Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Still, Chainsaw For A Hand

A friend got me the first season of Ash vs. Evil Dead for Christmas. I may have some thought on it down the line (this is where you ask where those other posts about Steven Universe are, and I tell you to shut up), but I did have a different question for the audience.

When it comes to the events of Army of Darkness, is Ash an unreliable narrator?

The entire movie is presented to us as Ash relating the story to his coworker at S-Mart. Given Ash's tendency to try to avoid culpability for his screw-ups, or admit them only grudgingly, plus how much he likes to talk up his abilities, I wonder how much we can trust his version of things.

Most of my doubts stem from the preparations he makes to defend the castle. Teaching the remaining defenders some fighting techniques. Turning his car into a steam-powered mega weed-whacker, building explosive arrows with the aid of what looks like high school chemistry texts. You could probably even throw in his being the only one who can survive in combat against his evil duplicate. Although in that case, he was fighting largely on the defensive, and won through a fair amount of luck.

What brought the question mind was the Ash in Season 1 doesn't really show that level of ingenuity, but he does show the ability to try and bullshit about how much he has things under control. The bravado - I'm not sure whether it's false or not, because I think he might really buy into - is an integral part of his character, but it does make his version of events suspect.


Kelvin Green said...

There's also the matter of the two different endings.

It's interesting because the idea of Ash as unreliable narrator had never occurred to me but it makes sense. What's interesting is that there's no evidence for it except Ash vs Evil Dead; if you'd asked the same question before the series existed I wouldn't be convinced, but the Ash presented in the series is exactly the sort of person who would make up -- or at least embellish -- the events of Army of Darkness.

It also gives them a potential way out of the legal issues with Universal; the events of the third film can be considered non-canon if need be, by saying Ash made them up.

CalvinPitt said...

Kelvin: I've always been curious to see Ash in an apocalyptic future scenario, which I guess is what we'd have gotten if they went with the "I slept too long!" ending.

I think I read somewhere they got the rights issues hammered out sometime between Seasons 1 and 2, because I think they actually try time-travel in the Season 2 finale? And in Season 1, he makes a comment about how maybe someday hacking himself to pieces will seem strange again.

So I think Army of Darkness is at least sort of in play, but I'm not positive. And it's kind of wild how the show is causing me to reconsider the film.

Kelvin Green said...

I need to sit down and watch the second series. I watched the first series over the Christmas holidays in 2015/2016 but forgot all about it last year!