HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Invisible Man, The
Honey Boy
System Crasher
Judy & Punch
Bacurau
Battling Butler
Vivarium
Seven Chances
Dogs Don't Wear Pants
Navigator, The
Knives Out
Hit!
Charlie's Angels
Passport to Shame
Le Mans '66
Keep Fit
Doctor Sleep
Friend or Foe
Brass Target
Mine and the Minotaur, The
Sky Pirates
Syncopation
Sea Children, The
Ghost of a Chance, A
Go Kart Go
Great Buster, The
Seventy Deadly Pills
Wings of Mystery
Treasure at the Mill
VFW
Crime Wave
Terminator: Dark Fate
Slithis
Antonio Gaudi
Oscar, The
Color Out of Space
Last Holiday
Zombieland: Double Tap
Mind Benders, The
Mighty Wind, A
   
 
Newest Articles
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
Godzilla Goes to Hollywood
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
   
 
  Army of Darkness The Medieval Dead
Year: 1993
Director: Sam Raimi
Stars: Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidtz, Marcus Gilbert, Ian Abercrombie, Richard Grove, Timothy Patrick Quill, Michael Earl Reid, Patricia Tallman, Ted Raimi, Bridget Fonda, Bill Moseley
Genre: Horror, Comedy, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 8 votes)
Review: His name's Ash (Bruce Campbell), and he's from the future, stuck in medieval times. He and his girlfriend (Bridget Fonda) took a trip to a remote cabin in the woods, where they found the Necronomicon: the Book of the Dead, which raised the forces of Darkness and after a bloody struggle for his soul, propelled Ash into the past. Now Lord Arthur (Marcus Gilbert) has taken him prisoner at his castle, believing him to be in league with his enemy, Duke Henry (Richard Grove), who he has also captured. Thrown into a pit with one of the Evil Dead, Ash surprises everyone by killing the demon held there, and makes it clear, in no uncertain terms, that he wants to go home. But that's easier said than done...

Written by the director Sam Raimi and his brother Ivan Raimi, Army of Darkness is a sequel to Evil Dead 2 in the same way that Evil Dead II is a sequel to The Evil Dead, in that it takes the recognisable elements of the previous instalment and fashions a whole new story around them. The opening five minutes is like a replay of part II, a high speed recap covering all the important points. Then the story develops into a cross between a Ray Harryhausen fantasy and Planet of the Apes, with Ash as the fish out of water battling against all and sundry to reach his destination.

The story wouldn't be half as good if Ash didn't truly believe himself to be superior to everyone he meets, despite his frequent lapses of judgement. Bruce Campbell couldn't have hoped for a better showcase for his talents than this, where he alternates between a "What the...?" expression of long suffering incredulity, and firing off quips and catchphrases that are seriously imitable: "This - is my boomstick!", "Shop smart, shop S-Mart!", "Gimme some sugar baby!", "Ooh, that's gotta hurt!", and of course, the immortal, "Groovy!"

Ash is not so much a heroic failure than a hero who fails, whether it's through his own arrogance or simple blunders, and it's this combination of indomitability and fallibility that makes him such a winning character. Faced with retrieving the Necronomicon to rid the world of the demons, Ash manages to forget the magic words that will save him, and accidentally unleashes the army of the title. True to Raimi's love of the Three Stooges, there is an abundance of violent slapstick, and it's great how petty the Evil Dead are - instead of killing Ash outright, they prefer to stick fingers up his nose and punch him in the bollocks.

The inventiveness of Part II gives way to a more conventional plotline this time around, and the final conflict with the skeleton hordes is filmed disappointingly straight, with little gore and an easing off on the wacky humour. Still, along the way there is the delight of seeing Ash fighting tiny, mischievous versions of himself, splitting in two to create an evil double, and converting his ever-reliable Oldsmobile into a tank. And another chance to see one of horror cinema's greatest champions is surely not something anyone would want to pass up - whatever doesn't destroy him makes him stronger. Music by Danny Elfman and Joseph LoDuca. There are a few different versions about, including two separate endings - which do you prefer?
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 13290 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Sam Raimi  (1959 - )

Precociously talented American director with a penchant for horror/fantasy and inventive camerawork. Raimi made a huge impact with his debut film The Evil Dead at the tender age of 22, a gory, often breathtaking horror romp made on a tiny budget with a variety of friends from his hometown of Detroit. Follow-up Crimewave was a comic misfire, but Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness were supremely entertaining, while tragic superhero yarn Darkman was Raimi's first time wielding a big budget.

Raimi showed a more serious side with the baseball drama For Love of the Game, thriller A Simple Plan and supernatural chiller The Gift, before directing one of 2002's biggest grossing films, Spider-Man. Spider-Man 2 was released in summer 2004, with Spider-Man 3 following two years later. He then returned to outright horror with the thrill ride Drag Me to Hell, and hit Wizard of Oz prequel Oz the Great and Powerful after that. On the small screen, Raimi co-created American Gothic and the hugely popular Hercules and Xena series. Bruce Campbell usually pops up in his films, as does his trusty Oldsmobile car.

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: