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Ash Vs Evil Dead: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray Review)

Never in my wildest dreams as a youngin’ could I have imagined being able to watch an ruthless, balls out, fully unhinged and not held back Evil Dead show once a week for ten weeks every year.  The fourth adventure of Ashley Williams had always been thought to be this long lost movie, but in 2015, we were gift it as a Starz TV series, which is where it would fare even better, getting to be its complete self. And the best part? Its both true to the series, good and a hit show (For Starz). The third season is coming around this year, but relive the adventure of the second season (You don’t need to catch up, do you? You’re watching this, right?) when Starz/Anchor Bay bring it to Blu-ray on August 22nd!

Season 

This season roars back into action with Ash leaving his beloved Jacksonville and returning to his home town of Elk Grove. There, he confronts Ruby, only to find that she too is now a victim of evil and in need of Ash’s help. The former enemies have to form an uneasy alliance to give them a chance of success as Elk Grove soon becomes the nucleus of evil.

What a joy this damn disgusting, absurd little show is. You know you’re watching something special when your sister is trying her best to balance uncontrollably laughing her ass off, while at the same time trying not to puke. If you’ve seen the show, you know which episode and part I’m talking about. Its a peak Evil Dead moment and one fans will never forget. And it happened in this second season. A season that continued to push its ridiculous gore boundaries while also never shying away from its schmuck humor.

This second go round in the television realm had us digging in to Ash’s past, primarily via his hometown and reconnecting with his father. Pefectly plucked and casted for this was Lee Majors, that just one look or thought about it and yeah, you know its right. This season did bring more of Lucy Lawless as she becomes a more full time member of the group. She’s her own bad ass and goes toe to toe with Bruce Campbell at every turn. Also, my fondness for Dana DeLorenzo continues to grow with every episode.

We get many new elements in this season to go along with some old familiarity. We see tropes of television shows explored during this year (The whole insane asylum “Is this whole show in my head” episode happens), but they keep things very much in the Evil Dead vein. There are also some really nice callbacks in terms of returns as not only does Ted Raimi return as a hilarious new character, but he’s Henrietta in a time travel episode too. And also the actress who played Sheryl (Ash’s sister) in the original Evil Dead returns as her famous Deadite self. It never harps on nostalgia, and displays the perfect kind.

Ash Vs Evil Dead gets even better in its second season. Find its comfortable place after the first season, this one begins to start pushing the show’s boundaries, limitations and evolving the series into new grounds. Its not just the Deadites anymore. Bruce Campbell proves to be game like always, but his supporting cast is able to match complete wits with him as the chemistry between the core character just continues to gel and blossom into such a great action, horror and comedic group. This season was an incredible amount of fun and here’s looking toward a third season that continues to move this show forward.

Episodes

Home

The Morgue

Last Call

D.U.I.

Confinement

Trapped Inside

Delusion

Ashy Slashy

Home Again

Second Coming

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: Starz/Anchor Bay tend to have really crisp, sharp, vibrant pictures with their modern shows and films.  This is no exception.  Detail is rambunctious.  Gruesome gore finds every nook and cranny accounted for.  Like to a nice disturbing gross level.  Creature detail is quite good with slimey, wet, wrinkled, multicolored and made-up looks.

Depth:  This show does display some groovy 3 dimensional work to it, especially during its action moments.  There is some great spacing on display and free-ness between people and their environments.  A real sense of distance between foreground and background objects.

Black Levels: Blacks are solid with a bit more of a gray to them as most Starz things look.  Shading is done very well and detail lost in dark moments is at a very very minimum level.

Color Reproduction: Coloring is vibrant, but knows when not to go to far and maintains a sane level.  Blue is a strong force in the look, and of course red is luscious, gross and beautiful in all the bloody gory splatter. The CG’d blood does have a little bit of a more friendly look, but its all good in blood and guts.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and maintains a consistent that runs through all ten episodes of the series. Moles, wrinkles, sweat, pores, wrinkles, freckles, stubble, dried blood, cuts and bruises all show clear as day from pretty much any distance.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, Spanish 2.0 Surround Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

DynamicsAsh Vs Evil Dead has a very kickin’ 7.1 track.  From parties to deadite battles, you get a full room of boomstick action.  Sound effects are out-freaking-standing.  They are incredible well layered, distinct and well strewn into this mix.  From the many squishes and squashes of the splatters in the show and frequent buzzing of chainsaw, you get a whole slew sound pulsating.  Balance of the music and vocals in with the effects is done at an expert level.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: Crashing, howling winds, chainsaws, shotguns, Henrietta stomping and much more have your subwoofer fill the room with action.

Surround Sound Presentation: Front channels travel back and forth and grab each character and bit of action at their correct point and distance on the screen.  Rear speakers provide ambiance as well as deadite noises and accurate character action happening during battles.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is loud, clear and perfectly laid onto the mix.  Deadite vocals are well layered and eerie as all hell like they should be.

Extras 

Ash Vs Evil Dead: The Complete Second Season is a 2-Blu-ray Disc Set. With the exception of commentaries for episodes on Disc 1, the Bonus material is located on Disc 2.

Disc 1

Audio Commentary

  • Home – By Executive Producer/Actor Bruce Campbell and Actors Dana DeLorenzo, Lucy Lawless and Ray Santiago
  • The Morgue – By Executive Producer/Actor Bruce Campbell and Actors Dana DeLorenzo, Lucy Lawless and Ray Santiago
  • Last Call – By Executive Producer Robert Tapert and Actors Dana DeLorenzo and Lucy Lawless

Disc 2

Audio Commentary

  • Trapped Inside – By Executive Producer Robert Tapert and Actors Dana DeLorenzo and Lucy Lawless
  • Home Again – By Director/Co-Executive Producer Rick Jacobson, Executive Producer Robert Tapert, Executive Producer/Actor Bruce Campbell and Actors Dana DeLorenzo, Lucy Lawless and Ray Santiago
  • Second Coming – By Director/Co-Executive Producer Rick Jacobson, Executive Producer Robert Tapert, Executive Producer/Actor Bruce Campbell and Actors Dana DeLorenzo, Lucy Lawless

Season 2 First Look (HD, 2:17) – A quick little sneak peak commercial that ran on Starz leading up to Season 2.

Inside The World Of Ash Vs Evil Dead  – Robert Tapert goes over a brief bit about the story of a given episode, but mainly the aspect that he finds so special about it. These also contain some other interview bits and on-set footage.

  • Inside Episode 201: Home (HD, 1:28) 
  • Inside Episode 2o2: The Morgue (HD, 1:38) 
  • Inside Episode 203: Last Call (HD, 1:22)
  • Inside Episode 204: D.U.I. (HD, 1:49) 
  • Inside Episode 205: Confinement (HD, 1:41)
  • Inside Episode 206: Trapped Inside (HD, 1:52)
  • Inside Episode 207: Delusion (HD, 1:43)
  • Inside Episode 208: Ashy Slashy (HD, 1:41)
  • Inside Episode 209: Home Again (HD, 1:40)
  • Inside Episode 210: Second Coming (HD, 1:56)

Up Your Ash (HD, 2:22) – A little piece on the behind the scenes of the infamous and all-timer franchise scene with Ash stuck up the ass. You know what scene I’m talking about.

Women Who Kick Ash (HD, 2:08) – A look at the female characters on the show with interviews from the cast. Its mainly focused on Ruby and Linda B.

Puppets Are Cute (HD, 1:09) – A little bit about the Ash puppet that made its debut in this season. Mostly just little thoughts, nothing to in depth.

Dawn of the Spawn (HD, 1:22) – Featurette on the spawn monsters, casting, design and their overall effectiveness.

Bringing Henrietta Back (HD, 1:35) – Discusses bringing back Ted Raimi to play his signature role from the second Evil Dead film.

The Delta (HD, 2:13) – All about Ash’s 1973 Delta 88 Oldsmobile and its history in being Sam Raimi’s old car that he puts in everything. Campbell says he’s known the car for 40 years (Raimi’s mom once dropped them off at A Clockwork Orange in it).

How To Kill A Deadite (HD, 2:18) – The cast talks about the many weapons and ways to kill their supernatural nemesis.

Fatality Mash Up (HD, :49) – All the kills of season 2, played really quickly to some metal.

Summary 

Ash Vs Evil Dead’s second season is another winner, topping the first, and a complete load of blood, guts, laughter and fun. This Blu-ray set features audio and video that are both a nice step up from the cable broadcast/OnDemand displays. The extras look like a lot, but are all very brief and super commercial/promo-like. There is good information abound, but its rather soft overall. If you’re an Evil Dead loyalist, enthusiast or collector you probably don’t need me to tell you to pick this up.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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