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

Things finally came to a close for Ash Williams and his forever quest again those pesky, gross deadites. Starz canceled Ash Vs Evil Dead after three seasons and star Bruce Campbell officially retired from playing the role. For me, this was the only thing I would subscribe to Starz for or even had my interest. Starz will once again be bringing the entire season for the show onto Blu-ray with a kickin’ picture and boomstick worthy sound. Commentary tracks compliment every episode, as graced by Evil Dead founding father and executive producer Robert Tapert. Make sure you complete your collection by ordering a copy (Complete with a digital copy of every episode accompanying the release) of the release to go with the previous two seasons and your Evil Dead trilogy.

Season 

Ash, who – having gone from urban legend to hometown hero –discovers that he has a teenage daughter as the result of a late night bender many years ago. And, when Kelly witnesses a massacre with Ruby’s fingerprints all over it, she returns to warn Ash and Pablo.

In this third and unintentionally final season, Ash Vs Evil Dead brings on tropes that could possibly ruin other shows, but works in spades here. Primarily giving Ash a newfound daughter from long ago. They actually handle this situation with care and very realistically. The relationship the two share is fun to watch blossom and become what it is by the end of the season. Arielle Carver-O’Neill is a welcome addition to the show as well, and its a shame we won’t get more of her. She really meshed with Dana DeLorenzo and Ray Santiago too.

There are touches on this third season that are throwbacks  to Army of Darkness with make for a fun little 1-2-3 of seasons akin to where the movies were taking us. We even get our biggest, baddest monster to go with the season as well. The comedy is all there, but this season really feels pretty tight and able to do its own thing moving forward while not focusing so much on the return to the cabin and events of the movies needing checked off. Its VERY much like the films in that regard as Army of Darkness truly has its own story away from that stuff, too.

While a big bummer the show has been canceled and Bruce Campbell will likely keep to his word with the Ash retirement, its a little bittersweet that the show leaves on a high and has a pretty perfect ending that touches back where we left Ash off before the series started. It ends almost in the same fashion as the Director’s Cut of Army of Darkness finished with Ash, but this time a changed person. This Ash waking up in the future has a new perspective a new confidence, has been recognized and embraces being a hero. He rides off into the distance, with adventures to come and more fun to be had. Yeah, its open, but we can continue to know that somewhere Ash will be kicking deadite ass for the long run.

Episodes

Family

Booth Three

Apparently Dead

Unfinished Business

Baby Proof

Tales From the Rift

Twist and Shout

Rifting Apart

Judgement Day

The Mettle of Man

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 Dolby Surround, French 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

Dynamics: Ash Vs Evil Dead completes the hat trick with their seasons having terrific and active 7.1 tracks. From storms to deadite battles, you get 360 degrees of boomstick action.  Sound effects are out-freaking-standing.  They are incredible well layered, distinct and well strewn into this mix.  From the shitload of splatters in the show and frequent buzzing of chainsaw, you get a whole slew sound eminating.  Balance of the music and vocals in with the effects is done at an expert level.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: Storms, crashing, howling winds, chainsaws, shotguns, loud deadites 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 Third Season comes with a digital copy of every episode from the entire season.

Disc 1 & 2

Audio Commentary

  • With Executive Producer Robert Tapert (Every Episode)

Disc 2

Season Overview (HD, 2:48) – A little promo video for the season that probably aired between movies on Starz. Little snippets of Bruce Campbell, Arielle Carver-O’Neill, Lucy Lawless, Dana DeLorenzo, Ray Santiago, Lindsay Farris interviews to us general character setups for the season.

Inside The World Of Ash Vs Evil Dead – Post episode analysis and insight on each episode from Robert Tapert. If you were watching via Starz app or VOD, this would play following the episode.

  • Inside Episode 301: “Family” (HD, 2:02)
  • Inside Episode 302: “Booth Three” (HD, 1:40)
  • Inside Episode 303: “Apparently Dead” (HD, 1:55)
  • Inside Episode 304: “Unfinished Business” (HD, 1:48) 
  • Inside Episode 305: “Baby Proof” (HD, 2:07)
  • Inside Episode 306: “Tales From The Rift” (HD, 1:46) 
  • Inside Episode 307: “Twist And Shout” (HD, 1:42)
  • Inside Episode 308: “Rifting Apart” (HD, 1:55)
  • Inside Episode 309: “Judgement Day” (HD, 1:58)
  • Inside Episode 310: “The Mettle Of Man” (HD, 1:36)

Summary 

Well, its all over, but it was pretty damn satisfactory, and just a complete dream come true to not only see Ash again, but to have had him for a a weekly basis with 15 hours of more Evil Dead content. Starz once again has a terrific looking and sounding release to go with some solid commentary work from Robert Tapert. A true collector’s item, regardless, as its the Evil Dead and, well, Evil Dead stuff is worth physical ownership even to the stingiest of digital only snobs.

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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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