Army of Darkness (1992)

army of darkness movie poster
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 7/10

Bruce Campbell, fun catchphrases

Not much horror for horror fans

Movie Info

Movie Name: Army of Darkness

Studio: Renaissance Pictures

Genre(s): Comedy/Action/Adventure/Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s): October 9, 1992

MPAA Rating: R

army of darkness boomstick ash bruce campbell

Grab your boomstick and fight the Deadites!

Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) escapes death in the woods only to be thrust into the past.  When he is forced into servitude by Lord Arthur (Marcus Gilbert), Ash finds himself on a quest for the Necronomicon once again…and it could be his only means of reaching home!  Unfortunately, Ash isn’t a hero and saving himself is more important than saving a kingdom.  The Deadites are coming and Ash is going to have to step up whether he wants to or not.

Directed by Sam Raimi and written by Sam and his brother Ivan Raimi, Army of Darkness has gone by multiple names including The Evil Dead 3, The Evil Dead 3:  Army of Darkness, or even Bruce Campbell vs. Army of Darkness.  A sequel to Evil Dead 2:  Dead by Dawn from 1987, Army of Darkness was released to relatively strong reviews but a poor box office return.  Like the other Evil Dead films, Army of Darkness has gained a cult following over the years.

I don’t really know The Evil Dead movies when Army of Darkness came out.  I remember the covers to the videos at the video store (particularly the cover of Evil Dead 2 and its skeleton with eyes), but I had never seen any of them.  Army of Darkness, however, made a big push with TV commercials and comic book ads which reflects the difference in tone with this film.

army of darkness bad ash bruce campbell

I’m a bad Ash

The Evil Dead movies have progressively gotten more humorous.  While The Evil Dead was a horror film with comedic elements, Evil Dead 2:  Dead by Dawn was more of a horror comedy, and Army of Darkness was a comedy with horror aspects.  The three films plots don’t quite line up and problems with plot were further complicated with multiple edits and a different ending.  Regardless of the plot issues, the movie remains a fun ride.

The person propelling this movie is Bruce Campbell.  He has the acting style and the self-depricating humor that it needed to make Ash both an ass and likeable.  He is backed up Embeth Davidtz in an early role and Ian Abercrombie plays Arthur’s wise man.  Bridget Fonda has a small role as Ash’s love Linda and Ted Raimi plays Ash’s bored coworker (plus a few other roles).

army of darkness deadite woman

I hope if I’m a Deadite, my hair is nice and flowy with a lot of body…

The movie is both cheap and brilliant.  The movie uses classic special effects (like the homage to Jason and the Argonauts in the skeleton battle) along with practical special effects.  Raimi has almost his own style and you can always tell a Raimi film.  The hyper editing and energy allows a strange effect that gives the movie real style…even if it sometimes looks horrible (particularly the chromakey).

Army of Darkness is an acquired taste but to the fans of the series, Army of Darkness is perfect.  I really like the movie, but I also realize it isn’t a perfect film and that you have to enjoy the quirky humor that ranges to Three Stooges and slapstick mixed with gore.  The film and series have spawned comic books, and in 2013, the Evil Dead franchise was relaunched with a cameo by Bruce Campbell.  In 2015, Ash returned in the Ash vs Evil Dead TV series on FX.

Related Links:

The Evil Dead (1981)

Evil Dead 2:  Dead by Dawn (1987)

Evil Dead (2013)

Ash vs Evil Dead—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Ash vs Evil Dead—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Ash vs Evil Dead—Season 3 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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