Retro reboots and sequels seem to be all the rage these days. It feels like every month Netflix is bringing back some series like Full House, Gilmore Girls, etc… It’s rare however, when that follow up is not only warranted but a natural extension of its original source material. When The Evil Dead premiered few could have predicted the life the film would have, two sequels, a big screen remake, and now a small screen continuation.
Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete Second Season is out now on Blu-ray and I’m happy to report that the series has found its medium at last. The small screen is a fitting place to explore the horror comedy stylings of Ash (Bruce Campbell) and company. The blood is pouring, the guts are spilled and the dark comedy are in excess and packed into a half hour block.
Ash is having the time of his life in Jacksonville, FL. He’s partying it up and after making that ill fated deal with Ruby (Lucy Lawless) in last seasons finale, enjoying the fruits of his excess. Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) are in tow and when the Evil Dead comes knocking, they answer in a hilarious blood soaked party sequence.
They trio head to Ash’s home town of Elk Grove and there he’s not given a heroes welcome, in fact the town’s local legend has it that Ash is a mass murderer. Not exactly rolling out the welcome mat. The half hour format is perfect for the series as a little goes a long way in this series. The comedy is on point and the benefit here of the short run time, is that it adds so much urgency to the series. Nothing feels wasted, they get in, slaughter, get covered in blood and get out.
This season never holds back on the gore, in fact I hope that the producers took stock in faux blood, because so much of it is spilled this season, it’s hard to imagine the cast didn’t end up dyed red by the time shooting was finished. The series isn’t for the faint of heart, that’s to be certain, the overdone gore has always added to the comedy of the films and it works well in the series. I love the fact that they don’t rely on digital effects but rather use so many more practical effects. To me this is the best part of the show. The gore is truly gruesome and it’s unwavering.
The end of the season takes us to the famous cabin in the woods that the Evil dead is known for. It was such a thrill to see the location again and the show makes good use of it. There are so many callbacks that fans of the original film series will not only remember but love.
Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete Second Season arrives on Blu-ray in an excellent transfer. The picture is very clear with fine details really popping through. The color palate is excellent especially with the gore and excess blood. It really pops and looks great. The textures are also very clear with the mix of digital and practical effects making a nice combination. Even in the darker sequences the details really add a lot to the show.
Special features included on this release are:
Audio Commentaries: There are several commentary tracks with the four lead actors and producers. Three episodes get the commentary treatment Home, The Morgue, and Last Call for disc one. Disc two contains commentary tracks for Home Again and Second Coming.
Season 2 First Look – Which is a quick intro to the current season.
Inside the World of Ash vs. Evil Dead – This is a set of episode by episode recaps.
Up Your Ash – This is a quick behind the scenes look at the visuals for The Morgue episode.
Women Who Kick Ash – This is a spotlight on Ruby, Kelly and Linda.
Puppets Are Cute – This is a look at the hilarious puppet sequence.
Dawn of the Spawn – This is a look at the villains of the season.
Bringing Henrietta Back – This is a behind the scenes look and bringing back an original Evil Dead character.
The Delta – This is a look at the car’s place in this season.
How to Kill a Deadite – This is a super short piece where the cast talks about killing the Deadites.
Fatality Mash-Up – This is a quick sequence with the carnage of the show.
Overall, I’ve been a fan of the Evil Dead franchise since I was a kid and while I was nervous when the series was announced, I’m so happy to report that the small screen iteration has retained the same sense of horror, comedy and over the top madness that we’ve been used to. It’s fun, it’s camp, and the cast has really jelled into a stellar ensemble. I couldn’t recommend the series more.
Ash vs Evil Dead: The Complete Second Season is out now on Blu-ray!
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