When I was asked to write about Ash vs Evil Dead, I thought to myself, how does one put that much joyfulness into words? The answer is: you simply can’t. That’s what makes these types of films and TV shows such popular cult classics. The love these shows instill into us changes our experience from just watching a great or fun show into a passion. An average show comes and goes; you watch it and you laugh, cry, sit on the edge of your seat, or just enjoy it and then you move on to the next thing. A cult classic instills a devotion that moves beyond just the show. It’s the one for which you proudly wear the T-shirt, the one where you need that action figure or poster that you hope to get signed, and if you’re like me you might even get a bed set. Every time you put on that shirt or see your action figure it brings that fulfillment to your heart.
A cult show also weathers the test of time through the generations, I showed the Evil Dead films to my nieces, who instantly fell in love with Bruce Campbell. Our friends have even created a little Bruce, who has been lucky enough to meet the real Bruce. As you can see, he was getting a lot of instructions from the King!
I first saw Evil Dead 2 as a child. I was really enjoyed horror movies when I was kid and I was always begging to rent them. This became a problem as my brother hated them and still does to this day. Thus, I usually had to wait until he spent the night at a friend’s house when my mother would take me to the local video store so I could catch up on my horror collection. I loved the slasher films such as Jason and Freddy; if it had something supernatural I was inherently interested in watching it.
Evil Dead II instantly became a favorite. It had everything I wanted out of a film: a charismatic lead, Demonites, over the top gore, humor, and a rogue hand. After seeing it I knew instantly I had to see the first film, and I cherished that experience just as much, if not more. It wasn’t until a High School trip that I realized other people and friends shared my common interest. We were all up at cabins for the week, so clearly there was nothing better to do then watch horror films at night so we could feel safe when we walked back to our cabins at midnight. After we watched Evil Dead II someone mentioned there was a third (keep in mind we had no internet in these days). I was so excited to hear that news, I rented it as soon as I got home. Instantly, it became another favorite.
Then came the dead period, no more Evil Dead. That didn’t mean it was lost though; every time I made new friends, I would discover they loved the films too. We would re-watch them together and of course search for the merchandise. We watched every show that Bruce Campbell was in, read his books, and made sure to see him speak at panels. Rumors would circle that there would be more movies, yet the years would drag on and nothing would become of the rumors.
Then in 2012, we heard there was going to be a new Evil Dead in 2013, but without Ash. Now Ash had the fans perplexed and not sure what to expect. A remake of your favorite film is always something to be concerned about, yet let’s face it, remakes are always going to happen. I went to go see this remake and enjoyed the film. It didn’t have the magic of the originals, but it merits the honor of a decent horror film in my opinion. The problem was that people wanted their classic Evil Dead and this film was not it, this made it hard for the film to be accepted. The wait continued…..
Luckily for fans, the wait wasn’t as long this time. When we learned that in 2015, our Ash would return, we were thrilled! I shared the great news with my nieces, and have never seen bigger smiles on their faces. Ash was back; hail to the King baby! All we had to do was wait and hope that they didn’t mess it up. I mean it’s Ash, if it’s got my Grampa Bruce in it you know it’s going to be good.
I ended up going to NYCC last year on the spur of the moment. In order to make it work I had to take a red eye flight, arriving Friday at 6am to head straight to the con. At that time I was expecting the premiere of The Walking Dead at Madison Square Garden to be the highlight of my trip. I have never been so wrong in my life! I was still new to meeting FoCC members and they had been kind enough to include me on a group text message so I wouldn’t be doing NYCC completely alone (just goes to show how awesome the FoCC is and how we take care of each other).
It was a few hours before the Ash vs Evil Dead panel and I knew I had to give a heads up. You don’t have to stand in many lines at NYCC but when it comes to Grampa Bruce it doesn’t matter where you are, there is always a line. I sent out a text to the FoCC members who had adopted me and to see if anyone wanted to go see Grampa Bruce with me. I knew a true fan answered because they didn’t even question that I used my nickname for Bruce Campbell. Transmute Jun and I headed up and became instant friends. Upon entering, we were handed a foam chainsaw and an Ash for president button. We had great seats but were baffled by the front rows being reserved seats. That wasn’t how Hammerstein had been for all the other panels. Bummed that we could have been closer, we settled in for what we knew would be a great panel.
Kevin Smith walked out to start things up, I love Kevin Smith and was stoked he was moderating. We soon learned we were at the series premiere of Ash vs Evil Dead. Now all of those reserved seats made sense! We turned to each other with looks of shock and joy on our faces. I lost it with happiness; I was in full geek mode. It is entirely possible that this was literally the happiest moment of my life, knowing that we were going to be the first people to see the first episode. The first few minutes started out and I was worried that they may not have nailed it. I came to find out that I had no reason to be worried, as once the first demonite showed up, I knew that justice had been served to this reboot and that I was in for an amazing series.
I’m happy to say that I was right; the first season was amazing and I loved every moment of it. If I had to sum it with three words I would say “It was Hilarious!”
P.S. I’ve also seen the first episode of the second season and you are going to love it!