‘Ash vs. Evil Dead’ strikes a better balance between gore and slapstick this week than the season’s first couple of episodes. Somehow, it does this despite having a very goofy plot.
Ash’s beloved 1973 Oldsmobile Delta has been stolen by obnoxious teenagers. Ash is devastated. That car is the love of his life. He pines for it in a montage of clips from the old ‘Evil Dead’ movies (including one that looks like the beginning of ‘Army of Darkness’, which I thought this show couldn’t get the rights to?). Meanwhile, the teens pick up their girlfriends and get high. Two of them wander off to let the others get busy in the car. The girl in the backseat, Amber, finds the ‘Necronomicon’ book on the floor and makes the mistake of reciting a passage from it. She offers to give her boyfriend a blowjob, then turns into a Deadite and bites his dick off!
Ash concocts a brilliant plan to get his car back… and also, you know, the book too. He’s going to throw a party at the local bar and give out lots of free drinks to teens, legal or not. In a small town like Elk Grove, that will surely attract the idiots who stole his Delta. Ash recruits his old buddy, Chet the bartender (Ted Raimi), to whip up a batch of their famous party drink, the “Pink Fuck.” Equal parts booze and ketamine, that’ll get the kids talking. Kelly thinks this is a really stupid idea until Ash pressures her into trying the drink. She mellows out really quickly after that.
The other two teens return to the car and find the backseat covered in blood. Their friends are missing. Suddenly, the car becomes possessed (a la Stephen King’s ‘Christine’) and attacks them. The girl, Lacey (who’s the daughter of Ash’s old flame Linda and the jackass sheriff), gets trapped in the front seat and can’t get out. She’s helpless to do anything but scream as the Delta runs down and murders her boyfriend.
At the bar, Ash is dismayed to see his father Brock arrive. This bar is Brock’s regular haunt and he’s not going to be turned away by a bunch of moron kids. Afraid that his crotchety dad will drive away the partying teens before he can figure out which one took the car, Ash asks Ruby to keep Brock distracted. She reluctantly agrees to talk to him. That doesn’t last very long before Brock tries to put the moves on her and she’s too disgusted to remain in his company.
The Delta eventually stalls, and the dickless boy comes out of hiding. Of course, it’s a trick. The car starts right up again and kills him in particularly brutal fashion.
Amber the Deadite is drawn to the bar. Pablo mistakenly says something that depresses Kelly. Ash and Brock get in an argument and decide to settle their differences with a competition to see which can ride the bar’s mechanical bull the longest. Ash lasts 15 seconds before being tossed and feels pretty good about himself. Unsurprisingly, Brock does a lot better. During his ride, he even pulls Amber up onto the bull with him to show off. Ash seethes as Brock gloats in his victory. Ash notices that Amber is a Deadite but doesn’t say anything as she pulls Brock into the bathroom for a quickie. He’s perfectly willing to let his old man die, until Pablo gives Ash an inspirational speech about fighting evil and showing his father what a hero he is.
Kelly and Ruby both leave the bar and have a talk on the curb. Ruby thinks that Ash is useless, but maybe Kelly can help her. She says that she has a “Plan B” to hunt her Deadite spawn. Kelly rallies and declares, “Let’s go kill your kids!”
Amber goes full Deadite on Brock. Ash marches into the bathroom, fights the girl off, and chainsaws her to bits. Brock realizes that the stories Ash told about fighting monsters were all true. He didn’t just go psycho and murder his friends.
A drunk kid stumbles into the bathroom to pee, sees the terrible bloodbath with the chainsaw-wielding Ash standing over a girl’s corpse, and runs through the bar screaming that Ashly Slashy is going to kill them all. This causes a panic and all the teens flee the bar.
For the first time in his life, Brock is proud of his son. The two of them wander outside onto the sidewalk, and Brock says that he needs to tell Ash an important secret about their family. Before he can get the words out, the possessed Delta speeds up from out of nowhere, runs him down and smashes his head to a pulp. So much for that.
Lee Majors was a great guest star and I’m sad to see him go, but his death scene is both shocking and hilarious. Even by this show’s standards, this episode is really outrageous and inventive with its gore. The highlight of this happens when the car taunts and teases a victim, then sands his face off with a tire.
I like the twist of the Delta going evil. If a tree can get possessed in ‘Evil Dead 2’, there’s no reason why a car couldn’t. Ash has previously watched friends and family turn into monsters, but this one must really hurt. Even if he can somehow exorcise the car, will he ever be able to ride in it again?