Ash is back, baby.
Fans laughed, screamed and plugged their ears during the high-volume screening.
Afterward, series’ Sam Raimi, Lucy Lawless, Ray Santiago, Dana DeLorenzo and Bruce Campbell discussed the hotly anticipated horror series, which serves as a follow-up to the cult “Evil Dead” film franchise.
Moderator Kevin Smith also managed to publicly cast Campbell in his upcoming film, “Mallrats 2.”
In “Ash vs. Evil Dead,” Campbell reprises his iconic role as Ash, the stock boy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter who has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead.
When a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind, Ash is finally forced to face his demons — personal and literal. Destiny, it turns out, has no plans to release the unlikely hero from its “Evil” grip.
“This wouldn’t have worked anywhere but Starz,” said Campbell. “The only way you can see an unfiltered ‘Evil Dead’ story is through Starz. We are committed to as many years as you (the audience) command we give you. If you really want more, TV is where it’s at. It’s the only way you can get the massive quantity (the audience) demands.”
The 10-episode first season of the half-hour series, which preems on Oct. 31, is exec produced by Raimi, Rob Tapert and Campbell. DiGregorio serves as executive producer and showrunner. Raimi directed the first episode, which he wrote with Ivan Raimi and Tom Spezialy.
“We were supposed to make another movie, but we never got the money to make the picture,” Raimi explained. “Then Rob said, ‘I’m doing a lot of work on television and their standards have lowered quite a bit.”
When they did get together to film the series in Auckland, New Zealand, Raimi said it felt like “coming home.”
For Lawless, the project was a “no-brainer.” Although she was signed on to do another project, thesp said she left when she was offered the part of Ruby, a mysterious figure who is myopic in her quest to hunt down the source of the recent Evil outbreaks. The only problem: She believes that Ash (Campbell) is the cause of it all.
“It’s the toughest character I’ve ever had to play,” Lawless aid. “She is gunning for Ash. Bad times are coming.”
Raimi admitted that he loves to torture Campbell.
“The audience loves it when Bruce suffers,” Raimi said. “I’m just trying to give the audience what they want.”
“I’m just sort of like a bad chick who keeps coming back,” Raimi countered, before adding that he’s a “little nervous” about the new show.
“Every time I star on a TV show, (it’s cancelled,) and every time I’m second fiddle, it goes forever,” Campbell quipped.
Before the panel — which included love advice from Campbell — came to a close, DiGregorio revealed that his favorite part of the entire season involves a deli slicer.
“That’s awesome!” Smith laughed.