Army of Darkness 1992 Movie Scene Bruce Campbell as Ash showing his shotgun he calls boomstick to the villagers

Army of Darkness [1992]

More of a parody of all those big fantasy movies of the eighties than a full-fledged horror comedy, Army of Darkness is still a highly entertaining movie. You can look at it as a stand-alone feature or the final part of a popular franchise. As its predecessor, Evil Dead II, it picks up the story right where we left it five years ago. Ash is now in the middle ages and fighting Deadites again. We get a neat little flashback sequence explaining what has happened in the earlier movies, including the original The Evil Dead

We finally get Ash’s backstory and learn more about him. He had to fight so many Deadites that the man didn’t get the chance to properly introduce himself. If you decide to watch all three Evil Dead movies in succession, you will get one seamless story featuring a running time of almost five hours. A story that starts off as an intense occult nightmare before turning into a kinetic horror comedy and topping off the whole thing with an insane time-travel action adventure. Army of Darkness is definitely the funniest movie of the trilogy.

It’s full of memorable and quotable one-liners and a lot of slapstick comedy. However, the thing I loved the most was straightforward storytelling. Pacey and crystal clear, it made the movie an entertaining affair throughout. This is just a cool movie with a super cool protagonist. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and it’s willing to go the distance. No joke is too outrageous and no amount of blood is too much. We will also get the opportunity to see many different monsters. From flying demonic gargoyles over standard Deadites to everyone’s favorite: dancing skeletons.

After being sucked into a time portal, Ash finds himself in the Middle Ages, crashlanding a bitter war between two a Duke and a Lord. Now a prisoner facing execution, it would appear that his story came to an abrupt end. However, Ash manages to fight his way out determined to find the Necronomicon and get back to the present. The road to the future will be full of danger but at least he has his boomstick and chainsaw. And so the adventure begins.

Featuring a budget of over $11 million, Army of Darkness is also the most ambitious Evil Dead movie. The sets were believable and just so damn cool, just like this entire movie. And the make-up was on a whole ‘nother level. There were a couple of scenes that didn’t age well, like the one with the mini Ashs. However, they still look charming as fuck. I think that comparisons with The Lord of The Rings novels were a bit farfetched. Army of Darkness feels more like a Western, The Magnificent Seven, a movie that drew inspiration from the Japanese epic Seven Samurai.

Only instead of seven guys we get just the one and only Ash Williams. Sam Raimi’s next movie The Quick and The Dead, a highly entertaining western, somewhat proves this theory. Finally, I also think that fans of fantasy movies will want to check out Army of Darkness. Refreshingly macabre and humorous, it uses the genre tropes to create one hell of a story and atmosphere. 

Director: Sam Raimi

Writers: Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi

Cast: Bruce Campbell, Bridget Fonda,  Embeth Davidtz, Ian Abercrombie

Fun Facts: Sam Raimi’s original title was The Medieval Dead but the studios intervened and made him change it to Army of Darkness to emphasize the stand-alone aspect of the movie. However, the movie was released in the UK as Army of Darkness: The Medieval Dead. And in Japan as Captain Supermarket.


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