|“||What, you never saw a guy with a chainsaw hand before?||„|
|~ Ash Williams to Amanda Fisher (The Killer of Killers)|
First appearing in The Evil Dead (as a Homelite XL-12 model, and then turning into a regular XL model in Evil Dead II), the chainsaw has gone on to become featured in every form of expanded media, from the video games, comics, merchandise, and the Ash vs Evil Dead television series.
There is very little information on the chainsaw's "life" before it was used by Ash Williams, though it was most likely used by members of the Knowby family to help maintain the property which their cabin was located on.
Events At The Cabin
After his girlfriend Linda became possessed, Ash Williams listened to a recording of Professor Raymond Knowby which explained that the only way to stop the possessed was through bodily dismemberment. Taking Linda to a workshed located right next to the cabin, Ash found a chainsaw on a shelf and started it up, though he couldn't bring himself to kill her.
During his second night at the cabin, Ash once again returned to the workshed to try to kill the Deadite Linda for good. Upon his return, Ash could not find the chainsaw, and was suddenly ambushed by Linda's headless body which held the saw in it's scrawny arms. Ash managed to defeat the decapitated corpse and retrieve the chainsaw. Later that night, Ash uses the saw again, this time to lop off his possessed right hand to prevent any further possession of his body by evil. Following the arrival of Annie Knowby and the need to recover the lost pages of the Necronomicon from the cabin's fruit cellar, Ash modifies the chainsaw with a new handle and a metal ring allowing him to attach it to the stump on his right arm. After retrieving the pages, the chainsaw is used during the battles with Henrietta Knowby and the Kandarian Demon.
While trapped in medieval England circa 1300 AD, Ash sparingly used the chainsaw, presumably out of the fear of running out of gas. After being confiscated by The Wise Man, Ash is thrown his chainsaw while in Castle Kandar's "Pit", allowing Ash to make quick work out of two Deadites residing in the hole.
Following the creation of an evil doppelganger called Evil Ash, the "good" Ash uses the chainsaw to dismember the clone's body outside of a nearby windmill. During the remainder of his time in 1300 AD, Ash does not use the chainsaw after the dismemberment of Evil Ash.
After his return to his proper time, Ash kept and maintained the chainsaw for his thirty years of hiding from evil. When the forces of evil finally caught up with him, Ash was forced to put on the chainsaw once more, saving the life of Kelly Maxwell from the Deadite Vivian Johnson. During his quest to "put the lid" on evil once and for all, the chainsaw was used frequently, from slaying monsters to opening beer kegs.
The chainsaw met it's end at the hands of Ruby, a powerful Dark One who sought to destroy Ash and his daughter Brandy. Ash was saddened by the destruction of the chainsaw, swearing revenge that Ruby would pay for what she had done.
In Other Media
One notable event pertaining to the chainsaw occurred in the Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash miniseries. Ash's Homelite XL chainsaw is destroyed by Jason Voorhees during a skirmish in S-Mart, which results in Ash's upgrade to "Chain Lightning". The classic chainsaw eventually returned in the Hellbillies And Deadnecks story.
Ash And The Army of Darkness Universe
The chainsaw appears as a melee weapon in the mobile game Army of Darkness Defense. Once it is purchased for 4000 in-game coins, it permanently replaces the Metal Gauntlet.
Homelite XL-12 Chainsaw (The Evil Dead)
The original chainsaw found in the workshed on the Knowby family's property, the XL-12 was used by Ash during his first night at the cabin to almost dismember Linda.
The XL-12 made a single-scene reappearance in the Ash Vs Evil Dead Season One episode The Dark One. When the Deadite Amanda Fisher attempts to attack Ash with his own chainsaw, a quick close-up shot features the XL-12 piercing the wall instead of the "classic" XL Ash attached to his stump.
Evil Dead (2013) Chainsaw
Famously used by Mia Allen to fight the Abomination, this chainsaw seemed to be an amalgamation of the chainsaw seen in The Evil Dead and Evil Dead II in terms of design.
The Sapmaster 3000
When Deadites over-run his S-Mart store, Ash unfortunately doesn't have his Homelite XL saw, so he grabs the "Holy Grail" of Chainsaws, The Sapmaster 3000. This Chainsaw has a titanium casting, diamond tipped chain, and a electric trigger. Unlike his Homelite XL saw, Ash can't attach it to his right wrist because of the large handle.
During the events of Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash, the classic Homelite XL chainsaw was destroyed by Jason Voorhees, so Ash upgrades to "Chain Lightning". It was alleged that the silver saw could cut through steel, though Ash never put it to that test. Ash continued to use Chain Lightning during his second encounter with Freddy and Jason, though he later went back to his classic Homelite model shortly before his confrontation with Montezuma.
In Evil Dead Regeneration, Ash finds a large yellow chainsaw that he replaces the Homelite saw with. This yellow chainsaw features a compression release, customized tuned pipe, and a 50-inch vented titanium blade (the longest blade featured in the Evil Dead franchise so far).
Deploy And Destroy Chainsaws
The mobile game Deploy And Destroy introduced two new chainsaws exclusively for Ash: "Granny" (A red and black chainsaw that seems to be inspired by the chainsaw from The Evil Dead), and "Massacre" (a orange and silver chainsaw that looks similar to the unmodified Homelite XL chainsaw from the beginning of Evil Dead II).
- The guide bar (or "blade") on Ash's classic Homelite XL saw is between 14 to 18 inches long.
- The first on-screen instance of the chainsaw running out of gas was in the Ash vs Evil Dead episode The Dark One.
- In both Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash comic series, Ash conceals his chainsaw from the public eye by using a black guitar case to carry it around.
- Despite being based on the 2013 Evil Dead film, the video game Evil Dead: Endless Nightmare features the chainsaw featured in the original film trilogy, complete with metal ring for Ash's stump.
- The interior artwork of the Ash Vs. The Army of Darkness comic series featured a blue Homelite XL chainsaw.
- In Army of Darkness/Xena Warrior Princess: Why Not? #2, Ash identified his chainsaw as an "S-Mart Chopmaster 5000".
- During the Hellbillies And Deadnecks storyline in the second volume of Army of Darkness comics, Ash drew a crude face on the chainsaw's guide bar to have someone to talk to during his self-imposed exile from society, referring to it as "Ms. Chainsaw". This was a reference to "Wilson" the volleyball from the film Cast Away.
- The Deploy And Destroy video game gives Ash's classic chainsaw the nickname of "Big Red".
- According to Bruce Campbell, three variations of prop chainsaws have been used throughout the franchise since Evil Dead II: a non-functioning lightweight prop, a "smoking" prop, and a fully functioning chainsaw.
- For unknown reasons, Ash's chainsaw is unusually durable. The blades don't seem to have have dulled in all its use and the chain has never been broken despite Ash using it in ways that would cause a normal chainsaw to break.
- In Ash vs Evil Dead, a chainsaw maintenance kit can be seen in Ash's possession.