Ash finds himself in 1300 AD battling an army of the undead so he can get the Necronomicon and return to his own time.
Directed by – Sam Raimi
Written by – Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi
Starring – Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidtz, Marcus Gilbert, Ian Abercrombie, Richard Grove, Timothy Patrick Quill, Michael Earl Reid, Bridget Fonda, Patricia Tallman, Ted Raimi, Shiva Gordon, Billy Bryan, Nadine Grycan, Bill Moseley
While I don’t dislike the third entry in the Evil Dead series, the turn from stylish, creepy horror to almost pure comedy never gets me that excited. The second part certainly has its share of funny moment but Army of Darkness seems only concerned with comedy. It’s also apparently a love letter to Ray Harryhausen who Sam Raimi is a big fan of. There’s lots of stop motion puppetry and it’s hard not to think of Harryhausen whenever you see a stop motion skeleton.
My love for the Evil Dead series goes downhill from the first film, which I loved, until we hit rock bottom with the third one. Sure it’s funny and cheesy and has some fun creature effects but what happened to all the evil? At least the second one managed to strike a balance between spurting blood and one liners. I only remember one moment where lots of blood is sprayed in Army of Darkness and that’s right near the beginning. I guess skeletons don’t have a lot of blood though.
On its own I enjoy Army of Darkness. Bruce Campbell is at his snarky best here, which may not be saying much, and he dispatches all manner of evil creature with a smirk and his boomstick. There’s no shortage of demons with flying deadites, a ‘pit bitch’, lots of skeletons and a scene where a bunch of mini-Ash’s attack their full size friend. Some of it looks great and some of it looks very cheesy but it’s nice to know that CG isn’t infecting every moment of the film. And does anyone else think the final demon Ash faces looks a lot like the old lady in Drag Me To Hell?
Army of Darkness is fun and cheesy with Campbell becoming the character that he has continued to play to this day. I just wonder what happened to the Evil Dead series. The first one still manages to creep me out to this day but with the second film Raimi seemed to decide to take a totally different path. It may be my least favorite entry but I still enjoy it. I’ll always go back to the first for a truly creepy night of fun.
Under the marquee – Will