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Meet the “Ash-a-Likes”! 10 Famous Character Inspired By Ashley J. Williams!

Even before Sam Raimi and company fully defined the character in Evil Dead II, Ash was always a strange hero. For much of the more seriously minded The Evil Dead, we see Ash cowering in the background while the more manly Scotty takes care of business. It’s only when Scotty finds defeat (and rape?) at the hands of some Evil Dead trees that Ash finally steps up to the plate.

That’s pretty much how he’s been ever since. We know Ash as a mouthy idiot who can dish out violence but is just as likely to talk tough and run away from it (when he’s not getting knocked around and abused like a rag doll, that is). We love Ash, but he’s not the only character of this type. There are many other Ash-a-Likes out there, some knowing ripoffs, others mere coincidences.

Head inside!

Jack Burton – Big Trouble in Little China

Big Trouble in Little China came out a year before Evil Dead II, so this not a case of shenanigans but rather a coincidental intersection of two very similar parodies of cinematic male heroics. Ash and Jack Burton are both hilarious assheads who find themselves in over their hilarious assheads without missing their misguided stride. But they are also both infinitely likable in their buffoonery. John Carpenter would add a harder edge to this archetype a couple years later with They Live‘s Nada, who is also a bit of an Ash-a-Like, though a far more tragic one.

Burt Gummer – Tremors

You don’t mess with Burt Gummer. He will shoot your ass. He’s a horrible shot, but with all those guns, he has enough firepower to blanket the horizon with bullets. Surely one will get you.

But Burt’s also kind of an idiot, and a funny one at that, particularly if we limit this to just the first (or even the second) Tremors film. He may be close friends with Ted Nugent, but we love him anyway.

Derek – Bad Taste

The similarities between Ash and Derek may seem minuscule at face value, especially since Ash is kind of an accidental nerd, while Derek is the real deal from head to toe.

But both know how to kick some serious ass. And both spend their films seriously getting their asses kicked. On top of that, both guys are really funny, though it’s unclear whether we’re laughing at them or with them.

Rick O’Connell – The Mummy

It’s hard to say whether Brendan Fraser’s Rick O’Connell is supposed to be an Ash ripoff or an Indiana Jones ripoff that got slightly out of hand. Either way, Rick’s Ash-isms are one of the very few bright points in the otherwise mediocre Mummy franchise. He’s a fun character not even a notoriously awful CG version of The Rock can blemish, and for Rick alone, we’ll probably all look back fondly on Stephen Sommers Mummy movies when Len Wiseman’s version eventually comes out.

Frank Brayker – Tales From the Crypt: Demon Knight

William Sadler’s Brayker isn’t dumb. And he isn’t really full of himself either. Nor is he a coward.

But there’s something remarkably Ash-like about Brayker’s constant bad luck. From the beginning of Demon Knight to the bitter end, the exasperated Frank Brayker can barely keep up with all his misfortunes. When he finally bites the dust at the film’s conclusion, you almost feel his relief, which might be our reaction if we ever saw Ash meet his long-coming demise.

Bill Hardy – Slither

Like Ash, sheriff Bill Hardy is just a guy who wants to get along. When weird alien slugs take over his small town, the crisis unfortunately forces him to do his duty as a police offer. It’s not exactly a walk in the park, though. In fact, most of it is quite awful, a fact Hardy confronts with one-liners and hesitant bravery. In the end, however, he’s just a big softy with the hots for his high school sweetheart. So he’s like the actual heroic, teddy bear version of Ash.

Ghostface – The Scream Series

Ghostface is a villain, so right there he doesn’t seem very much like Ash at all. On top of that, he’s not even very funny. So he probably shouldn’t be on this list at all.

Except for one thing: Ghostface (whoever Ghostface happens to be at the time) might be the only character in horror who routinely takes bigger beatings than poor Ash. Pretty much every Ghostface victim gets an opportunity to kick Ghostface down some stairs or hit him/her with something before finally dying. Along with Dewey, it’s one of the few reliable high points for the increasingly awful sequels.

Duke Nukem – All the “Duke Nukem” Stuff

More than anyone on this list, Duke Nukem is a knowing Ash ripoff. That’s okay, though. Duke Nukem is basically a ripoff of everything. Not only does he say some of Ash’s lines verbatim, but he also steals from They Live‘s Nada and looks like a cross between Dolph Lundgren and Street Fighter 2‘s Guile in a game that does little more than turn Doom into an action game rather than horror one. When you’re this derivative, it’s hard to get mad at each individual theft.

Francesco Dellamorte – Cemetery Man

Honestly, Dellamorte and Ash don’t have a ton in common, but they’re both featured in horror comedies that go places no one would expect. Dellamorte is far cooler under pressure than Ash, but he’s also a murderer (maybe?).

More than anything, Dellamorte and Ash belong in the same group because both are hilarious, atypical heroes awesome and different enough that you just couldn’t wait to introduce both of them to as many of your friends as possible when you were young.

Every Sam Raimi Hero Ever

It’s hard to be a leading man in a Sam Raimi film and not be at least a little bit of an asshead. Not even Spider-Man is immune (See: The Dancing Scene). No where is this more clear than in Raimi’s most recent film, Oz: The Great and Powerful, which is little more than a remake of Army of Darkness for the kiddie crowd.

Sam Raimi just loves selfish, cowardly protagonists who spend most of their time being unlikable and murdering cats. That’s one big reason why his films are always worth looking forward to.



  • dr.lamb

    Sweet. For me, Ash was always some kind of ancestor to John McClane. McClane was never a coward, but he took a lot of beating and had a big mouth. And Indy Jones was also some kind of slightly neurotic guy who compensated with his snark but who revealed to be a badass under the right circumstances.

    • dr.lamb

      No horror films, I know, just apersonal observation 🙂

  • Darkness69

    Nice to see Dellamorte included in the list, although he’s basically only a very watered down version of the brilliant Italian comic book Dylan Dog. Both this and Dylan Dog: Dead of Night were unsuccessful in transferring the magic of DD from the pages of the comic to the big screen.

  • Aaron Emery

    Every time I try to forget Brendan Fraser is a real thing something like this pops up and I have to start over.

    Bill Pardy is one of my favorite homages to Ash, what a great character!

    • lancifer

      i know this is off topic but everytime i glance at your name i think its arch enemy.

      • Aaron Emery

        HAHA! Not me, I’m just another kind hearted bloke. Maybe if I threw my last name in there it would make it easier, or just easier to be stalked <3

  • Eeriean

    This entire article is a load. Ash did *not* ‘inspire’ most any of these. What relates them is their misogyny and arrogance. Being ‘Cock-sure’ does NOT make it automatic that they had anything to do with Ash at all. Anti-hero-heroes were popular in the 80’s.

  • ilgiallomondadori

    Wow, what nonsense. Jack Burton is inspired by John Wayne, not Ash.
    Ghostface is not inspired by Ash.
    Burt Gummer is not inspired by Ash, he’s a caricature of shoot-happy, gun loving Republican American.
    Actually, just to cut it short, I’ll just focus on the ones that are inspired by Ash – Duke Nukem (somewhat), and maybe Rick O’Connell. Maybe.
    If you did some actual research, you’d have found that Doom was actually inspired by Evil Dead II. You can have that one for free.

    • Evan Saathoff

      You seem like a really cool guy to hang out with.

  • horrorking95

    I don’t agree with any of these. Especially Ghostface, “who routinely takes bigger beatings than poor Ash” so does about every iconic (or even, not so iconic) horror villain!

  • Kenzo

    Ill just say this list is uncanny. I agree with a few of these but not all.

  • Milk

    +1 to the comments. Agree this list is pretty BS.

  • Aaron Emery

    Just fucking read the damn list and enjoy or shut up! Thank you.

    • djblack1313

      Aaron, come on man. this can’t be just a fan site. i too thought the article was reaching (to say the least).

      • Aaron Emery

        I know, I posted that and was like “I’m a dick”! I guess what I was trying to get at was this is an editorial written by one man and how HE feels. Writing your own thoughts is great (that’s the point) but to rip on the writer is completely different. 🙂

        • djblack1313

          Aaron, we still love ya! 🙂

  • DeadManZombieFan

    still love ya. but this was kinda dumb bd. still love ya tho! I just kind of walked away from this with nothing and a few minutes out of my day devoured. :/

  • DeadInHell

    Some of these were great, others just seemed like padding. Still, a nice idea for an article. Better than another god damn Rob Zombie update.

    Also, while on the topic of Ash, it’s a shame there isn’t an Ash analogue in the Evil Dead remake. But hey, at least it’s “gut wrenching” *world’s largest fucking eye roll*.

  • NixEclips

    Really. Stretching for many of those and no mention of Reggie from Phantasm? It was quite obvious Raimi and Coscarelli were poking at each other when the sequels came around. Chainsaw/Shotgun, Hemi/Death-coaster, etc…

  • Evan Saathoff

    I feel like very few of you guys actually read the text.

  • porcupinetheater

    Burt Gummer looks like Will Forte.

  • dirtyghettok

    Oh Dae-su in Oldboy. Case and point. If you haven’t seen it, do. You’ll see what I mean…

  • G-Bibby

    I liked the list… it put a smile on my face….. i’d like to nominate Reggie (Phantasm Series) to be put on the list though… mainly from Phantasm II to Phantasm IV… he’s a pretty big asshead hahaha

  • woodchuck

    holy fucking shit some of you take this site too fucking seriously. that was hilarious, especially when it got down to ghostface

  • Scorpionsy

    @EvanSaathoff – Cool article. By the way Street Fighter 2‘s Guile WAS a based on Dolph Lundgren (that is why he should have played Guile from the get go in the Street Fighter movie..instead of Van Damme…even though the movie was crap).

    You forgot to mention two other Ash-like wise-crack characters…Snake Pliskin (from the Escape from New York and L.A movies..played also by Kurt Russell…who played Jack in Big Trouble in Little China also (Coincidence?)…and Solid Snake (from the Metal Gear Solid games is based mainly on Snake Pliskin)…everyone is ripping everyone off..LOL.

    An also Guy Pearce’s wise-ass Snow character from the recent 2012 “Lockout” movie…who felt like an Ash/Snake type character. 🙂

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