Who would’ve thought that the micro-budgeted 1979 horror film from Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and Robert Tapert would spawn an entire franchise – still running 39 years later? Arguably, very few, and yet here we are staring down the barrel of a third season of Ash Vs. Evil Dead.
With its whole life force drawn from the initial premise of teenagers finding an ancient Sumerian text – the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis – in a cabin in the woods, the Evil Dead series has transported us through time and turned Bruce Campbell’s Ash into an enduring hero of the horror genre. Now, four decades on, Campbell is reflecting on the thing that’s been a constant through the shifting narrative – other than his character, and his collaboration with Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert.
That thing is the car. It’s the car that originally belonged to Raimi’s mother, in which she would drive her son and his friend Bruce Campbell to movie theatres in their youth. During a set visit, Campbell discussed the ongoing inclusion of that original car in the show, saying:
“Believe me, try sitting in that car after knowing that Sam’s mother took you to the Tel-Twelve Mall in that car, and she dropped you off to see movies in that car. I know that car so well – I know that car better than Sam knows it now. And we have the original car [on the show] for God’s sake! The original, original car.”
Fans of Raimi and the Evil Dead franchise – which now consists of five films and a television show – will be familiar with the iconic Oldsmobile, as Raimi has made a point of including it, somewhere, in each of his films. That being the case, it’s not surprising to learn that the classic vehicle continues to grace the screen – albeit the smaller one at the moment.
The inclusion of the car is far more significant than the average easter egg, too. At this point, it’s a symbol of the ongoing commitment of that original trio – Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and Robert Tapert – to remain true to the heart and dark soul of their original creation. That, it seems, is exactly what fans have to look forward to in the impending third season of Ash Vs. Evil Dead, as the story changes gear to address the original premise of ancient Sumerian texts and prophecies.
“It’s not so much about Ash’s head being pulled up a cadaver’s butt, you know what I mean? Because you can play that game all day. I mean, we have horrible sequences coming, for sure, but that isn’t the whole point,” says Campbell.
“Ash isn’t just a loser in a trailer park – his picture is in an ancient book. Why? Why is he foretold? He’s the average man, he’s nobody. So it’s a little more finding out about that. We introduce the Knights of Sumeria, a new group that’s fighting evil that also thinks he’s the prophesized one, which Ash bristles against because they’re talking eternal sh*t and he just wants to go bowling.”
Indeed, it seems that Ash and his crew are getting right back to the core of the Evil Dead mythology with season three of Ash Vs. Evil Dead and, once again, they’ll be doing it in the unique style afforded them by Sam Raimi’s mother’s car.