Though it’s been 23 years since Bruce Campbell grabbed his chainsaw and shotgun (aka, “boomstick”) to play the cult favorite Ash in “Army of Darkness,” the third film in the popular “Evil Dead” franchise, the king of B-movies looks right at home as he reprises the character for the TV show “Ash vs Evil Dead.“
Rumors of Campbell and the franchise’s creator, Sam Raimi, diving back into the “Evil Dead” world have been out there for years. But Campbell didn’t want to return to the material unless it was done the way he and Raimi wanted it. (An “Evil Dead” remake was released in 2013, but Campbell did not star in it.)
Campbell said what really pushed them forward was the recent wave of shows appearing on cable and streaming with a cinematic feel, thanks to the big-name Hollywood directors attached.
- New Line Cinema
“We pitched [the show] to six networks and we got three serious suitors,” Campbell recently told Business Insider. Though he wouldn’t get into specific names, he said Starz was the winner because it wouldn’t censor them.
“Starz was the only scenario we had in movies or television where we could do this unabridged, uncensored,” Campbell explained. “That was mandatory.”
And that uncensored feel hits you right from the opening of “Ash vs Evil Dead,” premiering Halloween.
In a franchise never known to be tame with gore, the pilot episode, which Raimi directed, is filled throughout with graphic zombie beheadings and slick fight sequences that look better than anything the previous films (most of them done on shoestring budgets) showcased.
The pilot also reminds us that Ash isn’t always a good guy. In the beginning of the episode, we find him going to a bar at last call to find women to sleep with.
But there’s a personal goal Campbell has this time around as Ash.
“I can fix Ash. I’m going to go back and fix that actor from 1979,” he says, referring to his original performance in “The Evil Dead,” which he admits he can barely watch. “So having him back I can go, ‘All right, now that I have more years of skills, what can I do with this idiot now?'”
“Ash vs Evil Dead” premieres on Starz October 31.
Watch the trailer: