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Modern television shows are able to pull off what the medium couldn't even dream of 20 years ago, both in technological wizardry and in subject matter. Starz's boundary-demolishing Ash vs Evil Dead, for example, gives audiences things that can't be found elsewhere on TV, including a lead character whose missing right hand is often fitted with a roaring chainsaw. The horror-comedy's inimitable star Bruce Campbell recently spoke with CinemaBlend ahead of Ash vs Evil Dead's Season 2 Blu-ray release, and the actor talked about how that process goes these days when I asked if he enjoyed the finale bringing Ash's hand back.
Yeah, for like an hour. These things never last long. It's always good to get my hand back. It's one of the challenges of playing the character. You always have fake hand, fake chainsaw. Black sock, something over your hand. A stunt rig. It gets old quick. Even putting on the mechanical hand, it's like wearing a welder's glove all day. It's a restrictive device.
Few actors out there would be willing to make all the blood-soaked efforts that Bruce Campbell still takes on, 40 years into his career. Hell, if someone actually used Evil Dead's time travel to go back and tell 1981's Bruce Campbell what his future self would be getting into on a weekly basis for a TV show, he might have covered his right hand in bubble wrap and run away screaming.
After all, except for that very brief scene the Ash vs Evil Dead Season 2 finale (when Ash is fooled into thinking he's free of the curse), Campbell is almost never seen on the show without some prop being used as an appendage. Be it a robotic hand, a chainsaw, a puppet, etc. And that has to get old, right? (I mean, the puppet is probably light, but still, it also has a chainsaw for a hand.) One has to assume that the joy seen on Ash's face in that scene is more of Campbell's true emotions than just pure acting talent.
Thankfully for Bruce Campbell, the changing tides in TV have run concurrent with advances in Ash Williams' accessories. When I asked the actor about his own input into what happens with his missing hand, Campbell explained how much better things have gotten for the character's most recognizable weapon: the chainsaw.
I do push them for engineering progress. The chainsaws have gotten lighter. We have an 18-volt chainsaw now that was much lighter. They're using like carbon fiber and stuff. They've done good. The grips inside have improved so you can hold on without cutting your hand. They've done a very good job at improving what is a clunky thing. This 18-volt one, I can power the blade myself, so we don't have to use cables, which is a technological leap.
I mean, if you're going to make an actor don a piece of power equipment on a daily basis, it's in everyone's best interest to make sure said power equipment is as maneuverable and easy to handle as possible. Since, you know, an arm-weary Bruce Campbell might get possessed by some evil spirits on the set, making him pick up a chainsaw that didn't get its chain removed yet.
Set for release on Tuesday, August 22, the Blu-ray Ash vs Evil Dead: The Complete Second Season has everything fans will be looking for in a home-bound version this hilarious series. My favorite feature is always going to be the audio commentaries with the cast and crew, since hearing Bruce Campbell tell stories never gets old. On top of a Season 2 First Look, there are nine different featurettes for fans to dive into, covering everything from the series' female warriors to Ruby's gross demon spawns to the return of Evil Dead's Henrietta to the masterful Ash puppet. And, of course, there's a brilliant mash-up of all the season's deadliest moments, for your cheering pleasure.
Get ready to get all your hands, real or not, on Ash vs Evil Dead Season 2 next Tuesday, and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for some fun details about what to expect in Season 3, which sadly hasn't gotten a release date from Starz yet. While waiting to hear an update on that, check out our summer premiere schedule and our fall TV guide to see what new and returning shows are hitting the small screen soon.