REVIEW: ASH VS EVIL DEAD – SEASON 3

MAIN CAST

Bruce Campbell (Bubba Ho-Tep)
Ray Santiago (In Time)
Dana DeLorenzo (The Mad Ones)
Arielle Carver-O’Neill (Predestination)
Lindsay Farris (Gods of Egypt)
Lucy Lawless (Xena: WP)

Bruce Campbell, Katrina Hobbs, Ray Santiago, and Arielle Carver-O'Neill in Ash vs Evil Dead (2015)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Katrina Hobbs (Home and Away)
Ellie Gall (Stargate: Origins)
Jeffrey Thomas (Spartacus: Gods of The Arena)
Albertine Jonas (Dirty Laundry)
Samantha Young (Charlie’s Country)
Lee Majors (The Six Million Dollar Man)
Chelsie Preston Crayford (The Code)
Will Wallace (Step Dave)
Jodie Hillock (Tracker)
Emilia Burns (The Shannara Chronicles)
Colin Moy (Spartacus)
Mikaela Rüegg (Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel)
Jessica Green (The Outpost)
James Gaylyn (Power Rangers RPM)

Dana DeLorenzo and Lindsay Farris in Ash vs Evil Dead (2015)W00hen Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell first worked together on The Evil Dead, no one could have anticipated that this 1981 splatter-fest would snowball into not only a cult classic but one of the pillars of modern horror cinema. For decades after the trilogy’s final installment in 1992’s Army of Darkness, fans clamored for more of Campbell’s buffoonish badass Ashley J. Williams. After Raimi and Campbell helped shepherd director Fede Alvarez’s 2013 reboot/remake, hopes for more of their original vision seemed bleak. Then Ash vs. Evil Dead happened.Katrina Hobbs and Arielle Carver-O'Neill in Ash vs Evil Dead (2015)Since 2015, Campbell has reprised his titular role for the Starz series, giving an older but decidedly not wiser Ash a whole mess of gory shenanigans to get into. Now returning for season 3, the series complicates matters further, introducing a teenage daughter (Arielle Carver-O’Neill) Ash has never met and forcing him to become the reluctant hero once again. Meanwhile, Ash’s longtime compatriots Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) find themselves drawn back into the fight against evil, as the trio must protect Ash’s newfound progeny against the demonic Ruby’s (Lucy Lawless) latest plot. If that all sounds just wacky enough for you, you might be destined for a date with Ash vs. Evil Dead.Lee Majors, Bruce Campbell, and Arielle Carver-O'Neill in Ash vs Evil Dead (2015)Of course, the plot of the show isn’t the point. Not really. Rather, the joy in watching it unfold lies in the cringe-inducing carnage, over-the-top black comedy and surprise callbacks to both previous elements on the series as well as the films that inspired it. Even original Evil Dead co-star Ellen Sandweiss popped up in season 2 for a bit.Arielle Carver-O'Neill in Ash vs Evil Dead (2015)Naturally, fans have been reveling in having an iconic hero like Ash back in action, and the “Ghost Beaters’” — as Ash, Pablo and Kelly call their scrappy band — repeated visits to the cabin that started it all have only fanned the fandom flame since Ash vs. Evil Dead‘s premiere. Thanks to the show’s repeated efforts to develop the Evil Dead mythos and provide a hell of a fun time doing it, the series has remarkably persisted in the face of dwindling ratings.Perhaps that’s to be expected with a series like this, though. At this point, viewers likely are already onboard for what Ash vs. Evil Dead has to offer or know better than to tune in. Indeed, the show’s particular brand of blood-spattered lunacy — which clearly tries to outdo its own bizarre grotesqueries with every episode — isn’t everyone’s taste, nor should it be.Lucy Lawless in Ash vs Evil Dead (2015)However, the series is so committed to its own ridiculousness that those who find this off-kilter tone appealing will probably only love it that much more for its niche properties. After all, the entire Evil Dead franchise was built on the back of a cult classic, a midnight movie that has somehow endured. So naturally, fans have been eating it up, while the uninitiated have turned a blind eye to Ash vs. Evil Dead. Those who have been watching know how much fun Campbell is in his signature role, and that appeal only continues with season 3. Giving Ash a daughter to care for challenges him to at least feign being a responsible adult, bringing out a side of him viewers haven’t yet gotten to know. Considering how much we’ve seen of the lusty, boozing, accidentally competent hero, it’s impressive that Ash still has layers to explore.Arielle Carver-O'Neill in Ash vs Evil Dead (2015)Moreover, Lawless earns the runner-up spot for VIP this season. She’s always been a hoot as Ruby, who always seems to be pursuing multiple schemes at once. But this year, the character takes her dedication to deception to new heights. As far as arch-nemeses go, the former warrior princess remains a formidable foe for the Ghost Beaters.Ash vs. Evil Dead is the best it’s ever been this year, the series does feel as invested in these characters as ever before. Despite all the insanity going on, viewers can’t help but root for and care about Ash, Pablo and Kelly and the predictably horrific adventures they face with a wink, a nod and (very often) a chainsaw. Unfortunately though  Ash vs. Evil Dead was  on the Starz chopping block after this season making this season the last we will see, and with Bruce Campbell stepping down from his most famous role, thislooks like the last we will see of Ash Williams.