Army of Darkness (DVD, 2003, 2-Disc Set, Boomstick Edition) Reviews
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Army of Darkness (DVD, 2003, 2-Disc Set, Boomstick Edition)

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Bruce Campbell Travels Through Time in Army of Darkness

Oct 26, 2009
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Bruce Campbell in an entertaining movie.

Cons:Last in the series.  Plot could have been stronger.

The Bottom Line: Army of Darkness is a bit twisted, but it is a very entertaining movie.  Fans of the previous Evil Dead movies should check it out.

I finally picked up the Evil Dead movies after hearing about them for several years.  I just watched Army of Darkness, the third movie in the series.

The first few minutes of Army of Darkness serves as a recap to the previous events.  In this one, Ash is even briefly shown at work before the fateful trip.  Once the recap is over, the movie picks up with events that immediate follow the end of the second movie.  There will be spoilers for the first movies if this one is watched first.  I do think it is best to watch the movies in order.

After trying to deal with the evil force and the deadites - people possessed by the force - Ash ends up transported back in time to the 13th century in England.  He is immediately captured by Lord Arthur who believes that Ash is working with Duke Henry, a man at war with Arthur.  Ash ends up thrown in a pit and he has to fight deadites.  When Ash makes his way out of the pit, he is considered a hero by the local people and he develops an attraction to Sheila.

Ash just wants to return to his own time and he is told that the only way he can do that is to recover the Necronomicon.  Something goes wrong and the dead start rising to form an army to fight the humans.  Ash is still just focused on getting back home, but he changes his mind and starts trying to prepare for the battle.

The plot for Army of Darkness is very straightforward and rather simple overall even though several things are going on.  The movie isn't very long, and a few sequences do seem to run on a tad long, almost like they are padding the length.  Those particular sequences are entertaining, though they really don't add to the main story.  The plot could have been a bit stronger, but it still makes for a highly entertaining movie.

Even though all three movies feature the same main character and all include the Necronomicon and deadites in some way, Army of Darkness is different from the first two movies.  The first is more of a gory horror movie.  The second movie also has gore and horror, though it starts adding in humor, which does change the tone a bit.  For this movie, there is very little gore and less horror to what is happening while the humor has increased.  That change may cause some people who have enjoyed the previous movies to be turned off by this one since it is more of a comedy with a few horror elements instead of a horror movie with a few humorous moments.  I think the change works fine and I like all of the movies.  

Action turns up in various scenes throughout Army of Darkness, usually through some kind of fight involving Ash that is going on.  He battles deadites several times using the things that he learned in his previous encounters.  At one point, Ash battles several small versions of himself and an evil copy of himself.  Those scenes do remind me a bit of when Ash had to deal with his hand being possessed during the second movie.  The action included in the movie does help to keep things interesting.  There is still violence in the movie.  It just isn't as gory or extreme overall as things from the first two movies.  The violence may still bother some viewers.  The movie is rated R, so it isn't child friendly.  A lot of humor is used throughout the movie, some of which is even used during some of the action scenes.  Several things said or done to add humor are cheesy or just silly, but that works for the movie.  The fact that the humor is more silly and cheesy may turn off some viewers.

Special effects are used for different things in Army of Darkness.  Various makeup effects are used for the deadites and they all look suitably creepy.  The look is similar to how the deadites looked in the previous movies, but it is also somewhat different.  Animatronic puppets and stop motion animation were used for various things.  Something called Introvision was also used for some of the filming.  According to what I read, that technique creates more realistic looking visuals.  Some of the effects look slightly cheesy or hokey, but I think that works for the movie.

Linda is shown briefly during the recap at the beginning of Army of Darkness.  After that, she isn't around or mentioned anymore.  Once Ash has traveled back through time, it doesn't take long for him to become interested in Sheila.  It isn't shown, but it is made clear that there is more going on between them.  There isn't any nudity or any sex scenes in the movie, though Ash's bare chest is shown once or twice.  The relationship between Ash and Sheila really isn't developed that much, so it doesn't add much to what is going on.  

Ash remains the main character for the main character.  He is more take charge now than he was in the first movie, though he is also more of an idiot at times.  He ends up making some questionable decisions that land him in bad situations.  He really has only himself to blame for most of the problems he faces.  He does act a bit arrogant every so often as well.  Despite all that, I still like Ash and thinks he makes an entertaining character.  Bruce Campbell does really well with the part and I can't imagine anyone else in the part.

Really none of the other characters are that developed.  Sheila is the woman in the middle ages that Ash becomes involved with.  She starts off not being able to stand him because she believes that he is responsible for her brother's death in some way.  Embeth Davidtz does fine with the part.  Lord Arthur and Duke Henry the Red have been at war while also trying to deal with the deadites.  Marcus Gilbert and Richard Grove are fine in the parts.  Ian Abercrombie turns up as the Wiseman who has information about how Ash can get back home.  Bridget Fonda is the third actress to play Linda, and she has the least to do with the part.

Main Cast

Ian Abercrombie - Wiseman
Bruce Campbell - Ash
Embeth Davidtz - Sheila
Marcus Gilbert - Lord Arthur
Richard Grove - Duke Henry the Red

Sam Raimi - Director

DVD Information

There have been a few different DVD releases of Army of Darkness.  My version is called the Screwhead Edition and was just released in September of 2009.  I don't know how it compares to earlier releases of the movie.  There is a short featurette, Creating the Deadites, that show how the special effects for the movie were created.  The disc also includes the trailer and an alternate ending that is very different from what ended up being used.

Army of Darkness is an entertaining and enjoyable movie.  People that enjoyed the first two movies may find something to like about this one as well.  The movie is a bit different, so it won't appeal to everyone.

The Evil Dead ~ Evil Dead 2 ~ Army of Darkness ~

Bruce Campbell Movie Reviews
The Ant Bully ~ Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs ~ Sky High ~ Spider-Man ~ Spider-Man 2 ~ Spider-Man 3 ~

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