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Army of Darkness

Review by: 
Head Cheeze
Release Date: 
1993
Studio: 
Universal
Genre: 
Com/Horror
Format: 
DVD
Region: 
1 NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 
1.85:1
Directed by: 
Sam Raimi
Cast: 
Bruce Campbell
Embeth Davidtz
Ian Abercrombie
Movie: 
5
Extras: 
1
Bottom Line: 
4

This is the bare bones first edition disc of Army of Darkness, not one of the multitude of special editions, alternate versions, kung-fu grip enhanced cash in on the lame-o fans versions that have flooded the market. Fuck those versions already, just buy this one. It's cheap, it looks good, and it's readily available at any store that sells DVDs (although unscrupulous E-Bay guys will tell you otherwise!).

Army of Darkness is the third chapter in the Evil Dead series, and most of you who are here should know pretty much everything about this movie already, but for those recently emerging from comas here's the skinny.

Ash (Campbell), after the climactic showdown at the end of Evil Dead 2, finds himself trapped in medieval times, where he is incarcerated and promptly readied for execution. Just as he is thrown into a pit full o' deadites a wiseman (Abercrombie) throws down Ash's chainsaw and "boomstick" and he promptly kicks zombie ass, and his would be executioners are now convinced he is the "chosen one" sent from the heavens to rid the world of the deadite scourge. Of course, Ash just wants to get home in time to get back to work, but his only way home is to help these "medieval screwheads" out.

Army of Darkness is one of my favorite films. I cannot call it horror with a straight face, because the only horryfying thing in the movie is Ash's bedside manner, but there are enough zombies and skeleton warriors to squeeze it into the genre. While not as inventive or gloriously gory as it's predecessor, AOD is easily the funniest of the lot, with Campbell jawing off on all cylinders and chewing more scenery than the beasties in the Langoliers.

Now, I do have some minor problems with the film, hence the 4.5 skulls, and that is the Three Stooges syndrome. Raimi and Campbell are obvious fans of slapstick, and that's fine, but AOD occasionally OD's on the slapstick to the point where it just becomes annoying. No where is this more apparent than in the graveyard sequence where Campbell is poked and prodded by skeleton hands from the ground. It's probably me, but I just don't dig that whole scene.At least this isn't the awful "Director's Cut" which stretches several Stooges-esque scenes out to intolerable length, but that's another review.

While this version is the least flashy extras wise (ie: a trailer) it is;
 
A) The cheapest!
 
B) Features a great transfer.
 
C) After seeing what the other extra-packed versions offered, I can safely say you're not missing much.
 
The film is what it's all about, baby. Now enough pillow talk. Gimme some sugar.

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