That up there friends is a rare image. He is one of the stunt men that at least 80% of all the Ash costumes were worn by…except that number is wrong and later on in the article I will show you why.
So who is this gentleman with no girdle and abs of steel?
Why that is Bulgarian stunt artist Raicho Vasilev and he’s awesome and basically acted it stunted in every major action movie filmed overseas for the last 10 years.
Time and time again we have seen his name pop up in the auction, and yet the stunt costumes unless they came with one of the nine over the shoulder shotgun holsters always sold for 50% the price of the hero costumes worn by Bruce. Well guess what I don’t expect most of you to realize the following but due to it appearing in following tv show sales, Ash was no exception. Not only were the props reused between seasons but so was the wardrobe.
“This first came to my attention in the early 1990s after years of watching Doctor who on the BBC and thinking that certain costumes looked very familiar and during the Bonhams BBC sales I was able to see some of those outfits with more than one tag, sometimes one placed over the other or multiple names inside the collar. Years later with the 2005-2007 It’s a wrap Star Trek auction this information came in very handy. Numerous costumes were altered during production.”
That was a piece from an article I wrote years ago. Indeed hero costumes became stunts. Cardassians were worn by up to seven different actors. Klingons swooped baldricks snd Boots. Starfleet personel outfits had 3-4 names in. Despite an initial reluctance for the community to believe this more and more people received their outfits and quickly realized that a term I coined called “pulling the tag” was a necessary part of checking the history on these pieces. This resulted in many costumes re-discovery as repurposed pieces as the production would see tags on top of wardrobe tags, and not just remove them or take a marker and line thru the old name. One pair of shoes I had started life as being from TNG, then used for Kira on DS9 and lastly used by Hoshi on Enterprise.
One of my favorites was the monster Maroon as they cane to be called “Wrath of Kahn” outfits. You can read about those pieces on the Propstop if you search for the article.
So how does this effect Ash? Well easily because I discovered in week 1 or 2 that the same thing had happened.
Basically on Ash it seems they did in New Zealand something not done on Trek. They removed the old tags most of the time so I started finding scissored remains with little tufts of white still remaining. Then late in the auction I finally had my proof when a season 3 Episode 10 Costume was listed with the stunt mans name inside plus the original Season 1 Bruce Campbell tag still inside. Because it was a flush tag they hadn’t been able to cut it and because it was faded I believe they left it. That doesn’t mean every single cut tag is a hero! Put those scissors away! Tsk tsk.
So this was a season 1 shirt used with the glove hand and then used on S3E10 the final episode where it was bleached and distressed. I had to have it because it was the evidence of my reuse theory.
So why does this happen?
Simple. Money. As we saw they hand made around 150 of these shirts and custom produced round the same amount of trousers. If any were missing from the auction it’s because the cast and crew made off with them. We already know Bruce, producer Sam Raimi and Robert Tappert all collect and they presumably know the value of this stuff by now. I’m sure they must be kicking themselves seeing what business Vip did overall. There were too many hero costumes not here in my opinion thus what was left was better than nothing.
The blood used in season 1 was changed in season 2. It’s like a sticky gel that is pretty impressive compared to blood that turns a costume into a sticky mess and then hardens solid, but I suspect that the stuff stains so clearly if Bruce needed a fresh shirt they gave the stunt men the damaged ones down the line after washing. I’ve already seen faded blood on some of the stunts from prior use. Thinking it’s just other stunt work was always too narrow a view.
So now we have that info let’s go back to our title.
How are these costumes made?
Quite beyond my expectations as it would seem.
The standard shirt which I thought may end up being changed each season is rock solid the same in each with a few embellishments. There are also not different color ones as I expected.
Both trousers and shirt are custom. The shoes are not, but hard to find. The belt possibly is custom (still working on that). The shotgun holder is VERY custom.
The shirt isn’t denim at all but some kind of fake stretchy denim like fabric. The first few buttons are fake and hide a zipper that goes up to the mid chest then becomes real buttons for convenience.
Some buyers will have noticed the last two items on eBay although not many received them as there was very few of certain ones. What am I talking about. Firstly sock suspenders. Yeah I don’t use them either.
I tended to see these more with the stunt outfits admittedly. They actually attatch differently than the picture and go on buttons sewn into the shirt.
Secondly the different suspenders. There was basically a few examples sold pictured below.
The left side shows the blue slip on covers. Some were sold without, a majority in fact. I’m still not sure if these originally were front and back or just made for one direction but these were made for the black area to go under the shirt and the blue to come out of slits in the shirt near the leather belt, thus hiding the suspenders against the blue shirt by his belt. That’s why several of the shirts had horizontal holes in the front.
The second type of suspenders were attatched in the middle and instead of clipping left and right of the belt simply clipped in one place in the middle of the belt. This was used specifically on off duty outfits to my knowledge although I’m sure the stunt outfits used them too.
On paper I know it seems that there were load last of these costumes. Perhaps. The truth is when you take into consideration the number of hero pieces vs stunt, even the number of belts, blue ended suspenders, shoes (hero shoes are very rare) well the numbers get small really fast.
Take Ashy Slashy’s leather custom made shotgun holster and belts. To my knowledge 8 were sold. That’s nothing. If you have one or even two you got something special. They were certainly reused over and over and cleaned of blood and gore each time. If yours is clean chances are it wasn’t used much. The ones that were are beat to hell that I’ve seen.
Yes the asylum costume needs a regular belt and harness holster set too!
Same goes with the shotgun reloader that comes in resin or rubber versions.
Super rare. I think 2 of each version off top of my head. These fit over the belt with two metal U shaped pieces.
I’ll add numbers of costumes in a future article but in the meantime I’ll close this one off for the time being.
As you can see there was more to this outfit than met the eye.