, but not in the way that they were expecting.

No, this time we got more. Much more.

Starz / YouTube

Ash Vs Evil Dead is set 30 years after the events of the original trilogy. Ash is safely back from his Army Of Darkness time travels, and is living a low-key life, working as a stock boy in a local supermarket.

He’s got his friend Pablo, his pet lizard, his trailer park home, his bar that he likes to get drunk alone in… and all is relatively quiet, until one day he accidentally sets upon a series of events that will accidentally let loose the Deadite army and potentially bring an end to mankind’s existence.

So… guess who might be the only man to save the day again? And guess who might not really in the mood to do it anymore?

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Despite going on to make a massive career for himself in Hollywood – he directed those Tobey Maguire Spiderman movies, as well as Oz: The Great & Powerful for Disney – Sam Raimi returned to direct the pilot episode of the series, and co-wrote the script with his brother, which helped set up the action-horror-comedy tone that the rest of the seasons will continue to run with.

Fans of the movies will be pleased to know that Ash hasn’t just been resting on his good looks over the past few decades, as he’s been chasing that nasty Necronomicon (the scary book that unleashed all the evil in the movies) and has tried on numerous occasions to destroy it completely. But when he’s finally figured out that he can’t get rid out of it, he instead becomes the caretaker for the harbinger of doom.

Over the two seasons, we’re introduced to a multitude of fantastically written characters, and some of the casting for these roles is absolutely inspired. Take for instance Ruby, a mysterious character who claims to be the sister of Annie from Evil Dead II, and is attempting to hunt down the source of the recent evil outbreaks. Well, she’s played by none other than Lucy Lawless.

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Yup, Xena the Warrior Princess is involved, and the twists and turns they do with her character will make your jaw drop.

And then there’s Brock Williams, the long estranged father of Ash. They haven’t spoken in decades, not since Ash initially went flying back through time. Brock can be pointed to as the source for all of Ash’s debauched instincts with booze and women. Who could they get to play such a legendary lothario? None other than Lee Majors aka Steve Austin aka The Six Million Dollar Man!

Fans of the movies will already be telling you that this is a must-watch. But even for those who haven’t seen the vintage horrors Ash V Evil Dead is based on… well, if you’re a fan of manic, madcap, extremely dark comedy mixed with audacious gore and OTT action scenes? This should be right at the top of your list.

Series Trailer MP / YouTube

Read all our TV binge recommendations here>

Why your next TV binge should be… The Thick Of It>

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