This is a mystery with a direct answer. But we're going to delve into some theory and analysis on this one because it's ...... groovy. That's right, we're talking about everyone's favourite Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn.
I came to the Evil Dead franchise in a round about way. I saw Army of Darkness first. In theatres. With my parents. I would have been 7. Yeah, my parents rock. Then I believe it was my Dad that rented the first Evil Dead for me one Halloween a few years later and watched it with me, partly to make sure I was okay and partly because he likes that kind of thing. And a few weeks later at my local video store I saw it, Evil Dead 2. Evil Dead rocked my ankle socks off, and there was a sequel? WTF, so to say. But then things got more WTF-ier upon my first viewing of it. Wasn't this basically the same movie? Why didn't Ash remember that he'd done allllllll this before? What happened to the blood and body parts remnants from the first film? WHAT???????????????
This actually has quite a simple answer, which is.....:
A sequel, DESPITE the first 7 minutes of the film distorting the continuity between the two movies; this has merely been provided as a re-cap. It is said that Sam Raimi had lost the rights to the first film and had to re-shoot the beginning in order to provide said re-cap so new footage was shot. The second film really begins when Ash is propelled into the air by the deadite forces as seen in the first film. Originally it was to have all 5 members of the group traveling to the cabin, but for budget and time considerations it was edited down to just Ash and Linda. (Source)
So it's a remake right, well the first 20 or so minutes are but then we're onto sequel land for the rest of the movie. So here's my burning question: What happened to Ash between Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2? For this one we're going to have to tread into the territories of my own warped, tiny mind since the internets refuse to answer my letters about this.
So, what's different between the two? Well, according to said internets, I'm told Ash is 21 in the first film and 29 in the second. In Evil Dead he goes up to the cabin with a bunch of friends and in Dead By Dawn it's him and his girlfriend, also Linda, and the other characters join them throughout the film. So what happened during the years in between?
1. Ash never left the cabin after the first one. I didn't see him leave, did you? The woods, with the evil now unleashed, holds onto Ash or draws him back to use him for more victims.
2. Ash is a schizophrenic mass murderer. The physical Necronomicon and body count are real. The rest ain't.
3. The events of Evil Dead trigger a deus ex machina to come into effect. The Necronomicon is sooooooo evil that the good forces in the world are forced to right the wrongs brought about by the events of the first film and winds up continually intervening.