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on September 21, 2004
Over the past few years ive introduce my spouse to The Evil Dead films mainly the first two since ive been waiting for them to stop releasing numerous versions of the third one.
So I bought The BoomStick Edition and her and I watched it and she was in tears from start to finish.
She finally agreed with me that yes Bruce is the man.
Army of Darkness is so stupid yet totally watchable even if it does fail to live up to the franchise expectations.
Bruce has allready proven his chops recently with Bubba Ho Tep so im hoping that an allout final big boy finale for the Evil Dead series will follow.
As much as I would like see Freddy vs Jason vs Ash that will not count no matter how good it may turn out to be as the big finale im craving to see.
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on September 22, 2010
I've probably seen Army of Darkness a hundred times and on several different formats over the years. When I watched this Blu-Ray edition it was like watching it for the first time. I found myself smiling the whole way through and noticed little details that only hi-def can provide. It's great that they can make old movies people love look brand spanking new. That being said, the disc doesn't contain much else, but none of the other Army of Darkness releases did either. It has the theatrical cut only, which I actually prefer as the directors cut changed some key one-liners. You can watch the Alternate ending seperately, and there is the featurette on creating the deadites which we've seen before. Oh, and the audio commentary.So nothing new except the quality, but thats enough reason to pick this up. Plus it sounds amazing. If you want a bunch of Evil Dead special features then pick up the Evil Dead blu-ray or ultimate edition DVD. It has tons of stuff, but sadly I don't see many AOD extras coming anytime soon, as I dont think much behind the scenes stuff exists. But don't let that get you down you primitive screwheads. This is still one to pick up!
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When we last saw Ash Williams, he had been sucked through a time vortex and ended up in the 14th century... where he STILL had to contend with undead horrors. No, not going to give context.

"Army of Darkness" pretty much picks up from there, finishing up the legendary trilogy that Sam Raimi started with "The Evil Dead" and "Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn." This time around, Sam Raimi dials down the horror once again, while dialing up massive quantities of skeletal comedy -- while there's the odd gross-out moment (eyeball in the shoulder!), most of the story is devoted to the increasingly manic Bruce Campbell struggling to defeat an undead horde of skeletons with only his trusty boomstick and chainsaw.

Having appeared in the 14th century, Ash (Campbell) is immediately captured by the arrogant Lord Arthur (Marcus Gilbert), who mistakes him for one of Duke Henry's (Richard Grove) men. He tries to explain that he's not, but ends up tossed into an execution pit filled with iron spikes and demonic Deadites -- and only the timely intervention of the Wise Man (Ian Abercrombie) allows Ash to reclaim his chainsaw and "boomstick," kill the Deadites, and establish that he is a prophesied savior come to free them from the Deadite scourge.

But of course, the entire universe hates Ash. So when he's sent on an incredibly simple quest to reclaim and de-power the Necronomicon, Ash immediately encounters bizarre Deadite attacks that are specifically designed to torment him -- including the formation of an evil doppelganger from his own body, Evil Ash. And when he manages to botch the whole thing, the Deadites prepare to storm the castle and take everything over. Life is hard when you're Ash.

Considering that the series started with a serious attempt at horror, it's a little odd that "Army of Darkness" mostly drops the horror. Of course, there's still some gloriously gross moments (the emergence of Evil Ash, and his decaying face a few scenes later), but most of the movie is played for laughs (including a long sequence where Ash is assaulted by a small army of Lilliputian doppelgangers, who jab him in the butt with a fork and tie him to the floor). Even the grosser moments are played for laughs ("Good. Bad. I'm the guy with the gun").

And that's what makes this whole movie so gloriously entertaining -- it's gross, nasty and violent, but it's presented with the gleeful joy that comes with a cavalcade of one-liners and memetastic moments ("All right, you primitive screwheads, listen up... this... is my BOOMSTICK!"). Nothing is presented very seriously, because... well, how can you take this seriously? It's about a college student/S-Mart employee who gets blasted back in time to fight demonic zombies in a medieval setting. The cheese is thick and gloriously unserious, climaxing as Ash careens through the titular army in a massive armored steampunk-car/tank that easily hacks them apart.

And despite the much larger cast and more extensive sets and special effects required, somehow Raimi maintains that rough, low-budget feel -- the stop-motion, tiny Ashes, and especially the battle sequences that are clearly against inanimate Halloween skeletons. It still feels like a cheesy low-budget movie that does NOT care

Bruce Campbell is at the absolute height of his Campbellitude here -- he gives a delightfully hammy performance as a gun-toting, one-liner-spouting Ash. He plays the kind of guy that every guy likes to think he'd be in such a crisis, uttering don't-give-a-dang one-liners, shooting monsters and smooching a wench with extremely good teeth with great relish. And he gives an equally quotable ("Little goody two-shoes!") performance as the Evil Ash, who is just as snarky but... well, his face is rotting off. The supporting actors give good performances, especially Abercrombie as the wise man that nobody ever seems to actually listen to, but this is clearly the Campbell show here.

It may have effectively left horror behind, but "Army of Darkness" instead embraces a gloriously gross brand of comedy, with knights, skeletons, bagpipes and one S-Mart employee with a boomstick and a robot hand. It's hard to find a movie more resolutely fun than this.
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on August 3, 2011
description is wrong. it is not the director's cut with 15 more minutes. it is the exact same blu-ray as the Screw-Heah Edition that already exist. do not buy
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on May 14, 2002
This flick is great. It is laugh out loud hilarious and witty one-liners and great action. While technically the 3rd in the Evil Dead series, the only thing it has in common is Ash (Campbell) and the Necronomicon. The opening credits try to tie them together but not very well (and look for the line holding Campbell in air).
Ash is tranported to medieval Europe, supposedly 14th century England although I've never seen England look like southern CA. ANyway, initially captured as an enemy spy, Ash frees himself and his fellow captives with his chainsaw and boomstick. He becomes a hero who must quest for the Necronomicon to travel beack to his time. He retrieves the book, after battling his eveil side, but raises the army of darkness who wants the book back. Ash leads his ragtag band of fighters to victory and then returns to his "world".
This bald synopsis does no justice to the rich humor and antics of this flick. THis was the first Bruce Campbell movie I saw and made me a BC fan for life. Bruce's dry wit and rugged good looks are perfect for this flick.
If you want to laugh and repeat "Gimme some sugar, baby" to your sweetheart, then get this movie.
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on January 31, 2001
Sam Raimi ("Darkman," "A Simple Plan") directs and Bruce Campbell ("Xena," "Congo") stars in this incredibly cheesy film- but cheesy in the sense that WOW- that is some great-tasting cheddar there, baby!
Campbell is Ash, who rivals Mel Gibson's fantastic Max character for cult popularity. As Campbell plays him, Ash is certainly unhinged; anyone who'd chop off his hand and replace it with a chainsaw isn't exactly sparking on all cylinders.
This time out, Ash finds himself transported to a strangely barren medieval England where he battles his own evil dead doppelganger for possession of a magic book that can send him back to his own era... and his job at "S-Mart." Lots of knights versus skeletons mayhem ensues.
This is just some popcorn-munchin' entertainment, perfect for getting together with a six-pack of brew and some friends and letting director Sam Raimi and Campbell take you along for the fun. It features some nice effects- they strike the perfect balance between state-of-the-art and gorgonzola, just right for this cheeky film. The script is a hoot, with a lot of B-movie style one-liners perfectly delivered by Campbell. There's even a funny tribute to "The Day the Earth Stood Still."
Underappreciated by the public at large, but well-worth your time.
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on July 31, 2003
This is the third and (so far) final entry in the "Evil Dead" series directed by Sam Raimi. There seems to be a definite progression from one entry to the next: the first one is more or less a "serious" horror film, the second one is more of a horror-comedy, and "Army" pretty much abandons any pretense of being scary in favor of cheesy humor and campy action-adventure antics. That said, this is a very entertaining movie if you have a taste for the weird. Bruce Campbell is very effective as Ash, the average guy who spends half the movie being a braggart coward and the other half being a hero. It's this wacky character who really brings the movie to life, although this also means that the second half (where the character is submerged under numerous battle scenes) is rather inferior to the first. All the same, "Army" is a unique and enjoyable experience. There have been several DVDs of this movie and the "Boomstick Edition" is the biggest package. It features the U.S. theatrical cut on disc one, with the "director's cut" (which is longer and has a different ending) on disc two, along with the requisite commentaries, a special-effects featurette, and more. Now, if only Raimi and Campbell can put together a fourth episode...
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on June 20, 1999
If you thought the best horror-comedies were The Return of the Living Dead, Re-Animator, Dead Alive, or even Evil Dead 2, then you haven't seen Army of Darkness! It's the most outrageous, hilarious, and special effects oriented laugh fest you'll ever see.
Ash is back after he took care of some demons in a cabin in the Tennessee woods. Now, he's been blasted to the medieval ages and must retrieve the ancient Necronomicon and fight his clones and the army of darkness to get back home.
In my opinion, Army of Darkness is the best and the funniest horror-comedy yet. What makes it better than those four other horror-comedies (Re-Animator is a close second because of its creativity) I mentioned is becaue it doesn't need abundant gore to make people laugh. Instead, it spoofs the demons and evil forces, making them equally as clumsy and lame-brained as our hero, Ash. For those of you who have never seen the Evil Dead movies before, Ash (played by the hilarious Bruce Campbell) is basically ordinary guy (at least in the first film) who goes to this cabin with his friends. One by one they're turned into demons and he must battle the ones he loves. By the second film, you could call him an amateur demon slayer. In Army of Darkness, he's for demons what Blade is for vampires. Not to mention AOD's special effects are spectacular. (Once again, Re-Animator comes in at a close second in f/x) Another thing that makes this film better than ROTLD, Re-Animator, and Dead Alive is the star of the film (Evil Dead 2 also has Bruce Campbell although AOD is still the better film). Bruce Campbell is incredible and hams up his performance, stealing the show like no other actor can these days (And once again, Re-Animator is a close second as Jeffrey Combs offers an outrageously deranged and fun performance) There are so many hilarious situations in this film such as Ash having to fight off the witch and the monster in the pit, Ash fighting his clones, a couple of fake but dangerous Necronomicons, and a graveyard scene a lot like the introduction to Raiders of the Lost Ark. Plus, a huge battle with an army of skeletons, led by one of Ash's own evil clone. I seriously recommend you watch Army of Darkness. You don't even have to be a fan of horror films to like it. Just don't try to take the movie seriously.
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on December 19, 2001
I was greatly surprised by this third episode of the Evil Dead
series. It goes one more step further into the Raimi-comedy
horror style. To tell you the truth, I wasn't expecting much
of that movie. And that because Evil Dead II had reached the
perfect level of gore/horror/comedy.
I don't think Army of Darkness is better than Evil Dead II.
It is actually very different, and would be difficult to really
compare. Army of Darkness is really a FUN movie. Gags all over
the place and total laugh from A to Z. Mister Ash is simply
hilarious and funnier than ever, with the great sarcasm that
has grown since Evil Dead II.
I would only repproach that the "gore" side of it is a little
too low (perhaps because Universal is involved, I don't know),
and that the movie itself is too short, but aside of that,
this movie really rocks and provides an action/adventure/comedy
packed supply of entertainment.
Not everybody might like it though. But I guess if you've come
from Evil Dead I, then II, you've felt a comic transition.
Army of Darkness should be for you as well. But don't expect
it to be better than Evil Dead II! It's just very different.
Not many many extras, but interesting stuff like the men behind
the army (a making of kinda of thing). That's the kind of thing
that's always nice. When I bought the first Evil Dead on DVD,
I didn't get the special edition, so there was just the movie,
period. That's a lil short. But here, you have at least some
Sound-wise, I can't really comment on the 5.1 because I don't
have that equipment but even the stereo alone sounded really
I could talk about it for hours and tell about my favorite parts
but that'd ruin the pleasure to discover it so go ahead...
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on March 26, 2002
This review refers to the "Official Bootleg Edition" -- brown paper bag.
This is a 1992 film that I wish would have transferred better to DVD. Many times the picture is blurry and out-of-focus. It is also not a true widescreen presentation.
However, the framing, composition, and action sequences are so nicely done that I've bumped it up to 4 stars. You will have to watch this DVD in darkness or a totally blackened room because the final fight scene is so dark one can barely make out the action. Perhaps this is because of animation and is necessary to cover up strings, etc.
Music and sound are good, not great, and there is a bit of surround sound. How refreshing to have a movie NOT end with a rap song.
The female lead Embeth Davidtz is very beautiful and a real treat for the eyes. Very much a plus added to this movie.
The skeleton war is advanced for cinema, past and present, and puts "The Mummy" and "The Mummy Returns" to shame.
I feel that the movie holds up on its' own, but recommend watching the two previous "Evil Dead" movies so you know who Ash is. There is no gory violence here; it is almost suitable for children to watch except for some vulgar language. It is a comedy -- understand that and you won't be disappointed.
There is no booklet enclosed with this package, only a Chapter List. I really enjoyed this one and will probably watch it again prior to observing my other two "Evil Dead" movies.
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