April 9, 2013

Army of Darkness (1992)

(aka Hail to the King, Baby)
Release Date: 1992; available now on Blu-ray and DVD.
Country: USA.
Written by: Sam Raimi and Ivan Raimi.
Directed by: Sam Raimi.
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davditz, Marcus Gilbert, Richard Grove, Bridget Fonda and yet even more Fake Shemps.

And here we are at the last film in the Evil Dead trilogy, which for our money, is also the best of them.

The Evil Dead was the scrappy little Indie that could, Evil Dead 2 polished that stone and added kitsch to the proceedings, and Army of Darkness kicked things up to an even higher plateau, and closed the series out with a perfect bang of the boomstick.

*Evil Dead weekend ended up running a bit over for us, mainly because there's always some sort of calamity going on around here... so... it's more like "Evil Dead Long-Weekend." Hospitals were involved, don't judge us!

After the events that transpired at the end of Evil Dead 2, wherein Ash opened a vortex that sucked him some 600 years into the past, we find our bumbling hero trapped in the Middle Ages, where humanity is locked in a fierce battle with the Deadite hordes.

Don't panic, you know he's gonna save them.

The plot doesn't really matter here; after all the whole point of the movie is Ash fighting the Evil Dead, so the rest is all just window dressing. If anything, the plot can be boiled down into a neat summary with just a few key lines of dialogue:

"It's a trick. Get an axe"
"First you wanna kill me, now you wanna kiss me. Blow"
"Yo, she-bitch! Let's go!"
"Gimme some sugar, baby."
"Hail to the king, baby."
"Shop smart. Shop, S-Mart."

...and there you go. You knew what this was.

And let us never forget "This is my boomstick!"
Army of Darkness is just one hell of a fun flick. What else can you really say about it? A lot of people tend to call this one too silly or say that it just rehashes the same jokey material from ED2, and they dismiss it a fluff. Those things are true I suppose, but for us it doesn't matter, because we love every last drop of this movie, absurd or not.

AOD is far less a Horror flick than it is a comedy steeped in Horror trappings; at this point, the Evil Dead series is defined by Bruce Campbell's charisma, and it exists to allow us to see the further misadventures of Ash, not to blow our minds with excessive amounts of gore. Shame, that, because I would have liked to have had both things at once, but suffice it to say that the movie is near and dear to our hearts as is.

Groovy, indeed.
Really, the only bad thing about this movie is that like its predecessor, it uses the "shotgun with never-ending ammo" thing which always catches my attention, even though in this type of movie, it really shouldn't.

Fun Fact: The horse pictured here was named "Whisper Tits", and it was so high on cocaine during this scene, that when cut was called, it dropped dead of a massive horse-coronary. *That may not be 100% true.
This final installment in the Evil Dead trilogy is also the least gory of the bunch; whereas the first two flicks flirted with an X-rating for their overtly excessive use of blood, gore and violence, Army of Darkness delivers the gory goods, but on a much smaller scale. At this point in the series, people are tuning in to see Ash and his crazy antics over excessive gore anyway, you know?

Claymation is fun.
Nothing naked to be seen here, folks, and what a waste of potential it is, too. Embeth Davidtz and Bridget Fonda should have been naked and bloody in this one!

You know that Deadite was trying to get her naked...

Bigger budget, bigger scope and bigger laughs; Army of Darkness is just about as good as a Horror-Comedy hybrid can hope to get. The quotable lines in this one make it worth watching by themselves, but add to that some blood, gore, and fun stop-motion skeleton army, and the ever-lovable Bruce Campbell, and you have a movie that makes us want to watch it on the regular.

If you are going to own this one though, you have to own it on Blu-ray; it's a beautiful thing to behold in 1080p.

Again, a solid A from us.

Army of Darkness was by far the Evil Dead flick that boasted the hottest chicks. And though Bridget Fonda only had a cameo, she's too smoking hot not to post a pic or two of. Embeth Davitz was a main character though, so, it all evens out in the end.

1 comment :

  1. Worth mentioning is that the movie has one alternate ending. I saw one version and then, when I've decided to watch the movie again, I was pleasantly shocked to see the film end differently.