Army of Darkness
Release year: 1992
Director: Sam Raimi
Screenwriter: Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidtz, Marcus Gilbert, Ian Abercrombie, Richard Grove, Timothy Patrick Quill, Ted Raimi
Ratings: 1 Saturn Award: Best Horror. 1 Saturn Award nomination: Best Make-Up.
Ash (Bruce Campbell) is accidentally transported to the year 1300 where he is captured by Lord Arthur (Marcus Gilbert). The town’s wiseman (Ian Abercrombie) is convinced he is The Chosen One, sent to retrieve the magic book Necronomicon and stop evil. Ash isn’t interested until he learn that the book can also help him return to his own time.
Sam Raimi’s (Darkman, 1990) Evil Dead franchise about iconic horror hero Ash is not just considered the largest cult films but also some of the greatest horror films made. This, the third instalmentin the franchise, sees Ash out of the woods and into a time strange for him where he once again must battle both evil as well as his own goofiness and periodic lack of courage. The concept is far out and quite ridicolous, in other words, suitable for the movie. Hitting somewhere between a parody and a horror spectacle the movie and a prime example of a B-movie, with it’s refusal to take itself too serious, bad special effects and exaggerated acting while standing out with its original choice of camera angels, adding to that special charm. Campbell (Bubba Ho-Tep, 2002), with his combination of strong, handsome features and dry humour, is perfect as Ash and a big reason why the movie works as well as it does and that Ash is one of the most popular horror characters, His ability to drop one-liners creates the best comic moments in the movie. The special effects is a mixture of good make-up, Harryhausen-style stop motion and terrible special effects, but what it may lack in that departement in gains in the good-hearted goofiness of it all, it’s tremendous amount of inventiveness. Whatever Army of Darkness is, it is its own!
Sam Raimi originally wanted to call the film The Medieval Dead, but Universal Studios refused. The title “Army of Darkness” was created by Irvin Shapiro, the uncredited producer of The Evil Dead and executive producer of Evil Dead II, who died two years before this film was made. Raimi then wanted to naturally give it the title Evil Dead 3: Army of Darkness, but the studio wanted the film to stand on its own from the rest of the series and the film was just titled Army of Darkness. The film was called Army of Darkness: The Medieval Dead for its UK release.
Picture copyrights: SF Films