MBTI: Evil Dead’s Ash, Type Changing- Part II
So now that we’ve discussed real people not changing their type, and well-written characters (and some stereotypes) going through what should be a change in their respective stories, let’s look at Ash Williams of the Evil Dead movies. As fun as he is, as great as Bruce Campbell is in his portrayal, the writing is everywhere with this guy.
From cry baby to spaz to cocky jock, he’s all over the place.
EVIL DEAD (1981)- ISFP
In the original Evil Dead, I don’t know if I’d even bother typing him. He seems friendly enough, but his and his friends are mind-raped by the violence and torture they endure at the disembodied hands of the deadites that possess his friends and force them to kill each other in violent, B-movie glory. I’m tempted to say ISFP, as he seems easy going enough but refuses to kill at first based on the fact that the deadites are possessing bodies of their loved ones. It’s a stretch, but if you’re going to type him at all in the original, that’s a safe enough bet.
Who cares, right? It’s all about the gore in that one, no real personality necessary.
Onto the main event!
EVIL DEAD II: DEAD BY DAWN (1987)- ENTP
With the retelling of the origin, Ash goes to the cabin with only his girlfriend Linda, who is subsequently possessed by the deadites and killed by Ash. With the little time we spend with Ash, he’s shown to be goofy and playful as ENTPs generally are. Bruce Campbell may be this in real life as it seems enough of his own personality shows through in the film.
But over the duration of the film, Ash’s reactions, as well as the entire tone of the movie seem to best fit that of the ENTP. Strange and fun at the same time, Ash’s overreactions to even the simplest things become one of the best aspects of the series and the addition of his chainsaw hand only adds to the “Inventor” type even if it is a bit on-the-nose. ENTPs are all about adaption and see the bigger problems of life as challenges while it’s the small stuff that eats them up. In Ash’s case, “small stuff” is still pretty freaky.
While it’s best not too read too far into anything that happens in these movies, Ash seems to be “suffering” from Hypomania, a condition characterized by “A mild to moderate level of mania is called hypomania. Hypomania is abnormality of mood but even normal euphoria and mania. Characterized by optimism, pressure of speech and activity, and decreased need for sleep. Some people have increased creativity while others demonstrate poor judgment and irritability.”
As far as type goes, certain ones are more prone to specific behavior and disorders than others. Take whatever is in your own personality and amplify it- be it proneness to persistently sad thoughts that devolve into depression, anxiety in social situations may eventually lead to Schizoid personality disorder, so on and so forth. ENTPs in some cases are associated with this Hypomania, humorously portrayed in the above scene. It’s kind of the Looney Tunes line used on multiple occasions- “If ya can’t beat’em- join’em!”
I’m just not sure if another type that felt like they were going insane would begin to laugh with their tormentors, while ENTPs behavior pattern of “beat them at their own game” could easily translate into enjoying (if just for a moment) the insanity. Of course, he’s brought back down to reality by the creeping steps outside.
He’s also shown to be not so much on the physical side, Rationals aside from ENTJs are thought to be. When your mind is your most honed weapon, it’s only natural that your body is going to suffer a bit. Ash gets beaten, slapped, thrown down stairs and just about everything else in the 110 minutes we watch him tortured. He takes it all, sure, but it’s not until the end he’s able to use that Ne (I guess?) and come up with a way to get rid of the demons haunting him.
Ash seems to fit several ENTP tropes in entertainment as well.
-As far as the group is concerned, Ash isn’t the main character in the story, but a crazy guy in a cabin he doesn’t own, covered in blood. This a more violent version in many ways of the ENTP in sitcoms: helps move the story without being central to it. We know he is, but in any other movie, he’s the wacko with a strange back story that they hope will get them out of their mess.
-The movie was meant to be a Comedy in one way or another, and much like Ghostbusters or The Frighteners, carries the ENTP vibe of taking serious things, blending science and the supernatural…and not taking them so serious.
Army of Darkness (1993)- ESTP
At this point in the story, it seems they’d felt the need to show Ash as being fed up with all the demons, death and time travel. This is shown by Ash’s relentlessly cocky, tough guy persona. While ENTPs are naturally assertive, they also don’t mind taking a backseat in a new situation, preferring to gather information and moving from there. ESTPs, on the other hand, are more in tune with the physical world and feel comfortable just about anywhere, with anyone, and saying anything.
In Evil Dead II, Ash goes from the freaked out guy in the cabin, to the freaked out guy back several centuries earlier…fast forward to Army, where Ash’s generally thought-of personality is displayed, and he’s a jerk with a quick one-liner, and nothing seems to phase him. Remember when Ash talks to himself in the mirror about “Getting it together?”
As he sweats and pants, his wide-eyes stare into the mirror, trying to process the current situation, while Army has him uncaring about everything and everyone as he verbally backhands anybody that talks to him, shoots demons in the face, and gets it on with fair maidens.
There’s still the Raimi-style goofiness that he refuses to lay low with, but Ash himself has become the sarcastic hero with quick hands. Classic ESTP!
This is much closer to the ESTP stereotype than in the previous films. Check this scene out.
ESTP- Tells long-winded story that entertains and gets the attention of nearby woman, saves her from imminent death with multiple shotgun rounds to the monster, spins woman off her feet Gone with the Wind style, and before kissing her proclaims, “Hail to the King, baby.” Gets girl he doesn’t even know.
ENTP- Creates sawed-off shotgun chainsaw hand- “Groovy.” Girl he barely knows dies, as ENTP hero is sent back in time to a place he doesn’t want to be.
ESTP’s ways of dealing with things will usually be more direct in it’s approach as they believe (and are often right) about knowing what people want and at the very least, making them believe it’s achievable… just sign right here. Ash also fits the ESTP type when it comes to his medieval girlfriend, sleeping with her, saying all the right things, then having to deal with the consequences later telling her “It was just pillow talk!
ENTPs would have bypassed the horny phase in search of a way of getting home or whatever their goal was, the idea of sex at the time of being ripped from the space-time continuum would just be a distraction at best.
While ENTPs can be accused of occasionally getting head of themselves, ESTPs do things not because they weren’t thinking but because they just really wanted to do it. Extraverted Sensing gets those Artisans in trouble doesn’t it?
“First you wanna kill me, now you wanna kiss me (crudely spits out grape out)- blow.”
ESTPs can be crude in a way that usually only TJ types seem to be accustomed to, not understanding why somebody would take offense to a joke that wasn’t serious- they were only talking about your dead mom, what’s the big deal? Their Se/Ti doesn’t line up to make the most sensitive of people, yet it doesn’t stop them from being likable either. The townsfolk in Army seem to feel much the same way the audience does about Ash by this movie: Unsure, repulsed, and amused.