Steve Villeneuve’s “Hail to the Deadites” is a documentary about “Evil Dead” that touts itself as not featuring any kind of footage from the original films at any point. You’d think that would hinder the experience, but that only benefits the feature in the end. “Hail to the Deadites” is an unabashed love letter to the fans and the fans only. It explores the various facets of “Evil Dead” fandom, how all three movies have affected their lives, and how Bruce Campbell has become a source of inspiration to many.
Well it’s done and sadly, this is probably the last we’ll ever see of Ashley Williams. Despite fans wanting more from “Ash vs. Evil Dead,” Starz! Verified that the series was officially cancelled after three seasons, and Bruce Campbell confirmed that he’s hanging up his boom stick and chainsaw as Ash forever. It stings to know Ash won’t be back in live action form at least, but you know what?
On the bright side we got three whole seasons of a great series. “Ash vs. Evil Dead” continued the movie series, paved new roads for the series, introduced new deadite fighting heroes we can root for, and never held back on gore, grue, and deadite chopping action and comedy. Thanks to Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell for giving fans a last hurrah for Ash Williams. Hail to the King.
Here are ten of my favorite moments from “Ash vs. Evil Dead.”
You have to love Bruce Campbell’s attitude toward “Ash vs. Evil Dead.” He’s like that angry dad who you keep asking for bike for your birthday and he keeps telling you that he has no money, and to shut your trap, or he’s locking you in the basement with the other bad kids. Then on your birthday, he shows up with a brand new bike and says “Well I got it because… you know… you’re a good kid, and you wouldn’t shut up about it. Now go get me a pack of smokes.” Bruce is that kind of man who loves his fans despite the gruff exterior and rewarded us with “Ash vs. Evil Dead” because we wouldn’t shut up about it. And because, you know, you can’t have Ash without Campbell. Just in time for Halloween, “Ash vs. Evil Dead” gets everything right about the “Evil Dead” movie series.
Here were are many years later, and Ash is finally finding a life for himself that he’s happy with. Granted he lives in a trailer, picks up sleazy women at bars, and works at a store where he’s despised by his boss Mr. Roper, but it’s a life he’s comfortable with at least. After hiding out for many years from the deadites, they’ve finally found him and are hell bent on destroying him and the world. And it all happened because of Ash and a pot fueled bender with a gorgeous woman one night that caused him to irresponsibly read from the Necronomicon in an effort to impress her. All roads begin to converge as Ash begins getting horrifying signs from Deadites, causing him to pick up and move his trailer once again.
Typical of Sam Raimi, his “Evil Dead” series managed to become so much more insane and wacky the more it progressed. If “Dead By Dawn” wasn’t an indicator that he’d embraced the overall sheer chaos and insanity of Ashley Williams battling demons from another dimension, “Army of Darkness” dives head first, transforming Ashley’s newest misadventure in to something of an action horror movie with a stern tongue in cheek. While Raimi does inject his share of humor, though, “Army of Darkness” retains its essence, never once reducing the concept of the series in to an embarrassment.
Marvel Entertainment thought Brian Rosenthal’s fan film was too damn excellent for anyone to see, so they wiped out this fan film from the internet faster than you can say “Necronomicon.” But for the few folks that were able to catch it, director Brian Rosenthal delivers one hell of a kick ass short fan film that previews what could be an amazing film. In an alternate reality where Marvel and Sam Raimi teamed up for a great horror action film.
Well if anything, “Evil Dead: The Musical” is creative. It’s not as funny as it thinks it is, but it has a good time with the material Sam Raimi laid down. It’s kind of odd a musical that features the main character cutting off his hand shies away from the tree rape so blatantly. Not that I am anxious to see a woman violated by tree limbs, but I was wondering why they drew the line at some things and not other.
I admittedly had little to no faith for the prospects of an “Evil Dead” remake. As many horror fans like myself originally perceived it to be nothing but a cash grab, I expected really nothing but a faint half assed reconditioning much like Platinum Dunes is want to do. Thankfully the 2013 version of “Evil Dead” is not only an excellent horror film, but a rather brilliant character study to boot. It works as a remake, a sequel, and a companion piece. However fans want to think of it, the movie works in that function, thus resolving any aggravation hardcore Sam Raimi buffs will have toward this new version.