It's safe to say that in another life, many of us would probably be Ash Williams, the seminal goofy hero from the iconic Evil Dead series of films. Since 1981, fans have been treated to his heroic aggression and asshole tendencies, which at times can get him into more trouble than save his life. But through a film trilogy, video games, and a number of comic book adaptations, Ash's legacy has grown strong, bringing us to Ash vs. Evil Dead, the new 10-episode Starz series that kicks off on Halloween (and has already received a second season).
Let's get back to the hero we all would aspire to be.
If you saw the first four minutes of the Ash vs. Evil Dead premiere, maybe you saw yourself (well, an older, determined version of yourself). We're talking about a guy who would rush to the bar to make sure he gets in before last call so he can spit game at a woman to, ahem, seal the deal. That's one asshole tendency that many of us possess, even if we choose to not be that big of a creep. Keep in mind, this is the same guy who just wants a weekend getaway with bae in Evil Dead II, and is cool enough with his squad that everyone can hit the cabin for a weekend in the original Evil Dead. Whatever your level of creep is, Ash probably speaks to you. The question is, what would you do when the shit REALLY hits the fan?
The funny thing about Ash is that, no matter how hairy the situation gets, he ultimately makes the right decision. In the first Evil Dead, there's a lot of burying of possessed homies, when the only real choice of action should be decapitation (which doesn't always work), and Ash is initially reluctant to go there (because, you know, that's still the squad). When he has to make a difficult decision though, he does it, because that's what he's all about. And more importantly, that's how we all want to see ourselves.
In the pilot of Ash vs. Evil Dead, Ash realizes that he fucked up—royally. Like always, it's usually some dumb human error that brings the deadites back to Earth (and usually to Ash's doorstep), and in Ash vs. Evil Dead, that fact hasn't changed. This time around, though, we're talking being removed from the Army of Darkness since the early '90s. Ash has spent that time ducking the fade from the deadites all this time, and is just trying to live a life where he can connect with some like-minded women and slack on the job. Can it be just that simple?
We see both sides of Ash in this new series' pilot, which is key; when he realizes that Ash Done Started Something, he's looking to dip on the next thing, which might be the first reaction many of us would have (fight sounds like fun, but flight usually takes over when the legions of the undead are all up in your grill). The problem is, Ash isn't a runner. We've seen him flex in three cult classics. When the Evil Dead try to rain on his parade, he's down to do everything, from executing his squad to lobbing off his own hand to traveling back in time to defeat a unified undead army. Our daily lives don't get that epic, but it's a dope paradoxical characteristic to aspire to: the coward who isn't afraid to back down. Ash isn't dumb—legit undead assholes are trying to take over the world. It'd be insane for him to not wanna just bounce. The thing is, he has a responsibility—primarily because it's usually his fault—and he doesn't back down from that. Exactly like a hero.
Ash vs. The Evil Dead premieres on this Saturday—aka Halloween—on Starz.