Army of Darkness is the third film in Sam Rami's trilogy of Evil Dead films, and the second in a two story arc that runs from the second film, "Evil Dead 2" - a remake of the first, into "Army of Darkness. The first two films, "Evil Dead" and "Evil Dead 2" are more horror orientated films while "Army of Darkness" focuses largely on the humor aspects of the trilogy. All three are primarily spoofs of the horror genre, although Army of Darkness is more of a spoof of the Action/Adventure genre with Horror thrown in for good measure.
Army of Darkness, originally titled "Midevil Dead" or "Evil Dead 1300AD", superbly blends horror, action and humor much like another one of my other favorites "The Return of the Living Dead". When this film was first released it wasn't exactly a box office hit, I think it was running for something like two weeks! What made this movie a classic is its video release. Yes I did say classic. I bet you didn't know that when Citizen Kane (The American Film Institutes number one movie ever) was first released it bombed and the only thing that kept the movie from disappearing into obscurity was its small cult fan following much like Army of Darkness.
Evil Dead is a hard core horror film that's definitely not for the light hearted one scene in particular involving a tree is especially tasteless. The film, which was shot for a meager 300k, stands as a horror classic because of its innovative style of blending humor with horror, a film I would recommend this film to horror fanatics. One the other hand I would recommend the second film, Evil Dead Two, to anyone who likes the first or third film. This film is more of a remake than a sequel, the plot is basically the same with the exception of a couple of hitch hikers, who are thrown in as deadite bait. The ending to this one is extremely powerful and leads into the second. Although you don't have to watch the second film to understand the third I would recommend it as it has some terrific scenes.
What makes the Army of Darkness so good? Well firstly its the directing, Sam Raimi is one of the most innovative horror directors in Hollywood today. the man created the 360 pan, low floor view (used extremely well in Evil Dead) and has single handedly brought the Horror genre back from the depths of Elm Street 10,000. Secondly the writing is amazing I've never seen a movie with so many great one liners, forget those cornball one liners from Batman and Robin I'm talking about the kind that even James Cameron would be jealous of. And the last, maybe most important, reason is Bruce Campbell.
Bruce Campbell is the ultimate man, a real man's man he's Dirty Harry, John McClane, and Indiana Jones all rolled up into one. The star of all three Evil Dead's has got to be the best deliverer of one liners anywhere. He's a charismatic actor who is addictive to watch. All this makes it even harder to explain why he's not a household name, sure he's got his fan following and is a star in his own right but lets face it 80% of movie goers wouldn't know who he was if he just kicked there ass. Maybe he's the kind of actor who does lots and lots of work and only gets recognized after like a generation of acting, sort of like Denzel Washington. He's certainly not the kind of actor who's a household name after one film like Hugh Grant. I personally think that he's only one big film away from stardom, just one big break that's all it'll take.
A little known fact, outside the internet anyway, is that Sam Raimi's original ending to Army of Darkness was cut and a new one was shown in the US theatrical release. The "alternative" ending is available on the Japanese laserdisc, Hong Kong VCD and some UK videos. In the original ending Ash is given a potion which will put him to sleep, one drop for one hundred years. Too bad for Ash he drinks six drops and wakes up in a post nuclear earth. Although the biggest difference is the ending the alternative version has a number of other surprises i.e. in the middle of the movie, after Ash just has shot his evil counterpart, he says "Good, bad, I'm the guy with the gun", but in some versions of the re-edited release-version, he says "I ain't that good".
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Shelia: You once found me beautiful.
Ash: Honey, you got real ugly.
Ash: Alright, you primitive screwheads, listen up:
THIS... is my BOOM STICK!
Ash: You ain't leading but two things right now: Jack and Shit. And Jack just left town.
Ash: First you wanna kill me, now you wanna kiss me. Blow.
Ash to the Witch: Yo, she-bitch! Let's go!
Ash: Gimme some sugar, baby.
Ash: Klaatu borada nikto.
Wise man: Again.
Ash: Klaatu borada nikto.
Wise man: Again.
Ash: I got it, I got it. I know your damn words, right?
Sheila: But what of all those sweet words you spoke in private?
Ash: Oh that's just what we call pillow talk baby, that's all.
Ash to Bad Ash: Good... Bad... I'm the guy with the gun.
Arthur: Are all men from the future loud-mouthed braggarts?
Ash: Nope. Just me baby... Just me.
Demon Lady: I'll swallow your soul!
Ash: Come get some
Ash: Hail to the king, baby.
"Come to papa!"
Movie buffs look out for references to some of the greatest movies ever in The Army of Darkness, so far I've managed to spot four:-
Indiana Jones, when Ash is in the pit and is trying to get out he removes his belt and uses it as a whip to attach to an upward moving chain.
The Day the Earth Stood Still, the words Klaatu Barada Nikto are spoken by a character named Klaatu, an alien. In Army Of Darkness, when the Wise Man and Ash speak the words, the pronunciation has been slightly changed to Klaatu Varata Niktu, although in the Army Of Darkness shooting script the words are written as Klaatu Barada Nikto.
The Three Stooges, after Ash retrieves the book of the dead he is attacked by a number of skeleton arms and hands who pull a three stooges routine on him - eye poking, tongue pulling etc.
The Planet of the Apes, after the three stooges routine Ash breaks of one of the arms and says "Keep your damn dirty bones out of my mouth" a la Charlton Heston. The alternative ending is also a tip of the hat to The Planet of the Apes.
If you find anymore mail me and I'll add them
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