Ashley J. "Ash" Williams (Ashley in the original Evil Dead script) is the fictional protagonist in the Evil Dead horror films, played by Bruce Campbell, and created by director Sam Raimi.
First appearing in the film The Evil Dead, Ash has become very popular in modern cult horror and one of the few protagonists of said cult horror films to have such notoriety. He is most easily recognized and envisioned in later material based on his final appearance in the second film however, armed with a sawed-off shotgun and a chainsaw strapped to the stump on his right arm where his hand once was.
Ash is in his early 20s and usually lives a "normal" life. He is employed at the superstore, S-Mart (where he works in the housewares department), and had a girlfriend, Linda. When Ash was born, he was a child that had been touched by the light of God which made him the chosen one. A cult which worshipped the Necronomicon, tracked him down and cursed him to be tormented by the deadites. According to Ash, he claims he doesn't remember but always felt there was something wrong even when he was a kid.
The Evil DeadEdit
In The Evil Dead, Ash, his girlfriend Linda, sister Cheryl, and friends Scotty and Shelly all stay at a log cabin in the woods. There they find the "Naturon Demonto" (renamed or possibly translated to Necronomicon Ex-Mortis in the sequels), the book of the dead, along with a tape recorder. The tape is a recording of the owner of the cabin, who was translating a passage of the book. By playing the tape, Ash and friends awake the evil spirits who can now possess the living. Ash's friends and sister are consequently possessed and killed one by one. It isn't until he's the last survivor that he finally destroys the Necronomicon by throwing it into the fireplace, and in doing so, the possessed bodies of Scotty and Cheryl rapidly decay and 'die'. The evil appears to be driven back, however the film ends with Ash attacked (or possibly overtaken) by an evil spirit.
Evil Dead II: Dead by DawnEdit
Evil Dead II continues the story But the first 10 minutes serves as remake of the original. (Sam Raimi was unable to acquire footage from the original Evil Dead. He tried shooting some scenes featuring the other characters but they were abandoned. This was mentioned in the Evil Dead II audio commentary) During this remake Ash is playing the piano while Linda is dancing. While she is changing Ash finds the book and the tape recorder he plays it until "The Evil" breaks though the window and steals Linda away and the evil spirit attacks Ash. afterwards the movie picks up again and continues where the original left of with Ash being carried a good distance by the demon, Ash is slammed hard against a tree and falls in a puddle of water. From here he becomes a deadite but shortly afterwards is released from the spirit by the coming of dawn, only to pass out. Ash regains consciousness moments before sunset. Deciding to get out of there as fast as he can, he climbs into his car and drives to where the bridge was, only to find it completely destroyed by the evil force. As the sun quickly sets, said force starts climbing up the cliff, and Ash hops into his car, driving away as fast as he can and as a result, crashing right into a treestump that sends him flying through the windshield.
With the evil close behind him, he runs into the cabin and through it trying to hide, and ducks into the trapdoor, waiting until the evil force leaves. After it does, Ash comes out, only to find himself stuck at the cabin with the spirits of the Evil Dead for yet another night. Later, the cabin owner's daughter, Annie and three more people arrive. It is near the end of this film that Ash gets his famous chainsaw in place of his right hand. The film ends with Ash being sucked into a vortex and traveling back in time to 1300 AD, where the locals claim, according to their prophecies, that he is "The Hero from the Sky" who will save them from the Deadites. The film ends zooming out from Ash, who is shouting "No, No, NOOO!", to reveal hundreds of soldiers chanting their alliegance to Ash.
Army of DarknessEdit
The next film continues the story from there (though he receives far less of a warm welcome than the end of the previous film suggests). Ash has to defeat his alter-ego known as Bad Ash/Evil Ash who is leading the Army of Darkness to steal the Necronomicon. In this movie, Ash constructs a mechanical prosthetic hand out of a gauntlet from a suit of armor, using it throughout the film in place of the chainsaw (though he still carries it with him). The movie has two different endings, one where he returns to his own time and defends S-Mart from a possessed woman, and another, the director's cut (or Japanese version entitled "Captain Supermarket"), where he ends up in a post-apocalyptic future.
Army of Darkness beyondEdit
Following the events of Army of darkness, Ashes battles with the deadites would transcend within the past, present, and future. His adventures would include him traveling to Egypt to defeat Deadite Ash, going into the future, being trapped in a mental assylum, fighting with classical monsters, being killed and ending up in another universe before finally going back to the destroyed present. After restoring the present to normal, Ash messed up again and accidentaly wished he had never been the Chosen One, and lost his memories and moxie. After fixing that mess, Ash and Sheila went back in time and discovered that as long as the Necronomicon existed; Sheila would die for the price of her love. Returning to the present, Ash decided to finally take his role as the Chosen one more seriously, and guard the book. Unfortunatly, Ash mucked up even that when he unwittingly caused the beginning of the end to the present once more. After accidentaly infecting a town's water supply with evil, whilst Ash ended up becoming infected by a special kind of deadite called Hell's Prophet in the process, he traveled to Europe in search of other Chosen Ones. During his trip to London, he met an american werewolf named Brad, who told about how he was a descendant of a member of a team called: The League of Light. Ash and Brad thus began to search all across the globe, recruiting more descendants of the League of Light, whilst trying to stop a cult called: The Eradicators. Unfortunatly, it was foretold that the very team that Ash had been gathering would end up having to kill him in order to save the world. This came to pass as Hell's Prophet took over Ash's body, kicking Ash's soul from it and began its rain of terror. Fortuantly, Ashes soul survived and for the next five years, the surviving members of the League of Light put together a time machine so Ash could go back and fix the mess he made. After barely escaping into the past to a time before the books corruption began to infect the Goodsprings water supply, Ash and his friends came across his past self and with the help of Cybil, their necromancer; Ash repossessed his body and wrote a letter to himself to warn about what was to come. Merging back with his past self, Ash removed the book from his spot and saved the world once again; preventing the apoclapyse that had once been.
Evil Dead: Hail to the King (video game)Edit
Hail to the King follows the events of Army of Darkness (following the original ending not the director's cut) where Ash finds himself back in his own time. 8 years after Army of Darkness, Ash and his new girlfriend Jenny, return to the cabin to confront his past. Unknown to Ash his amputated hand is still in the cabin and it plays Prof. Knowby's tape, yet again summoning the Evil. Jenny is taken and eventually dies and Ash must survive encounters with both the deadites and a reincarnated Evil Ash.
Evil Dead: Fistful of Boomstick (video game)Edit
Following Hail to the king, Fistful of Boomstick is set 10 years after the events of the previous game. It starts with Ash sitting in a bar bitching to the barkeep. The bartender informs Ash that he's sorry about Jenny, a topic that seems to bother Ash. It is now the television is showing, tuned into a late night sceptics show. The TV presenter announches that she has a treat instore and invites on a Professor, who was a colleague of Knowby, who then plays the tape from the cabin Trisha got while investigating the Knowby case which, unsurprisingly, awakens a bunch of Deadites who start to attack the town and yours truly must send back to hell.
Eventually Ash rescues the professor and the Tv presenter (who he flirts with), and discovers that a stone tablet should dispel the evil. So, after fighting through the local museum, Ash brings the professor the tablet. When translating the tablet the Prof shows his true colours, whisking back in time with an army of deadites. Ash follows him through several periods of time, meeting his distant relative Williams the blacksmith and aquiring weapons such as the flamethrower and gatling gun which replace his chainsaw hand. Finally, in columbial times, he defeats the Professor and returns to town to discover it has become a hell on earth under the command of the TV presenter and Ash must again brutally kill the new woman in his life.
Evil Dead (2013 remake-sequel)Edit
In a post-credits scene, an older Ash Williams recites his iconic line "Groovy", and then turns to the audience. Also, based on the recent news of an Army of Darkness II, as well as a sequel to the remake, there is a good possibility that Ash and Mia, the remakes protagonist, will meet in a possible seventh film.
Characteristics, equipment, and abilitiesEdit
Ash is known for two main weapons, his sawed-off shotgun/ "boomstick ", a sawed-off double-barreled 12 gauge Remington Arms shotgun with a hair trigger(although this weapon has changed several times), and the more noticeable chainsaw , which was adapted to replace his right hand, amputated in Evil Dead II after being possessed by a Deadite. Later, during Army of Darkness, Ash builds himself a new, mechanical right hand using a plate, chainmail gauntlet, and customized springs. The mechanical hand is fully functional, and even allows Ash to exhibit an otherwise superhuman grip, as seen when he easily crushes a goblet full of wine shortly after obtaining it.
The Deathcoaster is seen in the latter parts of Army of Darkness, made from the remains of his car and powered by a steam engine. The main feature of it is a massive rotating blade on the front of it, akin to an angled upright lawnmower blade. The Deathcoaster was destroyed during the film's final battle, after Evil Sheila tricks him into jumping off by apparently returning to normal. At the end of the film he takes what is left of it with him, though it hasn't been seen or used in any later material. The Deathcoaster was not referred to as such in the film; the name appears in scripts and publicity material.
Besides the sawed-off Remington shotgun, Ash is also skilled in the use of other firearms like the Winchester Model 1892 lever action rifle (as seen at the end of Army of Darkness while fighting the possessed store clerk). Strangely, Ash seems to lose possession of both his chainsaw and shotgun during Army of Darkness, as he is not seen to be carrying the chainsaw after dismembering Bad Ash and is not seen with his shotgun after crashing the Deathcoaster. A continuity error exists within the series; while Ash claimed to have gained his shotgun at S-Mart in Army of Darkness, he really found it at Professor Knowby's cabin during Evil Dead II, though as some point out, Ash only says that the gun *can be found* in S-Mart, and never explicitly says that he got it there.
Bruce Campbell has stated Ash is pretty much incompetent at everything except fighting the Demon|Evil Dead . Campbell also added that Ash is "a bad slow thinker and a good fast thinker". He knows some degree of hand-to-hand combat techniques, and prowess with a variety of weapons in various situations . His main strength seems to be his ingenuity: he has from the second film on been shown creating such things ranging from his chainsaw bracket and shotgun harness, gunpowder from mainly referencing its elemental makeup in a chemistry book, a fully functional prosthetic hand from a metal gauntlet, and the short-lived "Deathcoaster".
In addition, during the second time he was possessed near the climax of Evil Dead II, Ash displayed some degree of superhuman strength (see Deadite Ash below), as seen when he easily lifted Jake over his head and threw him at least ten feet into a tree and ripped the back screen door of the cabin off of its hinges with his one remaining hand.
Ash's personality and state of mind change drastically throughout the franchise. In The Evil Dead and the beginning of Evil Dead II, he is something of a laid-back everyman who is cowardly and inexperienced, but by the middle of Evil Dead II and into Army of Darkness, he has grown into a much braver, even arrogant person, and becomes the voice of encouragement and confidence in Arthur's castle. It is at this point that Ash becomes known for his one-liners, and his personality takes on a more cynical, embittered tone. Sam Raimi has said that he feels Ash's personality transformation in Darkness was very out of character .
Ash's experiences with the Necronomicon have left him cynical, irritable, and perhaps partially, if not completely, insane; several of the horrifying things that have happened to him, prominent examples being the various sound effects he hears before Evil Cheryl punches clean through the door and grabs his face in The Evil Dead, his reflection popping out of the mirror and strangling him (see Bad Ash/Evil Ash below), as well as multiple inanimate objects coming to life and laughing maniacally at him, with Ash himself joining in soon after, when he attempts to sit down in a wooden chair and crushes it while doing so in Evil Dead II, were merely his hallucinations and not the powers of the Kandarian demons.
Bad Ash/Evil AshEdit
Ash's dark side manifests itself as a separate entity first in Evil Dead II, where he hallucinates his reflection tormenting him over dismembering 'their' girlfriend with a chainsaw, and then proceeds to try and choke him (only for Ash to realize he was choking himself). This side of him later splits off his body in a drawn out painful event in Army of Darkness (unlike the original, having both hands intact), becoming 'Bad Ash' and getting first blown away at point blank range by Ash's shotgun, then cut to pieces, and finally buried (though even in this state he still 'lived').
When Ash blunders and accidentally awakens the Army of the Dead, Bad Ash re-emerges from the grave quickly piecing himself together as the decayed 'Evil Ash' and takes command of the undead troops, even corrupting Ash's then-love interest Sheila into a deadite-like hag. He battles the original Ash as he makes a bee-line for the Necronomicon, and gets lit ablaze by a torch, only to re-emerge as 'Skeleton Evil Ash', a much more agile and dangerous version. As Henry the Red's troops arrive to assist in the battle against the undead and break their ranks, Evil Ash ironically has his right hand holding the Necronomicon chopped off by Ash, and is then catapulted into the sky riding a lit sack of gunpowder to be blown to pieces.
He returns in Evil Dead: Hail to the King after Ash's possessed hand releases the evil force once more into the world by playing Knowby's tape recording, emerging from the mirror in the cabin (a la his first appearance), tossing Ash aside and taking off. Unlike before, Evil Ash is closer in appearance to a zombified version of Ash, and has the ability to launch fireballs and shapeshift . Ultimately he was destroyed once more by the original. Beyond this, Evil Ash has appeared in comic spin-offs, appearing more akin to his decayed Army of Darkness version. In the comics as he is the evil side of Ash separated, this leaves Ash as "the purest soul on Earth". He is one of the central antagonists in the A.O.D. comic books and is obsessed with defeating the original.
Being referred to in the film as "the evil", it is suggested that, in addition to Ash's dark side, he is the evil from the first two films, who was also sent back in time and was chasing Ash before the smaller Ashes appeared from the mirror.
Deadite Ash Edit
'Deadite Ash' is another story. In Evil Dead: Regeneration this version is referred to as 'Evil Ash' (and Sam calls him 'Bad Ash' in the game). Deadite Ash is Ash himself possessed by a Kandarian demon and turned into a monstrous version of himself with greatly increased strength and brutality. In Evil Dead II, sunlight and the memory of Linda seems to drive the demon out (or possibly just 'back') and reverts him to normal. In Evil Dead: Regeneration , Deadite Ash actually is shown to be a complete berserker, attacking anything in his path (namely the deadites) and with Ash having some degree of control, later on, over his actions, though the effects are short-term. Enemies in the last area of the game speak of how Ash is 'already one of them', possibly a reference to this. The shotgun and chainsaw are augmented during this period also, the gun notably firing bolts of energy.
Ashley G. Williams Edit
This Ash Williams is native to the Marvel Zombies universe (Earth-2149). A lowly employee of S-Mart, Ash takes up arms against the zombie superheroes. However, while distracted by seeing Ashley J. Williams, he is attacked and eaten by the zombie Howard the Duck (who said his brain tastes like chicken). Unlike regular Ash, this version apparently never got involved in the events surrounding the cabin or the Necronomicon, as he has both hands and lacks the regular's facial scars. Instead he feels that he was meant for greater things but in the world of super-heroes was never considered much in the public eye and stayed at S-Mart, seemingly living alone; this outcome is most especially decided by the fact that the Necronomicon, in the Marvel Zombies Universe, is kept in the private library of Doctor Doom . Like Ashley J. Williams, this Ash used both a shotgun harnessed to his back and a chainsaw. It is uncertain just how much he managed to do before Howard killed him, though he is shown encountering a zombified and duplicated Multiple Man , and dismembering Hulkling 's remains with his chainsaw.
In 2005, there was talk of Ash appearing in a sequel to Freddy Vs. Jason ; however, Sam Raimi eventually decided against it. Though tempted, Raimi thought it would be unfair to the other director to dictate rules for what Ash could and could not do, which would be required as Raimi has plans for Ash in the future. As of late 2006, a new crop of rumors had begun to circulate about a team-up of Freddy, Jason and Ash, but Raimi, New Line and Campbell have yet to make any comment. Campbell said of the original rumors that if he were to sign up, "[Ash] would have to win, or I wouldn't do it." When Campbell was at a booksigning, during a Q & A period a man asked him if he was going to make a Freddy Vs. Jason Vs. Ash movie. Bruce Campbell replied "You're an idiot." However, Wildstorm|Wildstorm / Dynamite Entertainment|Dynamite have announced that they would be presenting the sequel in comic form as the six-issue mini-series Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash . 
There is a movie titled My Name Is Bruce, released in 2008, directed by and starring Bruce Campbell, as himself, where he is kidnapped and mistaken for the character of Ash.
In 1992, Dark Horse Comics released a three-issue miniseries written by Sam Raimi himself. Accompanying it is Evil Dead (2008) a comic from Dark Horse Comics retelling the story of the events of the original film. In this version of the tale, Cheryl is not Ash's sister, but just a friend of his girlfriend Linda, and the book is called "Nacheron De'manto". The professor and his wife are depicted as younger adults rather than the middle-aged version seen in the film. For as-yet unknown reasons, the only character in the book that looks like their film counterpart is Ash. Every other character has been completely redesigned for this "expansion".
Dynamite Entertainment has made their own line of comics featuring the character. Army of Darkness: Ashes 2 Ashes (2004) a four-issue miniseries that picks up directly after the film's ending, taking place on the very day Ash and his friends travelled to Knowby's cabin, and leads into Army of Darkness: Shop Till You Drop (Dead) (2005) a four-issue miniseries. Another mini-series, Army of Darkness vs. Re-Animator (2005), featuring Ash confined to a mental institution and forced to go up against Doctor Herbert West and his zombie minions, came out in 2005. In 2006, Dynamite started releasing an ongoing series, showing the events after the Re-Animator crossover. Recently they have released a multi issue mini series crossover with Danger Girl, in which Ash Must help Abbey Chase stop the Necronomicon from falling into the hands of a dictator.
Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness (2007) is a spin-off from this comic line (after Ash's 'death' in Army of Darkness #13), taking place in the Marvel Zombies universe. The series serves to fill in certain gaps left in the Marvel Zombies storyline that even Marvel Zombies: Dead Days|Dead Days didn't flesh out fully. The crossover lasts several issues, with Ash finally returning to his own world (and own comic) with Army of Darkness: From the Ashes (2007).
Dynamite has created several crossovers and side stories of their own. Tales of the Army of Darkness (2006) is a one shot comic featuring several stories about Ash and the Necronomicon. Darkman vs. Army of Darkness (2006), a four-issue miniseries features Ash teaming up with fellow Raimi created character Darkman to stop the Deadites. Ash then starred in Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash (2007), a six-issue miniseries from Wildstorm and Dynamite Entertainment where Ash must face off against the legendary horror icons.
In Evil Dead: The Musical is a loose musical adaptation of Evil Dead series, mostly combining the plot elements of Evil Dead and Evil Dead II. The musical is notable for being the only time when Ash is not portrayed by Bruce Campbell. Many people have played Ash thoughtout the run of the show.
In the game Splatterhouse for Xbox 360, the episode of Meat Factory, at one point found a body on the floor wearing the same clothes that ash and with a face very similar (when possessed by evil). The fans claim to be an easter egg game because of its clear inspiration in Cthulhu Mythos.
Ash is also set to appear in Telltale Games's Poker Night 2 avaliable on Steam as of April 23rd, 2013.
- Bad Ash is a play on the phrase Bad ass, where the "Bad ass" is considered "awesome" or "cool" by their peers.
- In Duke Nukem 3D; several of Ash's quotes are used, such as "Groovy" when a new weapon is picked up by Duke, or "Come get some." and "Hail to the king baby." is said as his famous statements.
- Ash is left-handed. This is a result of sawing off his own right hand with a chainsaw.
- ↑ It is revealed that Ash works at S-Mart in Army of Darkness
- ↑ Audio commentary for Evil Dead II, Bruce Campbell: "As dumb as Ash is, he's actually a capable guy with dealing with monsters"
- ↑ In Army of Darkness, Ash trains the people in Arthur's kingdom in martial arts
- ↑ Sam Raimi's comments on the DVD audio commentary for the Army of Darkness Director's Cut.
- ↑ Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash has a Sperm Problem?
- ↑ WW: Chicago - Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash Coming in November, 12 August, 2007, Newsarama
- ↑ Dark Horse Comics Solicitations for January 2008