After decades spent pining for an oft-teased Evil Dead 4 and/or Army of Darkness 2, it still probably feels pretty surreal to many fans that Bruce Campbell’s Ash is finally back to killing Deadites. Of course, this time it’s on TV instead of the big-screen, in the form of the well-received Starz series Ash vs Evil Dead, which serves as a belated sequel to the story of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead film franchise.
While some questioned whether Campbell still had the chops to portray the cult icon in modern pop culture, the actor stepped back into the Ash role as easily the character himself slips his chainsaw appendage on over his stump. The stump that fans will recall he has due to chopping his own hand off after its possession by a demon resulted in one of the best scenes of slapstick physical comedy this side of The Three Stooges.
With Ash vs Evil Dead’s season 2 premiere coming up this weekend, Starz’s promotional push is ramping into overdrive, in the hopes that interested viewers won’t forget to check in and “hail to the king, baby” once again. First up is a new Funny or Die video featuring Campbell, seemingly playing off his inexorable tie to the Ash character. Despite being referred to as Bruce in the clip, Campbell spends the duration carrying around his chainsaw appendage, serving to illustrate the pros and cons of having a deadly weapon in place of one’s hand. Naturally, this leads to some hilariously over-the-top gore effects, and innocent people getting turned into human smoothies.
Secondly, Starz has released a short behind-the-scenes clip featuring former “warrior princess” Lucy Lawless, who plays villain turned unlikely Ash ally Ruby. The video shines a spotlight on the practical effects work in Ash vs Evil Dead, and in particular a scene involving a demon unleashing a seemingly endless stream of black vomit right into Lawless’ face. To her credit, she seems to be loving the craziness of it all.
Beyond the sheer fun factor of the Funny or Die video, horror devotees will also likely get a kick out of the hilarious cameo by genre mainstay Barbara Crampton near the end. Famous for her work in ’80s horror cult classics like Re-Animator, From Beyond, and Puppet Master, Crampton still regularly works in fright fare today. Interestingly enough, this is the first time she and Campbell have ever shared the screen, despite both having such close ties to the horror genre. Groovy. Here’s hoping she eventually makes her way to Ash vs Evil Dead proper.
Ash vs Evil Dead season 2 premieres Sunday, October 2 on Starz.