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"I'll swallow your soul!"

"The fact is that you can't hold Ash to the same standard that you hold mere mortals to. He is not only just a complete and total badass; He is the standard by which all future badasses will be measured. So if he wants to jump onto a department store trampoline and fire fifteen perfectly-aimed shotgun shells in rapid succession while soaring twenty feet in the air, he can do it. You and I can't; but you and I are also not Ash. And while it may seem impossible for him to do the things that he does and kick as much ass as he is famous for doing, I assure you that it isn't. Why, you ask? Simple. Because he's Ash."

In 1979, a bunch of college dropouts 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 colleg students 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 film,note  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 from cult classic-dom into pop culture popularity; there are four videogames, tons of comic book adaptions (including crossovers with Marvel Zombies, Xena, Vampirella, Danger Girls and Hack/Slash, 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! (and later known for Don't Breathe), directed the film, Jane Levy of Suburgatory fame (and later Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, along with Don't Breathe as well) was cast as Mia. You can watch the Red Band trailer here.

After years of Evil Dead 4 rumors, Ash's story from Army Of Darkness was continued in the Starz TV series Ash vs. Evil Dead, created by Sam Raimi, Robert Tapert, and Bruce Campbell, and with Bruce Campbell reprising his role as Ash. note  Another film set in the continuity of the original series, Evil Dead Rise, was released in 2023; Campbell produces but doesn’t star.

Films in this series:

Television series:

Comic Books:

Tabletop games:

  • Army of Darkness (1993)
  • Army of Darkness Card Game (2004)
  • Army of Darkness Roleplaying Game (2005)
  • Army of Darkness: The Board Game (2020)
  • Evil Dead 2: The Board Game (2020)


Video games:

This franchise provides examples of:

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    Franchise Wide 
  • Alien Blood: Blue, green, and black.
  • Alternate Continuity: All over the place, ultimately for legal reasons. It started when Evil Dead 2 contradicted parts of The Evil Dead during its recap because the filmmakers didn't have the rights, and then Army of Darkness similarly contradicted the ending of Evil Dead II. Then Ash vs. Evil Dead couldn't reference Army of Darkness, at least not at first. Plus there's the film reboot and all the spinoffs like comics and video games which treat the film licenses separately. For one thing, Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness have inspired their own independent comic spinoffs. While also being one itself, the 2022 video game averts this in spirit for the first time due to all the rights-holders cooperating. The premise has the various versions of Ash from the three movies and the TV series and his various allies from them being magically summoned together.
  • An Aesop: Don't read from The Book Of The Dead. For the third film, keep a pen and paper ready to remember some magic words.
  • Angrish: Ash has a tendency to babble and scream incoherently when frightened or enraged.
  • Animate Dead: what happens when you remove the book. There's a spell to disable that, but Ash mispronounces it; Hilarity Ensues.
  • Anti-Hero: Although Ash's characterization changes radically over the course of the franchise, he's never a traditional hero. In the first film he's just a male Final Girl. In the second, he goes a bit crazy and takes a level in badass by the end. In Army of Darkness, he becomes a Wrong Genre Savvy, wise-cracking, Small Name, Big Ego Idiot Hero. Most adaptations use or expand upon this characterization.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The source of the entire mess.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: Ash is never shown at any point doing much more to his stump initially than wrapping it up, unless he treated it properly and kept it clean he would have died a pretty quickly.
  • Alternate Timeline:
    • Army of Darkness has two wildly different endings in its theatrical cuts (US and international) vs. the director's cut. Ash vs. Evil Dead takes place after the former but ultimately echoed the latter in its series finale.
    • 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 is a sequel to that, and spends his time drinking away his sorrows. Regeneration has Ash escape the cabin without getting sucked away into a portal but he ends up sent to an asylum.
  • Arch-Enemy: Ash Williams has the Deadites, a horde of demonic zombies who spend the entire trilogy tormenting him and trying to destroy everything he loves.
  • Arrow Cam: A favorite of Raimi.
  • 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).
  • Ax-Crazy: How Ash copes with the events of the first two movies. By the third, he's turned it into pure 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.
    Name's Ash. (Dramatic Gun Cock) Housewares.
  • Bad Black Barf: One of the numerous icky signs of demonic possession.
  • 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.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: 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 Evil Force 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.
  • Black Blood: Along with all sorts of liquids the production staff used as blood, mostly to avoid an X-rating. The possessed Shelly bleeds white blood whilst faking her death throes.
  • Bland-Name Product: "Shop Smart, Shop S-Mart!"note 
  • Blue Is Heroic: Every surviving character in the frachise sans Mia wears blue at some point.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Bond One-Liner: Many. But here's one anyway:
    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.
  • Byronic Hero: Ash has too many character flaws to count. Fortunately, giving up is not one of them.
  • Canis Latinicus: Necronomicon ex Mortis is supposed to mean "book of the dead. "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. This may be why the 2013 remake goes back to the original "Naturom Demonto" name.
  • Catchphrase: 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'd have the single continuity.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The locket Ash gives Linda winds up being extremely important near the end of the first two films. In the first it's what allows him to reach the Necronomicon so he can destroy it. In the second film he discovers it and it reminds him of his love for Linda allowing him to break free of being possessed by a Deadite.
    • Ash shows his inability to remember phrases already in the first film where he's about to share something profound a friend of his had said, but then can't remember it. This quirk comes back to bite him in the ass in a big way in the third film.
  • Chainsaw Good: Probably one of the most iconic examples in media.
  • The Chew Toy: Ash just can't get a break.
  • The Chosen One: Technically, the "Promised One". Also mixed with a little It Sucks to Be the Chosen One.
  • Cool Car: Sam Raimi's 1973 Oldsmobile is Ash's in the series. Even the car Took a Level in Badass in Army of Darkness, when it is turned into a war machine.
  • 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.
    • Another shows a scowling, blood-soaked Ash, with Linda cowering behind him, wielding a chainsaw over his head, about to use it against an unseen (or partially seen) Deadite. There's a chainsaw in the movie, but Ash never uses it as a weapon- in fact, he never ends up actually using it at all. He uses one all the time in the sequels, though.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Played straight in "Army of Darkness." Ash finds plenty of opportunities to snark about medieval culture and action-adventure tropes.
    • Ash gets some moments in the first two movies, too.
      Linda: Hey Ash, I guessed the card right!
      Ash (distracted): Yeah, truly amazing.
  • Demonic Possession: Pretty much the whole plot of the first two movies. Sheila in the third.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Necronomicon Ex Mortis. Necronomicon means "Book of the Laws of the Dead" and "Ex Mortis" is "of the Dead", so the books name translates to "Book of the Laws of the Dead of the Dead"
  • De Terminator: Ash obviously, but Arthur gets points too since he is still fighting deadites with arrows lodged in his shoulders.
  • Dirty Coward: Scott in the first movie.
  • Decapitation Required: The only real way to kill a deadite outside of total destruction of the body is to either decapitate it, (which will leave a rather pissed off severed head, but it's more effective than most things) or completely obliterating it's head.
  • 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.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first film is straight up low-budget horror. The rest of the franchise leans far more heavily on comedy, with Army of Darkness being straight up parody. Also, the first film has Ash keep his hand throughout the entire movie, never cracks a joke, is more of a goof with one girlfriend than an actual ladies' man, and is a nervous wreck the entire time who isn't much of a fighter until the very end, but then it's strongly implied that he dies anyway after a Hope Spot. The second movie started off by recapping the first and continued past its ending, having him survive. It and the third movie gradually turn him into the womanizing, wise-cracking, deadite killer we all know and love.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: AND they're comin' back to getcha!
  • Evil Hand: Ash has to cut his hand off when it becomes possessed by the Deadites.
  • Evil Is Hammy: The Deadites in the first movie and Evil Ash in Army of Darkness.
  • Evil Laugh: The Deadites love doing this.
  • Exact Words: It has been said for years that there will never be an "Evil Dead 4"; however, this leaves them perfectly open to do "Army of Darkness 2"
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The entire film trilogy takes place in about a week, going by Ash's perspective.
  • Eye Scream: All the movies contain at least one wound to the eye or the eye area.
  • Fate Worse than Death:
    • Assuming you trust the source, the second movie alludes to possession and death being the least of victims' problems in this series:
    "Even now we have your darling Linda's soul. She suffers in torment."
    • Seemingly confirmed in the second film, as the spirit of Anne's father manifests to tell her she can use the Book against the evil, asking that she save his soul as well as herself.
    • Similarly, in the remake, the demon possessing Mia taunts David saying "Your little sister's being raped in hell!" After she is brought back, Mia cries to David "It was so horrible..."
  • Final Girl: Ash is a male version of this trope, though only in the first film, before becoming an Action Hero in later sequels.
    • Played straight in the remake with Mia, mainly because the filmmakers thought that no guy could hope to match Bruce Campbell's performance in the original.
  • For the Evulz: Pretty much the Deadites' only motivation for doing anything, especially in the first film.
    • Averted in the reboot; The demon, or demons, that roam the woods need five souls in order to take on a physical form, known as the Abomination, or the Taker of Souls. It's never revealed if these are two separate entities, or just one with different names. What exactly it plans to do after this is never revealed, though it is implied their ultimate goal could be apocalyptic in nature.
  • 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...
  • From Zero to Hero: Ash is a rather famous example in the horror genre, whose Action Survivor status eventually gets him promoted to full-on action hero.
  • Gender-Blender Name: "Ash" sounds pretty cool for a guy, but it's actually short for "Ashley," which is more common as a feminine name. This is a reference to him being a male Final Girl.
  • 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 the car into a whirling, bladed death machine. As he puts it:
    Ash: We can take 'em on! With science!
  • 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 however, is a shift back to straight up horror and some may say it is even more grotesque than the original was.
  • Gigantic Moon: The movies often feature an unnaturally large image of the full moon during their shots of the cabin in the woods. The second movie in particularly has a moon so huge that it looks like Ash should be worrying less about demons and more about the impending collision.
  • Gorn:
    • In spite of the franchise being primarily known for slapstick horror and one-liners, the original film was infamously gory and violent for its day, earning an X-rating and getting banned in a number of countries. The film series as a whole features literal floods and geysers 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 Glasgow Grin, 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.
    • Oh, and the television show! So many episodes! So much blood!
  • Groin Attack: In the infamous tree-rape scene and a similar scene in the remake.
  • Happy Ending Override: Most media that takes place after the event's of the original trilogy show that coming out of the woods, missing a hand and all of your friends (Including sister and girlfriend missing), ranting about a demon possessing them and you having to cut them up, will cause people to think you are a crazy psychopathic murderer.
  • Haunted Headquarters: The cabin in the woods.
  • Hero of Another Story: According to the recordings, Professor Knowby had his own share of Deadite troubles before Ash got anywhere near the cabin.
  • High-Pressure Blood: Every film has it in almost every death scene. Taken to firehose extremes with Jake.
  • Idiot Hero: 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.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: "We're going to get you, We're going to get you."
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Badass he may be, but Ash is still this quite often.
  • Jerkass: Scotty in the first film, Jake and Bobby Joe in the second and Ash in the third. Scotty's jerkassery is turned up a notch in the musical.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ash in the sequels, especially Army of Darkness.
  • Kensington Gore: Lots of it. The Musical is one of the few Broadway shows to include a "splatter zone" and fans have taken to wearing white t-shirts to shows to take home as bloody souvenirs.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Bruce Campbell's famous lantern jaw makes him a very iconic hero.
  • Large Ham:
    • 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.
  • Lighter and Softer: The second and third films increasingly add humor to what was originally a very straight and graphic horror film.
  • 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.
  • Lovecraft Lite: The Undead are crawling all over? Unfathomably ancient demons summoned by the Tome of Eldritch Lore are possessing people? Time for Ash to lay the smack down!
    • 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.
  • 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...
  • Mind-Control Eyes: Used straight and subverted, at a couple points the deadites go back to their host's pre-corpse state to fool Ash.
  • Monochromatic Eyes: On the Deadites.
  • Mood Whiplash: The two sequels go from scary to hilarious and back again so quickly that your neck will hurt.
  • 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.
  • Our Demons Are Different: They're Sumerian demons that possess corpses and the vulnerable people, turning them into monsters.
  • Plot-Triggering Book: Necronomicon Ex Mortis a.k.a the book of the dead was discovered by Ash and his friends in the cabin. They listen to a recording of a disappeared archeologist who read a spell from the book. This kicks off the film where Ash and company fight for survival against the Evil Dead.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner:
    • Kind of Ash's specialty...
    Ash: Yo. She-bitch. Let's go.
    Ash: Come to Papa.
    Ash: Lady, I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to leave the store.
    • In Fistful of Boomstick videogame, Ash would spout random one-liners with a press of a button.
  • Retcon:
    • 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 "Necronomicon ex Mortis" in Army of Darkness. The title changes back to the former in the 2013 remake, perhaps due to the awkwardness of its Army of Darkness title.
    • 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.
  • Reverse Cerebus Syndrome: Each film becomes more comical than the last. The first film is a straight horror flick, the sequel is a wacky and over-the-top (although still semi-serious) gore-fest, and Army of Darkness drops any pretense of horror and becomes more of a Sword and Sorcery pastiche.
  • Rule of Cool: Ash kills demons with a shotgun in his left hand, and a chainsaw as his right hand, all while spouting one-liners and puns that are so bad they're good.
  • Rule of Funny: Partially the driving purpose behind the two sequels.
  • Satire/Parody/Pastiche
  • Sawed-Off Shotgun
  • Sequel Hook: At the end of the second movie.
  • Serial Escalation: The series begins with a college student fighting demons in an isolated cabin in the woods, and gets cooler from there.
  • Shaky P.O.V. Cam: A hallmark of the series has a POV cam stand for some unseen Deadite menace that chases after victims at high speeds.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Included in the cellar is a ripped poster from The Hills Have Eyes (1977). Wes Craven returned the favor by showing Evil Dead on TV in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). Then Raimi did it again by sticking a Freddy glove in Evil Dead 2.
    • 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 mispronounced magic words from Army Of Darkness are straight from The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951).
  • Shovel Strike: Linda gets her noggin struck clean off with a (presumably super extra-sharp) shovel in both movies.
  • The Siege: Ash defends his forest cabin from Deadites in the first two films, and then Arthur's castle from a a Deadite army in the third film.
  • Situational Hand Switch: In the original films, Ash actually loses his right hand. Of course, Sam Raimi probably decided that Ash should lose his right and not his left hand because Bruce Campbell in Real Life is left-handed.
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: See Genre Shift.
  • Stock Shout-Outs:
  • Sword and Gun: Chainsaw And Shotgun
  • 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.
      "I'm staying!"
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The "Naturom 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.
    • Mia at the end of The Remake.
  • 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.
  • Two-Part Trilogy: While the first film was intended as standalone, the second ended on a cliffhanger that flowed right into Army of Darkness, and started with an abbreviated and distilled remake of the first film that retcons some of its predecessor's events.
  • The Undead: Naturally.
  • Unlikely Hero: Ash in Army of Darkness. Lampshaded in Evil Dead II.
  • Un-Reboot: Several years after Army of Darkness, the Evil Dead series got a reboot with an all new cast starting the story from scratch or so we thought. The cameo by Bruce Campbell's Ash at the end kinda leaves it all up in the air. However, a few years later, the story returned to series protagonist Ash Williams with the TV series Ash Vs. The Evil Dead., which featured none of the character or scenarios from the remake film.
  • Vertigo Effect: Used prolifically in the remake.
  • 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.
  • When Trees Attack: The infamous "tree rape" scene from the original Evil Dead.
    • Sam Raimi has said that he wishes he could go back and re-do the movie and leave out that scene — in fact, in Evil Dead II, the remake, the demon-possessed trees just kill their victims.
    • It may be telling that the scene was co-producer Rob Tapert's idea, and that the "cast episodes" of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess, also by Renaissance Pictures, have Bruce Campbell playing Rob as a Lovable Sex Maniac.
    • 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.
    • Played for Laughs in Evil Dead: The Musical.
  • World of Ham




Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): The Evil Dead, Army Of Darkness


Ash's Arm-Mounted Flamethrower

Ash makes himself a flamethrower arm-attachment out of some supplies from a fuel storage to help with his Deadite problem.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / HomemadeFlamethrower

Media sources: