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Thirty years ago, some friends visited an old cabin deep in the woods. They thought they'd have a nice weekend retreat, and they took their puke-yellow 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 to the woods past the rickety bridge without a care.

They found a book there. An evil book. Necronomicon Ex Mortis - the Book of the Dead. And because they were teenagers, they opened it and read from it.

They awoke something, deep in woods. It possessed them, one by one. One by one, they became cackling, evil, murderous monsters. One by one, they fell under its power.

Except for one.

It got into him as far as his right hand. It possessed...his right hand. His hand tried to kill him, so he cut it off, laughing maniacally as he did so, before going on to defeat the evil presence - but before he could escape the woods, a hole in space and time, opened by the book, swallowed him and his Delta 88 - and back they went to the medieval era.

He got out of that. And he made it home.

For thirty years, he's been running from everything he can find, trying to put that experience behind him. He holds on to his job at the local store, where he thinks his seniority makes him unfireable.

And then, one day in a pot-confused moment of...more idiocy than normal, he pulls out the book and reads from it, to impress a blonde who likes French poetry.

Guess what that means.


Thankfully, Sam Raimi (oh, you didn't think this would happen with him, did you?) has been faithful to our memories. Bruce Campbell plays Ash, 30 years older and 30 pounds overweight, wearing a girdle and a fake right hand 'made out of rosewood by Italian artisans.'

And the Deadites heard him read the Necronomicon aloud, and they're coming for him.

Ash. Vs. Evil Dead has so far, as of this writing, aired only one episode. It airs on the Starz network, which funded its production. The title of the first episode? "El Jefe." Well played. We see an Ash even more caddish and craven than usual, hiding in the pointless trailer park existence that he fits into so well, with no ties, no nothing - except, somehow, that same puke-yellow Olds Delta 88. Or maybe an exact duplicate, but damn, that's a well-maintained 30-year-old time-traveling car that was A-Team-modded up to produce an anti-zombie tank a few hundred years ago which...

Wait, never mind.

The good news - the series manages to capture a lot of the hilarity that makes the Evil Dead movies the Evil Dead movies. There's cheap sex, gratuitous gore, and super silly lines. By the end of the first episode, Ash's famous boomstick and chainsaw are back to join the Olds. So what's not to love?

Nothing, yet. We'll see how it goes.

Characters - there's Ash (of course) and two of his co-workers, Pablo Simon Bolivar ("...Honduras? I thought you said you were from New Jersey!") and Pablo's roommate/neighbor/friend Kelly Maxwell - who despite being the young woman is badass enough to twist Ash over the counter like a pretzel when he says something particularly caddish. And to hold off a Deadite hand to hand for a minute or so, without being uberninja. Finally, there's Amanda - a state trooper who loses her partner to the Deadites and is forced to kill him after he turns, who is under homicide investigation and has a psych eval looming over her head. She hasn't met Ash and the crew yet, but surely that can't be far in the future. IMDb tells us that Lucy Lawless plays Ruby, a character in all 10 eps of the first season, but I don't think I saw her show up yet - or I missed it. Update - yeah, I just missed identifying her, Oolong pointed her out! She's in the diner in ep. 1.

If you liked the movies, give it a watch.

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