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.
We live in a great time because we finally have sequels to the Evil Dead trilogy and Army of Darkness, starring Bruce "man-god" Campbell. We all thought it would never happen. Back in 1992, Army of Darkness basically ended the gory, hilarious trilogy, however with tons of rabid fans clamoring for a sequel, Campbell and director Sam Raimi always said it would never happen. Fast-forward a generation later, we now have 20 episodes of Ash with his chainsaw, slashing into deadites. That means there is a ten-hour sequel to Army of Darkness with an added third season coming very soon. With having the original cast and crew coming back to make this series, you are transported back to the 1980s and early 90s with the humor, one-liners, and loads of practical blood and guts that made you fall in love with the chainsaw-wielding man.
After the events of the first season, Ash (Campbell) is living the retired and party life in Jacksonville, Florida. He's enjoying drinking, singing karaoke, and looking for women to have short relations with. Before you can say, "Groovy", the dead show back up and he's back with his boomstick and chainsaw, killing the deadites who have been hunting him since the early 1980s. Along with his younger posse of Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo), the three set out to Ash's hometown of Elk Grove, where the townsfolk and even Ash's father (Lee Majors) think Ash a mass murderer and not actually the hero we all know him as. Add Ruby (Lucy Lawless) in the mix, and you have a good Magnificent Five, looking to destroy the Necronomicon and end the world of evil once and for all.
If you're watching this series on Starz, you've most likely seen the original films more than a dozen times each, which will excite you to know, even more characters and locations show up in season two than the previous season. The blood and guts aspect of the show is next level this season, as evident in the first two episodes where Ash ends up in a corpses anus, complete with a Prince Albert. It just gets nastier and funnier from there. Luckily, the gory effects are kept mostly practical without much CGI, meaning your favorite one-handed man and his cohorts are literally drenched in all kinds of fluids.
What season two adds to the Evil Dead universe is seeing where Ash literally grew up and how he was treated in his home town. His nostalgic room and family are quite fun to see here and all work in forwarding the plot perfectly without too much winking and nodding to the past. Ash vs Evil Dead Season Two is just as if not more fun than the first season and shows no sign of slowing down the pace in its brisk 30-minute episodes. Ash is back and his chainsaw is full of gas, and that right there makes everything groovy.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
Ash vs Evil Dead'Season Two comes with two 50GB Blu-ray Discs from Starz/Anchor Bay and are Region A Locked. There is no digital download code insert here or other inserts. The discs are housed in an eco-friendly hard, blue plastic case with a cardboard sleeve.
Ash vs Evil Dead Season Two comes with a great 1080p HD transfer and is presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio. This is an amazing-looking digitally shot show. The colors and gory details look amazing in each scene. That being said, one of the fun things about the original trilogy was that it was all filmed like a grindhouse movie, with a ton of grain and a big filmic look. That is not the case here. Everything is super sharp and has a very modern almost day-time soap opera look, but that doesn't hinder colors or detail. Every intestine, colon, liver, heart, vein, and bile looks incredibly detail with every tiny bubble, wound, and texture showing up nicely on screen. You may or may not want to see all of it, depending on the strength of your stomach. Dirt on the classic car and blood drops everywhere, as well as the sick and decayed makeup effects on the deadites are spot on and never go soft. Wider shots show all of the creepy aspects of the insane asylum and cabin in the woods, as well as the dusty room of Ash's childhood.
Colors are well-saturated and balance with excellent primaries and neon colors of goo spitting from all orifices. The red blood is bright and covers the screen often with some cooler and darker colors coming through nicely. Black levels are always very deep and inky with zero crush, and the skin tones are always natural on the living. There were no major problems with aliasing or banding, although some very slight noise was detected here and there (but it's nothing to lose a hand over).
This release comes with an excellent lossless Dolby TrueHD 7.1 MA mix. This track never lets up and provides all of the gooey and splatter sound effects that you'd expect if bodies exploded right on top of you. It's so much fun and very immersive. Sound effects are robust in all nook and crannies with creaking doors, screams of the dead, wind blowing, and tons of shotguns firing and chainsaws roaring on all levels.
There is a great low end to these sounds that packs a punch with every blast. When limbs are ripped from the body or heads fall to the floor, you'll hear all of the gooey splatter sounds, which might cause you to squirm. Other ambient noises of people yelling, moaning like a deadite, or background amputations all sound full and loud. The reverb and echoes of the insane asylum or creepy visions all sound perfect and precise. Every punch, hit, kick, and takedown has a bit of bass and will cause you to almost feel every smack in real life.
There is no subtleness here The score is entertaining and always adds to the comedy-horror aspect of the show without drowning out any other well-balanced sound. The dialogue is always clear and easy to follow and free of any pops, cracks, hiss, or shrills. You'll have a lot of fun with this audio track.
If you can believe or not, Ash vs Evil Dead Season 2 out does its own first season. There is more blood, guts, humor, one-liners, cameos, and throwbacks to the original here this time around. More importantly, it all adds to the great story and furthers the plot perfectly. It just doesn't get better and more entertaining than this, considering it's a blood-soaked, silly sequel of a cult film from decades ago. The video and audio presentations are all top-notch, and while the extras are all super short, they are all worth watching and listening to. MUST-OWN!
Portions of this review also appear in our coverage of Dunkirk on Blu-ray. This post features unique Vital Disc Stats, Video, and Final Thoughts sections.