One thing pretty much any Evil Dead fan will tell you is that series mainstay, Ash Williams, played by cult icon Bruce Campbell, is the heart and soul of the popular horror franchise. The chainsaw for a hand, the utterly groovy catchphrases, they’re all a huge part of the character’s awesomeness and influence, especially when it comes to movies like Army of Darkness, which was a lot of fans' introduction to the popular cult series. These days, Bruce Campbell still loves talking about Ash and he recently solved a mystery related to an Army of Darkness poster.
In many ways, social media has allowed fans to reach out to the star directly. And while many fans know the actor quite well for his humor and charisma in the popular show, Ash Vs. The Evil Dead, there's one thing that fans typically don't think of when they picture their hero from the Evil Dead series—Bruce Campbell's massively bulging, body builder physique. But that’s exactly what foreign audiences got on 1992’s Army of Darkness movie poster.
Here’s what Bruce Campbell had to say about the Conan the Barbarian-esque physique in said poster when a Twitter fan poked a little fun at the poster. After said fan noted, "Good, Bad, I'm the guy with the pecks," the actor responded:
Yeah, producer Dino De Laurentiis had his hands all over that. It’s the foreign poster. He knew that [Arnold] Schwarzenegger sold overseas, so he made me look like Arnold. It’s very silly.
For anybody who has actually seen Army of Darkness, you’ll know that nothing of this sort is even remotely close to what we get in the final product. Yes, the chainsaw and shotgun, or “boomstick” part are true to the actual film, but the idea of Bruce Campbell -- who has always had more of a normal-guy-down-the-street appearance than this ripped and incredibly muscular physique -- is kind of hysterical.
Especially since Army of Darkness actually strays away from the idea of a heroic Ash and veers more into the horror comedy angle that many fans would associate with the series later on. Unlike the first two Evil Dead movies (which are more horror flicks), Army of Darkness, which is technically Evil Dead 3, is completely comedy, playing to the actor’s slapstick strengths and having him even do comedy bits from The Three Stooges. So Conan, it’s definitely not.
Ash Vs. the Evil Dead even played to the idea of Ash being this out of shape dude who has to get back into Deadite-killing mode. So, the idea that this schlubby guy who worked at a supermarket for a day job being this huge, muscular hero on the overseas poster is pretty comical in itself, to say the very least.
Bruce Campbell has already stated that Ash is retired, but he’s obviously still very much connected to the character and the legacy of the series, which will continue with the next movie, Evil Dead Rise. We’re still not certain if Bruce Campbell will have a cameo role in the film, which he promises will not focus on another cabin in the woods, but it would be pretty funny if he was teased in a trailer with a muscular physique as a callback to that hilarious poster.