Dine and Dash
Six episodes in and Ash Vs. Evil Dead still defies having a set formula, which would be very easy for a show like this to fall into. However, in order for the thirty minute run-time to feel worth our while, there still has to be certain elements present. The first is some form of story progression, the second is gallons of blood.
“The Killer of Killers” has plenty of both, and managed to throw a few surprises at us as well. For starters, the Amanda Fisher/Ruby plotline took a dive I wasn’t expecting. After finding Brujo’s home, the two are attacked by a deadite, risen from the flames (the body of Pablo’s uncle himself?). It was frustrating seeing such a gratuitous use of CG, but I wonder if it was a call back to the stop-motion of the films. I’m not sure it worked quite as effectively. Even stop motion figures actually exist in a physical space, and the deadite here felt disconnected with the world. One could say that was the point, but we saw Eligos pull off other-worldness and CG effectively.
Special effects aside, the deadite drags Ruby into the fire, leaving Detective Fisher alone and us with a lot of questions. It’s refreshing to see the show pull a small twist like this, which throws things off enough to keep us guessing. Instead of a buddy-cop pursuit that culminates in the last two episodes, Ruby’s fate now adds a layer of mystery to the show, and Amanda can join up with the Ghost Beaters.
Which is something of a problem. I’m still not entirely sold on her character, and Jill Marie Jones doesn’t entirely ooze confidence with her lines. Maybe being put in the mix with the three leads will help Detective Fisher shine, but we’ll find out soon enough. At the very least, her interactions with Ash will be entertaining.
The big set piece this week is, of course, the diner itself. Characters launching backwards, exploding heads, and a meat slicer make up some of the best stunts of Killer of Killers, with Kelly getting to vent some of her frustration over the deadite scourge. Watching her trade one-liners with Bruce Campbell is one of the best parts of the show so far. It was also nice to see Ash get his ass kicked by Fisher after being so sleazy over a $22.86 bill. The team is really coming together.
The episode also drops some hints about the end game. Ash realizes that in order to stop the evil, he’s going to have to go back to the cabin, which is something many of us already knew or expected. It’s exciting to think we’ll be returning to the place where it all began, some thirty-four years ago. Is it a bit of fan service? Sure. But that’s what makes the Evil Dead world so fun.
In the meanwhile, we have some doomsday preppers to look forward to. Ash comes across an old acquaintance who’s been sober for nine whole days and tells him about some “new toys” he’s got, adding fuel to some of the end game. His buddy, Lem, ends up fleeing the diner when the Force breaks in, leading to some truly haunting cinematography in the woods. It’s nice to see some old-school Evil Dead-looking woods. It feels a lot like home. Of course, Lem doesn’t get away, not without becoming possessed, but whoever was on the other end of the phone is in for quite a surprise.
“The Killer of Killers is successful because the show, six episodes deep, clearly know what it’s doing. It provides the right amount of story twists, moves the narrative forward by a large margin, and gives us some great, gruesome action sequences. There’s only four more episodes to go, but I have faith that Ash Vs. Evil Dead will take us for a satisfying ride, wherever we’re going.
At least we know the soundtrack will be good.
Odds and Ends:
- I completely thought the goat Ruby came across was going to be possessed, like a nod to Drag Me to Hell.
- Speaking of which, what was the deal with the cloaked figure behind Ruby at Brujo’s place? More mysteries that keep the show interesting.
- Ash’s hand is missing and I can’t wait for it to show up again.
- I love the dolly/zoom while Lem is in the woods. It’s cool to see a bit of influence coming from the remake as well as the original.
- Nice inspector gadget tools, Ash.
- “Thin sliced! Just how I like it!” – It’s the obvious one-liner but Kelly’s delivery was absolutely delightful.
Steve is on Twitter. Go heckle him.