Ash Vs Evil Dead – Season 2, Episode 3: Last Call

Throughout the history of popular culture, the tales of former comrades becoming bitter enemies is a trope as old as stories themselves. Anakin Skywalker once turned against Obi-Wan Kenobi, Harry Osborn turned against Peter Parker, Hell, even Shawn Michaels turned on Marty Jannettey back in the mullet fueled 80’s of the World Wrestling Federation – but possibly the most heart rending battle between best friends in history isn’t that episode where Spock has to fight Kirk or that season of Buffy when Willow went evil. No, prepare yourself to behold the tragic sight of Ash’s beloved Delta Oldsmobile turning evil and running rampage around the streets of Elk Grove while our hero tackles the loss by downing the questionable contents of a drink ominously entitled the Pink Fuck.

After temporarily obtaining the Necronomicon from a particularly frisky corpse at the local morgue, Ash, Kelly, Pablo and uneasy ally Ruby find themselves right back to square one when Ash’s beloved automobile is carjacked by some local youths with the Book Of The Dead sitting in the back seat. The kids, one of whom is Sheriff Emery’s daughter, Lacey, couldn’t resist punking Elk Grove’s newly returned “Ashy Slashy” and stole the Oldsmobile to stick it to the creepy, local legend – but when one of the kids reads from the Necronomicon, a joyride turns to roadkill as the classic car goes all Christine on their terrified asses.
Meanwhile, typically clueless about the whole murder-car thing, Ash is trying to concoct a plan to lure the car thieves in so he can be reunited with his automobile (and, you know, the book that contains pure, malevolent evil) and hits on an idea that even Ruby has to admit isn’t that bad. Enlisting childhood drinking buddy Chet, Ash proposes that they hold the mother of all parties with the aim that if it rocks hard enough, the car thieves will be unable to resist turning up; but to make sure things can’t fail, the duo deploy their signature drink – a nefarious concoction known as Pink Fuck. Containing ” A proprietary mix of liqueur’s, spirits garnished with orange rind and nutmeg.” not to mention “There’s a shit ton of ketamine in it!”, the Pink Fuck guarantees that the shindig is a wild success but the thieves prove to be a no show, primarily because Ash’s car has flat out murdered the boys, possessed one the girls and taken Lacey hostage, but after the teenage Deadite tries to make the moves on Ash’s father, Brock, will “El Jefe” manage to finally make his no-so dear old dad proud?

For both Evil Dead and Sam Raimi fans alike, the Delta Oldsmobile has been a staple of filmmaking history ever since 1981. This unkillable hunk of junk (apparently the car that Raimi lost his virginity in, if you believe Bruce Campbell) has not only appeared in every Evil Dead movie to date, but has appeared in almost ever film Raimi has ever made including belonging to Uncle Ben in Spider-Man, ramming into Payton Westlake in Darkman or even allegedly lurking under a tarpaulin somewhere in the western The Quick And The Dead. Seeing it super powered with evil energy and tearing through screaming teenagers like a rapid bobcat through soggy crepe paper is a legitimate charge for fans of the Delta and it’s awsome killing features – like firing off its hub caps like lethal ninja stars or grinding down faces beneath its tyres – give the usual bloodletting a new spin.
Elsewhere, yet another familiar face from the universe of Sam Raimi appears in the form of Ash’s bedraggled, booze sodden, burnt out best mate, Chet which means we get a long overdue welcome back to Ted Raimi, Sam’s younger brother who played the moldy Henrietta in Evil Dead II. Thankfully, the show gives him plenty of opportunities to indulge in some trademark, dark mugging as he continually necks shots to dull the memories of his time in Iraq.
It seems taking an episode where the show simply takes time out to get their main characters drunk and having them hash their shit out while all the weird shit happens somewhere else for a change proves to be a nice little master stroke as once again we get into what’s getting under Kelly’s skin. Deeply vengeful and with a growing frustration for Ash’s way of doing things, Kelly finds herself being lured over more and more into Ruby’s way of thinking (damn, that’s some good ketamine) which will no doubt rear up futher as the season goes on.
However, after two episodes of noncommittal grunting, it’s good that we finally get some real moments between Campbell and Lee Majors as Ash and Brock manage to not only rile each other due to going head to head on a mechanical bull, but finally reconcile after Ash’s father has his life saved by a revolutionary decapitation that adds chainsaw to your average everyday toilet swirly – but only after some accidental Deadite motorboating. However, the Evil Dead franchise isn’t exactly known for its fuzzy, warm moments and a shock death in the literal last seconds of the episode may be brutally funny, but you can’t help but wonder if they’ve sacrificed long term character stuff in order to make you choke on your Pink Fuck in shock.

Still, with the Delta Oldsmobile plot line still in play, Last Call is a fun, rambunctious first half that still promises a violent resolution to the heartbreaking story of a boy and his possessed car…

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