To celebrate the premiere of The Walking Dead on AMC this Sunday, we here at Techland will be picking out our favorite formerly deceased monsters across comics, games, film and other media. The zombie myth’s been around for centuries and has been reinterpreted almost as much as vampire lore. At their most basic, though, zombies represent us and everything that can go wrong (or right?) on the dark side of human nature. We’ll be trying to show off some of the most intriguing examples of that symbolism as My Favorite Zombie rolls out.
If anything has come of our favorite Zombie posts here on Techland it’s that the meaning of the word zombie is in debate. The classical definition of a zombie is a shambling, groaning, ambulatory human corpse that wants nothing more than to feast on your brains. In my mind though a zombie encompasses all the recently undead, regardless of his or her motivations or diet.
With that in mind, when someone asked me who my favorite zombie was I thought immediately of Evil Ash from the third Evil Dead movie, Army of Darkness. Evil Ash, for those who haven’t seen the movie (if such a Techland reader even exists) was quite simply an evil copy of the protagonist, Ash played by Bruce Campbell. Evil Ash was murdered and then brought back to unholy life by the Necronomicon. To me, Evil Ash is a zombie. (More on Time.com: See a Q&A with The Walking Dead’s Frank Darabont and Robert Kirkman)
He happens to be the best kind of zombie. Meaning he is animated by magic not some virus and he is inherently hilarious. He consistently acts as the best sounding board in the movie for regular Ash to spew his ocean of one-liners. When regular Ash asks Evil Ash what’s that on his face before tossing a shovel full of dirt on his head that has to be definition of comic timing.
Even as Evil Ash succumbs to his rotting body throughout the film with a combination of campy makeup and eventually even campier stop motion animation the audience never loses sight of what makes him a different, special zombie. He is the walking antithesis of the film’s hero. His creator pressed a shotgun into his face and looked him in the eye as he pulled the trigger. I feel bad for Evil Ash. A member of the undead population has never suffered such rejection, such humiliation.
Sure he may have been trying to kill regular Ash first but that’s just his nature. He’s EVIL Ash. The whole business with leading the army of the Deadites against the stronghold’s walls was really just Evil Ash acting out. He needed someone to ask him how his day was. Loading him onto an exploding catapult was really just childish.
More on Time.com: