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.

 

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REVIEW: LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN – SEASON 3

CAST
Dean Cain (Supergirl)
Teri Hatcher (Desperate Housewives)
Lane Smith (V: The Series)
Justin Whalin (Dungeons & Dragons)
K Callan (Heroes)
Eddie Jones (C.H.U.D.)
Teri Hatcher in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST
Bruce Campbell (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Peter Boyle (Red Heat)
Jessica Collins (Tru Calling)
Sal Viscuso (Soap)
Carlos Lacamara (Heroes Reborn)
Peter Kent (Total Recall)
Olivia Brown (48 Hours)
Larry Hankin (Breaking Bad)
J. Patrick McCormack (Hollow Man)
Rob LaBelle (Watchmen)
Genie Francis (General Hospital)
Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: TNG)
Kenneth Kimmins (Coach)
Shelley Long (Cheers)
Mary Gross (Sabrina: TTW)
Dave Coulier (Full House)
Sandra Hess (Mortal Kombat: Annihilation)
Sean Whalen (Twister)
Andrew Bryniarski (Street Fighter)
Robert Carradine (Ghosts of Mars)
Beverly Garland (7th Heaven)
Harve Presnell (Fargo)
Joel Swetow (Kidding)
Cress Williams (Black Lightning)
Gary Dourdan (CSI)
James Read (Legally Blonde)
Lane Davies (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Emily Procter (CSI: Miami)
Lee Arenberg (Waterworld)
Oliver Muirhead (The Social Network)
Tony Curtis (Spartacus)
Brad Garrett (Chrtistopher Robin)
John Shea (Mutant X)
Shaun Toub (Iron Man)
Larry Poindexter (17 Again)
Daniel Roebuck (Final Destination)
Justine Bateman (Men In Trees)
Jon Tenney (Legion)
Kyla Pratt (Dr. Dolittle)
Roger Daltrey (Highlander: The Series)
Dean Cain in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993)
The third season was probably the most memorable time for me to be a part of the Lois & Clark fandom, as the show started hitting high gear. Unfortunately, some of the situations that I found to be “funny” back as a kid are just kind of annoying and childish now. If I ever see Olivia Brown’s Star anytime soon, it’ll be too soon. Jonathan Frakes and Genie Francis also camp it up way too much as collectors Tim and Amber Lake. And they’re not the only ones who bring bad camp to the season.
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Luckily, some episodes have a good mix of camp and story. “We Have A Lot To Talk About,” the season’s premiere, is an episode that will always be close to my heart and has some of the best quotations in Superman history. (“That is so unfair! You know I can’t fly!”) There’s camp in the form of the Churches in that said episode, but when it’s Peter Boyle, Bruce Campbell, and Jessica Collins, you really don’t seem to mind.Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993)“Ultra Woman” gives Lois super-powers, and again, a very campy costume, but makes for a good story anyway. The episode also features the Metropolis Park Wishing Well, which now can be paused so you can actually see this author’s name inscribed on the well! Another highlight of the season – and one of the series’ best all around – is “Tempus Anyone,” a return appearance for the Tempus character from Season 2’s “Tempus Fugitive.” Season Three rushed right into a wedding, and “I Now Pronounce You” promises the “wedding of the century” – a wedding that ABC touted as being “bigger than Burt and Loni, Michael and Lisa Marie…” You see where they’re going with that. I don’t want to spoil the episode, but the episodes following it may become increasingly frustrating, even though “Double Jeopardy” and “Seconds” are also two of the season’s best shows.Superman-Ultrawoman-2-lois-and-clark-31411135-584-467The season finale introduces some aliens fom a New Krypton. This is the spot where the producers chose to ignore the whole “Last Son of Krypton” aspect of Superman.

REVIEW: LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN – SEASON 2

CAST

Dean Cain (Supergirl)
Teri Hatcher (Desperate Housewives)
Lane Smith (V: The Series)
Justin Whalin (Dungeons & Dragons)
K Callan (Heroes)
Eddie Jones (C.H.U.D.)

Dean Cain in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Emma Samms (Doctors)
Denise Crosby (Trekkies)
Earl Boen (The Terminator)
Barry Livingston (Argo)
Traylor Howard (Two Guys and a Girl)
Jessica Hecht (Breaking Bad)
Michael Des Barres (Four Kings)
Corinna Everson (Hercules: TLJ)
Peter Scolari (Gotham)
William Schallert (Innerspace)
Rick Overton (Groundhog Day)
Harold Gould (Freaky Friday)
Bronson Pinchot (The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
Kristin Bauer van Straten (Once Upon A Time)
Bruce Weitz (Half Past Dead)
Farrah Forke (Heat)
Dick Miller (Gremlins)
Peter Boyle (Taxi Driver)
Melora Hardin (17 Again)
John Pleshette (The Truman Show)
Sal Viscuso (Spaceballs)
William Devane (The Grinder)
Leslie Jordan (Will & Grace)
Cindy Williams (American Graffiti)
Isabel Sanford (The Jeffersons)
Dick Van Patten (Spaceballs)
Denise Richards (Starship Troopers)
Sherman Hemsley (Clunkers)
Scott Valentine (Family Guy)
John Rubinstein (Angel)
Roxana Zal (River’s Edge)
Louis Mustillo (Mike & Molly)
Christian Clemenson (Live By Night)
Brian Doyle-Murray (Groundhog Day)
James Hong (Blade Runner)
Gerrit Graham (Child’#s Play 2)
Tony Jay (Teen Titans)
John Shea (Mutant X)
Raquel Welch (Legally Blonde)
Wayne Pére (Cloak & Dagger)
Cliff De Young (Glory)
Mark Rolston (Aliens)
Jim Pirri (Now You See Me 2)
Curtis Armstrong (American Dad)
Danny Woodburn (Mirror Mirror)
Terry Kiser (Farmer of The Year)
Robert Costanzo (Batman: TAS)
Don Swayze (Death Ring)
Lane Davies (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Meredith Scott Lynn (Force of Nature)
Charles Napier (The Silence of The Lambs)
Erick Avari (Stargate)
Bruce Campbell (The Evil Dead)
Jason Carter (Babylon 5)
Kay Lenz (Breezy)
Martin Mull (Sabrina: TTW)
Adam West (Batman)
Ben Stein (The Mask)
Michele Abrams (Junior)
Frank Gorshin (Batman)
Maurice Godin (Threshold)

Dean Cain in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993)The second season of L&C holds a special place to me because it is the year that taught me how to be a fan. Series creator Deborah Joy LeVine exited after the thrilling first season finale, and departing at the same time were Tracy Scoggins (Cat Grant), Chris Demetral (Jack), and – the most painful loss at the time – Michael Landes, who I referred to back in the day as “the real Jimmy.” He was replaced by Justin Whalin in the role, and I admit, I didn’t take to him very easily. The show went for more of an action-oriented tone, but luckily, Lois & Clark had some very good writers who still managed to find a way to keep the romantic elements of the series. Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain had a chemistry, as did their characters of Lois and Clark, and you can’t help but feel for them as they go along.Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993)Season Two was also the season where Lois & Clark finally became a hit – no “sophomore slump” here. From the time Clark finally asked Lois on a date in “The Phoenix” things were looking up. No Mayson Drakes or Dan Scardinos could get in the way of finally getting these two characters together.Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993)Upon watching the DVD, my first stop after the special features was “Whine Whine Whine.” In it, Superman fights a foe more dastardly than Kryptonite – greed. The episode featured guests like Ben Stein, Adam West, Frank Gorshin, Martin Mull, and others… it’s just great. Long-time Lois & Clark fans will also remember it for bringing in a scene that we’ve waited for for a while. ” Like Season 1, the producers of the L&C DVDs went all out in providing an assortment of special material, and for the most part they were very successful. Dean Cain provides interviews again (no Teri this time), and other interviewees included K Callan (Martha Kent), Eddie Jones (Jonathan Kent), Denise Crosby (Dr. Gretchen Kelly), and Justin Whalin (Jimmy Olsen). The show’s Season 2 writers and some crew are also featured, including John McNamara, who is awesome not only for his great L&C contributions, but because he co-created Profit, which is the best show you probably have never seen.Teri Hatcher in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993)In the interviews Justin Whalin talks about the initial fan reaction to his recasting, which makes me feel a bit bad for the way I felt and posted years ago after he was cast. I later met Justin and thought he was a really nice guy. I’ve also noticed on the DVD interviews that Justin has apparently not aged at all in the past 10 years – he looks almost exactly the same.Dean Cain in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993)Another bonus feature takes a look at the fandom for the show, again featuring some actors and creators and some visits to some fans at a recent “FoLCFest” (Fans of Lois & Clark) gathering. I was glad to see an assortment of people interviewed for the featurette, but I was a bit disappointed that no one from the Krypton Club was represented – after all, its subscriber list WAS bigger than the listserv or the IRC channel for most of its existence – but that fact seems to have been forgotten in the passing of time.Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993)Finally, Dean Cain provides commentary for “Season’s Greedings,” where you hear – about 2 dozen times – about how foamy material rather than real snow were used to provide the “snow” for the episode. It’s very cool to hear Dean talking about his writing debut, which conveniently also happened to be one of the most popular episodes of the series. Dean’s a great sport and I really love the fact that he’s even doing DVD commentary. .

31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN REVIEW: BUBBA HO-TEP

CAST

Bruce Campbell (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Ossie Davis (Dr. Dolittle)
Ella Joyce (Roc)
Heidi Marnhout (Imagine That)
Bob Ivy (Near Dark)
Daniel Roebuck (Final Destination)

An elderly man at The Shady Rest Retirement Home in East Texas is known to the staff as Sebastian Haff, but claims to be Elvis. He explains that during the 1970s, Elvis Presley (Bruce Campbell) grew tired of the demands of his fame and switched places with an Elvis impersonator named Sebastian Haff (also Campbell). He claims it was Haff who eventually died in 1977, while he, the real Elvis, lived in quiet, happy anonymity and made a living pretending to be himself. After a propane explosion destroyed documentation which was the only proof that he was actually Elvis, he was unable to return to his old lifestyle.
A hip injury during a performance causes him to get an infection and slip into a coma. Twenty years later and living at the retirement home as the film opens, he is contemplating his age, frailty, loss of dignity, impotence, and “A growth on [his] pecker”. Elvis’s only friend is a black man named Jack (Ossie Davis) who insists he is President John F. Kennedy, claiming to have been dyed black after an assassination attempt, and abandoned by Lyndon Johnson in a nursing home. Initially skeptical of Jack’s story, Elvis does spot a mysterious scar on the back of Jack’s head. It could be from the head wound seen in the Zapruder film, but then it might not be.
Eventually, Elvis and Jack face off against a re-animated ancient Egyptian mummy that was stolen during a U.S. museum tour, and then lost during a severe storm in East Texas when the thieves’ bus veered into a river near the nursing home. The mummy strangely takes on the garb of a cowboy and feeds on the souls of the residents of the home. It is dubbed ‘Bubba Ho-Tep’ by Elvis, who is given a telepathic flashback of the mummy’s life and death when he looks into its eyes. The slow, plodding mummy is a real and credible threat, as instead of going against young adults who could potentially outrun or overpower it, the mummy gives chase to the elderly. Jack and Elvis lack mobility and need a motorized wheelchair and a walker to get around the grounds.
Elvis and Jack create an elaborate plan to destroy the mummy. Destruction of the mummy would release the trapped souls of their dead friends, and they would be able to go to their final resting place. Elvis and Jack battle the mummy in the middle of the night, with Jack in an electric wheelchair and Elvis wielding a makeshift flamethrower. Jack is knocked out of his wheelchair by the mummy and is about to have his soul sucked. Elvis hops in the wheelchair, zooms into the mummy to save Jack, and damages the flamethrower, getting a large gash in his abdomen in the process. Jack dies from a heart attack. Elvis becomes committed to getting rid of the mummy, and he throws the gasoline on him and then throws matches at him, killing the mummy.
Elvis lies on a hill near the river bank, dying from the blood loss from the gash and broken ribs. He talks in his mind about how he doesn’t fear death, knowing that he still had his soul and that he saved all of the fellow people at the Shady Rest Retirement Home. As he reflects upon this, the stars align into a message for Elvis saying “all is well”. With a dying “Thank you, thank you very much,” Elvis passes away.
How can you not love a movie called Bubba Ho-Tep featuring the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll taking on a cowboy mummy – especially when you have Bruce Campbell playing the role of Elvis? Add in a remarkable performance by Ossie Davis, one of the best soundtracks in recent years, and a huge number of extras on the DVD, and you’ve got a movie of must-see status.

31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN REVIEW: MAN WITH THE SCREAMING BRAIN

CAST

Bruce Campbell (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Tamara Gorski (Hercules: TLJ)
Ted Raimi (Xena)
Antoinette Byron (Rebel)
Stacy Keach (The Bourne Legacy)
Raicho Vasilev (Spartacus)

Image result for man with the screaming brainBruce Campbell plays William Cole, the wealthy CEO of a U.S. drug company who travels to Bulgaria with his wife, Jackie (Antoinette Byron) in the hopes of diversifying his company’s financial interests. Cole is a stereotypical ugly American who constantly complains about the lack of Americanization of the former communist country. They’re driven to a hotel by a taxi driver, and former KGB agent, named Yegor Stragov (Vladimir Kolev), in which Yegor gives William a ring to give to Jackie. While William is at the construction of a subway, Jackie secretly cheats on William with Yegor.Man-with-the-Screaming-Brain-14William gets back to the hotel and bumps into the hotel maid and gypsy, Tatoya (Tamara Gorski), who kills men that date and dump her. Jackie then comes in, catches William kissing Tatoya and dumps him. William chases Tatoya, who had taken William’s money and ring (which is revealed to be Tatoya’s that she gave to Yegor when they dated), and Tatoya knocks him in the head with a pipe outside the hotel. Yegor witnesses this and so Tatoya kills Yegor with his own gun.A vengeful Jackie has Cole’s life support plug pulled in hospital, and then goes to Gypsy Town where Tatoya lives and attempts to kill her, only to have Tatoya kill her by throwing her down a flight of stairs. Meanwhile, William wakes up in the warehouse of a Russian scientist named Dr. Ivan Ivanovich Ivanov (Stacy Keach), and his idiotic assistant Pavel (Ted Raimi), who had taken damaged parts of William’s brain and replaced it with healthy tissue from Yegor’s. When William runs out of the warehouse, he discovers he can hear Yegor’s voice in his head, and they both plan to “get the woman that killed us both”. Jackie, who had also been picked up by Dr. Ivanov and Pavel, has her brain put inside a robot, and so she escapes and also plans to exact revenge on Tatoya.William/Yegor and Robo-Jackie chase Tatoya around town. William gets involved in a car crash with his foot underneath a car and Tatoya makes another attempt to kill William by setting the leaking car gasoline alight. Jackie saves him and is presumed dead in the explosion. After avoiding some bar punks that believe William “raped Tatoya on her wedding day”, William/Yegor begin suffering brain damage due to their cells not able to coexist in the same head. Jackie, who had survived the explosion, appears and attempts to kill Tatoya by throwing her off a bridge, until Jackie stabs her brain, causing her to malfunction, and has Jackie thrown off the bridge. William chases Tatoya through the subway construction and the sewer and finally kills Tatoya by dropping her in sewer river, after obtaining the ring back. William and Jackie then confess their love for each other before Jackie’s batteries finally die, as does William due to the brain cells of him and Yegor. Pavel brings William, Jackie and Tatoya’s body back to Dr. Ivanov to fix them, as he had earlier found a way to make William and Yegor’s brain cells coexist in the same head. The movie ends with William back in the U.S. six months later, still sharing his body with Yegor’s brain. He goes to a brain trauma benefit with Jackie, whose brain had been transferred into Tatoya’s body.Man-with-the-Screaming-Brain-11This is exactly what you expect from the Mighty King Of Chins.A Mad story about a Mad Scientist,played with Brilliant humour by Stacy Keach who brings Bruce back to life after He is attacked by a Crazy Woman. Funny,imaginative and Really Silly….in a good way that is.

31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN REVIEW: THE WOODS

CAST

Agnes Bruckner (Blood and Chocolate)
Emma Campbell (The Aviator)
Bruce Campbell (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Patricia Clarkson (Shutter Island)
Lauren Birkell (Cast Away)
Rachel Nichols (Alias)
Gordon Currie (Puppet Master 4)

In 1965, after burning down a tree in her yard, rebel teenager Heather Fasulo (Agnes Bruckner) is sent to the boarding school Falburn Academy in the middle of the woods by her estranged mother Alice Fasulo (Emma Campbell) and negligent father Joe Fasulo (Bruce Campbell). The headmistress, Ms. Traverse (Patricia Clarkson), accepts Heather in spite of her father’s bad financial condition. The displaced Heather becomes close friends with Marcy Turner (Lauren Birkell), while they are maltreated by their abusive classmate Samantha Wise (Rachel Nichols). During the night, Heather has a nightmare of a student named Ann, covered in blood, and hears voices that seem to be coming from the woods. The next day, Marcy tells Heather that Ann was taken to a mental institution after attempting to commit suicide, and that she’d been covered in blood.
With the help of Marcy, Heather eventually learns to adjust to her new school, even having fun at times and making more friends. Ms. Traverse subjects Heather to special tests to see if she is “gifted,” telling her that it is all part of her scholarship to the academy. The girls tell Heather a spooky story about the history of Falburn, which includes three young redheaded sisters who arrived at the school and turned out to be witches, killing the headmistress before leaving to the woods. Meanwhile, Samantha continues to torment Heather, who comes to despise her and fights back. Ann returns from the mental institution, and Heather finds her one day, rocking in her bed. Ann reveals that she is afraid she will be taken by the witches. She says she is cold, so Heather climbs on a trunk to try and close the open window over Ann’s bed. A low fog rushes into the room and knocks Heather down, twisting her ankle, and she is taken to the infirmary. The next day, Heather finds Ann’s bed empty, her place filled with dead leaves. She witnesses the headmistress lying to the police about Ann’s disappearance, remarking that she is being taken care of.
This leads her to become suspicious and she tries to talk to Marcy about it. But Marcy acts strangely, and is shadowed by one of the teachers. Soon after, Heather finds Marcy’s bed empty and covered in leaves. Later, she is confronted in the woods by Samantha, who reveals that she has actually been trying to protect Heather with her antics. She tells Heather that the school is led by a coven of witches who want to take all of the girls away. Samantha explains that she has called Heather’s father to help her escape and that the milk is poisoned. The girls are both caught by a school mistress, who promptly takes Samantha away. Samantha is later found hanging from a long noose in the cafeteria. When a police officer comes to investigate, Heather tells him of the missing students. The officer confronts the headmistress, but she claims that the girls ran away. Another mistress “leads” the officer into the woods to find the girls, where he is killed by the living vines of a tree.
Heather’s parents show up to take her home, though the headmistress tries to persuade them otherwise. On the way home, their car is mysteriously flipped and Heather is knocked unconscious. Alice is dragged out of the car by a living vine and kicks Joe in the head, knocking him out. Heather and Joe wake up in a nearby hospital. Before they can reach each other, Ms. Traverse has Heather dragged away, then slits her own hand and forces her black blood down Joe’s throat, which puts him into a catatonic state. Heather returns to the school in despair. She drinks the milk that evening, but later vomits it back up, finding tree bark in it. Back at the hospital, Joe wakes up and vomits up Ms. Traverse’s black blood, which also has tree bark in it. He quickly escapes and goes to find Heather. That night, Heather begins to hear voices again, and when she attempts to leave, a living vine captures her.
When she awakens, she is wrapped in vines in a large foggy room, next to Ann and Marcy, who are also held captive. All of the teachers appear and reveal themselves to be witches. Ms. Traverse is their leader, and she explains that their spirits have been trapped in the woods all these years, and they need to inhabit the bodies of young women to escape their imprisonment. Heather appears to be the centerpiece of her plan because she has the strongest powers among the gifted students. Heather is coerced into completing the ritual, and the vines begin to mummify all of the girls in the school. Before it can complete itself, Joe breaks into the room with an ax and begins to kill the witches. Heather breaks free from the vines and grabs the ax, proceeding to chop all of the witches into pieces. Heather and Joe then leave with all of the girls, walking down the road into the daylight as the school burns in the distance behind them.
The end of the movie states that Falburn Academy burned to the ground in 1965, while the surrounding woods were strangely left untouched.
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Sony have released some interesting films straight to dvd in 2006, but this film is by far and away the best, great acting, location, atmosphere, sound design and Bruce Campbell with his finest performance since Bubba ho-tep. Though it seems to have been influenced by films like suspiria and evil dead it is in no way imitative of either and I am willing to stake a large wad of cash that this becomes a true cult classic, though it deserves to be more popular than that!

REVIEW: ASH VS EVIL DEAD – SEASON 2

MAIN CAST

Bruce Campbell (Jack of All Trades)
Ray Santiago (My Name Is Earl)
Dana DeLorenzo (2 Broke Girls)
Lucy Lawless (Spartacus)
Michelle Hurd (Daredevil)
Ted Raimi (Xena: Warrior Princess)
Pepi Sonuga (Famous in Love)

Bruce Campbell in Ash vs Evil Dead (2015)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Joel Tobeck (Young Hercules)
Lee Majors (The Six Million Dollar Man)
Stephen Lovatt (Spartacus: Gods of The Arena)
Stephen Ure (Deathgasm)
Ellen Sandweiss (Oz The Great and Powerfui)
Campbell Cooley (Power Rangers Ninja Steel)
Sara West (Dead Girls)
Nicholas Hope (Soul Mates)

Ash vs Evil Dead (2015)Though not without a few stumbles, Ash vs Evil Dead’s second season was a definite improvement over its freshman year run. Not that Season 1 wasn’t fun and ferocious gooey gory goodness, but it didn’t quite have a handle on Ash, as a character, like Season 2 did. Last year, Ash seemed to bounce back and forth between total doofus and a more earnest sort of hero who was in the midst of a transformative arc. What was needed — and yes, it’s tricky — was a blend of the two. Ash needed to become less of a reluctant savior while still being fundamentally, you know, Ash.This is where Season 2 really nailed it. Sure, we got some truly awesome action set pieces involving rampaging killer cars, diabolical devil trees, and all sorts of evil minions of hell — sequences that awesomely pushed us to our hardcore gore, and good taste, limits — but what resonated the most about this second year was how well Ash came off as a character. Ash was allowed to be smart, but in his own goofball way. For example, he’d have ideas to track down books and demons that involved raging alcohol-infused parties and his iguana’s pet tracker. Plans that sounded totally asinine but fell into that “so dumb they actually worked” category. Even Ruby, Ash’s biggest critic, constantly had to admit that Ash, for better or worse, could get things done.Bruce Campbell, Ray Santiago, and Dana DeLorenzo in Ash vs Evil Dead (2015)Bringing Ash back home and revealing that he’d been ostracized by his town and family after the blood-soaked events of the Evil Dead films was a crucial part of this blending. Ash was given, of all things, an off-screen backstory and through this he could be afforded spare moments of vulnerability. Ash could bicker with his bigoted, bitter father (infused with wonderful crotchetiness by Lee Majors) while we, the viewers, could know that he secretly longed for his love and approval.Bruce Campbell and Ray Santiago in Ash vs Evil Dead (2015)Pablo’s story this year, as a wannabe warrior-turned-living version of the Necronomicon, helped give the season a nice flow. Season 1 was a road trip. Not every stop along the journey hit the mark. This time, even with the time travel, Ash sorta stayed put in Elk Grove and it was Pablo’s connection to the book, and the rise of Baal, that moved us groovily through the story. Pablo’s death also really added a cool exclamation point that the final two episodes needed. Sure, Ash’s little burrito would come back to life by the end, but Ash’s grief over losing his friend is what led to the final defeat of Baal.Lucy Lawless in Ash vs Evil Dead (2015)Another thing that Season 2 brought to the table was a better take on Lucy Lawless’ Ruby. Essentially the straight-laced reactive character in the group (though everyone side-eyes Ash), Ruby joined the Ghostbeaters this year as a half-demon who’d made a horrible mistake. Season 1 never gave us her origins or (well explained) motivations, so it was fitting to see her change completely and get rebooted for the good guys. Unfortunately, this Ruby died in the finale and was replaced with 80s evil Ruby..Bruce Campbell in Ash vs Evil Dead (2015)Ruby was in Kelly’s ear all season, talking destiny and taking matters into her own hands. Then Kelly even had her own “Ash Fight” when Ash was supposedly under the control of Baal and she got to throw down with the demented therapy puppet (which was amazing). She became even more of badass than season 1 and it will be interesting to see what becomes of Kelly in season 3.Lucy Lawless and Dana DeLorenzo in Ash vs Evil Dead (2015)I’d be remiss if I closed this review without mentioning Ash being dragged up into a possessed corpse’s butt. This season definitely went above and beyond when it came to, um, orifices and fluids (of all kinds), but this moment, back in the second episode, was really one of the most gag-worthy and “out there” moments the show has ever done, finally taking full advantage of being on an anything goes network like Starz. It was magnificent and, though the show may try, it’ll probably never be topped.
bp1o7i3a6alalclalucbAsh vs Evil Dead: Season 2 gave us a fully realized Ash, who was both hilarious and valiant, while also fleshing out his character more with a great “town boogeyman” backstory. It would have been nice to see Kelly’s arc land somewhere more significant, but overall this was a raunchy, gloppy good time filled with grit and guts.