Saturday marked Day 3 for New York Comic-Con and was the dead I had circled. It was Ash vs Evil Dead Day! Having attended this panel the previous two years, I knew I was in for a treat with this crew. I arrived to the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC at 9:15am for the Ash vs Evil Dead panel, which was to start at 12:30pm, and the streets were already packed with fans, many in cosplay as Ash and others showing off their Evil Dead tattoos. The place had fans overflowing and by the time 12:30pm rolled around, the theater on 34th and 8th Avenue in Manhattan was near capacity. There had been much tension amongst fans of the Starz series, as the network at that point had failed to announce a premiere date for the third season, especially since seasons 1 & 2 both debuted around Halloween. Thankfully, crisis was averted, and right in time for NYCC, Starz announced a February 2018 airdate.
Star Bruce Campbell came out onto the stage first, dressed in a typically spiffy smoking jacket and thanked the fans for putting his kids through college. As a reward, we were given a full screening of the Season 3 premiere (see info about the episode at the end of this post).
So, in strolled Bruce Campbell (Ash), Dana DeLorenzo (Kelly), Ray Santiago (Pablo), Arielle Carver-O’Neill (Brandy), and Lindsay Farris (Dalton) for the panel. They discussed the first Season 3 episode, what the fans can look forward to in the upcoming season, getting hit with blood-cannons, and some intimate details of where the viscous goo ends up.
Some highlights were hearing from the “newbies.” Farris, a native Aussie, said he grew up watching horror films on beta-max with his grandmother, and one of the first he watched was Evil Dead. When Carver-O’Neill, who plays Ash’s long-lost daughter Brandy Barr, gave a compliment to Campbell as the “nicest guy ever,” he carried on his Comic-Con tradition of passing out cash to those who said nice things. DeLorenzo promised a Kill Bill-esque fight between Kelly and the forces of evil, and Santiago said he happy to finally kick some ass as Pablo after a rough Season 2. When asked about impending fatherhood for Ash, Campbell responded, “Ash is the worst father ever, but now that I’ve said that, he’s also the best father ever.”
As the lines formed around the aisle microphones for the audience Q&A, the moderator asked about the most disgusting thing they did this season. Ray Santiago: “I had a birthing scene out of my mouth.” Bruce Campbell: “I had a fight in a sperm bank this season.”
Fan Question: Now that Ash has a daughter on the show, is your character going to change in any way?
Bruce Campbell: Yes… he will become a more substantial person. Do you respect Ash currently?
Dana DeLorenzo: Ha, you get a dollar!
Geeks of Doom: For Arielle and Lindsay, was there any hazing rituals for you guys as the new member of the cast?
Arielle Carver-O’Neill: Bruce told me to run.
Lindsay Farris: It was a hazing ritual, but the first time I met Bruce Campbell we were at a dinner and I’m a fan so I said hi and he asked what I was shooting, and the next day I had a 6-page monologue setting up my character’s whole backstory. So I ask, “Any advice?” And he gives me a big shit-eating grin and says, “6-page monologue huh, good luck with that.”
Bruce Campbell: You had to say the whole f*cking plot essentially, and those are not fun.
The actors took several more questions and received constant adulation and raucous laughter and applause. After the panel, they headed down to the Javits Center to the main convention area to meet fans and do autograph signings. Ash vs Evil Dead officially returns to Starz on Sunday, February 25th, 2018 at 9pm.
Season 3 Episode Screening
Season 2 ended with Ash defeating the evil of Elk’s Grove and going from Ashy Slashy to local hero. Season 3 picks up in hilarious fashion as Ash is not slashing demons, but rather slashing prices at his new hardware store and sex emporium! Pablo, as always, is standing by his jefe while Kelly is off working at a local bar. Of course, things go south in a hurry as a girl brings the Necronomicon to a cable antique show and the historian decides to promptly read passage from the book aloud… genius. Meanwhile, two seemingly innocuous teenage girls are scrubbing high school lockers of graffiti when they’re attacked by a blood spewing school mascot. One of the girls as it turns out, is Ash’s daughter. That’s right, the consummate lothario has teenage daughter! Soon the Ghost Beater gang is back together at the high school and kickin’ evil’s ass. There are fresh new faces, some surprisingly emotional moments, and the Ash vs Evil Dead speciality; buckets of blood and laughs. If this was any indication, season 3 will be awesome.
[Images by Dr. Zaius for Geeks Of Doom.]
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