Now we end the trilogy with the third blu-ray from a third movie company!
Army of Darkness (1993)
Directed By: Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2)
While Army of Darkness, which for all intents and purposes would technically be Evil Dead 3, may arguably be the most poplar of the trilogy, I have to say it may be the one I like the least. Now let’s not all get it twisted, Chuck Conry does indeed dig Army of Darkness, just not as much as the first two Evil Dead films. But if you are in the business of upgrading some of your favorite films to blu-ray, you might notice to complete the Evil Dead trilogy, you have three different films, on three different blu-rays, by three different companies. This time around it’s Universal with the “Screwhead” version of this one. And while it does pack some pretty cool stuff on it, and while I do think it looks just fine. We still have some people who seem almost disappointed with this release. And I really just get a bit confused by that.
In this sequel to the Evil Dead films, a discount-store employee (“Name’s Ash. Housewares.”) is time-warped to a medieval castle beset by monstrous forces. Initially mistaken for an enemy, he is soon revealed as the prophecised savior who can quest for the Necronomicon, a book which can dispel the evil. Unfortunately, he screws up the magic words while collecting the tome, and releases an army of skeletons, led by his own Deadite counterpart. What follows is a thrilling, yet tongue-in-cheek battle between Ash’s 20th Century tactics and the minions of darkness.
When we last left off Ash (played by every female horror bloggers favorite man Bruce Campbell) he found himself accidentally transported to 1300 A.D. However things aren’t EXACTLY like how they left off on Evil Dead 2..none the less, Ash must now battle an army of the dead (And an evil version of himself) and retrieve the Necronomicon so he can return home!..And to work at the S-Mart (shop smart! Shop S-Mart!). The comedy of the second one seems to be much more upfront rather than sutle here, but I’ll be damned if it it just doesn’t make you laugh and get all giddy at times. Watching Bruce Campbell do his thing is never boring and even if I’m not the biggest fan of mid-evil times stuff, I can never hate on anything that let’s Bruce be Bruce. Let’s be honest, this is probably the movie that made the character of Ash what he is to all of us today and with good reason I assure you.
Noticeably absent from this film that it’s predecessors had is the gallons of blood and gore. Sure it’s violent and all at times but it’s mostly just comical and is packed with much of the quotes and scenes everyone who loves the movie or the character of Ash go on and on about today. However what is lacking in blood is made up for in entertainment as it’s probably the best over-all story in the series as things are taken from the woods and tossed into a much MUCH larger picture of mid-evil times..a fitting place for the “Evil Dead” I suppose. The plot of this movie was even foreshadowed before the ending of Evil Dead 2 as you’ll recall a page was in the book that showed of a hero (who looked JUST like Ash) arriving to save the land from all the evil that was to come. I still assume when people saw that in 1987, they probably never could have guessed where that would lead to with this.
As I’ve said before, I do like this movie, but I do miss the blood and gore the first two had. As always these things are a matter of opinions and while others love this one most of all in the series, it stands alone as my least favorite..but it IS a good movie none the less. Packs a hilarious Bruce Campbell and a fun plot after all. And one movie that all fans just looking for a good time should look into seeing if you haven’t..but then again I’m willing to bet more people have seen this entry into The Evil Dead trilogy as they have either of the other two. Which also leads to the shock most folks get when after just seeing this film they get when viewing the original Evil Dead.
The movie is a classic and is just fine as always, but I’m not sure I get some of the hate for this blu-ray release. Does the picture look perhaps a bit too sharpened at times? Maybe. Perhaps the picture even looks a bit too vivid at other times as well. But as a person who has seen both some very good and some very crappy blu-rays, I can tell you that this isn’t crap by any means. I think it looks very good in areas and shows up nice colors and is very detailed. I do think maybe the features are a little weak, but until something better for Army of Darkness comes along, I think this will work just fine.
The Rating (7.5/10)