Ash vs. Evil Dead star and producer Bruce Campbell is ripping into those who illegally download the STARZ TV series. Thirty-six years after the release of the first film in the Evil Dead trilogy, Campbell and his longtime collaborators Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert are still at it with Ash vs. Evil Dead, which will begin its third season February 25, 2018, on STARZ.
The first season debuted in 2015, 21 years after the third Evil Dead movie, Army of Darkness, ran in theaters, yet had little impact on the box office. Still, thanks to the cult following the film trilogy developed over the years, Campbell, Raimi and Tapert first backed a 2013 remake of the first film (directed by Fede Alvarez and starring Jane Levy) before realizing it was Ash who fans wanted the most. As a result, the square-jawed, wise-cracking Michigan native was not only brought back, but he recruited a couple young butt-kickers named Kelly Maxwell (Dana DeLorenzo) and Pablo Bolivar (Ray Santiago) to help battle a new enemy, Ruby (Lucy Lawless), and those pesky Deadites after he unwittingly unleashed hell by citing an incantation from the Book of the Dead.
And while fans are clearly loving the no-holds-barred and unrated exploits of Campbell's chainsaw-wielding, boomstick-slinging anti-hero Ashley J. Williams, the actor says a change needs to be made in the way viewers access the show. While piracy is a widespread concern across both the film and television industry, it appears to be hitting Ash vs. Evil Dead particularly hard, since Campbell is saying the show is on the verge of cancellation due to illegal downloading.
Campbell is so passionate, in fact, about the survival of Ash vs. Evil Dead, that during a book-signing appearance in Sacramento, California, this week for his new book Hail to the Chin: Further Confessions of a B-Movie Actor, the actor-filmmaker didn't mince words about fans who aren't willing to watch the show the proper way - by subscribing to STARZ and thus paying to see it. According to 1428 Elm, a fan at the signing asked Campbell when he was going to "get some sugar" (alluding to a famous Ash line), and Campbell said, "February 25th on STARZ." When Campbell asked who all in attendance had the STARZ app, which was greeted by claps and whistles, he said:
“4/5 of you can kiss my ass! Oh, why did they cancel Ash vs Evil Dead? Where did that show go? Right up into the air ... You know what? Hey, you slackers out there. Ash vs Evil Dead is one of the most illegally downloaded shows! Why did it get canceled? Because you are all loyal criminals.”
Anyone who follows Campbell, even casually, knows he's a playful wiseass with press members and fans, so his declaration of war against piracy wasn't aimed at all of his fans. Still, Campbell has a right to be ticked and go after those who are stealing the show, because, like any other form of scripted entertainment – especially a show that is as makeup and visual effects-heavy as Ash vs. Evil Dead – it costs a lot of money to make.
Campbell's right. If fans don't want to pay for the show, it will simply go away. The problem is, once the concept dies a second time (the first time being with the end of the film series), chances are slim to none that Ash and the Evil Dead will ever come back to life. With any luck, fans who are illegally enjoying the show on the cheap now will wake up to that grim fact before the show premieres next year.
Ash vs. Evil Dead season 3 premieres February 25th on STARZ.
Source: 1428 Elm