Ash vs Evil Dead: Last Call (#2.3) (2016) Review

Posted: October 18, 2016 in FILM REVIEWS/COMMENTS
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Ash vs Evil Dead Movie PosterAfter picking up a woman at a bar and banging her from behind Ash gets a warning reminding him of an evil he encountered 30 years ago. With the book of dead in his possession he realises he may have to face up to a little mistake and save his town.

In terms of cult horror nostalgia Ash versus the Evil Dead captures the tone of the films perfectly thanks to Sam Raimi’s foundation setting direction of the debut episode El Jefe.

Raimi offers floating P.O.V forest shots, blood, gore, twisted heads and demonic voices within the first 12 minutes. Later there’s Vaule Stop stockroom action with a maniac toy doll and flashback exposition using the first two films. Raimi throws in more floating P.O.V shots this time in a car park, there’s creepy demon faces in a diner, a Lucio Fulci eye tribute and Lucy Lawless for good measure. To top the episode off a cop investigates the odd occurrences and Ash teams up with two co- workers to take on a demon in an action packed caravan showdown.

Bruce Campbell is outstanding and intriguingly expands the character of aged Ash Williams. Written by Raimi, Ivan Raimi and Tom Spezialy the first episode’s production values are high, many of the effects are first rate, the horror delivers scares and the comedy is on sleazy point.

As one of newest batch of film properties becoming TV shows this encapsulates the essence of the Evil Dead, basically it’s a chainsaw-handed, reluctant demon hunter fan’s dream.

In the first episode of the second season Ash returns to his home town Elk Grove to stop the Necronomicon getting into the hands of a demigod’s children.

The season two’s Home picks up shortly after where season one ended. Our trio’s superficial dream life (for Ash that is) in Jacksonville is cut short when demons turn up at a spring break party. Ash, Kelly and Pablo make their way to a crematorium in Ash’s creepy town to help Ruby out, but not before Ash runs into some old school ‘friends’.

Director Rick Jacobson with writer Craig DiGregorio offers more blood, shotgun, chainsaw action and more great gags along with one liners. Lee Majors shows up as Ash’s estranged father which expands Bruce Campbell’s Ash back story. The effects are great, the monsters (Lucy Lawless’s Ruby’s demon kids) are scary. Armed with the Kandarian dagger there’s a great action scene where Ash reluctantly helps Ruby and we welcome Kelly doubles played excellent by Dana DeLorenzo and Ash gets more hero worshipping from Ray Santiago’s delirious amusing Pablo.

Jacobson delivers on the scares and the comedy is on groovey sleazy point.

*** The Last Call contains spoilers ***

Ash holds a party to draw in the car-jackers and get his Necronomicon book back.

Where as another horror themed TV show based on a film, has lost is wind (and Titty Twisting production values), Sam Raimi and producer Robert Tapert’s Ash Verses Evil Dead goes from strength to strength with the ‘Last Call’ episode being no exception.

Ash’s ‘Ashy Slasher’ reputation from the murderous events from The Evil Dead film is explored further. Actor Bruce Campbell’s Ash’s father son relationship is tested with a bucking-bronco ride and is humorously left semi-resolved when Brock Williams, wonderfully played by Lee Majors bites the dust. Ted Raimi cameos along with the excellent regular cast. Lucy Lawless’ demon Ruby, Ray Santiago’s Pablo and the lovely anti-Hollywood cast Dana DeLorenzo’s Kelly get some quieter moments. What director Tony Tilse does with some great writing from Noelle Valdivia is mix the action, comedy and horror perfectly.

Ash’s infamous 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 car goes on a Stephen King Christine-like rampage with some wincing bloody tyre action. There’s some great lines and Deadite bathroom fight action with heads getting lobbed off and penis’ and Ketamine laced drinks getting consumed. What more could you want? Great horror fun, highly recommended.

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