I had such a fun time with Evil Dead 2 that I decided to rent its sequel Army of Darkness. After it sat around for a while while I watched Bob’s Burgers for the eightieth time this month, I finally got to it. I wonder now why I waited so long to finish off this trilogy.
Army of Darkness picks up where Evil Dead 2 stops. Ash has been transported by the Book of the Dead to the Medieval Times. He still has his sweet chainsaw arm and his badass quipping attitude. However he longs to get back to his own time, even though he meets a sweet maiden who is drop dead sexy. He must quest to find the Book of the Dead, but along the way he awakens an army of dead people which translates to skeletons. He must fight these skeletons, kiss the girl and find the book in order to complete his story arc.
This movie is the ultimate exercise in camp. Sam Raimi takes everything from the previous two movies and makes it all the more ridiculous by inserting it into the Middle Ages. Ash’s one-liners in Evil Dead 2 become comic genius moments when he says them to austere actors and actresses in Medieval garb. Bruce Campbell is able to pull off overly cocky and over the top one moment and laughably humble the next. I still don’t understand why he hasn’t become a bigger star than he is. He just oozes charisma and great emotional context. As he just gets lacerated by every little thing (much like the previous movie) that comes up, he just stands there and takes it like a hunky man. The movie rests on his capable shoulders.
The other great aspect of this movie is the makeup and practical effects. The skeleton army that Ash must face is both over the top and surprisingly subtle. While there is no denying that these monsters are hideous, they are also not afraid to bust out a Three Stooges routine if necessary. This is probably the best example of just how innovative great makeup and practical effects can be. Current directors should take note of just how rewarding going the practical route can be. It definitely enhances an already great movie.
I had a great time watching this movie. I would definitely watch it again. I was stupid to not finish these three movies sooner.
This is my BOOM STICK!