Lindsay Croucher and David Vowhippchen star in ASH VS. THE DC DEAD, directed by Brian Rosenthal.

Ash vs. The DC Dead (2016, Brian Rosenthal)

I don’t want to “geek out” when I talk about Ash vs. The DC Dead. It might be embarrassing someday. But it’s hard not to be impressed with director Rosenthal’s ability to find the perfect combination of source material to reference. While the short has David VonHippchen’s Ash facing off against big blue DC super-anti-hero Lobo (Derek Russo), the most interesting stuff isn’t Russo or their showdown. Russo’s fine, but he’s not great. It’s a bad part. Rosenthal just needs the right antagonist for VonHippchen to make an impressive short–a lot of DC Dead, if it isn’t intentional, is real showy. In a good way. Rosenthal knows what he’s doing and he should be showy, because he’s inviting the viewer to be impressed.

And even though DC Dead references the “Arrow” TV show, the Green Lantern movie, the Tim Burton Batman movies–not to mention Spider-Man (female lead Lindsay Croucher is Gwen Stacy)–the coolest thing about DC Dead is its Evil Dead sensibilities. Rosenthal’s able to get away with questionable effects because he’s doing a low budget Evil Dead movie. You always give those the benefit of the doubt (because you always have).

Only VonHippchen doesn’t get the best arc; Croucher goes from his annoyed sidekick to his savior (with a wonderful, appropriate final development) and she’s pretty good in the part. There’s some inherent silliness it occasionally stumbles over, but Croucher and Rosenthal work through it.

Ash vs. The DC Dead is awesome. But it’s for a limited audience. Rosenthal’s really good at filmmaking, which can be appreciated without understanding the minutiae, and makes it worth a look alone. You just aren’t going to grin as much as you would if you got the references.

3/3Highly Recommended

CREDITS

Written, directed, photographed and edited by Brian Rosenthal; music by Karl Anderson; production designer, David VonHippchen; produced by Duke Stephenson.

Starring David VonHippchen (Ash Williams), Derek Russo (Lobo), Lindsay Croucher (Gwen Stacy), Joshua Borcyk (Green Arrow) and Marian Gonzalez (Cassie).


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2 thoughts on “Ash vs. The DC Dead (2016, Brian Rosenthal)”

  1. Incidentally, Ash vs Evil Dead is as good a comeback as the franchise could ask for. It didn’t need to be stretched out for 10 episodes, but Campbell plays Ash+30 hilariously. you might want to at least check out the pilot episode, which Raimi directed.

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