MOVIE MANIACS (MCFARLANE)
“Oh, you wanna know? ‘Cause the answer’s easy! I’m BAD Ash… and you’re GOOD Ash! You’re a goody little two-shoes! Little goody two-shoes! Little goody two-shoes!”
Director Sam Raimi’s first proper film work was Evil Dead, a promising, but ultimately kind of generic horror film. But promising it was, so Raimi was able to actually get a studio on board for not one, but two sequels to it. The second of those, Army of Darkess, ended up being the most financially successful of the three, and up until recently was the one with the most merchandising attached to it. Its first action figures courtesy of McFarlane Toys’ Movie Maniacs line. Today, I’m looking at AoD’s primary antagonist, the dark reflection of the main character, Evil Ash.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Evil Ash was released in Series 4 of Movie Maniacs, as the follow-up to the standard Ash Williams from Series 3. Evil Ash is based on his armored, leader of the Deadite army appearance from Army of Darkness’ big climactic battle, which is a sensible choice, since any other version would just be largely indistinguishable from a standard Ash. The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall (thanks to his hunching positioning) and he has 8 points of articulation. Movie Maniacs were from the period where McFarlane had given up on actually making real action figures…or posable ones at least. He’s really just a plastic statue, with some cut joints thrown in. But, as with a lot of these figures, his articulation is mostly there as a matter of habit; it doesn’t actually allow for anything but the one main pose. On the plus side, Evil Ash’s sculpt is definitely a strong one. It actually quite accurately captures the details of Evil Ash’s costume from the movie. The details are all quite crisp, and they’ve even gotten the horribly scarred visage that is his face down pretty much spot on. Also, despite rather missing the mark on the likeness for their standard variant of Ash, you can make out a pretty decent Bruce Campbell likeness on this guy, even under the horrible scarring. It’s the chin that really sells it. Evil Ash’s paintwork is another strong point of the figure. They’re really managed to get that grimy, really broken-in look that he has in the movie, and the detailing on his face really accents the scarring of the sculpt quite well. Overall, he just looks like quite lifelike, and they really did the best to accentuate all of the details of the sculpt. Ash is packed with a pair of swords, which he will forever have to hold, because what else is he going to do with those sword gripping hands, right? He also gets a movie poster marquee base, like all of the earlier Movie Maniacs. I guess it’s cool, but I think he might have greatly benefitted from an actual display stand. Still, it’s kind of neat.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
My first exposure to the Evil Dead films wasn’t actually the movies themselves, but was instead Bruce Campbell’s memoir If Chins Could Kill, which I started reading because I knew him as “the guy from all of the Spider-Man movies.” I know, weird. I missed out on a lot of Evil Dead stuff when it was first released, and ultimately ended up going for NECA’s offerings, though those didn’t include this guy. Despite his statuesque nature, Evil Ash is actually one of the better offerings I’ve run into from Movie Maniacs.
This guy isn’t part of my personal collection. He was loaned to me for review by my friends over at All Time Toys. If you’re interested in owning this figure, he’s available via their eBay page. And, if you’re looking for other toys, both old and new, please also check out All Time’s full eBay store front, and take a look at their webstore at alltimetoys.com.