TV Weekly cover: all the gory details from the set of Starz's new "Ash Vs Evil Dead"

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23 October 2015

STARZ, Oct. 31, 9:00 PM ET

By Jeff Pfeiffer

It’s just past the first day of winter in New Zealand when I arrive in Riverhead, a short drive outside of Auckland, to begin watching the filming of the new Starz series “Ash vs Evil Dead,” which premieres Saturday. As a fan of the original “Evil Dead” films, I am thrilled to see the brunt of the series’ outdoor sequences being filmed in a scenic pine forest, as it recalls the dark woods that were the setting for the first two movies.

Star Bruce Campbell reassures us during his set break that everything that fans have loved from the “Evil Dead” franchise will be on hand in this series — horror, comedy and plenty of Deadite and human gore.

On the other hand, newbies should also enjoy the show. And before you go thinking that this is like “The Walking Dead,” think again. “Watch 10 minutes of it, and you’ll see how different it is,” Campbell says.

For one thing, the Deadites are no mere shambling zombies. “They’re very smart, very crafty, very clever,” explains Campbell. “They use deception; they can talk like an adult. They can drive cars. …There’s an intelligence, a very, very malevolent intelligence behind them, so they’re great foes.”

As an additional difference, “Ash vs Evil Dead” is a half-hour series. Campbell says the show needed to be 30 minutes “in order to keep the pace lively, and to stick with the humor. We have a fast-paced, humor-laced show.”

On the hunt for Ash is the mysterious Ruby, played by Lucy Lawless. Everyone, including Lawless herself, is very closemouthed on just what Ruby is up to, but it’s clear she blames Ash for the Deadite outbreak.

“She’s after Ash,” Lawless — a native Aucklander who is no stranger to filming in her homeland — tells me, “and I liken her to Jaws. You can’t see the whole fish at once … she is the impending doom. She is gunning for him because he’s the source of all evil as far as she’s concerned, and she plays dirty — and yet remains with clean hands the whole time.

“Before the end, we’ll see [Ash and Ruby] together,” Lawless adds. “Whether it becomes a workable, loving relationship, we have yet to see. I suspect not.”
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