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Evil Dead Rise looks to keep its Deadites as menacing as possible in latest movie still

Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead franchise comes with a certain level of expectation that makes experimentation a very tricky thing to pull off. Bruce Campbell, for instance, crafted a horror legend with his interpretation of Ash, especially in the sequels, making him synonymous with the brand. The cabin in the woods, the catchphrases, the stylized and often slapstick humor, the dark fantasy, it all combines to create that which we call Evil Dead. Stepping away from those things can very easily compromise its identity, which is something the upcoming Evil Dead Rise has to contend with being that it takes place in an apartment building instead of a cabin and that Bruce Campbell will not be appearing in it.

A glimpse of what the Deadites from Evil Dead Rise will look like

Thankfully, the first image that WB/New Line decided to release promoting the next entry (releasing on April 21, 2023) does feature something that firmly puts the film in Evil Dead territory: a psychotic Deadite with a sinister smile plastered on its face. For context, the fifth film in the franchise (directed by Lee Cronin) will follow two sisters that find what could be the Necronomicon in the basement of their apartment building. This inevitably leads to a potentially accidental summoning of demons that puts the sisters and their three kids in immediate danger, propping up a discussion on motherhood and the nightmares that can tag along with the role.

The picture does a good job of putting fans in a familiar place, in an Evil Dead headspace. Raimi’s demonic entities are perhaps one of the most recognizable elements of the Dead formula and they can be enough to set different types of stories within its world. They’re sarcastic, loud, they utterly enjoy verbally oppressing their victims, and they turn those they possess into hellish minions that relish every single moment they spend trying to eat your soul.

That last detail sets these possessed monstrosities apart from the rest, giving them that special Deadite quality. They’re usually overtaken by a dark euphoria as they enact their evil deeds. Nothing about them subtle. Deadites turn possession and soul eating into a cruel game they visibly revel in. They laugh, sneer, and contort their bodies in impossible ways. They’re nasty and they stand out for it. The Deadite in the Evil Dead Rise image hints at this type of characterization, especially by spotlighting its twisted smile and expressive bloodshot eyes. In this department, Rise looks very much like an Evil Dead movie.

One of the Deadites from the original 1981 Evil Dead

The 2013 Evil Dead remake, directed by Fede Álvarez (Don’t Breathe), for instance, is a fine horror movie with some effective nods to both the original and its formula, but it does go for a more serious tone that keeps its Deadites from fully embodying the things that make them unique. The same applies for the type of horror that ended up on the screen. It has the cabin, a very loose interpretation of the Ash character (very different in personality and presence), and the demons, but it missed out on their nuances to really help it stand as an Evil Dead movie. Sometimes covering things in the broadest sense doesn’t translate to capturing the spirit of the source. At least it did result in a truly unnerving and vicious horror movie.

The picture shared by the studio behind Rise does show promise, and I am of the belief that an honest to god Deadite can bring out the best in the Evil Dead franchise. The new setting and focus on family rather than on a group of friends on a trip to the woods might cause doubt among fans, but sometimes it’s more about how the little things combine to create an experience worthy of the name its flying under. For now, the new Deadite is looking mighty impressive and very, very Evil Dead.

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It’s a new week and we’ve got some news and reviews from around the web to kick it off!

CBLDF – PEN Report Reveals All Graphic Novels Banned in the Last Nine Months – And what will be done about it?

CBR – Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man Removes Homophobic Line From UK TV – Good. Shouldn’t have been in there to start.

Book Riot – 8 of the Best Korean Graphic Novels – Any you’d add?


Collected Editions – Infinite Frontier
The Beat – Ithaqa #4

Infinite Frontier

Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Gets a New Trailer

Enter a new dimension of Strange. Watch the official trailer for Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Only in theaters May 6.

In Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the MCU unlocks the Multiverse and pushes its boundaries further than ever before. Journey into the unknown with Doctor Strange, who, with the help of mystical allies both old and new, traverses the mind-bending and dangerous alternate realities of the Multiverse to confront a mysterious new adversary.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, with Michael Stühlbarg, and Rachel McAdams.

The film is directed by Sam Raimi, and Kevin Feige is the producer. Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Eric Hauserman Carroll and Jamie Christopher serve as executive producers. The screenplay was written by Michael Waldron.

Xochitl Gomez Joins Doctor Strange 2 in an Unknown Role

Xochitl Gomez

Deadline is reporting that Xochitl Gomez is joining the cast of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Benedict Cumberbatch returns in the title role with Sam Raimi taking over as director. Marvel Studios has not commented on the casting.

It is expected that Benedict Wong and Chiwetel Ejiofor will also return to their roles for the sequel. New to the film will be Elizabeth Olsen who will reprise her role as Scarlet Witch, aka Wanda Maximoff. That character will get the spotlight in the upcoming television series WandaVision which will tie into the Doctor Strange sequel.

Due to Gomez’s ethnicity, age, and the fact that the film has to do with the multiverse, speculation is Gomez will play America Chavez. Speculation is fueled further by Chavez being a member of the Young Avengers, a team that Scarlet Witch’s kids are a part of as well. Those characters are expected to debut on WandaVision. Chavez is an extra-dimensional character who can hop through dimensions, has super strength, and flight as part of her powers.

Xochitl Gomez most recently starred as Dawn Schafer in The Baby-Sitters Club television series. She’s appeared in numerous shorts and on television shows with 19 credits so far.

Ash vs. Evil Dead Season 2 Gets a New Trailer

STARZ has released a new teaser trailer and photo today for the highly anticipated 10-episode second season of Ash vs Evil Dead produced by Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, Bruce Campbell, Ivan Raimi, and Craig DiGregorio who serves as executive producer and showrunner.

The second season roars back into action with Ash leaving his beloved Jacksonville and returning to his hometown of Elk Grove. There, he confronts Ruby. The former enemies have to form an uneasy alliance as Elk Grove soon becomes the nucleus of evil.

The cast is led by Bruce Campbell in the role of Ash Williams; Lucy Lawless as Ruby, who now possesses the powerful Necronomicon; Ray Santiago as Pablo Simon Bolivar, Ash’s loyal sidekick dealing with the trauma he suffered in the cabin; and Dana DeLorenzo as Kelly Maxwell, who, grief-stricken after the death of her parents, plots revenge against The Evil Dead.

As previously announced, Lee Majors, Ted Raimi, and Michelle Hurd join the cast this season as Brock Williams, Ash’s father, Chet Kaminski, Ash’s childhood best friend, and Linda, Ash’s high school love respectively.

TV Review: Ash vs. Evil Dead S1E2 Bait

Ash vs Evil Dead ArtThe debut of Ash vs Evil Dead felt like the return of something you didn’t know you missed, until you saw it returned. The first episode, which debuted last week, quickly dove back into the formula fans of the Evil Dead trilogy have come to love, a mix of horror, comedy, in a style that’s unique and all its own.

The second episode of the series has Ash and his trusty sidekick Pablo set upon their journey, and quickly get attacked and sidetracked.

This episode sums up a lot of the vibe that I know I love about the series, a solid mix of humor, action, and horror. There’s a few scenes of Ash kicking ass that are so over the top, they can’t help be funny, and humor is clearly what’s being gone for.

The show rests on the shoulders of Bruce Campbell, who has slid back into the skin of Ash as if no time has been missed. In just these two episodes he shows off that the smart-ass sexist action hero can still work, and still entertain. The show rises because of the way Campbell delivers his lines and character, in a way that’s hard not to be entertained.

But, Campbell is helped by Ray Santiago who plays Pablo, a pseudo straight-man who thinks Ash is a hero and wants to learn how to kick some but as well. Ash works best when playing off of someone and Santiago has great chemistry with Campbell.

It helps the series has kept the visuals that are so unique and a signature of the original trilogy. The way Deadites move, to camera angles, and tone of how everything looks, it’s a seamless return that’s been enhanced a bit with modern CGI.

The first episode got me excited, and the second has me wanting more right now.

You can sum up the series in one word…. Groovy.

Overall Rating: 9

Starz provided a FREE screener prior to airing

TV Review: Ash vs. Evil Dead S1E1 El Jefe

Ash vs Evil Dead ArtAsh vs Evil Dead is the long-awaited follow-up to the classic horror films The Evil Dead. The 10-episode half-hour series brings together the original trilogy team of Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, and Bruce Campbell who have banded together to bring Ash Williams to the small screen.

Campbell is back as Asho, still stocking shelves, and having aged a bit. He’s spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity, and trying to forget the Evil Dead. When a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind, Ash is finally forced to face his demons –personal and literal.  Destiny, it turns out, has no plans to release the unlikely hero from its “Evil” grip.

Much like the film trilogy the series revolves around Ash and Campbell’s ability to pull off a hero who’s both a complete jackass and absolutely fun. Sexist, full of himself, and really out of shape (to which Campbell plays up well showing little personal vanity and having fun), it actually feels like no time has passed since 1992’s Army of Darkness. The quick jokes, the Deadite ass-kicking, no beat is missed, and some new ones are picked up.

The first episode is all about catching us up with Ash, and setting up the Deadite return. What’s immediately noticeable is that Team Raimi has kept the exact same aesthetic that makes a visually cohesive trilogy of films (Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, and Army of Darkness). The movement of the Deadites, the make-up, it’s all very old school. But Raimi updates things a bit too giving us a lot of CGI throughout as well. This is Evil Dead with a bit more of a budget. And where many fall apart when given more money, Raimi has kept the same sensibility and look to it all. It’ actually an amazing blending of the old and new together.

Ash is joined by some new folks including Ray Santiago who plays his new sidekick Pablo, Dana DeLorenzo who plays Kelly, and Jill Marie Jones as a disgraced cop Amanda. Jone’s Amanda is off on her own figuring out what’s going on, and that feels part of the more updated part of the show. But, Santiago and DeLorenzo not only hold there own with Campbell but at times steal the show, especially DeLorenzo who plays the female interest for Ash. She not only shows some ass-kicking ability, but her take-no-shit attitude plays well opposite Campbell’s smart-ass/quick to comment Ash.

Ash clearly has some rust to brush off and the first episode is all about that getting us to the final moments which will have Evil Dead fans cheering with iconic moments, sayings, and Ash in old form.

The fist episode of Ash vs. Evil Dead is an introduction for new viewers, but also fan service in many ways smartly building up to its final climactic moments  that had me grinning ear to ear.

You can sum up the first episode in one word…. Groovy.

Overall Rating: 9

Ash vs Evil Dead premieres Saturday, October 31st at 9:00pm ET/PT exclusively on STARZ with a 10-episode season.

Starz provided a FREE screener prior to airing

Ash Vs. Evil Dead Gets a Second Season Ahead of its Debut

Ash vs Evil Dead ArtAhead of its Halloween premiere, STARZ Original series Ash vs Evil Dead has earned an early renewal for a second season from Starz. Strong fan, affiliate and distributor demand for the highly-anticipated premiere of Ash vs Evil Dead has generated the early pickup of the series which is the long-awaited follow-up to the classic horror film The Evil Dead.

Executive producers and The Evil Dead original filmmakers Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Bruce Campbell will return for the second season with executive producer and showrunner Craig DiGregorio. Campbell will continue in his role as Ash Williams, the aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter. Lucy Lawless is also returning as Ruby, a mysterious figure who believes Ash is the cause of the Evil outbreaks.

Starz recently announced global licensing deals with broadcasters and digital platforms in more than 100 countries and territories worldwide allowing Ash vs Evil Dead to premiere simultaneously with its network premiere in the U.S. on October 31. Broadcasters and digital providers offering Ash vs Evil Dead on October 31 include Amedia (Russia/CIS), C More (Scandinavia), Fox Action on Fox+ Premium service/Fox Latin America Channels (Latin America/Brazil), Sky TV (New Zealand), Stan (Australia), Starz Play Arabia (Middle East/North Africa) and Super Channel (Canada).

Starz will retain all domestic and international multiplatform rights including television, home entertainment and digital.

The 10-episode first season of the half-hour series features Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams;  Lucy Lawless as Ruby a mysterious figure who believes Ash is the cause of the Evil outbreaks; Ray Santiago as Pablo Simon Bolivar, an idealistic immigrant who becomes Ash’s loyal sidekick; Dana DeLorenzo as Kelly Maxwell, a moody wild child trying to outrun her past; and Jill Marie Jones as Amanda Fisher, a disgraced Michigan State Trooper set to find our anti-hero Ash and prove his responsibility in the grisly murder of her partner.

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Hope everyone isn’t hurting too much from their New Year celebration. Here’s some news and reviews you might have missed while you were out celebrating.

Around the Tubes

Robot 6 – Kansas City police help 6-year-old boy shine as Batman – A great story to end the year.

Kotaku – British Police Arrest Alleged PSN Attacker – Good.

iO9 – Sam Raimi: The Problems With Spider-Man 3 Were “My Mistake” – Duh?


Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – Batman #37

Comic Vine – Batman Eternal #39

Comic Vine – S.H.I.E.L.D. #1

Comic Vine – Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Prime Directive #1

Comic Vine – X-O Manowar #31

Starz Announces Bruce Campbell in Ash Vs. Evil Dead

ash101708Starz has announced they have greenlight the network’s next original series, the long-awaited follow-up to the classic horror film franchise The Evil Dead. The project reteams the original filmmakers, director Sam Raimi, with longtime producing partner Rob Tapert and star Bruce Campbell.

The Starz Original series officially titled Ash Vs. Evil Dead will be 10 half-hour episodes.  Bruce Campbell will be reprising his role as Ash, the stock boy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter who has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead. When a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind, Ash is finally forced to face his demons –personal and literal. Destiny, it turns out, has no plans to release the unlikely hero from its “Evil” grip.

Raimi will direct the first episode. Ash Vs. Evil Dead was written by Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi and Tom Spezialy. Sam Raimi will also serve as executive producer, along with Rob Tapert and Bruce Campbell.  Ivan Raimi will Co-Executive Produce and Aaron Lam will serve as producer.

The original Evil Dead film followed Ash and his friends who travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release demons intent on possessing the living. The film became an international success and is critically lauded to this day as one of the best horror movies of all time. It also spawned a media franchise, including two sequels, as well as video games and comic books and a recent reboot that grossed $97 million worldwide.

The series will air on STARZ in 2015.

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