As you may have guessed by now, I'm a fan of Army of Darkness (and Evil Dead too of course). This has a lot of reasons, the leading role of Mr. Bruce Campbell (AKA the Greatest Man Alive), the great eye of director Sam Raimi, the short but powerful March of the Dead song written by Danny Elfman, the paper maché skeletons, the cheesy jokes and, last but not least, the fact that I'm a by-the-book geek and we like this kind of movies (especially this one).
But my love for the movie goes back to the time when I was just a proto-nerd in a video store, I was like 13 or 14 and I decided to rent a VHS. One of the first (maybe even the very first) I rented to watch by myself and not with the family. At that age I wanted to rent other videos to watch alone, but the clerk knew my dad and wouldn't let me take home Nice & Naughty - The sexcapades of Ms. Claus - Part III from the restricted section of the store.
Anyway I was looking for cool VHS covers and I saw this baby:
"You had me at Trapped in time..."
I just loved it. Now I own the three movies on DVD, but that's not enough for a guy like me, I needed some plastic people to prove my devotion. Sometime ago, my girlfriend gave me the great NECA's Cult Classics - Wave 6, S-Mart Ash.
"Give me some sugar, baby"
This figure is beautiful, as NECA usually does great sculpting, comes with a bunch of accessories, including a rifle ("this is my BOOM-stick!") that won't fit in the holster without cutting the price tag (he takes it from the gun rack of the store for those of you that don't remember the movie). He has almost no articulation, since this is supposed to be more a collector's statue than an action figure per se. Once you are able to make it stand on his own, is all good. I especially like the details of the metal hand, but that's just the problem with this figure: He has the metal hand of Army of Darkness, but no chainsaw. NO CHAINSAW. Actually that does make sense for the moment of the film, but still... NO CHAINSAW.
So I went and bought this one:
The Ash from Movie Maniacs wave 3 by McFarlane Toys. The year was 2000, the details in this one are no as impressive as the NECA, but the posse, the blood, the ripped shirt the accessories AND the CHAINSAW makes it really worthwhile. The montage scene from Evil Dead, when he cuts the corpse of his girlfriend into little pieces, cuts the barrel of the gun and attaches the CHAINSAW to where his right hand should be is still one of my favorite movie moments of all time.
Here's a comparison shot of the two figures:
"We both kinda look like Bruce Campbell, but you are good Ash, and I'm bad Ash. Little goody two-shoes, little goody two-shoes".
But where the McFarlane figure really pays off is in the accessories department. McFarlane was sure that an Ash figure was never going to sell. So they made it with all the accessories a fan could ever want, that way nobody would complain when the low sales prevented having another Ash figure in the market. So he packs a shotgun (that will go in the holster), a CHAINSAW (Did I mentioned the CHAINSAW?), the metal hand, a Necronomicon (the book of the Dead) and a Mini Evil Ash. How cute is that?
"I shall call him Mini-Me" (I know, I know... That's from another movie...)
Hell, even the Mini Evil Ash comes with an accessory, the fork that was used in the film to force Good Ash to eat one of the little guys in order to spawn a Big Bad Ash. Complicated? Here's another pic:
"Actually, he's not cute at all. He looks evil, and kinda melting".
For all of this and more, McFarlane's Ash and NECA's Ash we'll be together in my movie display shelf. I don't repeat figures, is true. But I think I can make an exception to please the Greatest Man Alive. Don't you think?
Until next time. CHAINSAW!