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Army of Darkness

Director Sam Raimi's third installment in "The Evil Dead" trilogy.

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S-MART's Finest Film is Just so Full of BOOMSTICK COOLNESS!!

  • Feb 15, 2009
Rating:
+5

Originally released in Spring, 1993, ARMY OF DARKNESS only lasted for a week and a half in theaters--not enough to creep into box-office success. After a few years in the back of the shelves, the film has attained "cult status" and had acquired a permanent spot in the books of popular culture. The "Boomstick" Dvd edition has both the 81 minute theatrical cut and the 96 minute director's cut in two discs, both anamorphically enhanced for HDTVs. Sam Raimi‘s "Army of Darkness" is one of the most brilliant, campy and awesome Horror-comedies that ever got into my personal collection.

The film picks up after the events of Evil Dead 2; Ash (Bruce Campbell) is a hapless house wares clerk is time-warped back to the Dark Ages (or Med-Evil times) by the power of the demonic book "Necronomicon". Now armed only with a ‘73 Oldsmobile, a chainsaw and a 12-gauge double-barreled S-mart shotgun, our knucklehead hero must battle vicious witches, ghouls, a diabolical doppelganger and the relentless hordes of the evil dead…




Raimi's mid-budget, 111 day production time "Army of Darkness" exudes pure fun entertainment. The film is absolutely hilarious, and is a successful blend of horror elements and satire. The screenplay is full of gems throughout and the dialogue has that very sharp wit. The film has also given birth to some of the most "iconic" scenes in cinema. The windmill scene, the bad-azz vs. good-azz sequence, the cemetery when bones abused Ash in a way that the "Three Stooges" would, acrobatic ghouls that throw punches like Sugar Ray Leonard--the list goes on and on.

Accompanied with Raimi's fantastic camerawork which is both inventive and nostalgic, with extreme close-ups and perspective shots that show the stunt-laden scenes, the film is clever and very sharp. The effects in the film is a combination of people in rubber suits, animatronic puppets and stop-motion animation that is definitely campy but none can deny that it fits the film's style--intentionally done with clever "cheesiness". A pathology professor even asked Raimi if he could use his skeletal shots for his lecture. The set designs and cinematography are also quite fitting to its atmosphere that almost looks like a comic book. (no wonder Raimi was so successful in Spider-man 1 and 2) The Matte paintings and studio sets are so campy that it adds to its own humorous genius.

The film is action-packed and full of stunts and explosions. The assault on the castle and the battle between science and magic is so much fun to watch. What is also so clever is that it effectively blends humorous dialogue and the action. While some films use dialogue and camp to delay a film's proceedings, this film definitely uses every bit of its nicely placed humor as character development. Now, the film does have its share of goofs in the screenplay when Ash went to retrieve the Necronomicon, but the film is just so much fun that you'll more than likely to not notice.

Bruce Campbell does an outstanding job as with the supporting cast. Campbell is very charismatic as our awkward hero and should be credited with certain unforgettable catch phrases such as "Give me some sugar, Baby.." and "Groovy". The dialogue is just brilliant, full of humorous one-liners delivered by Campbell. The guy is definitely the right actor for the job as he does show enough witty attitude to keep the audience entertained. The cast is definitely having fun with this film and I do think there were times that Sam Raimi probably let them loose to act as they wished. Of course, no film of this nature would be complete without a beautiful leading lady. Embeth Davidtz has that classic leading lady look and fit's the role of Sheila.

The director's cut has more than 15 minutes of additional footage. The extended cut has subtle bits of added action, dialogue and the famous (or infamous?) alternate apocalyptic ending. The additional scenes can be spotted because the scenes do have more grain than the others. I personally like the director's cut better although the theatrical cut may have more inherent "coolness" and faster-paced.

ARMY OF DARKNESS is one of those films that should be a part of any film fan's movie library.

The movie is just so much fun to watch. I f you haven't seen this film, do yourself a favor and give it a spin. The film is just loads of fun and has near-infinite replay value.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!! [4 ½ Stars]

Boomstick edition Original poster/dvd edition

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October 21, 2010
CLASSIC, BRILLIANT, and all around WONDERFUL film. Can you tell I love it?
 
February 18, 2009
@ Count, I love this film too! I wish i could've won that "have dinner with Bruce" thing when I bought this dvd LOL! You would not believe how much I have at home, Count. I have ancient Asian weapons, Japanese weapons and anime figures LOL @ Karen--I am jealous! A Darkman figure and Ash's face stretched out--we are such geeks LOL!
 
February 18, 2009
I think we all probably have action figures, Count. I'm still sick because one dealer at a comic con wouldn't take a check and I had to go out to may car for cash. In the meantime he sold the only Darkman figure I've ever seen! I love my Ash ARMY OF DARKNESS figure that has the stretched out face--from when he gets sucked into the Necronomicon.
 
February 17, 2009
I f***ing love this movie! About a year ago Bruce Campbell came to a bookstore not too far from where I live (not that close either). Anyhow, he was promoting his autobiography and I missed seeing him. Damn, that sucked. I would have had him sign half of my DVD collection, plus an action figure of Autolycus from Xena: Warrior Princess. Oops, I just revealed that I still have an action figure collection. Geek blush.
 
February 17, 2009
That is some interesting information, Karen. I think that may have also contributed to this film being under-publicized that it only lasted less than 2 weeks in theaters. weird. politics in studios....
 
February 16, 2009
MY NAME IS BRUCE is definitely one for the fans, maybe for fans only some have said. Anyhoo its much better than the Verheiden comic book because you just can't do Bruce Campbell on the printed page--it doesn't work. Have I told you guys the story Bruce told at Fangoria about why they had all the release problems (and script problems) with ARMY? Dino DeLaurentis was suing Universal claiming he owned the Rights to Hannibal Lector since he made MANHUNTER long before they made SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and they were tied up in court over that. Well, the only thing they had in common was the co-production of ARMY OF DARKNESS, so Universal gave them all sorts of problems in order to get back at Dino and delay the film's opening.
 
February 16, 2009
I know what you mean. I am so pumped to see "My name is Bruce" (campbell) after reading Dave K's review in amazon. Love this film--I actually own two copies now since the first one is "played out"...
 
1
More Army of Darkness reviews
Quick Tip by . December 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Army of Darkness has undeniable camp value and is definitely the most enjoyable out of the three, and more outgoing/silly. Bruce Campbell's Ash is classic!
Quick Tip by . October 06, 2010
Instant cult classic, a favorite with all Deadite hunters and trans-dimensional heroes.
Quick Tip by . September 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The comedy and fantasy is amped up in this flick, but it defines the archtype of Ash.
review by . December 16, 2008
This absurd cult classic starring Bruce Campbell is not nearly as violent as the previous two films but somehow I can't get enough of the move. I've seen this movie multiple times and each time I see it I find a new reason to love it more! The comedy is what I would expect from a movie of such...calibur...and the cheap special effects that I usually contribute to a lousy movie actually improves my attraction to this movie. The plot, although not uncommonly rediculous for an early 90s movie, is a …
review by . May 31, 2000
Pros: Special Effects, Script, Bruce Campbell, Direction (by Sam Raimi)     Cons: Campy, Corny, & Cheesy     A user on here, mas13, introduced me to this film during the summer of 1994. He and his three friends stayed at my house during a road trip they were taking, and they brought this movie. Now, I'm not into any sort of horror movies, but this one was hysterical!      More of a comedy than a horror film, Bruce Campbell reprises …
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Director: Sam Raimi
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Release Date: February 19, 1993
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Ivan Raimi, Sam Raimi
Runtime: 81 minutes (US theatrical cut), 89 minutes (UK cut), and 96 minutes (director's cut)
Studio: Universal Studios
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