Necronomicon Ex-Mortis (Also known as 'Book of the Dead' and 'Naturom Demonto' in the original Evil Dead script) is the main antagonist in the Evil Dead franchise.
First appearing in the film The Evil Dead, the Necronomicon has become very popular in modern cult horror and one of the few antagonists of said cult horror films to have such notoriety. It is most easily recognized and envisioned in later material based on its appearance and habit of having teenagers 'activate' its powers. In the Evil Dead, it was called the Naturom Demonto: the Book of the Dead. In the other two films its name was changed to Necronomicon Ex Mortis.
The Necronomicon is said to have been written by the Dark Ones, bound in human flesh and inked in blood. This text contained prophecies, funerary incantions, and demon resurrection passages. In the first two films, the book is found by Professor Raymond Knowby. In the third film, it is in a graveyard, being that it is almost 700 years before Knowby was even born.
The Evil DeadEdit
- Main article: The Evil Dead
In The Evil Dead, the Necronomicon (Book of the Dead) was found by Ash and his friends once they arrive at the cabin in the woods, left behind by Knowby. The week before, he succeeded in translating it at the cost of both his and his wife's lives. It's discovered once Scotty decides to investigate the cellar, where he and Ash find a single-barreled shotgun (double-Barrel in the next two films), some shotgun shells, a taperecorder, a Kandarian dagger and the Book itself.
When they take the items upstairs, Scotty decides to play the tape. However, when the tape plays a recording of Knowby's translations of the passages, the evil spirit in the surrounding woods are awoken. It isn't until Ash's sister, Cheryl, is possessed by the spirit and ends up locked in the cellar, that the others realize that something is wrong. Eventually, one by one, everyone is possessed except Ash, who makes a last stand against his former friends. He is almost killed by the demons but manages to grab the book and throw it into the fireplace, thus killing the others, except that the evil is not at rest: the last shot of the film is from the Evil's point of view, ending when it hurls itself into Ash.
Evil Dead II: Dead by DawnEdit
- Main article: Evil Dead II
Evil Dead II - DESPITE the first 7 minutes of the film distorting the continuity between the two movies; this has merely been provided as a re-cap. it is said that Sam Raimi had lost the rights to the first film and had to reshoot the begining of the movie in order to provide said re-cap so new footage was shot. The new footage was shot with some trims made just to get the important stuff covered in so little time, which is why there is a new Linda and none of the original characters (exept Ash and Linda) return. Evil Dead II actually begins when Ash is propelled into the air by the deadite forces as seen at the end of the first film.
(The re-cap includes where the audience is introduced to Ash's girlfriend Linda and Ash himself, who go to the cabin for a weekend getaway. While Linda's changing, Ash finds the taperecorder and the Necronomicon itself. At Linda's request, he plays the tape, once again releasing the spirits and attacking Linda. Hearing her scream, he goes out to look for her, finding her possessed. Once she attacks him, Ash decapitates her with a shovel and buries her. Once he walks towards the cabin, the demon bursts through the front door and propels him into the air and flying through the woods.)
(This is where Evil Dead II in actual fact starts.) Ash being carried a good distance by the demon, Ash is slammed hard against a tree and falls in a puddle of water. He rises from it possessed but is subsequently released by the coming of dawn, and passes 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 shaped into a giant claw, completely destroyed by the evil force. As the sun quickly sets, the spirit 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 tree stump that sends him flying through the windshield. With the evil close behind him, he runs into the cabin and runs through it attempting to find a hiding place. He ducks under the trapdoor to the fruit cellar waiting until the evil force leaves. After it leaves Ash comes out and barricades the cabin, stuck at the cabin with the spirits for yet another night.
After a dream where Linda's severed torso dances outside the window, her severed head lands in Ash's lap, and bites hard onto his right hand. After Linda's finally killed, Ash goes to the mirror to console himself, and after his relection comes out for a brief moment, his right hand begins to shake and tremble uncontrollably, now possessed. After a brief struggle with it, Ash has no other option but to cut off his hand with the chainsaw. Despite trying to trap it, it escapes and disappears.
Meanwhile, Annie Knowby, the Professor's daughter, her boyfriend Ed, are brought to the cabin by Jake, one of the locals, and Bobby Jo, his girlfriend, via an alternate route, with newly discovered pages of the book. However, around the time they arrive, Ash has been fighting to keep his sanity, and accidentally fires on them and hits Bobby Jo. Once Annie sees the chainsaw, she believes he killed her parents and has him thrown in the cellar. Once she plays the taperecorder to figure out what happened, a possessed Henrietta, the Professor's wife, rises from the ground in the fruit cellar and Ash is rescued. Time passes, and one by one, Ed becomes possessed, Bobby Jo's taken on a wild ride by the trees (similar to the tree rape scene in the first film), and Jake is killed when Ash becomes possessed again. He comes very close to killing Annie, but when he finds Linda's locket, the memories and anguish of losing his love allow Ash to exorcise the evil from his soul.
After convincing her he's no longer possessed, the two team up, and Ash recieves his famous chainsaw hand. After he recieves the pages from the cellar and a brief battle with Henrietta resulting in her death, Annie recites the first of the passages, and the Evil takes a physical form. However, as she recites the the second passage, Ash's possessed hand (having survived twice), stabs her with the Kanderian dagger. Just as Ash is about to be killed, Annie finishes the passage with her dying breath. However, the time portal that opens is unable to close, and Ash is pulled in as well. Ash, the Evil, and the Oldsmobile are sucked into 1300 A.D. and Ash and the Oldsmobile crash-land. Suddenly, he is surrounded by knights who mistake him for a deadite, until a real one appears and he kills it. Ash is named 'He who comes from the skies to deliver us from the terror of the Deadites', after which he breaks down and screams 'No!' as they chant to him.
Army of DarknessEdit
- Main article: Army of Darkness
The next film continues the story from there (though Ash receives far less of a warm welcome than the end of the previous film suggests). Ash has to defeat his alter-ego, known as 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.
The Necronomicon is shown in a cemetery, which is where it apparently vanished to in 1300 A.D. The Deadites will rule the world if they have the book. Though it is unclear, it seems that if the chosen one (Ash) takes the book and says the words "Klaatu verata nikto", the book will have the power to destroy the Deadites. If Ash misspeaks the words, however, an army of the dead will be raised. Ash finds the book with two fake books. He picks out the real one after trying to take each of the two fakes and being attacked by them. He forgets the word "Nikto" and misspeaks it (coughing to try and trick the book, remembering it was an N word), thus raising the army of Deadites, including his recently deceased alter-ego Evil Ash. Ash takes the book back to the castle, where it is defended from the Deadites, with Evil Ash being destroyed.
The book remains in the castle until a week before the events of The Evil Dead, where it is taken by Professor Knowby, and the events of the series are set in motion.
Characteristics, and abilitiesEdit
The Necronomicon is bound in human flesh, inked in human blood, and has a variety of different passages and translations to do mainly one thing: Awaken the Evil to possess the living so it can be reborn on Earth.
In The' Evil Dead and Evil Dead II, the reading of passages from the book out loud "activates" the powers of the book to awaken evil in inanimate objects (such as trees), and raise the dead to serve as its servants. It can also turn living people into its servants as well, making them "Deadites" (there seems to be no notable physical difference between when a living human being or a dead human being becomes a Deadite). Sunlight, though, can release those possessed from the affliction (as seen in Evil Dead II when Ash is released from being possessed). In addition the passages of the book can be used to open portals to other places in time and space, as seen in Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness. Also the book, supposedly, has the ability to return the evil it awakens back to sleep, or restore people to normal (though this is suggested to be possible it is never shown to happen.)
In other incarnations of the Evil Dead/Army of Darkness franchise the book is shown to have a larger range of powers, as well as having a personality and inclination to want to destroy the living, particularly the "Chosen One".
In the Army of Darkness comics the book is shown to be able to infect animals, and any living entity, with its evil creating Deadites out of them. The book is also shown to be able to be physically injured, causing it to bleed, though such injuries allow the book to spread its evil even easier as it seems as the "blood" can infect anyone it comes into contact with. The book also, is apparently indestructible (or at least Ash believes it to be so).
In addition, the spells and powers of the book are extremely varied in the comic books depending on the passages read and who is reading the passage. Freddy Krueger, in Freddy Vs. Jason Vs. Ash, was able to use the spells in the Necromonicon to bring himself to the physical world out of the dreaming world, physically alter Jason Voorhees so he had a greater intellegence, and make his own powers in the dreaming world powers he could use in the real world. Ash has used the book to open a wide range of portals throughout time and space, as well as write in the book itself to use it to change reality (in the Ashes 2 Ashes series). The book has been shown to have a detailed history of its interactions with the line of Chosen Ones who are called to protect the world against the evil of the book.
In the stories of the video game, depending on the game, the book, or its pages, serve often as sources of different powers for Ash and also as cheap transportation. He is able, in the Fistful Of Boomstick game, to use pages to possess various types of Deadites, become super strong, summon lightning, and travel through time.
The Evil DeadEdit
The book (originally referred to as 'Naturom Demento') is first seen having a horribly mutilated face in The Evil Dead, thus bringing more meaning into being bound in human flesh. Also, the back side of the book has a human ear visible, possibly meaning that blood sacrifices were made in order to create the book.
Evil Dead II: Dead By DawnEdit
In Evil Dead II, the book is officially called Necronomicon Ex-Mortis (what 'Book of the Dead' is translated from). The book pretty much retains all of its original features from the first film, but with a much darker color of brown and many of it pages missing. The pages missing mean that the powers of the book are much greater, as evidenced by the passages on the pages brought by Annie Knowby. However, it appears some of the passages, such as the time portal, are hard to control or can't be controlled at all and are possibly much more dangerous.
Army of DarknessEdit
Due to this film taking place in 1300 A.D., the Necronomicon appears to be much cleaner. It also has all of its pages intact and the face on the front is much less mutilated, with the book having a more grayish color. Despite having been found in the castle in The Evil Dead, the book is instead found in a cemetary miles away. As well as the main book, there are two other books at the site as well, one with a portal, and one a deadite itself. The book is shown to have, in this film, not just passages, but also potions for certain things (such as giving the user the ability to sleep a century for every drop taken in).
Evil Dead (2013 film)Edit
The upcoming remake, Evil Dead, yet not released, its trailers have given glimpses of the new version of the Necronomicon, now once again called the Book of the Dead. Based on the red-band teaser, the book appears to not have either the mutilated face or the ear on the back. Instead, it is completely made of human flesh, stitched together very profusely and noticably. The color is now more of a natural flesh-leather color with black rope-like stitching all around. The pages inside are stained on the border with blood and warnings written on the front page.