In 1979, a bunch of teens got together in a cabin in Tennessee and made a film with a standard B-Movie plot; this film was The Evil Dead. The film, which was directed by Sam Raimi and starred Bruce Campbell, succeeded through elaborate gore effects, slick cinematography, and sheer audacity to make enough money to warrant two sequels and get into the public consciousness. The result of the two sequels was a strange blend where Narm Charm meets Rule of Cool.The first film's story follows a bunch of teens who get together in a cabin in Tennessee and play a tape recorded recitation from a demonic book of the dead (the Necronomicon) — which leads to each of them becoming possessed and attacking the others. Evil Dead 2 is a partial sequel and a partial remake. Because Raimi was unable to use scenes from the original filmnote This was because the rights to the first two films were owned by seperate companies, and it would've been too much of a hassle to get the rights to the original films footage, he turned the first act of the sequel into a quick, simplified version of the first film. In it, Ashley J. Williams survives the possession of his girlfriend and, along with some new arrivals, manages to fight back the evil demons possessing the house. This film leads straight into Army of Darkness.Army of Darkness is the most well-known and quoted film of the trilogy. Ash is transported back to Medieval Europe, where he finds out he can return to his own time if he can retrieve the Necronomicon. Ash manages to find the book, but when he inevitably screws up the retrieval, he's forced to train and help the not-so-peaceful villagers he's placed in the path of an Army of Darkness.The third film catapulted Ash into pop culture popularity; there are four videogames, tons of comic book adaptions (including crossovers with Marvel Zombies and Xena, as well as Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash), a Role-Playing Game under the Unisystem umbrella, and a Broadway musical all based on Ash and the Evil Dead trilogy.A remake of the first movie and an official reboot of the franchise was released in April 2013 (although it supposedly takes place in the same universe as the original series); Sam Raimi, Robert Tapert, and Bruce Campbell are producers, while Diablo Cody revised the script. Fede Alvarez, director of the short film Panic Attack!, directed the film. Jane Levy of Suburgatory fame was cast as Mia, that film's Expy of Ash. You can watch the Red Band trailer here.Ash also appears as a character in a crossover poker game, sadly not voiced by Bruce Campbell.
Adapted Out: Evil Dead II's first act was a partial remake of the first film, showing the basic story (people going out to a cabin to have a good time), but boils it down to only two characters (Ash and Linda), removing Cheryl, Scotty, and Shelly from the narrative entirely.
Anti-Hero: Ash kind of goes from type I to III through the course of the trilogy. Pretty much a softy throughout Evil Dead, a little more competent in Evil Dead II and eventually becomes a hero. In Army of Darkness he has become Wrong Genre Savvy. He has his share of badass moments but he's also now a clumsy, dim-witted, womanizing, jerk. He does kind of learn his lesson by the end though.
Alternate Timeline: The games typically go into their own paths in regards to what happens after Evil Dead 2. Hail to the King throws together multiple elements from across the series into a single plot, A Fistful of Boomstick has Ash escape the cabin without getting sucked away into a portal, and spends his time drinking away his sorrows. Regeneration has much the same, except he ends up sent to an asylum.
Artificial Limbs: When his hand is chopped off, Ash replaces it with a chainsaw. Later, he replaces that with a clockwork gauntlet. In the extended media beyond the films, he'll frequently swap out his gauntlet with the saw (for example, in A Fistful of Boomstick, he can switch the chainsaw out with a flamethrower and a gatling gun).
As You Know: Averted in the remake. Significant bits of exposition are given to us in the form of the other characters telling David things he bloody well should know, but doesn't because he wasn't there when he was needed.
Still, some of the exposition does come off as stitled and forced, with characters going out of their way to explain their relationships with each other. Surprisingly averted with Olivia, who barely has a line until halfway through the movie with pretty much no explanation of the nature of her relationships with the characters. For instance, David's first scene where he interacts with er involves tending to her wounds and calling her baby, which turned a few heads at the theater
Ax-Crazy: How Ash copes with the events of the first two movies. By the third, he's turned it into Crazy Awesome.
Badass Normal: Ash goes up against demons from hell, medieval knights, the undead and his own mutated friends with no training, preparation or backup, and still manages to kick ass and take names.
Badass Transplant: Ash replaced his right hand with a chainsaw, after he's forced to chop it off after it gets Deadite possessed. He uses it to great effect in Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness.
Barrier-Busting Blow - Several times across the films, but hilariously subverted in Army of Darkness, where Ash keeps screaming goofily until he notices the monster's stopped trying to get in.
BBC Quarry: It wasn't shot in England (though the story does take place there), but Ash's arrival in the Middle Ages at the end of Evil Dead 2 was filmed at a very similar-looking North Carolina rock quarry.
Played straight with Ash himself, who only ever gets superficial injuries to his face that just make him seem more handsome. By the third film, his costume is a walking Shirtless Scene. There is a scene in the first film where he gets covered from head to toe in blood; a second later his face is completely clean, and the only thing the blood did was make his shirt cling to his chest in a fanservice-y way
Big Bad: The unseen entity that brings about the Deadites, posseses people and trees and even Ash's severed hand. In the third movie it incarnates itself as an undead clone of Ash. In the second film, it is forced to manifest a physical form and becomes a huge head that uses the trees as arms.
Big "NO!": Ash, repeatedly, but especially at the alternate end of the third film.
Bilingual Bonus: Necronomicon ex Mortis. "Necronomicon" is based on Greek and can be roughly translated to "book considering (or classifying) the dead." The "ex Mortis" is Latin and means "from/by the Dead." Neither part means exactly what the creator intended it to mean. On top of it all, the book is said to be Sumerian.
Body Horror: Begins fairly early in the first movie and goes downhill from there. Highlights include a snake-like neck and a breakneck ballet in the second film.
Taken Up to Eleven in the reboot. The cutting off the arm scene is made far worse when said arm is hanging from your body by a string of flesh then just sloughs to the floor. Not to mention a close up of cutting your tongue in half with a knife or slicing off a large portion of your cheek. All of these scenes also are conveniently shown in the trailers just to make sure the viewer knows what type of movie they are going to.
Don't forget the infamous tree rape scene from the original. Made even worse in the remake, Mia is bound and choked by the trees and is instead raped by a giant thorny leech creature the deadite vomits out. You get to see it slither around her leg before being painfully treated to seeing it enter her nethers completely. Qualifies as Fridge Horror when you realize you never see it leave and it's probably still inside her, maybe alive, maybe dead and rotting.
Good Ash: (fires shotgun up Evil Ash's nose) Good, Bad, I'm the guy with the gun.
Bottomless Magazines: At one point, Ash fires his double barreled shotgun at least three times in quick succession, far faster than someone with only one hand can reload. There's also the lever action rifle in Army of Darkness which he fires about 30 times without reloading. And then there's the bottomless gas tank for the chainsaw.
Averted in the first two Evil Dead movies, where Ash had to reload his double barrel a few times, and in the 2013 reboot as well.
Played with near the end of the remake. Mia has to fill the gas on the chainsaw at first but with as little as she gets into the tank it runs FAR longer than it should be able to.
Breaking Speech: In the remake, The deadite possessing Mia gives David one for abandoning his sister and his dying mother years ago.
Bring My Brown Pants: When Olivia starts to lose control and become possessed we see her urinate on herself when she realizes that she's about to cut her face off.
California Doubling: Army of Darkness takes place in medieval England, but it's pretty obviously filmed in Bronson Canyon and Vasquez Rocks. Bruce Campbell has a lot of fun ribbing Sam Raimi about it in their DVD commentary. Notably averted in the first two movies, which really were filmed in the Appalachian forest (much to the chagrin of the Michigan-based cast and crew, especially during the first movie).
Call Back: The 2013 movie has several to the original film, including Sam Ramni's Oldsmobile parked outside the cabin, Deadite Cheryl's death threat being heard during Mia's possession, and Professor Knowby's original tape recording playing at the end of the credits.
The Cameo: Hinted at by the tape in the original Evil Dead: "Saman sa'rob dar ees haikar dande roza", this being derived from "Sam [Raimi] and Rob [Tapert] are hitchhikers on the road." Sure enough, if you paid attention five minutes into the film, Scott drove the Olds past a pair of idiotic-looking hitchhikers in fishing gear, both of whom turn to wave as the car sped by.
Bruce Campbell as Ash appears in a post-credits scene in the reboot.
Catch Phrase: The deadites constantly scream, "I'll swallow your soul!". Also, "Join us..."
Canon Discontinuity: All three films overlap slightly, with the shared scenes playing out different. If you can attach the Evil Dead 2 scene with Ash being attacked at daybreak to the first movie's ending, then remove Ash's arrival in medieval times from Evil Dead 2, and then attach Ash's arrival from Army of Darkness onto it instead, and you'll have the single-continuity storyline that Raimi envisioned.
Which brings up the question of why the cabin is back in perfect shape in Evil Dead 2, but if you did this cut-and-pasting, you could handwave it as the Evil putting everything back both to mess with Ash's head and set the trap for the new group.
Chainsaw Good: Probably one of the most iconic examples in media.
Covers Always Lie: Two of the most famous posters for the first movie are total lies:
One depicts a woman (presumably Linda, though it's hard to tell) being grabbed by the neck and dragged underground by a Deadite's hand, while futilely trying to escape. Nobody ever gets dragged underground in the movie.
Critical Staffing Shortage: In Army of Darkness the castle is evacuated leaving 60 men to fight an army of the undead that outnumber them about 10 to 1. They have to keep moving defenses from wall to wall as they simply don't have enough people to effectively guard each side at the same time.
Darker and Edgier: After an increasingly comedic trilogy, the remake is fairly jarring in tone. It edges pretty close to Torture Porn as the main characters mutilate themselves and each other, the teenagers aren't at the cabin for a party, it's nearly devoid of jokes or one-liners, and it's entirely lacking the original trilogy's camp value.
Reconstruction: The Evil Dead was a pretty straightforward horror movie with little humor, and the camp came in more and more in the sequels. The remake just goes back to the mood of the first film.
Daylight Horror: The ending to the first movie. A few scares at the beginning too.
In the Remake, "Feast on this motherfucker" shoves the chainsaw into the Abomination's mouth.
Downer Ending: The first film and the original ending for the third film. Ash doesn't seem pleased by the second film's ending, but it's not really a downer.
In a scrapped ending of the remake, after Mia walks out of the woods, she get picked up by a couple in their truck. While taking her back into town, her eyes suddenly turn yellow like the film's deadites and she smiles at the camera before cutting to black.
Duct Tape for Everything: In the reboot David uses duct tape for first aid to tape gauze onto stab wound, wrap up an amputation site, and in the makeshift defibrillator he uses to revive Mia.
Dung Ages: Army of Darkness, and results in Ash being a jerk to everyone in the beginning.
Early-Bird Cameo: Ash's evil reflection makes a brief appearance in II, then returns as a full-fledged villain in Army.
Ash creating his chainsaw hand in the second film.
Ash and the villagers building his Armored-hand and supplying weapons to his car in the third film. "Groovy".'
David rigging the hypodermic needle-defibulator in the remake.
For the Evulz: Pretty much the Deadites' only motivation for doing anything.
Averted in the remake, the demon wants to claim 5 souls to rise from Hell. What it plans on after that is never explained, although there seems to be some heavy Apocalyptic overtones.
From Bad to Worse: Pretty much the entire point of the series. Every time it looks like it might either be getting better, or he might hit rock bottom, or he has any kind of fortune or misfortune whatsoever, something happens to Ash. Case in point - after surviving most of the night, killing his zombie ex-girlfriend and presumably taking care of his own zombie hand by cutting it off, another group of people show up, think he murdered their family, and throw him in the cellar. Headfirst. Then, they listen to the Apocalyptic Log and find out the old man who lived there was actually attacked by his possessed ex-wife. And he buried her in the cellar...
Fridge Logic: Brought up in the commentary for Army of Darkness. invoked
Sam Raimi: How come your hand's still stuck in there even though it's chopped off?
Bruce Campbell: It's 'cause the director told me to.
Gender-Blender Name: Who'd have thought that one of the most significant Badass characters of the Eighties would be named Ashley? Although it used to be strictly a male name (along with Leslie, Shirley, etc.).
Genius Ditz: Ash may be a total cartoon character (when he's not being a badass), but he's still able to effortlessly create a fully-articulated prosthetic hand for himself, synthesize gunpowder and explosive materials using only found natural resources and the Chemistry textbooks in the trunk of his car, and then turn said car into a whirling, bladed death machine. As he puts it:
Ash: We can take 'em on! With science!
Genre Blindness: Eric is the one who decided to unwrap a package wrapped in garbage bags and barbed wire. Even after he realizes the book is bound in human skin and has very apparent warnings that the book shouldn't be tampered with including:
Don't say it, Don't write it, Don't hear it!
Ironically enough this same character turns Genre Savvy when things start going to hell and is the first one to realize and come to terms with what is really going on. Granted this is mostly due to the knowledge gained from having read the ill-fated book, as well as knowing that his reading from the book was the reason it all started.
Genre Savvy: Ash knows that just because a Deadite is down, doesn't mean it's dead. However, he learns this through hard experience, not pre-thought wisdom.
Ash: It's a trick. Get an axe.
Genre Shift: The first movie is a more-or-less straightforward horror film. Evil Dead 2 is a strange hybrid of gory, serious horror, and slapstick comedy. Army of Darkness drops almost all the horror and works instead as an action-comedy. This is surprisingly not an example of Executive Meddling, as creator Sam Raimi helmed all three films, and the progression from horror to comedy was his own idea.
The reboot is a shift back to straight up horror and some may say it is even more grotesque than the original was.
Girl on Girl Is Hot / Double Standard: Rape, Female on Female: Horrifically inverted in the remake, in the scene where the possessed Mia pulls Natalie into the cellar and begins licking her legs, then splits her own tongue with a knife and force-kisses Natalie. It's just as sickening and violating as it should be.
Gorn: A major staple of the series. The second and third film crank up the gore, with the second having a near-flooding of the cabin floor with orange blood from a decapitation, and the third having a geyser of blood.
The remake shows multiple shots of characters projectile vomiting blood, chainsaws being hacked through limbs accompanied by geysers of the aforementioned blood, a possessed Olivia giving herself a Chelsea Smile, a character using an electric saw to cut off her possessed arm a la Ash, a character being set on fire, and a bludgeoning, Deadite Mia cutting her own tongue in half with a knife and forcibly making out with a female character, and finishes with Evil Mia getting a chainsaw fed to her.
The original movie was pretty gory too. There's the scene where Ash is in the basement and everything starts bleeding, and the end when all the Deadites start rotting away and leaking what appears to be oatmeal.
Gory Discretion Shot: In the second movie, just as Ash is about to use the chainsaw on Deadite Linda's head, this trope is invoked - showing blood splattering on the walls and shadows rather than the actual act. The DVD commentary points out the irony of this.
"Why are you not showing that part? You've shown everything else."
Groin Attack: In the infamous tree-rape scene and a similar scene in the remake.
Gulliver Tie Down: The mini-Ashes do this after Ash knocks himself out in the medieval windmill.
Helping Hands: Averted. Ash's severed hand comes back to cause trouble.
Hero of Another Story: According to the recordings, Professor Knowby had his own share of Deadite troubles before Ash got anywhere near the cabin.
While it's not a part of the series, in Poker Night 2, Ash has a mini storyline that he'll update the rest of the table on every so often. He's fallen for a girl named Wendy, and is planning an elaborate proposal, a big honeymoon, fixing up the Oldsmobile together, starting a family... but starts suspecting that Wendy might not be what she seems. Brock Samson suggests getting Dr. Orpheus to help.
Heroic Sacrifice: David gives up his life to save Mia from Deadite Eric. Turns into Stupid Sacrifice right after when we learn that this fifth death fulfills the conditions for the abomination to enter our world, leaving Mia all alone against a much greater threat. Possibly Played Straight since David was quickly bleeding out and Deadite Eric's "He's coming" line implies the conditions were already met.
High-Pressure Blood: Every film has it in almost every death scene. Taken to firehose extremes with Jake.
Hope Spot: In the remake, Natalie looks like she's made it out of the cellar, despite the broken step, until Mia grabs her ankle at the last second and drags her back down.
In II, it looks like Annie has succeeded in banishing the evil, except she died without closing the door through time and space, so it sucks Ash in too.
Humanoid Abomination: The creature that rises up from hell in the finale of the remake, which is basically a lanky demonic form of Mia. It's even called "The Abomination." As well as Evil Ash, which is the evil force coalesced into an evil double of Ash.
And with the release of Poker Night 2, he has also met Brock Samson, Claptrap, Sam and GLaDOS. The game also pokes fun at his comic crossover whoring by having Claptrap tell him that he's going to do battle against Degrassi in 2016. Another line has Ash ranting about how Hollywood should just let old franchises die. The game came out the same month as the 2013 remake.
Arthur: Are all men from the future loud-mouthed braggarts?
Ash: Nope. Just me baby. Just me.
Ironic Echo: In the first film, Ash flirtatiously peeks at Linda while pretending to be asleep, shutting his eyes when she looks back at him. After she's possessed and apparently killed, her "corpse" does the same thing to him.
Deadite Cheryl speaks in nearly nothing but these in the musical.
Cheryl: I値l get you, Ash! I知 like a literal Hulk Hogan... I値l get you, brother!
Ash: Shut up!
Cheryl: We池e like that Columbia House 'Ten CD痴 for a Penny' club. Sooner or later, you値l join us!
Ash: Shut up!
Cheryl: I知 like Dom De Luise at an all-you-can-eat fish house. I値l swallow your 'sole'!
Ash: God, shut up!
Cheryl: It値l be like you were killed by some guy whose first name happens to be Dawn, so you値l be dead... by Dawn!
Ash: That is it!
The books Ash stacks atop his possessed, recently cut-off hand cross this with Visual Pun. Among them is "A Farewell to Arms".
Lampshade Hanging: The musical does quite a bit of it. It even points out the inconsistency with Ash being brought back from the curse from seeing Linda's necklace... even though Linda is a Deadite now.
Rumor has it that Bruce Campbell was hospitalized for two weeks after filming "Army of Darkness" on account of the damage done to his digestive tract after eating all of that scenery. Especially since he was essentially playing two hams: Ash and Bad Ash.
Deadite Cheryl in the first film is also a major one.
Late-Arrival Spoiler: The original movie had the added twist of a Decoy Protagonist. Ash was mostly useless throughout the first half of the first movie until he Took a Level in Badass and remained the only one alive. Now that he has become an icon and the other installments of the series are more famous, some viewers might be initially confused by the first flick.
Locked into Strangeness: When Ash first sees the Eldritch Abomination at the end of Evil Dead 2, he gains a white/grey stripe of hair on the side of his head from fright as a stop motion effect. However, this seems to disappear in Army of Darkness.
Loophole Abuse: In the remake, the only way to cleanse someone of the Evil is the kill them via immolation, dismemberment, or live burial. However, with careful planning and an improvised Magical Defibrillator, David manages to exorcise Mia and successfully bring her back to life.
Long Neck: One of the Deadite sprouts these in "2", but that just makes it easier to decapitate.
Losing Your Head: Linda in both movies as well as the deadite in the climax. Also, this happens to Evil Ash in Army of Darkness.
The Lost Woods: The setting of the first two movies and remake once the Necronomicon's been read aloud, they also take up some of the plot during Army of Darkness, as Ash rides to find the Necronomicon.
Within the Woods, a "practice" film Raimi and Co. made pre-Evil Dead.
The remake as well. Demons have possessed and killed your friends and relatives, and a Humanoid Abomination rises from Hell. A chainsaw to the face will fix that!
MacGyvering: Ash seems to be pretty bright when it comes to making makeshift equipment. In Evil Dead II, he creates his iconic Boomstick harness that also has a thing to start up his chainsaw. In Army of Darkness, he creates a fully functional "cyborg" hand made from the hand of the armor of a knight, created a few things from his science textbook and gun power from his Boomstick, and transforming his Olds into a giant propeller of death. This happens in the remake too, where David throws together a Magical Defibrillator in the hopes of killing Mia and then bringing her back to life sans demon.
Made of Iron: Eric in the remake, full stop. Let's count 'em up, shall we? Knife in the chest, needle to the face, NAIL GUNNED, crowbar to the arm, crowbar to the head, and he STILL risks his life trying to save his friend.
Madden Into Misanthropy: Ash evolves from a fairly sensitive guy into snarling comedic misanthropy over the course of the movies, though he's had one hell of a bad weekend to justify it. It probably didn't help that his allies in both the second and third movie introduced themselves by trying to kill him.
Ash: Now I swear... the next one of you primates... even touches me...
Magical Defibrillator: In the remake, David shocks Mia back to life with a car battery charger wired to a pair of syringes.
The Magic Versus Technology War: To some point, thanks to Ash's quick application of steam and gunpowder knowledge the medieval Englishmen got a chance against a vast undead army.
Likewise in the remake. While the Sole Survivor is a woman this time, the ladies otherwise get it far worse than the guys do. All three of the female characters are brutally disfigured on-screen, far more than the two men are.
Metafictional Title: Evil Dead was originally named Book of the Dead after the book of the same name, which appears in the movie. The name was changed because the executives didn't want people to think it was a movie about a book.
The Musical: The franchise gained a musical adaptation, which has appeared on Broadway.
Night of the Living Mooks: The titular army in Army of Darkness. Partially subverted in that they run away screaming when shelled with explosive arrows and bags of gunpowder.
Nipple and Dimed: There's a short, blink-and-you-miss-it moment in Army of Darkness where a couple of topless slave girls are herded past the camera. It may have been intended as Fanservice, but the fact that they're being led off to be raped by demonic undead monsters achieves the opposite effect, underscored by the fact that it happens while Sheila is being forcibly kissed by the Deadite copy of Ash.
Oh, Crap: Natalie's face in the remake when she realizes Mia has just grabbed her ankle.
Once per Episode: Ash's love interests have a nasty habit of turning Deadite near the end, forcing him to kill them (this is especially a pattern if you count the video games). Oddly, Sheila in Army of Darkness gets better without explanation.
Orifice Invasion: Spoofed in Army of Darkness. Played much more seriously in the original and remake.
Rasputinian Death: Eric qualifies as this in the remake. He first falls and hits his head on the sink with enough force to break it, suffers a stab wound on his chest dangerously close to where his heart ought to be as well as multiple stabs from a syringe to the face, the needle breaking off and becoming embedded dangerously close to his eye. Some time later he gets attacked with a nail gun and gets more than a few in his arms, body and face. Soon after he gets attacked with a crowbar and nearly breaks his arm trying to block it, as well as getting a few full blows directly to his head. Despite this he still manages to make his way to the basement from the outside and save David from the possessed Mia, at which point she stabs Eric fatally.
In-universe example; the Book of the Dead is given the title Naturom Demonto in the first film, then changed to being the Necronomicon in the second film as a Shout-Out to H.P. Lovecraft, and finally it becomes "Necronomiconex Mortis" in Army of Darkness.
Army of Darkness starts off with a Retcon too. While at the end of Evil Dead 2 Ash destroyed a winged demon with a single shotgun blast and was promptly lauded as the Chosen One who would deliver humanity from the Deadites, AoD quickly retells events to show Ash immediately being mistaken for a defeated enemy of a passing army and dragged away as a slave.
A number of physical-comedy scenes from Army Of Darkness are an obvious The Three Stooges homage.
The haunted forest with a girl running in the darkness and attacked by possessed trees reminds a little Snow White's dark forest sequence, exepct this time the trees are real and not part of hallucinations.
The scene where Ash developed an eye on his shoulder, then a second head, and finally, split into Good and Evil Ash is taken straight from the 1959 B-movie The Manster.
The remake takes this farther even than most remakes do, including brief clips of dialogue from the original in the background music and playing part of Professor Knowby's tape over the credits. This is before we get into entire lines of dialogue and scenes that were lifted from the originals. One could make an entire page of them.
The remake includes a few references to Raimi's previous Drag Me to Hell. The opening scene involves a parent bringing their cursed child to a witch to save them (and failing) and a possessed Mia vomiting blood in Olivia's mouth references the corpse of the Gypsy woman doing the same.
The Smart Guy: Annie Knowby in Evil Dead 2.The creators joke in their DVD commentary that, had she been in Ash's situation from the beginning, she would have solved the whole thing in about 30 minutes.
Soundtrack Dissonance: Twice in Evil Dead. Jazz music from a possessed record player when Ash is in the cellar where blood starts leaking from everything. Cheerful, big-band music also begins playing over the end credits, and then begins to... slow.
The Southpaw: Of course, when your left hand is the only hand you have left...
Taxidermy Terror: The house in Evil Dead II is full of creepy stuffed trophy heads who laugh at Ash.
Time Passage Beard: Happens to Ash in the deleted alternate ending, when he "slept too long" and overshot the 20th century.
Tired of Running: By the last fifteen minutes of each movie in the trilogy, Ash has been driven mad by the things the Evil has forced him to see and do, to the point where he is no longer scared so much as just pissed off. It is at this point he raises hell with his chainsaw and/or shotgun.
In Army of Darkness, Ash actually tells the panicking to go ahead and run if they wish.
Tome of Eldritch Lore: The "Morturom Demonto," though it becomes the "Necronomicron ex Mortis" in the sequels (after Sam Raimi learned about H.P. Lovecraft and renamed the book as a Shout-Out). Usually shortened by characters to either "the Necronomicon" or "the Book of the Dead".
Too Dumb to Live: Cheryl, to some degree. The musical hangs a huge lampshade on this:
Cheryl: Now, Mother always said when you hear a strange, frightening and potentially life-threatening ghostly chant coming from the dark woods, there's only one thing that you should do: not go wake the others and go investigate it alone!
The redneck duo is very much this, but of the two Jake easily deserves special mention. He throws away the Necronomicon pages into Henrietta's den. When Ash tries protesting, he knocks him out which leaves Ash vulnerable to becoming possessed and turning into a Deadite.
Eric in the remake. He pretty much doomed himself and all of his friends after speaking the incantation that brought forth the evil forces, despite the warnings within the book itself not to do so.
Took a Level in Badass: Ash. He starts off as a nebbish, somewhat timid college student. A few days (and two sequels) later, he's redefined the word badass.
Bruce Campbell himself actually took a level in badass during the filming of Evil Dead 2, so he could be a better fit to the shotgun-wielding chainsaw-handed king of badasses that Ash would eventually become.
Took a Level in Jerkass: In the first movie, Ash is a Nice Guy thrown into the middle of a nightmare and struggles to survive. Throughout the next two movies, his experiences lead to him becoming increasingly more snarky and obnoxious, to the point where he apathetically "helps" the local castle and refuses to help them when the deadites take the Necronomicon. Tropes Are Not Bad, however, as that is the version of Ash that fans remember and love.
Trailers Always Lie: The trailer for the remake includes several clips that don't appear in the finished movie, including David messily attacking someone with a chainsaw and Mia chanting the possessed Linda's song from the original.
Training the Peaceful Villagers: Sort of. They weren't exactly peaceful to begin with, but showing them how to make gunpowder certainly was useful. Oddly enough there's another scene where he teaches them how to use their ownBlade on a Stick weapons.
Viewers Are Morons: The original title for the first movie was The Book of the Dead. Their agent, however, suggested they change it on the grounds that movie-goers would think they'd have to read or be uninterested in a movie with "book" in the title. Tropes Are Not Bad, though, as Raimi and co. grew to love the new title.
Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Mia does this twice in the remake. When the cravings are getting to her, she's outside the cabin walking around in circles, she vomits after a while. Later when she gets possessed, she projectile vomits blood all over Olivia.
The Walls Are Closing In: Army of Darkness sees Ash thrown into a pit containing a few demons that he has to fight, as well as this particular Death Trap just to make things more exciting. He escapes by hanging onto the chain powering the closing walls as it moves up.
What an Idiotinvoked: According to Campbell, Ash is a complete and utter moron who is only good at one thing. Of course, that one thing is fighting Deadites and therefore saving the world.
In the remake, Eric dooms very much everyone and himself by reading the incantations in the Necromicon, even ignoring the fact that the fucking thing was wrapped in barbed wires and a trash bag before they found it, or, get this, IGNORES THE WARNINGS WRITTEN WITHIN THE BOOK ITSELF.
What Happened To Mommy: Ash has a hard time convincing himself to kill his friends and girlfriend after they're possessed. Annie briefly faces this situation literally with her possessed mother.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Ash manages to kill two of his tiny counterparts, but several of them manage to escape with no account for their whereabouts.
What the Hell, Hero?: Ash messes up reciting The Words and doesn't care that he has doomed everyone.
In the remake, the tree's mostly just immobilize Mia (though she is injured in the process) to let the deadite possess her. That being said it enters through her nethers, so the rape overtones are still there.
Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: the English in 1300 are perfectly capable of understanding Ash's very slangy modern English, and themselves speak modern English peppered with "thee"s and "shalt"s.
You Cannot Grasp the True Form: In the remake, Mia gets several looks at the Force (the disembodied thing flying around the woods), and sees a demonic version of herself. Later, just before Olivia gets possessed, she sees a similarly monstrous version of herself in the mirror. "The Abomination" may also count, as Mia is the only one there to see it and it looks somewhat like her, or it could just be that the Abomination took the form of the first person to be possessed.