Saturday, October 24, 2015

Bruce Campbell revving up the chainsaw for 'Ash vs. Evil Dead'

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Bruce Campbell's Ash Williams has been fighting monsters since the 1981 release of director Sam Raimi's 'The Evil Dead." So maybe he could teach the survivors on AMC's "The Walking Dead" a thing or two about slaying supernatural creatures.

Then again, maybe not. Campbell's wonderfully brash blowhard character tends to get by more on sheer bravado than brains. That won't change when he returns in "Ash vs. Evil Dead," a horror-comedy series that premieres at 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, on Starz.

With Ash, it's a case of a little older, not much wiser. Campbell was 21 when he filmed "The Evil Dead" in 1979 with Michigan high school buddy Raimi. He turned 57 in June, so he's playing Ash with many hilarious concessions to middle age.

This Ash needs an industrial-strength girdle to hold in his expanding gut. His dazzling smile now requires a mouthful of dentures. And a burst of creature killing might leave him slightly winded. Or, as he puts it, "My heart is jack-hammering like a quarterback on prom night."

"That's the fun of it," Campbell said during a telephone interview. "At an age when he no longer wants to be doing any of this, he brings something back upon himself. This is guy-with-lower-back-pain Ash. It's just the wrong time for the wrong guy, which is what I like about this.

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