Most horror franchises have seen themselves descend into a string of subpar direct-to-home-video sequels or reimagined for a new generation with unnecessary remakes (or both). However, one series that has been able to largely keep its dignity intact is Sam Raimi's Evil Dead franchise.
Although Raimi's original three films - which memorably saw Bruce Campbell develop into horror icon Ash - were followed by a 2013 remake, even that film wisely kept both Raimi and Campbell onboard as producers, ensuring that the team that first breathed life into Evil Dead remained in-house to keep the franchise true to its original vision. That same logic certainly applies to the upcoming Starz series, Ash vs. Evil Dead.
In the show, Campbell returns as Ash (with Raimi co-writing and directing the first episode) to battle the rising deadite army once more. We've already seen images of the show and received some pretty cool teasers to whet fans' appetites, but now, as expected, we have our first real trailer for the show (see above), which debuted at the Starz panel at San Diego Comic Con 2015.
To say that Campbell's return to the role is highly anticipated would be a tremendous understatement, as Evil Dead fans have long been clamoring for a sequel to 1992 release Army of Darkness. While a TV series may not have been exactly what fans expected from the franchise, it could ultimately prove to be more rewarding than simply another film.
With Ash vs. Evil Dead, the hero's battle against the undead will certainly have far more room to breathe, and a network like Starz will be able to give showrunner Craig DiGregorio plenty of leeway as far as the violence is concerned. After all, the original film was famously promoted as "the ultimate experience in grueling terror". This series has certainly maintained a more delicate balance between horror and comedy since it all started with that 1981 film. All the same, it's reassuring that Ash and his chainsaw will have considerable freedom to wreak havoc on the deadites once more.
Ash vs. Evil Dead debuts on Starz on October 31st, 2015.
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