Ash vs Evil Dead is the followup series to Sam Raimi‘s Evil Dead trilogy that pits Ash (Bruce Campbell) against more Deadites proving the chainsaw wielding, shit-talking badass can’t seem to escape the presence of evil. I am a huge fan of the original Evil Dead films as they inhibit a specific tone unlike any other horror/comedy I have ever seen. So when going into this series it was essential for it to emulate the humour and horror that made me love the films so much, and with the return of Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi as an executive producer it executes this flawlessly.
Season two picks up with Ash being forced to come out of retirement and return to his hometown of Elk Grove where he will once again join forces with Pablo (Ray Santiago), Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo), and his former foe Ruby (Lucy Lawless) to defeat an evil threatening the existence of all they know. This season builds upon the humour and horror that was established in season one and episode after episode surprised me with just how outrageous and hilariously disgusting it could get. It balances the comedy with the horror very well and despite being more rooted in the comedic side it never forgets its horror roots and delivers some thrilling scares throughout. But more effective than the horror is when this show goes full on with the ridiculous and visually disturbing content in a very Ash vs Evil Dead kind of way. Have you ever seen someone go mano a mano with a colon?? If not then you are in for a real treat.
The outrageously disgusting style of humour is most definitely a large focus of this season but there is also a large focus on further developing the characters introduced in season one. And no I’m not talking about Ash….. I mean, Ash is Ash, he goes through a lot and overcomes evil in a number of ways but despite everything that gets thrown at him he’s still the same guy which I love. Bruce has the character nailed down so well he completely disappears into the role to the point where you forget he has a right hand in real life. The characters that really shine are those supporting Ash in his fight, Pablo and Kelly who grow a tonne as characters this season. Ray and Dana are fantastic in the roles and embrace the craziness of every scene fitting in very well with this insane world. There are a number of other supporting roles that all serve their purpose fantastically and make memorable characters despite being moderately featured.
Now for the Special Features that are included on the DVD which all up amount to around 25 minutes of featurettes as well as the audio commentaries. The featurettes can be broken up into two formats; there are a group of “Inside The World Of” featurettes that focus on the key events of each and every episode, and there are some individual clips highlighting some of the biggest moments across the entire season. The featurettes are really quick to get through and are good for fans of the series who want just a little bit more insight into the behind the scenes of certain events. They give some brief insight into the most entertaining, crazy, and unique moments but don’t go fully in depth. The problem with these featurettes is that they do get repetitive if you watch them all in one sitting. This is mainly because much of what is being covered in the individual featurettes focusing on specific scenes has been taken from the “Inside The World Of” featurettes so when you watch one set after the other it’s like hearing some of the same information twice.
There are also audio commentaries included on the DVD but for only six of the ten episodes with episodes four, five, seven, and eight not being accompanied with any commentary. But as far as the special features are concerned these commentaries are the highlights of this DVD. They feature commentary from a rolling cast and crew that are very entertaining, will have you laughing just as much as the episode itself, and will also give you plenty of insight into the writing and behind the scenes of the episode and various trivia points. The personalities involved in the commentaries are great and their back and forth conversations make every minute well worth it.
So in the end, Ash vs Evil Dead Season 2 is a must have for any fan of the original Evil Dead films or Season 1 of this series. It perfectly emulates everything that makes this Evil Dead universe unique with great horror, a tonne of gore, and outrageous humour delivered both visually and through very intelligently written dialogue. The special features are also a positive, the audio commentaries are fantastic and a must watch after finishing the season and the featurettes are good for a little more info. If the featurette content was a little more varied it would eliminate any repetitive scenes and information but that’s really the only downside.
Series Review Score: FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Special Features Review Score: FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Ash vs Evil Dead Season 2 is available now on Blu-Ray and DVD.