Ash vs. The Evil Dead

That’s right, Bruce Campbell, arguably the greatest B-Movie star, is set to reprise his role as Ash Williams and fend off the evil deadites in a battle for earth in a TV series. The Evil Dead first graced our screens in 1981 and went on to spawn two sequels, all of which have become cult favourites. What it was about the films that enticed audiences in was not only the gruesome special effects and that infamous tree scene, but also the main protagonist; the chainsaw-weilding, boom-stick using king of one-liners Ash.

Ash

Thankfully the 10 part series is going to feature Bruce Campbell as the lead role, any other choice probably would have come under fire from fans, and it will show Ash at his boring day-to-day job, telling customers to shop smart at S-Mart. After ignoring his heroic abilities for a while, he decides that it is time he takes on the forces of the necronomicon once again as they threaten to take over the world.

The series is set for a 2015 release and appears to be in good hands as Evil Dead director Sam Raimi is helming the first episode of the series.

Groovy.

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Icon Of Horror: Ash Williams

With a chin that could kill, a vast array of one-liners and weapons and an attitude that would make the fairest of maidens swoon, cult favourite Ashley ‘Ash’ J Williams is the man for the job when it comes to battling demons and monsters…no matter what time period it’s in.

ash 1

The 1981 film The Evil Dead introduced us to a character, who at first doesn’t come across as the type to be battling monsters and demons from beyond the grave. But as the film, and franchise, progressed it was obvious that there was much more to this S-Mart employee, than a blue shirt and a 1973 oldsmobile.

Ash’s story begins in a remote cabin in the middle of the woods; a setting which would inspire many horror films to come. Him, his girlfriend Linda and a group of their friends have decided to take a trip away to the cabin and let off some steam. But after discovering a weird-looking book in the cellar, one of the group takes it upon himself to read an incantation. Unfortunately for the group it is the book of the dead, or the Necronomicon. A book that is bound in human flesh, written in human blood and has the power to raise demonic spirits into our world; and that’s just what happens. Ash is forced to fight off his friends and lover as they one by one become possessed by the entities, although he survives the night his nightmare has only just begun.

Among the many things that The Evil Dead is famous for – a major one involving a possessed tree – the character of Ash Williams is probably the most important. His suave and cool demeanour are what keeps the low-budget horror film together. What makes the groovy monster-fighter even better is the fact that the actor who portrays him, Bruce Campbell, is exactly the same in real life. So for every Evil Dead film you know that Campbell is going to give you the Ash Williams that you love because he is just being himself, with a bit more groovyness.

Bruce Campbell’s cult status continued to grow as The Evil Dead franchise added a sequel; Evil Dead 2 in 1987. However it wasn’t until the trilogy was complete in 1992 with Army Of Darkness that Bruce Campbell and Ash both became cult legends. Whereas The Evil Dead was primarily a horror film, Evil Dead 2 had some comedy elements to it. But Army of Darkness combined horror and slapstick comedy together to create a film that should be in every horror fans DVD collection. When you think about a horror film that has slapstick comedy in it, it is hard to imagine how anyone could make it work, but with Army Of Darkness it does. The reason is, other than the mind of Sam Raimi, because of Ash Williams; his witty one-liners such as ‘gimme some sugar baby’ and his cool rough-tough guy appearance keep us hooked. As we witness him being a complete bad-ass killing demons, and then comically running around with another head attached to him.

As I said before his true cult identity came through with Army Of Darkness, ask any Ash Williams fan and they will tell you that his appearance consists of a chainsaw for a hand and a shotgun strapped to his back (or his Boom-stick). That appearance is definitely one that stands up there with the likes of Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees in horrors best icons.

One of the main reasons that Ash is such a loved character could be because he is just like us, with added wit and looks. If you think about all the action heroes in cinema: Bruce Willis, Wesley Snipes, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Their characters are usually incredibly buff hard men who kick the crap out of the antagonists. But Ash is just a simple person like us who is lost in a world of horrors, and eventually lost in a different time-zone.

ash

For fans yearning after a bit more Ash Williams now that The Evil Dead trilogy has finished, a lot of Sam Raimi’s films have Bruce Campbell making a cameo appearance, including his Spider-man trilogy. Or check out the post-credits part of the 2012 remake of Evil Dead for a snippet of the handsome hero reciting one of his most famous catchphrases.

Remember, the next time you are attacked by a demon and they fall to the floor as if to have been killed. Don’t fall for it, it’s a trick…get an axe.

Original Film Tag Line: The Ultimate Experience In Grueling Terror.

Film Franchise List:

The Evil Dead – 1981

Evil Dead – 1987

Army Of Darkness – 1992

Evil Dead – 2012

 

The Grudge Reboot

I remember when I first watched The Grudge, what I remember the most was the feeling it gave me that forced me to hide underneath my bed covers for about two weeks afterwards. The 2004 supernatural horror film which starred Sarah Michelle Gellar and was the American version of the ‘Ju-On: The Grudge’ Japanese horror franchise – both directed by Takashi Shimizu – never let up, and kept you guessing at where the next horrifying ghostly face would appear next. The plot was based around the murder of a family, who, after their death, held a terrible grudge that brought terror and death upon anyone who came into contact with the murder scene. Although it may have had more of an effect on me when I was younger, the film still stands strong in the horror genre today as it did on its release.

grudge

The Japanese version of the franchise is still on the go, however the American one stopped in 2009 with the third instalment which failed to dazzle audiences in the same way that the first and second did. So what is the answer to this? A reboot of course. I for one feel it is too early for an American remake of The Grudge, with the first only being released in 2004. But Hollywood seem persistent on remaking horror franchises and have thrown some big names behind the project.

As well the amazing Sam Raimi being attached and his Ghost House Pictures company, Jeff Bhuler – The Midnight Meat Train writer – is set on for writing the script for the film. There is no word on whether Takashi Shimizu is set to return to his franchise or what the actual story line is going to be. Our hope lay in the hands of the already busy scheduled Sam Raimi, among others.

We Interrupt This Programme…

Special Bulletin!

Every now and then I will be doing one of these special ‘bulletin reports’ about new news in horror, mainly for things which are not fully confirmed yet but will still wet your lips in anticipation hoping that the ideas will come to life. I will still be doing longer news pieces, but just on confirmed news.

Hellraiser Reboot

First things first, every horror fan must have seen the incredible slasher flick ‘Hellraiser’ from 1987, starring the lovely Doug Bradley as ‘Pin-Head’, the pin-headed, white-faced Cenobite Who returns from hell followed by a few other demons. Well over the years we have been treated to numerous sequels; 8 to be exact. Some great, and some not so great. Now there is some very exciting news, Clive Barker – the fellow who directed the original film – has claimed that he is on to direct the reboot, not only that but Doug Bradley is returning as Pinhead to terrify audiences once again. The film should hopefully do the original justice and we should see the same amazing make-up effects which we saw in 1987, as Barker has stated that he would much rather use practical effects than CGI. Thank god.

hellraiser

Estimated Release: Not Yet Known

Army of Darkness 2

Another great franchise, another great bit of news. ‘Evil Dead’, one of my favourite ‘video nasties’, has had some great sequels through the years, as it changed in to comedic horror with ‘Evil Dead 2’ in 1987 and ‘Army of Darkness’ in 1992. The 2013 remake by Fede Alverez was also an amazing effort, and because of this talks about a sequel to ‘Army of Darkness’ has been thrown in to the mix. With Sam Raimi – who directed the original trilogy – back in the director’s chair. I heard a rumour a while back that they may also be pursuing ‘Evil Dead’ sequels carrying on from the reboot, and are trying to make the two films intertwine. Can you imagine it, Bruce Campbell and Jane Levy fighting off the deadites together. At the moment it is only a dream, but one which will hopefully come true.

army

Estimated Release: Not Yet Known

Monster Cinematic Universe

Now the piece de resistance, although I did really enjoy the 2004 film ‘Van Helsing’, it does appear time for a reboot, which is exactly what is happening. Tom Cruise is rumoured at the moment to be starring, and Rupert Sanders (Snow white and the Hunstman) is on to direct. That is not the best part though, due to the recent success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Universal are on the fence about deciding whether to do a Monster Cinematic Universe, let’s hope they do. Can you imagine it Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, Bride of Frankenstein, The invisible Man, The Mummy, The Wolfman, The Creature From the Black Lagoon, Phantom of the Opera and Van Helsing all in one film together. I know that these types of films happened thanks to ‘Hammer Horror’ back in the 50s, 60s and 70s, but imagine them being re-imagined today, and all with their own film to proceed it. Even though The Wolfman and The Mummy were re-created quite recently, they should really be rebooted in order to link in with this new set of films, if they ever happen.

universal-monsters

Estimated Release: Not Yet Known