Poorly named American network Starz will bring the horror comedy titan to TV in 2015. Original director/producer team Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert are set to produce the series, and Raimi will direct at least the first episode. Older brother Ivan Raimi is also on board as an executive producer. No word yet on whether younger brother and Hercules and Xena veteran Ted Raimi will have a part.
That’s all good news. Great news, if you’re among the many who felt the 2013 reboot/sequel (re-quel?) failed to hit the right notes.
But there’s even better news: Bruce Campbell will reprise his role as loyal S-Mart stockboy and Remington pump-action enthusiast, Ashley J. Williams.
The team’s been cagey so far—I’m sure details will trickle out over the coming months—but enthusiastic. Campbell said, “I’m really excited to bring this series to the Evil Dead fans worldwide—it’s going to be everything they have been clamoring for: serious deadite ass-kicking and plenty of outrageous humor.”
The pitch, as if it needed one, is this:
Bruce Campbell will be reprising 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.
I don’t remember the first time I saw Evil Dead 2. I’m sure it was with my brother. As kids, we spent a lot of time together holed up in our basement watching stacks of rented horror movies. I know that I inducted my friends into its worship in grades six, seven, eight, and onward. I know that I took pride in sourcing Evil Dead—the first, just post film school, part of the series—in some shady, downtown pre-internet video rental store. I know that I saw the sequel on opening night and that I’ve seen the musical four times. (I know that Cabin In the Woods sucked. Raimi, Carpenter, and Craven got there first, buddy.)
It feels like I’ve always had an opinion about Evil Dead 2 and its less-loved pals, Evil Dead and Army of Darkness. Did I see it in the womb? Did we all see it in the womb together, linked together in a Necronomicon-induced gestational mass hallucination? Probably.
But what’s nice for longtime horror fans like me is that the Evil Dead franchise continues to be watched and loved by new generations of fans; that it hasn’t been made irrelevant by torture porn (boring) and ironic horror comedies (humph, if you call that comedy). It’s nice that Evil Dead doesn’t need to be rediscovered through this TV adaptation, that, really, it’s a luxury: even more Deadites, home-made shotgun shells, chainsaw-hand-horror-action, and even more Bruce Campbell facial contortions.
This isn’t a Hail Mary, it’s a gift: manna from heaven, an Evil Dead TV show!