Ash Vs Evil Dead 203 - Last Call - SPOILER FREE Review
Writing this review on the 35th Anniversary of The Evil Dead's U.S. theatrical debut just seems right! Now let's get into it...
PREMIERES SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16th at 8:00 PM ET/PT
Official Synopsis: Local teens raise hell when they steal the Delta from Brock's house. Ash and his best buddy Chet devise a plan to throw a party at the bar, lure the thieves in, and get the Delta and the Necronomicon back.
Good: The production values, "The Classic" cream coloured Delta 88 Oldsmobile meets Christine, Ted Raimi, Lee Majors, bar bull riding competition, a great decapitation and the practical effects.
Bad: Not enough character development and not enough Ted Raimi.
While I thought that Episode Two went just one step a little too far and strayed into Re-Animator meets Farrelly Brothers territory (I seem to be absolutely alone in this as other fans online had no problem seeing Ash completely defiled with his head literally up a corpse's ass hole - a cheap 'Adam Sandler like' gag which ever way you slice it) Episode Three, however, seemed to be The Evil Dead meets Christine and I actually couldn't be happier.
The thrill of this episode, by far, is seeing Sam Raimi's Classic, the cream coloured Delta 88 Oldsmobile, have its time in the sun (or should that be have its time in the misty darkness?!) It's a gore filled rollercoaster ride with The Classic front and center.
As you'll remember The Classic and the Necronomicon were stolen at the end of last week's episode by some reckless kids who, to be fair, definitely didn't know what they were getting themselves into. By focussing on a group of kids for a bit, suffering the carnage and mayhem of 'the force', it actually gave this episode a little bit of an 80s horror movie throwback vibe and I was glad of that.
But where's Ash I hear you cry and what about the first appearance of Ted Raimi? Well when I first knew that this episode would introduce Ted as Chet Kaminski, Ash's childhood buddy, I honestly thought the plot would revolve around them but Ted's intro into the series is a little inauspicious frankly. Oh don't get me wrong, Ted's great in the episode and we get a tiny glimpse into his background, through one of the darkest and most realistic bits of comedy the show has attempted yet but I wanted this ep to be the Bruce and Ted show, hopefully we get that down the road.
Basically, while the kids are dealing with the force and The Classic, Ash decides to throw a massive party with a ketamine laced cocktail (which has a brilliant name) that will hopefully lure the car thieves back to the bar. It's a stupid idea even for Ash but it's remarkable that the ghost beaters and even Ruby go along with it.
Rather than a lot of Bruce and Ted stuff, it's actually Bruce and Lee Majors (as Brock "but you can call me cock" Williams) who get some quality time here and that is very much welcomed. They also have a hilarious bull riding contest that had to be seen to be believed.
In terms of horror and shock, this episode is packed with it. There are several wow and WTF?! moments and one in particular that I think will have fans talking way more than the 'I'm in the butt' sequence. Well I hope so anyway because if absolutely floored me.
The one thing I am glad about is that while there are plenty of little drug and sex moments in this episode (by far my least favourite aspect of this new incarnation of The Evil Dead) they are kept to a story based minimum and not some over the top, childish crap that I feared.
This latest episode of Ash Vs Evil Dead is something of a puzzle. You'd think that with only a thirty minute running time and only ten shows a season that there would be more plot and character development in each episode. Episode three "Last Call" is an incredibly fun episode with loads of cool stuff going on but, I have to say, it's the few, quieter character moments that we get in this episode and a couple of the little comedic touches that I really loved, deep down in my Evil Dead fanboy heart. I know this series has to play to the fans who only like Evil Dead as a drinking game and/or for the stupidity and the carnage but I hope, as the series and the show develops, they realise there are plenty of us out there who care just as much about the characters and the drama as we do about the gore effects.
Almost a third of the way through the season and I shouldn't feel like so much of it is filler. Doing some groovy set pieces is excellent and they've got the practical mixed with digital effects down to a fine and glorious art but we're in Ash's home town, we've got lots of new characters and while there are definitely some nice little developments in the last three episodes, I guess I see where there could've been more. It's odd Bruce Campbell talks about how Ash finally has dialogue and they can finally get into his backstory because I feel like I am less in touch with who Ash actually is than ever.
But baby steps, there's still tons to love this season and I still want the show to run and run! I think with Ash Vs Evil Dead you come for the thrills and spills and take what development and plot where you can. I can live with that!
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