Ash vs Evil Dead has been coming to New York Comic Con every year since before its season 1 premiere in 2015. And why shouldn’t it, baby? In the halls of comic book geekdom, Bruce Campbell’s glorious chin is held in the same regard as the faces on Mount Rushmore, and his alter-ego’s chainsaw is more revered than any cherry tree-destroying axe. Of course Ashley J. Williams doesn’t just use his blade to cut wood.
So it was an obvious delight when Campbell took the stage of the Hammerstein Ballroom in Midtown on Saturday afternoon, accompanied by his co-stars and fellow icons of the cult TV series, Dana DeLorenzo, Ray Santiago, and newcomers Arielle Carver-O’Neill and Lindsay Farris. Basking in that glow, Campbell cheerfully introduced the season 3 premiere episode four months before its Feb. 25, 2018 debut. He also gave some major hints about what to expect in the new year, such as potential time travel shenanigans and trips to the sperm bank.
Indeed, Ash vs Evil Dead Season 2 included plenty of homages to the first two-thirds of the Evil Dead trilogy, with the return of Ellen Sandweiss as Ash’s late sister Cheryl, and Henrietta reemerging from that fruit cellar. So one wise fan asked whether it’s time to get more references to the third groovy classic: Army of Darkness. In that film (and at the end of Evil Dead II), Ash travels back in time to the Middle Ages, which is a staple of Deadite lore that has only begun to be explored on Ash vs Evil Dead (the season 2 finale had Ash and company travel back to the original film’s events in 1981).
And in response to this query, Williams dropped this tantalizing hint of timey-wimey season 3 finale.
“To allude to the end of the season,” Campbell began, “it’s really, really, really different. You’re going to pick your fucking jaw up off the floor at the end of this season. And I wish I could tell you [more], because I would love to see your jaws drop right now, but no. Download the app and watch it yourself.”
Perhaps pushing that app is a major reason that Campbell feels compelled to tease a potential game-changer in season 3. As some fans are concerned with the move from October to February for the new season, as well as the fact that season 4 has yet to be confirmed by Starz, Campbell addressed these worries in classic showman fashion by presenting a rhetorical discussion he’s apparently been having with Starz about Ash vs Evil Dead season 4 ever since Lionsgate purchased the premium cable network.
“‘I’ll tell you as soon as I possibly can, sir,’” Campbell said mimicking a Starz executive when the Ash vs Evil Dead team ever asks about season 4. He then added, “Those of you in the corporate world might understand when two corporations collide, it takes a while to figure things out. You see our bosses now have bosses, and the bosses are talking, having long and important discussions about, first of all, who gets shitcanned and who stays. So once they work their problems out, they’ll work our problems out. They’re going to move us to February, because they’re trying to get us out of a very nasty timeslot, which is the fall, so we think that’s going to help. It’s more time for you to get the app between now and February.”
Also on that front, Campbell made a very convincing argument for true Deadite fans who haven’t subscribed to Starz yet to make the jump. Feigning tears, Campbell mimicked those crying about Starz being too expensive.
“You don’t need a fucking car,” Campbell roared at the NYCC crowd. “Not in New York City!” his solution is for fans to simply sell their cars if money is so tight and then get the app for $10 a month so they can binge the first two seasons and let Starz know about the size of the fanbase. And he gave plenty of reasons to look forward to the new year, including the fact that Ash now has a teenage daughter played by Carver-O’Neill.
“Ash fights with the army he’s got, [but] the parenting skills he’s got at the moment need refinement,” Campbell teased. Similarly, he suggested there would be more world-building in season 3. “The goal of this season is, I think, to crack it open. We’re doing a little more into the Joseph Campbell mythology, because Ash is not just a loser who lives in a trailer park. He’s foretold in an ancient book. So why? Why him?”
We may not know until Feb. 25—which is plenty of time to get that Starz app—but in the meantime, Campbell left fans with one more major hint for season 3. This year, Campbell endured what he considers the most grotesque Evil Dead action sequence he’s ever filmed.
“I have a fight in a sperm bank,” Campbell cryptically revealed. “I’ll leave it at that.”
Works for us.