April had quite some interesting shows and a fun movie on offer thanks to Amazon Prime Video, and it was all some bloody business.
American Gods (Season 1) [6/10]
Ash vs. Evil Dead (Season 1) [10/10]
Ash vs. Evil Dead (Season 2) [10/10]
Ash vs. Evil Dead (Season 3) [9/10]
I’m always careful about hyped shows or movies, and the adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s book American Gods proved to be one of those cases. Despite having some impressive cinematography at times and some rather good acting, the first season dragged on forever with no real direction. Maybe it was the intention to make the audience participate in a fever dream with violent outbursts, but relying solely on slow motion sequences to make it look artful or important didn’t help the story or characters much. There’s definitely some potential here, but the 10 episodes didn’t really deliver much content to be that interesting. Maybe the second season will be better, if the often forced art direction would tone down a bit, but this was a rather big disappointment with all the fuss made about it.
Thankfully there are TV shows like Ash vs. Evil Dead that are pure fun to watch. With just 30 minutes runtime there is still more happening than in most 60 minutes productions, and what matters even more: it never becomes boring. The first season has a great start and an even better finale. It’s both funny, witty at times with bad jokes but memorable one-liners thrown in, while the amount of blood and gore with hand-made splatter effects is very high. The series is clearly made for fans of the original Evil Dead trilogy, but it’s not mainstream-friendly, bridging the gap between slapstick, splatter fun, and some actually scary and disgusting stuff in the end.
The second season of Ash vs. Evil Dead continues that tradition of delivering laughs, more gross-out moments, and a few scares in equal measure, with very likable characters and tons of references to the original, even including an actual time traveling part to the 80ies. The way how each episode ends with a cliffhanger, how everything falls together is also remarkable. Simply one of the best 10 episodes one can have for such a series with enough bloodshed and surprisingly hardcore horror in the end.
Long-time readers of this blog might have noticed that I already reviewed the first two seasons, but didn’t give them a score back when I wrote the Amazon Prime Video watchlist: March to April 2017, but this should rectify it, as the series really deserves the perfect 10. Of course the reason to watch Season 1 and 2 was to prepare again for the third and unfortunately final season. It’s really heartbreaking to see a series like Ash vs. Evil Dead not reaching the number of views Starz! seems to have wanted. Of course it’s silly entertainment and the gore will definitely make people turn away who thought this was tame in the sense of Army of Darkness comedy. But it’s still too bad. Even if the last season has some problems with trying to be too funny at times and trying to have too much story development, it’s still one of the funniest and bloodiest shows that have graced the digital space of Amazon Prime (even more surprising that it got a 16+ age certification in Germany, as I found this one even more violent and gorier). So let’s not lose hope and have our fingers crossed that the very cool ending suggests an even madder sequel in any form in the near or far future!
John Wick: Chapter 2 [9/10]
There was only one movie this month, and it was a pretty great one. After already having watched the original John Wick and having been pleasantly surprised how cool and violent it was, the sequel continued that tradition of 80ies revenge story, although this time with a much bigger scope. Some might argue that John Wick: Chapter 2 is ridiculous at times with its action, and it definitely has some pacing problems, but this doesn’t actually matter if the action on screen stays as bloody as in its predecessor. I can’t wait for the inevitable third installment. Hopefully it’ll be just as action-heavy as this one.
April really had some very fun and extremely violent moments to offer in Amazon Prime Video streaming, and it also proved that TV shows don’t have to be 20+ episodes to be entertaining. Also never ever believe the hype of some shows… or the bad reputation some movies get!
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