TV -- especially cable-TV -- is not the domain of pregnant pauses and subtle undetstatement. It goes for big, splashy fun ... and few shows splash quite as vigorously as "Ash vs. Evil Dead." The second-season opener arrives Sunday (Oct. 2) and reruns often; here's the story I sent to papers:
By Mike Hughes
Technology is doing
wondrous things for our lives, you know.
information, hope, packages and babies. And it delivers more and
better fake blood.
“They have more
nozzles this year on the blood-deliverysystem,” said Bruce
Campbell, whose “Ash vs. Evil Dead” cable series starts its
second season. “They can do a wider spread of blood, down to a very
find jet of blood. We've all felt the sting ... but we know that our
suffering is your gain.”
It's all for the
good of the viewers, he said, who want to see their characters
Dana DeLorenzo, who
co-stars, recalls buckets of fake blood set aside, to be dumped on
her. It was “26 gallons just on me .... Mr. Rob Tapert was like,
'Oh, we have a cannon of blood.'”
This was not
Tapert's original goal in life; he went to Michigan State University
to study economics. That's where he met Ivan Raimi and then a key
figure: “Sam was Ivan's impish brother,” he recalled.
From the time he got
an 8-mm camera, Sam Raimi had been making backyard comedies, often
with his brothers Ivan and Ted and his friend Campbell. Eventually,
he became an MSU student and made “The Happy Valley Kid,” a
horror short that debuted on campus.
And then? “Rob was
the first person to go, 'Aah, let's raise money for a movie,'”
Others may have been
semi-clueless on money matters, but the economics guy had plans,
Campbell said. “Rob would say, 'Well, I've got this crazy uncle.
He's a dentist; let's try him.'”
So “Evil Dead”
was filmed in Tennessee, with Campbell starring.
this case, meant being drenched in a fake blood made from Karo sauce.
“We'd shoot all night,” Campbell recalled. “My favorite run
back from the set was getting in the back of the pickup truck,
covered with blood head-to-toe, because I can't get my clothes off
because they're stuck to me ....
“The fun was
riding through rural Tennessee on a Sunday morning as people are
coming out to church ... and I'm waving to everyone like 'The Texas
Chainsaw Massacre,' (and then) go into the shower with my clothes on
to melt the fake blood to get it off.”
For the TV series,
he has plastic clothes that look bloody. “It's the modern world,”
Actually, much has
changed in the 35 years since “Evil Dead” (then with a different
title) was filmed:
--Sam Raimi switched
to big-budget movies, including a Spider-Man trilogy; Ivan became a
doctor, but still helps write and produce.
-- Campbell became a
cult-movie favorite and also a TV actor, starring in “Brisco County
Jr.” and co-starring in the seven-year run of “Burn Notice.”
-- And Tapert became
the hands-on guy, producing series in New Zealand. They included
“Hercules,” “Spartacus” and “Xena” ... in which New
Zealand actress Lucy Lawless became a cultural icon and now Tapert's
wife. They live in California and workin New Zealand, often with
“I love it,”
Lawless said. “We laugh a lot, which is like it should be.”
But playing Ruby,
her duty is often to destroy her friend. “I've actually found that
Lucy doesn't really like me that much,” Campbell deadpanned. “She
doesn't even want to rehearse. I'm like, 'Lucy, should we run these
lines?' She goes, 'Oh no, No. You're gonna get it live.'”
And then the blood
-- “Ash vs. Evil
Dead,” 8 p.m. Sundays, Starz; Oct. 2 season-opener reruns at 9:05
and 10:10 p.m.
-- First season
reruns from 4-9 p.m. Oct. 2.
opener – Ash returns to his Michigan home town – reruns Monday at
4, 8:40 and 11 p.m., plus 1:40 a.m.; Tuesday at 6:05 and 9 p.m.;
Friday at 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.; Saturday at 12:20, 6:30 and 10:30 p.m.
On Suday, Oct. 9, it's 2:40 and 7:25 p.m., before the second episode,
at 8, 9 and 10.