Ash vs Evil Dead 1.04 Brujo Review

Shoot first and think later—or don’t think at all.

Ever wanted to go on a half-hour psychic, psychedelic adventure involving Bruce Campbell, demons, video games, severed limbs, and talking lizards? No? Well, that’s what happens on this week’s Ash vs Evil Dead!

State Trooper Fisher is trapped in the bookstore with the very angry, very evil, and very dead Hawkins. But she’s rescued by her new best friend Ruby! They realize that they have a lot in common, such as the way Ash Williams ruined both their lives. These two are going to get along great!

Elsewhere, the Ghostbreakers are on their way to find Pablo’s shaman uncle, and Kelly’s not feeling very well due to her “tiny concussion”/terrifying encounter with a demon—but there’s no time to worry about that! Because the Evil is attacking the car again!

This scene is mostly just a disappointingly pale imitation of the awesome car fight back in Episode 2…but it’s also an excuse to reveal a couple of important facts about Ash and his car, namely:

  • Ash has a tank of nitrous stashed under his seat (??), and
  • he’s been leasing the Classic for over 30 years. (???)

The team eventually gets to the Brujo’s (Hemky Madera) property, which he has tastefully decorated with a bunch of creepy bones and mannequin parts. Pablo immediately apologizes for abandoning his heritage and tells his uncle that he thinks Ash is “a Jefe.” The Brujo takes Ash into his shed to, and I quote, “look inside” him. It’s just like the Necronomicon (very vaguely) foretold! “Total lack of self-awareness will make it very difficult to find the answers you seek,” says the Brujo. “But we must try.”

Basically, even though Ash is “old, slow, and dim,” the Brujo sees Ash’s (very deeply hidden) potential. While Pablo and Kelly build Ash a new hand out of some old video game parts (????), the Brujo sends Ash on a magical acid trip so that he can fully realize his powers.

“Brujo” isn’t as funny, clever, or scary as Ash vs Evil Dead’s first three episodes, but Ash’s weird, epic hallucination is definitely one of the highlights of the show so far. It’s kind of like if you took a deep spiritual truth and gave it a chainsaw arm and one of Jeffrey Lebowski’s kidneys. Very groovy.

After flashing back through his aimless, violent existence, Ash has a scary vision about being surrounded by evil and having his eyes sewn shut. But he fights through it after realizing something important about himself: his prodigious zombie-slaying powers aren’t in spite of his empty head, but because of it! The secret is to “shoot first and think later—or don’t think at all.”

Yes, the answer has been inside Ash all along: an empty head.

Ash takes control of his journey and lands in his rosy, peaceful spiritual center: Jacksonville, Florida, “a city so nice they named it Jacksonville.” For a few beautiful moments, everything is perfect. Ash goes fishing! He has two hands! He has two beers! He chats with Eli (his pet lizard, try to keep up) for a while and gets some valuable advice—burying the Necronomicon to defeat the Evil. Or something. I wasn’t really paying attention because I was watching some quality television about Bruce Campbell and his Guatemalan spiritual advisor fishing in purgatorial Florida.

Meanwhile, Ruby reveals to Fisher that still has Ash’s original hand! It’s still evil, still dead, and still twitching. Everyone can rest easy because the best supporting character from Evil Dead 2 is finally making a cameo.

Back at the Brujo’s, Kelly collapses… and wakes up with scary black eyes! It turns out that she’s not so much “concussed” as possessed by the demon Eligos!

So, Ash’s awesome hallucinogenic vision takes a bad turn as Eligos/Kelly attacks Ash, attempting to trap him in his trip forever. (A trip trap! That’s the worst kind of trap.) Ash manages to fight his way out of trouble, but ends up almost killing Kelly in the process.

So, things look pretty bad! Ash is totally concussed (thanks, Pablo), Kelly is still possessed (thanks, Eligos), and a demon is on the loose! But at least Ash is about to be reunited with his demon hand. What could go wrong?

Image courtesy of Starz
Mad Moll Green

Mad Moll Green writes in Los Angeles and Vancouver. She loves horror movies, comic books, and ironic spandex.