Ash Vs. Evil Dead was a fan-friendly success last season by transcending expectations of the erstwhile hero with grey temples. I do wish had more time to bask in the hedonistic excess of Ash in Jacksonville. He winks one sexual innuendo about the phallic shape of his chainsaw and the next thing you know, we’re shove back into hellion pandemonium. The heroic slow-motion gag is gorgeously spoofed when the chainsaw bludgeons Ash mid-air like a Looney Tunes character. The most exhilarating development is the chance to learn who Ash was in Elk Grove with a cruel nursery rhyme about the desperado himself.
This season does nearly regurgitate the trope of someone being possessed and keeping it an arcane secret from the group. In this case it’s Pablo whose hand scribbles a demonic face. They quickly reverse the wheel when Pablo confesses to the supernatural sway over him.
“I’m better, stronger, faster” is a very fatigued motto when Ash’s father is the immortal bionic man Lee Majors. I know the writers are capable of wittier biplay. Notwithstanding, it’s too early to say whether Brock Williams will be an integral factor to the show’s prosperity. Luckily, it regains verve when Ash quarrels with “safety boy”, the town sheriff (“You’ve got big balls…” “Yeah didn’t you notice I never wore gym shorts?”). The facial shredding hallucination with Pablo is pleasingly gory.
To their credit, the show’s lifeforce rarely flags. The show even recreates some vintage Sam Raimi photography with the amplified pipe tracking shot. The shadow fracas is a fun carnival invention. The amount of blood in the pilot episode could fill an aqueduct. The only storytelling detail that differentiates this from last season is Ruby’s culpability in the Deadite epidemic. The challenge this season faces is widening the berth of Ash being the junkyard hound to Armageddon. It would be revolutionary but could the show survive without the Necronomicon? So far it’s a modicum down from the soaring altitude of last season because of the repetitive nature but it’s not on cruise control either.
Rating: 3 out of 5