body horror

[TV Review] Ash vs Evil Dead Season 2 (2016) ★★★★★

Ash vs Evil Dead doubles the fun with bloody gory groovy delight.


The second season of Ash vs Evil Dead is yet again a series full of gore, over the top campy humor, that pushes the limit of good taste. And of course a lot is going on in this organized chaos. With some change in team dynamics, different parts to play for some characters and with more extreme episodes that range from bad taste to a fun psychological insight, silly humor and dark humor, this second season has a lot to offer and ensures that you will never get bored. 

This second season consists of 10 episodes with each a duration of 26-33 minutes. It has a continuous storyline that brings the trio back to Elk Grove to fight new demons and make new friends. 


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Plot

To save Pablo Ash made a deal with Ruby who turned out to be a Dark One, half human half demon, who together with other Dark Ones wrote the Necronomicon. She executed her devilish plan to create with Pablo and the Necronomicon her devilish offspring. Now she has both the book and her children in exchange for a peaceful life for Ash, Pablo and Kelly in Jacksonville. 

Once there, Ash feels right at home, but Pablo and Kelly aren’t at ease at all. And they are right. Ruby’s children have turned against her and now she needs the trio’s help. That leads them to another familiar place, Elk Grove, Ash’s hometown. There he has to face the townspeople who call him Ashy Slashy and his grumpy dad, his old girlfriend and his old best friend. 

They team up with Ruby to fight her evil offspring, while another villain surfaces. Baal, a demon and Ruby’s ex wants her and the book. But the book is possessing Pablo, while the townspeople turn into an angry mob. Again they have to return to the cabin in the woods to make things right again.


Why you should watch it

This second season is as hilarious and gory as the first season, but now that Ruby has changed sides and tries to be good, the whole dynamic has turned into something even more funny and awkward. Ruby is great fun, as half demon half human she displays some odd behavior that means well but nonetheless is very ruthless and rude. 

Pablo is also cause for an enormous change in dynamics, while he is being possessed by the book. This turns Ash into a real friend who wants to save Pablo at any cost. 

This second season connects with Ash’s past with new old characters showing up, like his old girlfriend Linda, not to be confused with the dead Linda. Ash also has some issues to resolve with his grumpy dad Brock, and we immediately come to know where all of Ash’s selfish and narrow-minded and stubborn traits come from. They make a very bickering couple that brings in some laughs. But Ash meets more of his past. Like his former best friend Chet. Worst of all Cheryl, his sister is back from the dead as a deadite to kill them. 

Most of this second season takes place in Elk Grove and in Ash’s old home. Nothing has changed, just like Ash and this theme, not wanting to or be able to letting go of the past that keeps haunting him, brings in some small depth, just enough to balance out the campy silliness. 

Because this second season Ash takes it maybe too far. The episode with the scene in the morgue was over the top, but also a bit tasteless and too much. It surely won’t be liked by everyone. On the other hand, when Ash started to lose his marbles in the decrepit asylum and he had a confrontation with his hand-puppet Ashy Slashy, the series proved to be very original and fun but also scratches the surface of the loneliness and sadness that surrounds Ash. 

The new big bad is even more dangerous than Ruby. Baal is pure evil and capable of many more supernatural tricks, like creating hallucinations, illusions and taking control over people’s minds. It’s much more darker, but also results in some awesome and hilarious scenes where he can play with his powers to create maximum fun. 

Of course, this season has a lot of blood, guts, heads, limbs and much more flying around. It’s always bloody, gory messy and that’s exactly what the fans crave for and they get it in full. But also with a lot of action, fighting, running, chanting, dying, laughing, all in that authentic Evil Dead vibe. But to address some other sides of Ash and of Kelly and Pablo and even Ruby, this series has a serious undertone as well, to balance out the  grossness. That way it never gets too ordinary or vulgar, but instead is a colorful flashy series that exactly knows what it is and what it is doing, but slightly never overdoing it. 

On top of that it connects in a great way with the original films, with the return of the  Oldsmobile, and eventually the return to the cabin in the woods. Whatever happens, they always have to return to where it all began. That results in some hellish walks down memory lane, with familiar shots, like the demon Ash is facing, the peeping through the crack of the cellar trapdoor, and much more. It definitely knows what the fans want and delivers with glee and revels in it with passionate fun. 


My favorite part

I always love it when a former bad guy turns good, or at least tries to be. It feels always a bit alien. With awkward situations, remarks or behavior, while the former bad guy isn’t even aware of his/her slightly off-kilter behavior. I just love that. Ruby is a great character and really adds a great new dynamic to the story. She forms a wonderful team with Kelly, all girl-power and even has a soft spot for Pablo. And Pablo, well he stays too cute and lovable even when possessed, poor guy. I loved the scenes with Ashy Slashy and it gave more depth to Ash’s character and to the whole series without losing the focus on campy horror fun. 


Ratings

Rating: ★★★★★

Fun factor: ★★★★★

Gore factor: ★★★★★

Originality factor: ★★★★★

Entertainment factor: ★★★★★


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Cast and crew

Ash vs Evil Dead is created by Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi and Tom Spezialy. It stars Bruce Campbell (Ash Williams), Ray Santiago (Pablo Bolivar), Dana DeLorenzo (Kelly Maxwell), Lucy Lawless (Ruby Knowby) Michelle Hurd (Linda Emery), Ted Raimi (Chet Kaminski), Lee Majors (Brock Williams) and Joel Tobeck (Baal).

Music: Joseph LoDuca. Cinematography: Dave Garbett, John Cavill, Kevin Riley. Production company: Renaissance Pictures, Starz Originals. Original network: Starz.


Check the trailer below


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