Tag Archives: Ash Williams

Farewell To The King Baby!

Well, by the time I have finished writing and publish this article, one of the great icons of the big and small screen will be no more. The man with the chin, Bruce Campbell has decided to retire Ash Williams and tonight the final episode of Ash vs Evil Dead will air.

I guess all good things have to come to an end eventually and to say a personal goodbye to one of my all time favorite characters. I’m going to to take a look at the Ash Williams character from the very start to the end by covering all his big and small screen appearances from the movies, TV show and even video games. Here is my farewell to the King, Ashley Joanna Williams.

There will be possible SPOILERS for those that have not seen the films or all of the TV show.

The Evil Dead

Ash The Evil Dead

This is where it all started back in 1981 with the release of The Evil Dead…though the film was shot through the late 70s. People who are more used to the modern Ash will be quite surprised at the original version. The quips, the one liners, the chainsaw-hand, the balls to the wall hero – none of that existed in the original film. The Ash Williams here is much more subdued and even cowardly…a complete wuss really by comparison to his modern counterpart from the Ash vs Evil Dead TV show. That’s not to say he still doesn’t kick any Deadite balls as he spills plenty of demonic blood through the flick. Its just that most of it boils down to the fact he’s scared and has his back against the wall over him being a wisecracking bad-ass.

Seeing Ash snivel and shake with fear adds a lot of depth to the character and its a trait you don’t really see in horror male leads as that’s something the females usually get associated with.

This film is still one of my all time favorite horror films and one I find much more appreciation for knowing the hell they went through to make it. I personally like my Ash Williams more in this than what he becomes later in the franchise. I prefer the underdog that fights back to the obvious, bombastic hero with the over-inflated ego.

Evil Dead II

Ash The Evil Dead II

So after the unexpected success (and it was) of the first film, the sequel was released just a mere 6 years later. Its quite obvious by the end of the previous film that there was no intention to bring Ash back. In fact the film’s director Sam Raimi said that “everything dies at the end” of the film and that includes the music too…it really does. But as The Evil Dead became such a much loved cult classic, a sequel was made and Ash Williams was brought back too.

This is where you first start to see the more ego-fueled Ash begin to creep in. Don’t get me wrong there is still a touch of the cowardly about him especially during the first 40-odd minutes, but as the film progresses, Ash gets more confident and cocky. Deadites get shotgunned and chainsawed as plenty of claret flies around – something Ash begins to take great relish in, just watch the scene where he cuts off his own hand for proof.

This is a more balanced Ash. He still retains some of that cowardice and reluctance but Ash will go toe to toe against some Deadites and begin to enjoy it too. There are also a couple of his wisecracks including his most famous catchphrase of “groovy”.

Army of Darkness

Ash Army of Darkness

Three films in and Ash is nothing like his original anymore, there is no balance between coward and hero – Ash is now a full-tilt, verbose, overblown leading man. This is the dawn of the Ash Williams most people know of. Pretty much all of his dialogue is some kind of wisecrack and Army of Darkness is easily one of the most quotable films ever made.

Ash is at his Deadite killing best here and where the iconic status of the character really stems from. All the trademarks are here from the chainsaw-hand, his ‘boomstick’ to his quips and comedic lines. There was a delicate balance between horror and comedy in Evil Dead II, Army of Darkness is a very different story as there is very, very little horror and bucket loads of comedy in its place.

I have a love/hate relationship with this flick because I can not deny that its awesome. It really is such a fun and entertaining picture. But its just not the Ash I like and the film is really an action/comedy that has lost sight of its horror roots.

Ash vs Evil Dead

Ash vs Evil Dead

This is where it all lead up to. For years, from 1992’s Army of Darkness the fans had been wanting to see Ash Williams back on the big screen and several times Sam Raimi hinted at making an Evil Dead IV. The film never did happen but in 2015 Ash was brought back in TV show form for 30 episodes over 3 seasons.

This is the same Ash from Army of Darkness only turned up to 11. Ash from this TV show makes Ash from the previous film look like Ash from the first film. He is so overblown and explosive that you just can’t ignore him. The one-liners and insults come thick and fast. Ash now much older (its been almost 40 years), but still trying to play young is fun and provides plenty of comedy. Plus the show had more than enough gore to appease even the most hardcore Evil Dead fan.

It was a good show and great to see Ash back where he belongs…even if I thought the finale was very weak. Yeah I’m writing this just after watching the final episode of the show and I was disappointed by the send off to be honest. Its left open while also passing the torch at the same time. But I feel for a swansong for one of my all time favorite characters, it ultimately was a let down.

Well that covers Ash’s life in terms of movies and TV. Time to take a look at what he got up to in a few games.

Evil Dead: Hail to the King

Ash Hail to the King

This game from 2000 is set 8 years after the events of Army of Darkness and Ash is back still being played by Bruce Campbell. Yeah this is wisecracking Ash too as he has to battle Evil Ash, also played by Campbell. Its a game so obviously heavy on the action more so than anything else – including character so Ash takes a bit of a backseat to the onscreen chaos.

There’s still plenty of Ash to enjoy along the way but just not enough to please Ash fans like myself. Still, this was the first time Bruce had played the role since the release of Army of Darkness in 92.

Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick

Fistful of Boomstick

The second game is set 3 years after the previous one with Ash spending most of his time in a bar getting drunk. Of course the evil is released…again and Ash has to spring into action in an adventure that takes Ash through time kicking Deadite ass long the way.

Its always great to have more Ash Williams even if these games were very average at best. Bruce is still playing the character too so expect many more of those one liners delivered in that distinct Bruce Campbell manner.

Evil Dead: Regeneration

Evil Dead Regeneration

The last Evil Dead game and this one tells an alternate timeline set after Evil Dead II where Ash has been locked up in an asylum after the events of the first two flicks. This time, Ash teams up with a half human, half Deadite called Sam (named after franchise co-creator Sam Raimi).

Pretty much more of the same as Ash battles Deadites while cracking-wise. Of course Ash is still being played by Bruce Campbell so you can expect plenty of that Ash Williams crass humor.

Other notable game appearances include The Evil Dead released for the Commodore 64 in 1984. Based on the original film, the game is probably one of the first survival horror games and of course you play as Ash Williams. Broforce was a side scroller released in 2005 and features a Ash parody called Ash Brolliams. Finally there was Poker Night 2 from 2013 where Ash plays poker against other notable characters. Its also worth pointing out that Bruce Campbell does not play Ash in this game.


So there you have it. Ash Williams’ life on the big and small screen. Its been a hell of a ride and he’s a character I’m going to miss. Still, the phrase ‘never say never’ comes to mind here. I mean, it looked like Ash would never return to the screen at all after Army of Darkness and yet he did. There are still rumors of a big screen outing for Ash in an Evil Dead IV, the TV show could continue in one way or another with a different network picking it up, they could do a spin-off continuing the adventures of the Ghost Beaters lead by Kelly, Pablo and Brandy with Ash appearing – its possible given the whole ‘passing the torch’ of the last episode.

But whatever happens to the character from this point on, its been a damn fun, blood soaked journey. Thanks for the memories Bruce, its been a great ride. Hail to the King indeed!

Ash Chainsaw

Ash J. Williams:Life is hard and dangerous, and sometimes you just gotta chop off somebody’s head to survive.

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Is Jason Voorhees A Deadite?

Yeah I know Halloween has come and gone – but we can still have some horror fun.

So there has been a fan theory going around for years that Jason from the Friday The 13th movie franchise is in fact a Deadite from The Evil Dead movie universe. This all came about for various reasons, one of which can be found in the Freddy vs Jason vs Ash comic book. You see, this comic book actually started out as a sequel to the Freddy vs Jason film. However, the film fell through – so they turned the script into a comic book instead. The comic book makes several references to the Friday The 13th, The Evil Dead and the Nightmare On Elm Street movie franchises. One of which being the infamous Necronomicon (Book Of The Dead) and links Jason to it.

FreddyvsJasonvsAsh

Even more so, director of Jason Goes to Hell – Adam Marcus has recently confirmed that this is true as the site Movieweb has reported. But I wish to cast a shadow over the theory and the Movieweb article as a whole. I mean, does it really matter what Adam Marcus says about this subject seeing as he never had anything to do with the creation of either Friday The 13th or The Evil Dead at all? He just directed one of the sequels. This site also makes a very bold claim – and I quote…

Sam Raimi, the man who directed Evil Dead, also gives it the thumbs up.

Raimi didn’t just direct The Evil Dead… he created the entire universe. Anyway, I’ve checked up on this claim and can find zero evidence either way. I’m not saying that Sam Raimi has never given the thumbs up to this idea, just that I can find nothing to suggest he ever has.

But even I have to admit that the theory does hold some water, but the problem is that the container holding the water is definitely leaking. Before I get to the problem(s) with the theory, lets quickly cover the history of Jason.

So Jason was left to drown in Crystal Lake by camp counsels who were preoccupied via sex and drugs… that was his first death. The he came back at the end of the film in what is suggested as being an hallucination… or was it? I mean, if he is a Deadite – then he could have been there at the end of the first film right?

Anyway, from the first sequel onward – Jason became the main antagonist of the franchise (except for one instance) and at the end of each and every film – he is ‘killed’ off. Axe in the head, chopped up by Corey Feldman, he has been drowned (again), blown up, dissolved by toxic waste and even dragged to hell by Freddy Krueger – just to name a few of his demises. Despite his many, many, many deaths – he keeps on coming back. This is why many people think he could be a Deadite due to the difficulty in killing him off. But there is another reason too. Just going back to the flick Jason Goes to Hell once more…

Jason Goes to Hell Necro

That’s the Necronomicon right there and I don’t mean a replica… that’s the very same prop used in Evil Dead II. And where is the book found? In the Voorhees house which suggests that Pamela Voorhees used it to bring her son back from the dead in the first film and that is how/why he appears at the end of that film (it wasn’t an hallucination) and continues his rampage through the entire franchise. So maybe director Adam Marcus may be onto something after all. And just going back to that Moiveweb article for a while, they quote Marcus directly…

“It’s not like I could tell New Line my plan to include The Evil Dead, because they don’t own The Evil Dead. So it had to be an Easter egg, and I did focus on it…there’s a whole scene that includes the book, and I hoped people would get it and could figure out that’s what I’m up to. So yes, in my opinion, Jason Voorhees is a Deadite. He’s one of The Evil Dead. It absolutely is canon.”

So there you go, Marcus is outright calming that it is in fact canon that Friday The 13th and The Evil Dead do exist in the same universe and that Jason is a Deadite. But to bring up a previous point – who is he to say what is or is not canon? He directed one film in a long running franchise… that’s all. He has no say on the history of either Friday The 13th or The Evil Dead. I don’t mean to piss on his parade but its true.

But here is my point. If Sam Raimi and Victor Miller & Sean S. Cunningham – the actual people who created The Evil Dead and Friday The 13th movies respectively wish to retroactively connect the two franchises officially… then should’t it be up to them to say so and not a director of only one of the flicks? Also as Marcus himself pointed out, New Line who now own the Jason name didn’t and still do not own The Evil Dead… so how can they be official canon? You can’t have two franchises exits in the same universe if they are owned by different companies. I mean, that is the whole reason why New Line purchased the Jason rights from Paramount Pictures to begin with – so they could make Freddy vs Jason and bring the two universes together.

For me, its a fun theory and as previously pointed out via the comic and Jason Goes to Hell – there are nods and references… but its not official is it?

More from Adam Marcus over this subject…

“I wanted to create a mythology for Jason in this movie, because it had driven me nuts as a viewer. She (Pamela Voorhees) makes a deal with the devil by reading from the Necronomicon to bring back her son. This is why Jason isn’t Jason. He’s Jason plus The Evil Dead, and now I can believe that he can go from a little boy that lives in a lake, to a full grown man in a couple of months, to Zombie Jason, to never being able to kill this guy.”

See, here is where I have a problem with the theory.

Deadites do not age… ever. Proof? See Henrietta Knowby in Evil Dead II. So why would Jason go from a child in the first flick to an adult in a few months for the first sequel? And if he can age that quickly…why does he not age even more so after becoming adult? It makes no sense knowing The Evil Dead universe. Then, how did Pamela get the Necronomicon? Okay so pre-warning, but I’m going to go full on The Evil Dead nerd right now…

The Evil Dead AshTape

So as The Evil Dead universe shows. It was Professor Raymond Knowby who first found the book via an archaeological expedition to the Sumerian ruins of Castle Kandar. This is the very same castle that is featured in Army Of Darkness and it is Ash himself who recovered the book and took it to the castle during the events of Army Of Darkness for Professor Knowby to find it and take it back to the infamous cabin. Then while at that cabin when the events of The Evil Dead take place and Ash burns the book at the end. Of course as Evil Dead II shows, the book may be gone – but some pages still exist and its those pages that open a portal that sends Ash back in time to the events of Army Of Darkness so Ash can find the book and place it in the castle for Professor Knowby to discover and take back to the cabin…

Army Of Darkness Portal

Its a self-fulfilling prophecy but there is one major thing to take into account over the whole thing….the Necronomicon never leaves the castle until Professor Knowby takes it to the cabin and then it is destroyed by Ash at the end of the first film. So how could Pamela Voorhees ever have used it to resurrect Jason in Friday The 13th? And I’ll continue my rebuttal to this too…

In the opening of Friday The 13th, its revealed that Jason originally drowned and died in 1957. A mysterious killer (its the mom) turns up at the same camp Jason died at a year later and murders two counsellors in 1958. The film that jumps forward twenty two years to present time, 1980 and the film starts proper. Seeing as Pamela Voorhees dies at the end of the film, that means she must have used the book to resurrect Jason before this happens. Years before, months, weeks, days or just hours? It doesn’t matter either way just as long as we know the resurrection had to have occurred before Pamela died.

The Evil Dead was released in 1981 (filmed in through 1978-1980 though) so was can assume the events of the film take place around then. Plus I’ll also bring up the TV show Ash vs Evil Dead which is most definitely canon as Sam Raimi himself is behind the series plus events form the moives are directly referenced as backstory in the TV show. Ash brings up that he first went to the cabin around 30 years ago… which make sense given the release of The Evil Dead.

The Evil Dead Cellar

Where did the book come from? It doesn’t add up especially when you take into account that no only was the book destroyed by the end of the first film circa 1980 but that it appears in the picture Jason Goes to Hell from 1993… the book doesn’t exist anymore. Then again – the Necronomicon is in Ash vs Evil Dead so even the official canon can’t get it right. But the TV show didn’t exist in 1993 when Jason Goes to Hell was released and this theory first came about – so I’ll overlook that aspect. But one major question still remains… how/when did Pamela Voorhees get a hold of it to use to resurrect Jason? (if we ignore the Ash vs Evil Dead)

The book never left the cabin from The Evil Dead and it was evetually destroyed by fire. But I’ll also overlook that factor and ignore the book being burnt… and it still makes no sense. Try to keep up here as I cover the book’s journey through the films. After being sent through time – Ash puts the book in the castle in Army Of Darkness, Professor Knowby finds the book and takes it to the cabin where he unleashes the Deadites. He kills his possessed wife – Henrietta and buries her in the fruit cellar. Within the context of the movies, its not known exactly what happened Professor Knowby but he’s presumed dead (though the TV show does answer this). Anyway, Ash and his friends turn up at the cabin and find the Necronomicon and accidentally unleash the Deadites once more – the events of The Evil Dead take place and around the same time, so do the events of the first Friday The 13th. The events of both films occur and (lets assume) the book is not burnt. The events of Evil Dead II happen and Ash is sent back in time so he can put the book in the castle.

Army Of Darkness Book

So how did the book end up at the Voorhees house in 1993? Plus adding to the fact that Pamela must have used it to resurrect Jason before she died in 1980. She must have taken the book from the cabin before Ash and his friends turned up in The Evil Dead used it on Jason after he died in 1957… and then returned the book so Ash could find it in 1981-ish… and then remove the book again to place it in the Voorhees home in 1993… after she died. Then Ash must have obtained the book from the Voorhees house after coming back from the past in Army Of Darkness so he can have it in Ash vs Evil Dead… it makes no logical sense, even within the horror world.

Jason can not be a Deadite given what is established within the films universe’s… even with me removing plot holes to try to make this make sense… it makes no sense. As I said, it a fun theory – but it just does not hold up and director Adam Marcus ‘confirming’ it as canon does not make it so either.

 

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