Director: Sam Raimi
Written by: Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi
Cast: Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidtz, Marcus Gilbert, Richard Grove
Year / Country: 1992, USA
Running Time: 85 mins.
You want some more Evil Dead? Come get some! Ash is back with a chainsaw attached to his wrist and a boomstick on his back. This time around he’s kicking Evil’s ass in medieval times. Isn’t it groovy? Well, yes it is.
Some horror fans have argued that this third and final entry in the Evil Dead series is too comical to be considered horror. While this notion might be true, Raimi should be applauded for taking his franchise in this direction. This movie is hilarious! And there is plenty of horror as well.
We literally get sucked into the action when our hero Ash disappears into a vortex. He is transported to the age of King Arthur where he is captured and mistaken for an ally of Arthur’s enemy Henry the Red. Arthur sentences him to a one-way ticket to ‘the pit’. After he has shown the primates some of his fancy tricks and gadgets they believe him to be the chosen one, who is to deliver them from evil.
Ash is sent on a holy quest to find the occult book Necronomicon. He finds it, but screws up the book lifting procedure and Evil is awoken. An army of deadites head towards Arthur’s castle to retrieve the book. Now Ash has to lead Arthur’s men into battle while he simultaneously has to rescue his girlfriend Sheila, who has been kidnapped by the evil forces.
Army of Darkness contains some fantastic set-pieces around which dynamic action scenes take place. My personal favorites are the pit and the S-Mart finale. The skeleton army is also an impressive accomplishment. Stop-motion pioneer Ray Harryhausen would certainly approve.
Besides Raimi’s action-packed script and trademark camera tricks, fans can enjoy a brilliant double turn from B-Movie star Bruce Campbell as Good Ash and Bad Ash. With his masterful comic timing, loads of one-liners and his lady man skills, he makes Ash a truly lovable hero. Not to mention a horror icon. Hail to the King baby!
Biography: Sam Raimi (1959, Royal Oak, Michigan) started making 8mm films when he was around ten years old. In his teenage years he first collaborated with his good friend Bruce Campbell, who would later appear in almost all of his films. The style of Raimi is influenced by the Three Stooges, of whom he is a huge fan. By making the short movie Within the Woods he managed to raise the required funds to make his first feature; the outrageous horror flick The Evil Dead. After that he made similar films with varying commercial success. In his films Raimi displays a great talent for creating inventive visuals. Most of his movies also feature slapstick and comic book elements. In 2002 Raimi made Spiderman, his biggest film to date. It was an enormous box-office success and Raimi would go on to make two sequels. Throughout his career Raimi has also produced many films and TV-series, mostly in the horror/fantasy genre. He remains a director with a huge fan base and many exciting future prospects.
Filmography (a selection): It’s Murder! (1977, short) / Within the Woods (1978, short) / Clockwork (1978, short) / The Evil Dead (1981) / Crimewave (1985) / Evil Dead II (1987) / Darkman (1990) / Army of Darkness (1992) / The Quick and the Dead (1995) / A Simple Plan (1998) / For Love of the Game (1999) / The Gift (2000) / Spider-Man (2002) / Spider-Man 2 (2004) / Spider-Man 3 (2007) / Drag Me to Hell (2009) / Ash vs Evil Dead (TV episode) / Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)