More than just the latest in a long line of revivals for popular franchises, Ash vs Evil Dead manages to be a fun, gory romp that maintains the scary-silly tone of the original 1980s series, while continuing the original storyline by re-introducing the lovable, oafish, chainsaw-arm wielding womanizer Ashley Williams to a new generation of horror fans. However, Ash isn’t the only thing carried over from the movies. Unlike many “reboots” that may feature a passing nod or two at the original works that inspired them, Ash vs Evil Dead and the Evil Dead movies inhabit the very same world, with the TV series using the same tropes and plot elements that defined the original trilogy.
Ash vs Evil Dead picks up 30 years after the events of the original Evil Dead trilogy, which resulted in Ash losing his friends, cutting off his own hand, and being transported to the middle ages before returning to his job at S-mart. The Starz series follows Ash as he lives in a trailer park, seduces women, and slacks around, before accidentally unleashing the evil he fought to subdue back into the world. The plot and protagonist aren't the only things the show has in common with the original films, though. Here are some more nods to the original trilogy in the pilot episode alone.
The Evil Dead isn't just a monster, it's a force of nature. Director Sam Raimi conveyed this in the films by letting the audience see the world through the perspective of the Evil Dead itself. The camera flies through the woods towards the Evil Dead's target in the original films, and does so again in the new series. However, this time the Evil Dead flies through parking lots just as much as it does through the forest.
In Army Of Darkness, we learn that Ash works at S-mart — "Shop smart. Shop S-mart" — in a dead-end job. (Get it? Dead-end? That pun could not have been more intended) Thirty years later, in Ash vs Evil Dead, he's still toiling away, but now he works at Value Stop. It seems that just because you've extinguished a nearly unstoppable force of evil, that doesn't make you're automatically a manager.
In the Evil Dead series, a portal opens up that sends the Evil Dead, and Ash, back in time thousands of years. In Ash vs Evil Dead, a flashback to the fateful moment when Ash re-unleashed the Evil Dead is introduced with a very similar image.
Not-Possessed Fake Out
One of the Evil Dead's favorite tricks is to possess someone, and then pretend they're not possessed. It occurred in each film of the original trilogy at some point and occurs again in the pilot episode of Ash vs Evil Dead. Hopefully, Ash will eventually learn not to fall for these tricks.
Ash's handy shotgun comes back in a big way during the pilot episode, when a few Deadites need to be taken care of after they storm Ash's home. While he hasn't called his shotgun by its unofficial name, hopefully, we'll get to hear the words "boomstick" by the end of the season.
What else do you say when you've put a chainsaw on your arm where your hand used to be and you have to take on a seemingly unstoppable force of all-encompassing evil that has already killed your closest friends? Ash repeats his famous one-word catchphrase after he suits up to take on the Evil Dead once more.
Ash vs Evil Dead has a big legacy behind it, and will likely continue to bring back elements from the original film to satisfy long-time fans of the franchise. The best part of Ash vs Evil Dead for fans, along with seeing references and callbacks to the films, is that the show manages to maintain the beloved and unique tone of the original, which is better than a thousand easter eggs.
Images: Starz; Giphy (6)