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The Evil Dead are welcome in New Zealand

AAP logoAAP 1/11/2016 Danielle McGrane

New Zealand is still reaping the benefits of the movie-making infrastructure left behind after the filming of blockbusters Lord of the Rings and Avatar.

Recently, the country has been hosting the filming of cult-horror TV show Ash vs Evil Dead.

Popular US actor Bruce Campbell, who plays the square-jawed anti-hero of the series Ash Williams, says the Kiwi film workers have a legacy that dates to other cult shows from the 1990s.

"The crews in New Zealand are pretty top notch, they go back to the Xena (Warrior Princess) days and Hercules. Now they're doing Avatar, James Cameron is doing 47 more Avatars down there, so they have a great trained crew base in doing fantastic stuff," Campbell told AAP.

"For a small country it's an incredibly talented crew base so it's a good place to do this show."

Ash vs Evil Dead, which streams on Australian service Stan, has filmed in the country since its inception. Now on its second season, Campbell spends nearly half the year there.

"I come in for about five months of the year. This is my fourth TV show down there, I did Hercules, Xena, Jack of All Trades and now this one," he said.

For that reason, it almost feels like home.

"I was walking around Auckland the other day looking around and for the first time it hit me: 'This doesn't feel weird.' It was just like I live there," he said.

One of the advantages to his life in New Zealand is Campbell maintains a decent level of anonymity.

"No one says anything. Even if they knew who you were, they wouldn't say anything they're very discreet but mostly I don't think they know how I am," he said.

The TV show, which evolved from the cult Evil Dead horror movie series, also boasts a Kiwi star in Lucy Lawless, of the cult series Xena: Warrior Princess.

The New Zealander plays Ash's nemesis, Ruby.

"Ruby can't really be trusted, that's where my character is coming from. I trust (Lawless) in real life, just not on the show," he said.

* Ash vs Evil Dead season two is streaming on Stan with new episodes arriving on Mondays at 3pm (AEDT), on the same day as the US.

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