"Ash vs. Evil Dead" Season One is Groovy, Gory Fun

Anchor Bay Entertainment and Starz unleash the Blu-ray and DVD for the television series horror fans have been waiting over 20 years to see. "Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete First Season" continues the misadventures of Bruce Campbell's most famous character and brings along a few buddies on his road trip to Hell. Ash is joined by fellow department store workers Ray Santiago as reluctant wanna-be hero Pablo and Dana DeLorenzo playing the spunky and dangerous Kelly.

"Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete First Season" follows the stock boy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter (Bruce Campbell) who has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead. When a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind, Ash is finally forced to face his demons –personal and literal. Destiny, it turns out, has no plans to release the unlikely hero from its “Evil” grip. A mysterious figure named Ruby (Lucy Lawless) is on the search for our hero, as she believes Ash is the cause of the Evil outbreaks. Amanda Fisher (Jill Marie Jones), a disgraced Michigan State Trooper, is also set on finding Ash and prove his responsibility in the grisly murder of her partner.

If the fact that Bruce Campbell is back as Ash for the series isn't enough to convince you to give it a try, maybe the fact that "Evil Dead" creator / writer / director Sam Raimi is heavily involved will be. He even directs the first episode of the show. He and his brother, Ivan, also are writers and developers of "Ash vs. Evil Dead".

For the most part, I really did like "Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete First Season". It was a worthy progression from “Army of Darkness”. The show had the slapstick humor of both it and “Evil Dead 2” while restoring the realistic bloodiness of the original film and its remake.

One thing I was surprised about was the length of the episodes for "Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete First Season". The majority of them were only 30 minutes long. Somehow, the runtime worked for the show. The first episode and the final one were around 45 minutes long. There's about 294 minutes of material between all of the episodes. All I kept thinking as I watched the whole season, "They could've just trimmed some of the fat out of each of these and made two straight-to-DVD movies."

I do wish "Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete First Season" wasn’t as raunchy as it is and had less profanity. The original three movies with Bruce Campbell as Ash weren’t heavy on nudity, sexual situations, and as much crude language. It almost seems like the producers of the show felt they had to include more of these lewd ingredients to appeal to a newer and younger crowd.

"Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete First Season" includes a healthy amount of special features. Audio commentary is found for every episode. Bruce Campbell provides his thoughts on eight of them, while Sam Raimi only talks shop about the first episode. Actors Lucy Lawless, Ray Santiago, and Dana DeLorenzo also get in on the commentary. Two featurettes entitled "Inside the World of Ash" and "How to Kill a Deadite" take viewers behind the scenes of the show. A collection of Bruce Campbell's shining moments in the series are found in the montage "Best of Ash".

I’ll say the same thing I said to a friend of mine. Any new “Evil Dead” starring Bruce Campbell is better than not getting any. "Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete First Season" is pure gore entertainment. It does tend to get bogged down with extraneous events every once in a while. Overall, it takes you on a wild ride back to where it all started and then leaves you heading into a future which looks to be very bleak and wonderfully deadly.

"Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete First Season" is available now on Blu-rayDVD, and as a Digital Download.