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Bruce Campbell on Ash vs Evil Dead: Season 3 – We’re Gonna Pay Some Crap Off

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The inimitable Bruce Campbell is back to his old tricks as Ash Williams, the chainsaw-wielding anti-hero tasked with saving the world from evil. The third season of “Ash Vs Evil Dead” finds Ash’s status in hometown Elk Grove flipped inside out. He’s gone from homicidal urban legend and general embarrassment to humanity-saving hero.

But really, now… How long can Ash hold onto the glory? It’s always something!

This time it’s Brandy (Arielle Carver-O’Neill), the tough-as-tacks teenage daughter he never knew he had; a fanboy in the form of Dalton (Lindsay Farris), leader of an ancient order called the Knights of Sumeria; Ash’s deceased dad Brock (Lee Majors) in the form of a ghost; Ruby (Lucy Lawless) is as unpredictable as ever; and his sidekicks Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) are back for more deadite abuse too.

We sat down with Campbell – who was impeccably dressed in a gray suit with a tie and bright yellow pocket square; about as far from his flannel-and-denim alter ego as can be – and picked his brain about what fans can expect in Season 3 of the gleefully gory TV series.

Campbell, as a producer of the show, was thrilled to have “the amazing Lee Majors” back on set. Fan reaction to the dynamic between Ash and his father in Season 2 was huge, Campbell told us. “I just wish we didn’t kill Lee that quick. But this is one of the reasons why he came back. We were like, we gotta get Lee back.”

Even though he’s dead, Brock is not out of the game. “I have actually more screen time with Brock this season than when he was alive. He comes and goes anywhere, as a ghost.” If you’re thinking death might have toned Brock down a little, think again. He’s his usual caustic self. “At one point I’m doing a fight scene and I go ‘Dad, a little help here’ and he goes ‘I’m a ghost dumb ass!’ It’s a gag, yeah. Because he’s not solid. I can’t touch him.”

So, what can Brock do? “Well he can give advice. Turns out he witnessed, unwittingly, a section of this Evil Dead mythology that he didn’t even know was unfolding, back when he saw it happening. So he gets to share with his son a little bit of something that happened in the past, that his son was not aware of. And it’s like A Wonderful Life, or A Christmas Carol: the ghost of Christmas past takes him round and shows him stuff. So we have a little bit of that going. It’s cool stuff.”

As to whether or not there will be even more time travel in the Season 3, Campbell says with a sly expression, “We will not be ignoring it. I’ll give you that. You have to use your imagination. But Ash does go to a very unfamiliar place. Let’s just say that.” Hmm. Our guess is Heaven. Or maybe the DMV (that Oldsmobile’s registration tags probably still say 1981).

Not surprisingly, Ash doesn’t know he sired a daughter somewhere along the way. It’s comes as “a big shock. No idea. Didn’t even remember procreating. Consummating the moment. So he gets rudely reminded, very early on.”

What kind of dad is Ash? “Improving. He’s bad at first. But he says, ‘I’m a crappy father but I’m also a crappy liar.’ He goes ‘I’ve all told you the truth, even though it sounds crazy.’

“And Ruby is kind of evil this season. Because my daughter’s in high school, she’s trying to put funny ideas into her head. She sounds normal but everything she says is a lie. I sound like I’m crazy but everything I’m saying is true. So my daughter has to learn to trust me and it seems impossible.”

If you’re wondering in what ways Brandy is her father’s daughter, you can bet it will be revealed in spectacular fashion. “You’ll find out later when she starts kicking a bit of ass,” Campbell promises. “She becomes pretty capable. Don’t forget, we can always pass the torch here.”

Campbell said he really enjoyed working with Carver-O’Neill. “Arielle’s great. She’s very appealing. And I have a daughter who looks a lot like her, similar age, so it definitely enhances the scenes – I’d be thinking, ‘What if I had to tell this to my daughter?’ So it helped a lot.”

What about Ash’s sorta-kinda surrogate daughter, Kelly? At the end of Season 2, there was a rift between her and Ash. “Kelly this season will get a little more of her own bad assery. She will develop.

“Same with Ray’s character, Pablo, he’s going to be a little more bru-howian [the character is a brujo… a male witch of sorts]. And he will become useful in looking at translations that – Ash never knows any of that Sumerian crap, he doesn’t know any of it – but Pablo, because he’s got one foot in, one foot out, can be an interesting conduit to the other side. So he’ll be pretty useful as the episodes go on. It’s a busy season.”

Speaking of the Knights of Sumeria, their leader Dalton joins the squad. “Ash thinks he’s just a fan boy. Ash doesn’t necessarily buy into all of the mythology. Because the guy’s like kneeling all the time and saying ‘He is the chosen one!’ Ash is like, ‘Get up, get up. Don’t do that.’ But it’s a good dynamic because there’s another group that’s trying to be like Ash, trying to take down these demons and rid the world of them. He’s sort of a James Dean motorcycle guy, and he’s cool. Lindsay’s a lot of fun, who’s playing him.”

Since there are two newbies being added to the main cast, and Campbell is a producer, we asked him about the vetting process and just what kind of personality it takes to keep up with the brutal stunts, pages of rapid-fire dialogue, gallons of blood and goo, and so on. “They get it quick how we operate. We’re very no nonsense, we get a lot done every day. I tell these guys right from the start, you have to hit your mark.” How do they even see their marks through the pools of gore? “It’s difficult. They put marks on the floor and it matters because that’s where you’re lit and that’s where you’re focused. So, I think more than anything, they had to learn the technical side of it. How important the technical side is. And making shows like this is way more technical than the average, sit down at the kitchen table, have a talk type TV show. Understand. That’s really important. So of anything of the new actors, it’s just pay attention. Keep up.”

We wondered how this huge and horrifying adventure will play out in tiny-town Elk Grove, Michigan. I mean… are the local yokels uploading videos of the demons to Snapchat? Is the rest of the world aware of what’s going on? “The genie’s out of the box this season, so…” Campbell says, implying there could be some of that. “Ash cleaned up the town. By the end of season two it’s done. Game over for real. The town is good again. So it has to go off the rails again – of course it will. So that’s the first order of business is to not let be what you think it’s going to be.”

One of the most memorable – or nauseating depending on your gross-out threshold – scenes from Season 2 was when Ash butted heads, so to speak, with a corpse in the morgue and wound up fighting its reanimated colon. We just had to ask if there was ever a question of trying to top that in Season 3.

“Well, there’s something in season 3 that’s probably right up there,” Campbell obliged. “But the goal is not to engage in that game because that’s a losing game of, ‘Can you top this, is it just about gross?’ It’s really about story at the end of the day, so as long as you work out the story, if along the way of a good story, you have strange events that take place, that’s great. But events do not a story make. So we’re gonna focus more on the story.”

In sum, Campbell said, “The rest of the season is going to focus on the mythology of why Ash is The Chosen One. Why was he chosen to defend the earth from the dead and from these demons? We’re gonna pay some crap off. There’s gonna be a big boom ending.”

Look for Season 3 to premiere on February 25th at 9PM ET/PT.

“Ash vs. Evil Dead” is led by Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead, “Burn Notice”) in the role of Ash Williams; Lucy Lawless (“Salem,” “Spartacus”) as Ruby; Ray Santiago (“Touch,” Meet the Fockers) as Pablo Simon Bolivar, Ash’s loyal sidekick; Dana DeLorenzo (A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas) as Kelly Maxwell co-star alongside newcomers Arielle Carver-O’Neill and Lindsay Ferris. Lee Majors returns as Brock Williams to warn Ash from beyond the grave.

The third season finds Ash’s status in Elk Grove, Michigan, has changed from murderous urban legend to humanity-saving hometown hero. When Kelly witnesses a televised massacre with Ruby’s fingerprints all over it, she returns with a new friend to warn Ash and Pablo that evil isn’t done with them yet. Blood is thicker than water in the battle of good vs. Evil Dead!

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Exclusive: Move Over Winchester, It’s Time For HINSDALE HOUSE to Shine

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We got some rather interesting news as we’ve been told that Steve Stanulis (Clinton Road) will be writing and directing Hinsdale House, a supernatural horror film about making a horror film within the house itself. The film will be produced by Maurice DiVirgilio and Frank Mandarino and it’s slated to begin shooting later this summer.

The way we’re told, the film follows a director who brings his cast to the Hinsdale House, telling them that they are not allowed to bring their cellphones so that they can get a better feel for the environment. While there, things start to go terribly wrong. The film is being pitched as Cloverfield meets Blair Witch meets Paranormal Activity.

Stanulis tells Dread Central, “My wife is a big fan of Ghost Adventures and we happen to catch an episode on television that explored the Hinsdale House. Nobody could stay in the house for more than 2 hours. It was intriguing. After doing some research and calling the actual home’s owner and finding out that even he doesn’t go anywhere near it, I just knew I had to do an on-location film about it. Nothing about the house had been done before in regards to a feature film and, as a filmmaker, that is super exciting. And I just know the actors will really be on edge while filming this, which will only make it even better.

The Hinsdale House, which is in Hinsdale, New York, gained notoriety after the book Echoes of a Haunting was published and detailed the paranormal events witnessed and experienced by Clara and Phil Dandy, along with their children in the early 1970’s. Supposedly they had a priest perform multiple exorcisms at the house but to no avail as the family was forced to move out. Both Discovery Channel and TLC aired episodes about the house.

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5 Zombie Films That Flipped The Script

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The undead have long been a source of horror for cultures around the world. The thought of our loved ones returning from beyond the grave as shells of their former selves has filled countless people with feelings of dread, grief, and terror. Then there’s that whole pesky “they want to eat our flesh” thing going on. As if being in mourning wasn’t enough, now I’ve got to worry about remaining intact?

Netflix’s upcoming horror/thriller Cargo stars Martin Freeman as a man who wanders the Australian outback with 48 hours to live after being bitten by a zombie. The twist in this story is that Freeman has his one-year-old daughter with him and he needs to find a safe place for her before he turns.

Having seen the film, I can tell you that it’s pretty damn fantastic. The zombies are distinct enough that you’ll feel like you’re watching something new and the themes hinted at through the story, while not entirely unique, are so rarely touched upon in zombie films that it feels like a fascinating experience. Cargo has no issues bravely facing racism, xenophobia, environmental concerns, and the fear of loss, not only of one’s life but of all that will never be experienced. It’s horror with heart and it never shies away from that, for which I applaud it.

Because of the release of Cargo, we decided to take a look at five other zombie films that brought something new and exciting to the table.

Stranded in rural Australia in the aftermath of a violent pandemic, an infected father desperately searches for a new home for his infant child and a means to protect her from his own changing nature.

Cargo was directed by Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke from a script written by Ramke. It stars Martin Freeman, Anthony Hayes, Susie Porter, Caren Pistorius, Kris McQuade, Simone Landers, and David Gulpilil.


Night of the Living Dead (1968)

It may not seem all that original now but George A. Romero’s 1968 classic really was revolutionary upon its release. Prior to this film, zombies were mostly thought of in terms of the Haitian folklore that was seen in movies like White Zombie. In that film, zombies weren’t mindless ghouls intent on devouring the living, they were freshly dead corpses resurrected by a Bokor (a necromancer) who wiped the mind of the zombie and made them their personal slave. Romero changed all that by taking the same concept and removing all possibility of the ghouls being controlled. Rather, they became the shuffling corpses that are now cultural icons.


Train to Busan (2016)

South Korea’s 2016 zombie film received, rightfully so, wild critical acclaim and the love of horror fans across the globe. Wasting no time in getting into the action, Train to Busan felt like a breath of fresh air because it masterfully blended humor, over-the-top action, horror, social commentary, and genuine emotion. Elements of each of these traits have been seen countless times throughout zombie films but the culmination of everything made Yeon Sang-ho’s film one of the best entries in the genre in this decade, possibly this century.


28 Days Later (2002)

Raw, gritty, vicious, and undeniably beautiful, 28 Days Later is a masterpiece of intensity and emotion. The first zombie film in many years to truly make it feel like the world was over, it created a believable story and focused on interesting, nuanced characters. As with Train to Busan and Night of the Living Dead themes of class warfare and social commentary were most certainly present, creating a film that felt fresh and exciting. There’s a reason 28 Days Later was credited with revitalizing the zombie genre and it’s because it brought new, albeit infected, blood into the mix.


Maggie (2015)

Seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger in a dramatic role bereft of action or comedy should already clue you in that this movie is aiming to do something different but it’s the actual meat (no pun intended) and potatoes of the story that offers a fresh perspective on zombies. Schwarzenegger’s Wade is distraught and desperate after learning that his daughter Maggie (Abigail Breslin) is infected with the “Necroambulist virus” and has days left before she changes into a cannibalistic creature. Rather than focus on the terrors of what might be, Maggie opts to focus on what we know will be lost. Maggie will never know what an adult life will be life. She will never know a love that lasts the rest of her life nor will she have the chance to be a parent. Her grief at what she will never experience is matched by Wade’s overwhelming anguish that he cannot protect his daughter or be there for all those moments that could have been.

As King Theoden mournfully stated in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, “No parent should have to bury their child.”


The Girl With All The Gifts (2016)

What if the zombie was actually the character we, the audience, were pushed to care the most about? Enter Colm McCarthy’s 2016 brilliant film The Girl With All The Gifts and you’ll have that same experience. Never failing to bring scares, the film also isn’t afraid to ask how can we love that which can put us in so much danger as well as cause us so much pain? Sennia Nanua positively shines as Melanie, a young girl infected with a fungal disease that will send her on a mindless, flesh-hungry rampage were it not for a cream that remaining humans can rub on their arms to curb her appetite. As with 28 Days Later, The Girl With All The Gifts doesn’t shy away from commentary on race and class differences. But its true strength lies in its ability to make you feel for the very thing that should strike fear into your heart.


This post was sponsored by Netflix.

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Blumhouse’s TRUTH OR DARE Hits Blu-ray Unrated This July

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Looks like Blumhouse’s teen horror flick Truth or Dare will be hitting Blu-ray unrated this July. Special features include featurettes such as “The Making of Truth or Dare”, “Directing the Deaths” and feature commentary with co-writer/director Jeff Wadlow and star Lucy Hale.

You can check out the Blu-ray cover art to the right and the back cover below, along with a list of special features.

Are you excited to own this film unrated on Blu-ray? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

The film is directed by Jeff Wadlow (Cry_Wolf) and stars Lucy Hale (Scream 4), Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf), Violett Beane, Nolan Gerard Funk, Hayden Szeto and Sophia Taylor Ali. The film was produced by Jason Blum and executive produced by Wadlow. It hits Blu-ray July 17, 2018.

Special Features:

  • Game On: The Making of Truth or Dare
  • Directing the Deaths
  • Feature Commentary with Co-Writer/Director Jeff Wadlow and Actress Lucy Hale

Synopsis:

A harmless game of Truth or Dare among friends turns deadly when someone—or something—begins to punish those who tell a lie—or refuse the dare.

PRE-ORDER HERE

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