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Army of Darkness

by

Jeff Nelson

Army of Darkness is funny, campy, and well worth the watch.

Army of Darkness
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After The Evil Dead was released, its cult status warranted a sequel. The first of the series is known to be a good mix of horror and comedy. What started as a series of that mix turned into mainly comedy and action by the third act. This may not sound like the most appealing mix for fans of the original, but Army of Darkness created a rather large cult following on its own with many fans of the original joining.

Ash is accidentally transported to 1300 A.D., where he must battle an army of the dead and take the Necronomicon, also known as the Book of the Dead, so he can return home. The plot is simple and wasn't made to be taken seriously. Sam Raimi and Ivan Raimi's screenplay is silly on all levels. This was once again done on purpose. There are lines of dialogue here that have become known as classic to the genre. There are definitely some funny lines here that will have some people in complete joy while others will find it too ridiculous. There were two endings created for the film, one being in the theatrical and the other being in the director's cut. Fans are split down the middle on which ending they prefer. I personally enjoy both since they both bring something interesting to the film. Take things too seriously here and you're sure to be rolling your eyes.

Through the trilogy of The Evil Dead, Bruce Campbell has been a symbol for the series as Ash. Campbell is an excellent B-movie actor. He has fun with the film, which shows through the deliverance of dialogue. The entire cast was aware of the style here and perform well alongside Campbell. You know you're in for a treat when it's a B-movie with Sam Raimi behind the lens.

From the title alone, viewers should expect an epic battle between Ash and the army of the undead. The make-up and visuals here are fantastic. Nothing beats the practical FX. The atmosphere and the props definitely deliver the Raimi feel. The stunts are ridiculous, as expected. Since most of the film is taking place in 1300 A.D., the battles are done with swords, arrows, and of course...the boomstick!

This isn't the movie for all moviegoers. This appeals to a very specific audience. I personally enjoy the entire trilogy created by Sam Raimi. Not all fans of the first will be pleased with the tone change through the rest of the series. While this may not be as much horror as it is action and comedy, it accomplishes being an entertaining ride. It's funny, campy, and well worth the watch. Army of Darkness isn't the strongest of the trilogy, but is an easy recommendation for those interested in the genre.

My Rating = Three and One Half Stars

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