ASH VS EVIL DEAD COMES TO THE UK
Written by Simret Cheema-Innis
Last night gave way to the exclusive press screening of spin-off series Ash vs Evil Dead, which took place at a hidden location: The House of Detention, a prison based in Clerkenwell London. The prison is actually said to be haunted and has had over 10,000 prisoners pass through its walls and it certainly paved the perfect pathway for a screening involving both evil and the dead.
For months now we’ve seen teasers for this eagerly anticipated series which has been produced by both Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell and finally the wait is over. Ash vs Evil Dead is a STARZ original series and will be available on demand via Virgin Media. In fact you can already see up to episode 5 on the cable channel and with its success in America, it was announced that a second season has been commissioned.
Aside from the expected corporate patter that press events usually entail, the evening was an entertaining one. Who wouldn’t want to spend their evening being pestered by wandering deadites lurking around heavily fogged chambers of an underground prison? It was a like a cross between a unguided haunted tour and a trip to an art gallery.
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In one of the spaces, the Book of the Dead rested on a glass plinth, pages lay ominously scattered across the ground as if spirits had just been perilously resurrected. Tins of ‘Bruce Campbell’s Cream of Darkness Soup’ were stacked in neat pile of three, homage of course to the well-recognised brand. And to the side a possessed demon head provided wondrous pre-Christmas decoration while grossing out the guests.
Continuing the walk through the labyrinth, and not able to see much through the thick fog, you could just about make out a few headstones in a haunted graveyard where more deadites moaned, gurgled, possessed and spooked. Without a sense of humour one might get a little annoyed at their persistent buggery, but they were creepy and did a fantastic job of keeping up appearances.
One of the highlights, apart from the Evil Dead tuck shop of sticky brains and gooey gums, was Ash’s chainsaw video opportunity. Guests were able to pick up the chainsaw, look into the camera and pretend they were using it like Ash in the film. The video was then sent as a GIF to your e-mail where you could download it as an MP4 file and upload at your convenience to Instagram. Brandishing a chainsaw in mid air repeatedly does look fairly crazy, but it’s bonafide proof that you are the ultimate Evil Dead fan.
After the spooky hijinks came more fun with a screening of two episodes, titled ‘El Jafe’ and ‘Bait,’ each at an enjoyable but extremely gory 30 minutes long. I enjoyed the first episode in particular because it strongly re-establishes Bruce Campell’s character and provides inventive ways of recapping the Evil Dead story, using stylish visual effects and projection mapping techniques instead of tried and tested flashback sequences. The gore is as you’d expect and more. It makes you wonder just how many takes they had to do in some of the scenes.
The series will please both gore and Evil Dead lovers and judging by the manageable half an hour episodes, it’s set to be easy marathon material. Bring on season 2.
Ash vs Evil Dead is now available to Virgin Media TV customers and can be viewed through their on-demand service. For more information, head over to https://www.virginmedia.com/
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