Shit Gets Real-An Ash vs Evil Dead Episode 9 ‘Bound in Blood’ Review

With one more episode until the season finale and how the last episode ended, most of my weekdays were little more than another day in the way of another Ash vs Evil Dead episode. And now that it’s here, there was much rejoicing to be had.

Picking up right after the two Ashes duke it out in the previous episode, Pablo and Kelly has to find out which Ash is the actual Ash using the time-honored tradition of asking things that the impostor won’t know. But at the end of the day, the real Ash outed himself and the two ‘sidekicks’ found out the best way—By Ash’s trademark brand of idiocy. And all before the opening title!

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Williams & Williams, a great double act cut before its time.

With the we-know-they’ll-probably-die-screaming hikers returning, Pablo and Kelly decide to take them out of the woods while Ash go and clean up the literal bloody mess inside.

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Juuuust the two of us~

As is usual for Ash, the blood spilled from his cleanup efforts ended up waking the Necronomicon, which promptly starts trying to tempt Ash. He might be a bumbling idiot, but his dedication to fighting the good fight is quite admirable. At least the times when he’s not an insufferable ass. And when he’s just about to go chop up Amanda to stop her from Deadite-ness, her body disappeared.

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Now it’s the Necronomicool.

Back in the woods, the doomed hikers along with Pablo and Kelly meets—guess who?

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No prizes for this one.

In a surprising display of incompetence bordering on ludicrous, two of the hikers ended up dying at Amanda’s hand (literally) and the other one screaming her head off. Fortunately, Ruby comes to the rescue.

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Assassin’s Creed up in this bitch.

A little interruption from Heather the Hiker gave Deadite Amanda enough time to run away, and in a refreshing display of genre-savviness after the burst of incompetence earlier, Ruby starts cutting up the two dead hikers to deny the Deadites their bodies.

Back at the cabin, everyone meets everyone, the alive ones at least, and Ash immediately gets into an argument with Ruby on how to deal with the Necronomicon. They finally agreed on using Ruby’s way, by defacing the book.

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Literally.

In an obvious act of potential badness, Ruby wants the book and talks about an ‘ownership ritual’, something Ash agrees on doing. Cue thunder, rumbling, and overall bad vibes along with ominous dead language chanting.

At the most inopportune moment, the skinned face of the Necronomicon reacted with Pablo’s necklace and like last time, it was mutually attracted to each other, ending up with Pablo being an unwilling The Mask cosplayer.

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I won’t say the big reveal here, but you perceptive readers might’ve deciphered it already. The reveal wasn’t exactly something I didn’t see coming, but it makes things interesting all the same.

While the two Ashes fighting could go on a little longer and some parts were very predictable, the episode overall is still a very fun one nonetheless. Pablo and Kelly’s sudden bout of extreme incompetence did feel rather off for me, but it wasn’t at all a dealbreaker.

Only one more episode, and I cannot be more excited for this series. With a second season on the way and all that’s been going on, how could I not?

After two full episodes in the cabin, I think I’ve pretty much given up hope on seeing the tree.

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Handchop Cabin-An Ash vs Evil Dead Episode 8 “Ashes to Ashes” Review

Talk about a weekend of nostalgia. After Star Wars earlier this week, Ash vs Evil Dead goes back to the cabin where it all began. Longtime fans, prepare to be assaulted by memories.

After ditching the crew to leave for the cabin all by himself, finding little resistance on the way there. Aside from a Deadite bird. Yes, it’s as funny as it sounds.

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Home is where the demonic murder spree is

Within minutes of arrival, the memories all come rushing back. As Ash steels himself to go back in, Amanda manages to catch up with him. After a little hesitation, the two enter the cabin and tour all the sights. From the old cellar, the mounted deer head, to the tape recorder that started the whole mess in the first place.

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Someone’s got an eye and hand on you

Meanwhile, Kelly and Pablo got lost after splitting up to look for Ash. In what couldn’t in any way be a coincidence, they run into hikers passing by and ask them to help find the way to the cabin. Back at the cabin, Ash gets another blast from the past.

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Ash really needs to get his head in the game

Back inside, Amanda finds Professor Knowby’s notes on the Kandarian Dagger that Ruby has with her and….runs into Ash. Who ends up seducing her and turns out to be none other than Bad Ash. Or a reasonable facsimile of him that doesn’t cause any legal problems, at least. Pesky movie rights.

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Too bad his hand isn’t as smooth as his talking

The actual Ash, meanwhile, is still trapped in the shed, battling demons of his past, literal and figurative while Bad Ash ends up fighting with Amanda. And loses yet another hand.

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He needs a hand. And I need to stop with these hand puns

But all of it was for naught, as Bad Ash did end up killing Amanda with delicious, delicious irony.

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Guess she got horn–I’ll stop there

Finally dealing with Linda at the cost of a hand, Actual Ash comes too late to save Amanda and after a tearful farewell, the rest of the gang caught up with them and cue short Who’s On First routine before Actual Ash storms off to find Bad Ash.

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Mirror match!

While easily one of the best parts of the episode, the fight is abruptly cut off as the episode ends.

And there, in my opinion, is one of the weaknesses of the half-hour format. While most episodes so far end in good places, some others end just when it was getting good. This one, for instance. Kelly and Pablo was also criminally underused after turning in great performances in the last few episodes, and the lack of Ruby follow-up is glaring as well.

That said, this episode was a blast from the past for Ash and us the viewers both. Longtime fans will be delighted at all the callbacks that just goes to show how that faithful cabin trip still affects Ash so much, even after more than 30 years. Only two more episodes until the season finale, and I couldn’t be more excited. All we need now is the tree to show up.

A More Elegant Movie for a More Modern Age – A Reaction to Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

For as long as I could remember, I’ve loved Star Wars. Some of my fondest memories involved playing with unfortunately long since gone Star Wars toys, from Micro Machines, X-Wings, to figures while I watch the movies on laserdiscs. Yes, the ones bigger than frisbees.

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Seriously, BIG.

Over the years, my love for Star Wars came and went, but it was always a constant in my life. I do have to admit I haven’t devoured most of the Expanded Universe material, but I have dabbled in it at times, the Republic Commando series and Tag & Bink being some of my favorites. The games were also a big reason my love for Star Wars kept all these years. Yes, even Masters of Teras Kasi.

When it was announced that new movies are going to be made, I was naturally giddy. Along the way, some decisions like decanonizing the EU did put some doubts and it still stung even to this day, but still, my faith kept on. The new Marvel Star Wars comics helped ease the transition, and if anything, there’s always the small solace that the old EU still happened and we still have the stories, only it happened in some other Galaxy Far, Far, Away in the multiverse. It’s sad, but still, it’s something.

And now that I’ve seen the movie just hours earlier, it was like the Galaxy Far, Far, Away never went away. The second the Star Wars logo came up followed by the opening crawl, I feel like I was five again, sitting in front of the TV watching. It was a state of mind that kept almost throughout the whole movie, which is why I decided to bill this a reaction rather than a review. A review implies a degree of objectivity while watching the movie, something that was nearly nonexistent during the 135 minutes of the film’s running time.

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While the Force awakens, objectivity goes to sleep

But of course, my pesky adult brain had to come rear its ugly head at times and forced me to analyze stuff. So let’s get that out of the way first. The movie is very, very well-crafted. Abrams and co. has certainly learned their mistakes from the Prequel Trilogy and mixed what little good they had with the charm and feel of the Original Trilogy. The effects, while the emphasis on practical effects was lessened, are still top-notch and has a similar feel to that of the Originals. One small detail that I loved was them going back to making actual suits and using actual people for the Stormtroopers instead of creating every single faceless trooper with CGI like the Prequels did with the Clone Army.

Every single member of the main cast, returning and new, were and are still perfect in their roles. Without going into too much detail of the plot, the chemistry between Daisy Ridley’s Rey and John Boyega’s Finn were the standouts, as was Finn with Oscar Isaac’s Poe. The returning original cast was like they never left in the first place and they came across as the same characters, only older and (for some of them, not) wiser.

If my actual five-year old self were to watch this, I know he’d ramble on and on about this for days on end. In truth, so would I. In pure terms of nostalgia and Star Warsiness, this was the motherlode. Callbacks and shout-outs abound, and it’s just pure Star Wars from opening crawl to ending credits. I can’t—and won’t go into detail into the plot, since that’d just ruin a little of the enjoyment for all of you.

I honestly can’t count how many times I almost shouted out loud with excitement and had reactions that I know had people staring at me. I couldn’t help it, to be honest. I can’t even remember the last time a thing like this happened to me.

While this seventh entry will definitely delight returning fans, newcomers who haven’t had the chance to watch the previous movies won’t be too lost in this one. And if you haven’t watched the previous movies, you owe it to yourselves to do it. Only the Original Trilogy is mandatory, the Prequels are sort of optional but recommended.

In closing, as I punch out these words at midnight, half-awake, eyes still wet with happy tears, I want to thank everyone involved with the production of this movie, as I believe that the franchise is in very, very good hands. May the Force be with you all.

I know I’ll be seeing an X-Wing and the Millennium Falcon hanging from my bedroom’s ceiling again before I sleep. Thank you, Episode VII.

Doomed-sday Preppers-An Ash vs Evil Dead Episode 7 “Fire in the Hole” Review

After the gore-infested doozy that was ‘Killer of Killers’ last week, it’s only natural I came into ‘Fire in the Hole’ wanting even more. And in that department, this episode did NOT disappoint.

We pick back up from last week with the trio (now plus Amanda) arriving at Lem’s militia base, looking for weapons. As it turns out, the camp is under siege by Deadites.

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All guts, no glory

The surviving militiamen capture the gang, and a misunderstanding ended up with them being separated. Ash and Amanda locked up in a bunker, Kelly and Pablo managing to escape but now trapped between the Deadites and angry rednecks.

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Locked up underground thanks to a misunderstanding. Ring any bells?

Back at the Brujo’s place, Ruby is definitely more than she lets on. After being blown up last week, she revives (mostly) unscathed. Possible magic intervention, maybe?

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Or maybe she’s just THAT tough

Back to our heroes, Pablo and Kelly bond over weapon choices while Amanda and Ash encounter the Deadite Lem. The two are hunted in the deep, dark corridors of the bunker while Pablo and Kelly ended up running into the militia and subsequently captured. Meanwhile, having managed to find clothes and her car, Ruby set out to find the missing hand. And she still has that Kandarian dagger.

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It’s a dagger box now

Cue the gory portion of this episode. It kicks off with a gas mask Deadite attacking the militiamen who captured Kelly and Pablo, and a nice sequence involving pickup trucks, M16s, and a bunch of punching.

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Talk about being stuck between a tree and a pickup

Down in the bunker, the hunt still continues. Threatening to blow the bunker up with Ash and Amanda still in it, a fight ensues and it is one of the more stylish pure-fun sequences in the whole series.

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Neo, eat your heart out

And in the end, we get another glimpse of aging lothario and mediocre pickup artist Ash Williams, which is pretty refreshing in between his flashes of competence. Which funnily, Amanda seems to be pretty receptive to.

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I can’t believe it either, but here we are. Before being rudely interrupted by Pablo and Kelly.

After gathering weapons for the trip and another quick bonding moment, the gang prepare to set out for the cabin where it all began…..if it weren’t for Ash disappearing.

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Obligatory team shot

Ash’s hand seems to be ten steps (or ten hands?) ahead of everyone else and arrived at the cabin already. Just what does the hand want? We’ll find out next week.

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So can this be called a walkabout?

Closing in to the end of the season, this series keeps its momentum after the almost filler-like feel of last week. This episode has all of the makings of a great one. Lots of laughs, a dash of horror, copious amounts of gore, and oodles of character development. This one will probably make it somewhere in my top five episode of the season based on just how much fun it is. On to the next one!

Gore Galore-An Ash vs Evil Dead Episode 6 “Killer of Killers” Review

Yet another delayed edition of Ash vs Evil Dead review, I know. As always, shit that I wouldn’t go into detail here went down. On another note, shit also went down in this episode and it is GLORIOUS.

“The Killer of Killers” picks up right after Ash’s crew left the Brujo’s house, with Ruby and Amanda checking out the chaos they left behind. The horror knob was turned up as they search the cabin, ending up with the Brujo’s burnt remains being reanimated by the demons…only to be dispatched quickly by Ruby.

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It’s quite ek-scything, really.

After a few choice words that might betray Ruby’s actual motives (or a smart bluff on the demon’s part), the Brujo’s husk threw himself along with Ruby into the funeral pyre, seemingly exploding. An explosion strangely lacking of Ruby parts. To make bad things worse for Amanda, Ash’s real hand seems to have up and left.

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You know what they say about idle hands….

Elsewhere, Ash murders a plate of pancakes while the crew discuss their next move. Just right when we have a good team moment going, Ash seems to have second thoughts about letting Pablo and Kelly on the trip. A statement the two quickly wants to turn around, of course.

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Murdered them like they were Deadites.

And then another one of Ash’s (probably soon doomed) friend Lem shows up. A real doomsday prepper-type, mooching off Ash for TP and ammo. The two talk guns, while Pablo and Kelly get over their awkwardness. Or try to, at least. And this is where shit starts getting weird.

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They weren’t kidding when they said you won’t be able to put the book down.

 

And worse. Not long after, the Deadites attack Ash and co. at the diner. Cue massive gory extended fight scene made of pure awesome.

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A lot of guts, and it’s definitely glorious.

Even Kelly and Pablo join in on the fun!

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Never ask how a sausage is made.

Meanwhile, Lem, who manages to escape the slaughter, run off into the woods…..only to be caught by our old friend the tracking cam demon.

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I was expecting something else. Something a little bigger and harder.

With Ruby and her superior officer gone, having witnessed Ash’s ‘heroism’, Amanda decides to join the crew. Ash is a happy, happy camper. And so are we.

While a little bit low on character development, this episode is great thanks to many things I’m sure made a lot of us fall in love with the franchise in the first place. Gory action scenes, a little touch of horror, and our favorite hero Ash Williams going back to his bumbling ways.

If I’m to be honest, this feels a little bit like a filler episode, but if the filler is as satisfying as this, I’m not complaining. While dipping just a little after last week’s stellar episode, this show keeps going on strong even five episodes without Raimi at the helm. The only bad news is that we only have four episodes before the crew’s journey this season come to an end. But hey, picked up for a second season!

My only gripe with this episode was no trees. That was the perfect setup for the trees. Oh, well. Onwards and upwards!