We open with Ash being taken to be either killed or enslaved in 1300 AD and giving us a summary of the events of The Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2 at the end of which Ash, and his car, got sucked into a time portal. Of course, despite reassuring the locals that he’s not here to cause any harm and their wiseman telling the king that he thinks Ash is the prophesied savior to defeat the deadites, he gets taken to the Pit immediately.
Thankfully our wiseman is just that and grabs Ash’s chainsaw which comes in handy.
The movie that launched a thousand quips, Army of Darkness, is by far the funniest of the franchise and visually the most sophisticated even if it’s not nearly as terrifying as the original two. Bruce Campbell is back as our beloved Ash, who has had the world’s worst weekend and over the course of it has become a hardened warrior who is still a screw-up because he has no idea what he’s doing.
While the terror of the previous two movies showed what he would be capable of in movies like Darkman and The Gift and series like American Gothic, Raimi goes all in compositionally and comedically in this movie, showing the style that would become his hallmark in shows like Hercules and Xena and movies like the Spider-Man franchise. His talent for picking just the right odd angle to ratchet up tension is ever present even in this much more light hearted entry to the series.
As always Bruce Campbell is game, hilarious, sexy and a doofus all at once. The lovely Embeth Davidtz joins him as Sheila, a local who gets sucked into the chaos that is Ash’s life while Marcus Gilbert’s Arthur is just the right combo of arrogant and genuinely caring of his people to make you like him.
Is Army of Darkness as good as the other two? No, but it’s so very different from the preceding two movies that it stands on its own. It is the standard bearer for comedic horror parody that so many try to imitate and fail at on every level and it’s just plain fun.
Now, on to the quotes!
Well, hello Mr, Fancy Pants.
This is my BOOM STICK!
First you wanna kill me. Now you wanna kiss me. Blow.
Yo. She-bitch. Let’s go.
Good. Bad. I’m the guy with the gun.
The name’s Ash. Housewares.
Klautu, Verata….necktie…nickel….I know it’s an ‘N’ word!