The Evil Dead franchise has been a staple with fans of cult classic cinema for decades. Director Sam Raimi's last installment, 1992's Army of Darkness, did lackluster business at the box office, before it took off on home video following its release. A movie reboot was released years later in 2013, though it strayed away from the horror/comedy style of Raimi's Evil Dead films.
Fans had been hoping and waiting for an Army of Darkness sequel for years, though it ultimately fell through. Fortunately, we are being treated to an Army of Darkness continuation in the form of a full-on television series on Starz instead (titled Ash vs. Evil Dead) - and to celebrate the premiere, Starz is running an Evil Dead film marathon!
The Starz network is running a full-on Evil Dead film marathon beginning at 8:00 PM eastern on the night of October 30, 2015 to promote the series premiere of Ash vs. Evil Dead the following night. In what is truly a fitting celebration, Raimi's three films in the franchise (Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness) will run back to back, so fans can get all psyched-up for a special sneak peek of the first episode on the stroke of midnight on Halloween! (Ok, not exactly midnight, it will actually be at 12:15 AM eastern, but doesn't it just sound better?) The full premiere episode will air at 9:00 PM eastern on Halloween.
If you just can't wait for the marathon, Starz does have all three films available through their on demand services, STARZ ON DEMAND and STARZ PLAY, over the next few weeks. Evil Dead is ready to view now, while Evil Dead 2 will be viewable from October 26th through October 30th, and Army of Darkness premieres there on November 1st.
Here's the rundown of Starz' Evil Dead marathon (from the network's press release):
The Evil Dead marathon kicks off with the original 1981 cult classic, The Evil Dead at 8:00pm ET/PT on STARZ. This seminal horror movie features five friends who go to a cabin in the woods where they find unspeakable evil lurking in the forest. They discover the Necronomicon, the Book of the Dead, which when translated releases a legion of demons and spirits. In order to survive the night, Ash must do battle with the evil dead.
The marathon continues with the 1987 sequel, Evil Dead 2 at 9:30pm ET/PT. Ash, the lone survivor of the original demon attack, returns in the second chapter of the cult franchise. Armed with a chainsaw and a shotgun, he again must fight the evil dead when a group of strangers interrupt his romantic vacation in a lonely cabin in the woods.
The Evil Dead marathon concludes with the 1992 third installment, Army of Darkness at 10:55pm ET/PT and a sneak peek at the first episode of the STARZ Original series “Ash vs Evil Dead.” In Army of Darkness, our hero, Ash, is transported back in time to 1300 A.D. and once again faces off against the evil unleashed. In order to return to the present and get back home, he must take up his chainsaw and “boomstick” to defeat the Deadites and return the Necronomicon to its final resting place.
Ash vs. Evil Dead features the further adventures of Ash (Bruce Campbell) as he continues to battle the dead. Original director Sam Raimi will executive produce and wrote the pilot episode, along with his brother Ivan. Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert also serve as executive producers on the series.
The press release from Starz sums up the Ash vs Evil Dead series with this synopsis:
"Campbell reprises his role as Ash, the stock boy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter 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 marathon has long been a fantastic way to welcome a new film or television series onto a network. The viewing of the series sequentially helps to draw in an audience that either wants to amp up for the fun or new viewers that want to learn the history of a brand prior to the new premiere. Its a win-win for all involved. Not that Starz needs to convince fans to tune in to Ash vs. Evil Dead - you had us at "Hail to the King, baby!"
Ash vs. Evil Dead premieres this Halloween, Saturday, October 31st, 2015, at 9:00 PM eastern on Starz. The Evil Dead marathon begins on October 30, 2015, at 8:00 PM eastern on Starz.