“Hail To El Jefe” 2018 – Ash Vs. Evil Dead: In Memoriam

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In the age of superhero movies and nostalgic revamps/remakes/revisits, maybe Ash Vs. Evil Dead wasn’t the hero show audiences deserved but definitely the hero show we needed—to save us from the same old shit.

Elkgrove michigan

Midwesterners know.

Ash Williams isn’t military trained nor an eccentric multi-billionaire but rather a one-handed ValueStop stockboy from Elk Grove, Michigan who unwittingly unleashes the Kandarian Demon while stoned in his trailer. He is more like your father, if your father was the kind of guy that would spend Christmas Eve drinking with friends and the day after Christmas waiting for his wife to bail him out of jail with his kids’ money they got as a gift. So maybe Ash isn’t the kind of hero whose action figure your kiddies are going to be clamoring for… or if they are, your parenting skills might need to be re-evaluated… but maybe your husband or boyfriend/wife or girlfriend might.

Most heroes fight for a cause that is greater than one’s self. Ash’s cause (before going Campbellian Monomyth in Season 3) was himself. When the villain gave Ash the choice between giving her the Necronomicon so she can unleash evil on Earth while Ash lives peacefully in Jacksonville, Florida or killing the villain but living with the responsibilities of the prophetized Chosen One, Ash chose **spoiler warning** Jacksonville. Because he “always wanted to spend some time in a city so nice they named it Jacksonville.”

Starz put out 3 seasons before cancelling it. It was a fun show while it lasted. I thought it was a shame that the show was cancelled, but it was 15 hours of comedy, horror, one-liners, and gallons and gallons of blood book-ended by Space Truckin’ and the word “groovy,” so I won’t complain.

Good people, Evil Dead fans everywhere, I bid you a heartfelt farewell playing Ash – the character I took acting lessons with for 39 years.

I am hereby retiring from that portrayal. It’s time. I followed Ash from his formative years thru his mid-life crisis and decline. What a thrill! What a privilege!

We had a great resurgence with the help of Starz (kudos not jeers, folks). They made it possible for 15 more hours of Evil Dead-ness in your life – the equivalent of 10 more features!

Is Ash dead? Never. Ash is as much a concept as a person. Where there is evil in this world, there must be one to counter – man or woman, it matters not.

Thanks for watching.

Love,

Bruce

 

 

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Twin Peaks: Gates, Gatekeepers, Life, and Death – Lynch & Kafka

 

“Are you going to put your coat on or talk me to death right here on the threshold?” – Charlie, Season 3 Episode 15

“There you will meet your own shadow self. My people call it the dweller on the threshold… But it is said if you confront the Black Lodge with imperfect courage it will utterly annihilate your soul.” – Tommy Hawk, Season 2 Episode Masked Ball

“Here no one else can gain entry, since this entrance was assigned only to you. I’m going now to close it.” – The Gatekeeper, Franz Kafka’s Vor dem Gesetz

***CONTAINS SPOILER FOR ALL OF TWIN PEAKS UP TO SEASON 3 EPISODE 15***

David Lynch and Franz Kafka go together like, well, coffee and cherry pie. Shit digging and golden shovels. Silence and drapes. Cops and donuts.

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Lynch KafkaIt’s a good combo. A lot of people say they love Kafka, and David Lynch and I would belong to that group. I focused my studies on Kafka and Kafkaesque Cinema with a secondary topic of Freud and Dreams, and Lynch once even had plans to bring Kafka’s The Metamorphosis to the big screen. Those unfamiliar with the story, it is about questioning the value of existence, family dysfunction and cruelty, human sexuality, and a guy that gets turned into a bug. You know, that old tale. Like with Lynch and Twin Peaks, most people associate Kafka with The Metamorphosis. It’s a damn fine story. But Twin Peaks: The Return‘s 15th episode made me think of my favorite piece by Kafka, Vor dem Gesetz.

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Twin Peaks: The Joy and Terror of Family

 

Read Dossier #1: Twin Peaks: Speculations Written In The Stars
Read Dossier #2: Twin Peaks: Keep Your Eye On The Doughnut
Read Dossier #3: Twin Peaks: It’s Happening Again – Time, and Time Again, Part 1
Read Dossier #3.5: Twin Peaks: It’s Happening Again – Electric Time, Part II

“Dearest Father,

kafka-internaYou asked me recently why I maintain that I am afraid of you. As usual, I was unable to think of any answer to your question, partly for the very reason that I am afraid of you, and partly because an explanation of the grounds for this fear would mean going into far more details than I could even approximately keep in mind while talking. And if I now try to give you an answer in writing, it will still be very incomplete, because, even in writing, this fear and its consequences hamper me in relation to you and because the magnitude of the subject goes far beyond the scope of my memory and power of reasoning. […]”

-Excerpt from Franz Kafka’s Brief an den Vater

“When I got home from World War II, my Uncle Dan clapped me on the back, and he said, ‘You’re a man now.’ So I killed him. Not really, but I certainly felt like doing it.” – Kurt Vonnegut on his Uncle Dan

14633712_1154360447987014_1422768517919987850_o“And now I want to tell you about my late Uncle Alex. He was my father’s kid brother, a childless graduate of Harvard who was an honest life insurance salesman in Indianapolis. He was well-read and wise. And his principal complaint about other human beings was that they so seldom noticed it when they were happy. So when we were drinking lemonade under an apple tree in the summer, say, and talking lazily about this and that, almost buzzing like honeybees, Uncle Alex would suddenly interrupt the agreeable blather to exclaim, If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is. So I do the same now, and so do my kids and grandkids. And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.” – Kurt Vonnegut on his Uncle Alex

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No, not that Darkness!

Ah, families. Families are like assholes and opinions: Everyone has one. They say you can’t choose your family, but I would like to disagree. A family doesn’t have to be biological. Your family might be your coworkers or friends from your youth that you never lost touch with or a secret society formed to fight the Darkness surrounding your small town in Washington (especially doesn’t hurt if the coffee is free).

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Super Short Movie and TV Reviews #2: Comrade Detective, Space Dandy, The Dark Valley, & GLOW

Comrade Detective, Ep. 1 The Invisible Hand

Do you like making fun of Americans? Or if you are an American, do you like being made fun of? If yes, then this is the show for you. Channing Tatum, Nick Offerman, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt dub a Romanian crime show form the Cold War era and tap into the darkness of my nightmares: A killer in a Ronnie Reagan mask… and capitalism. Mainly the Ronald Reagan mask, though. Shit, that’s creepy…

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