Let me get this out of the way. This is a review of a PARTICULAR version of Army of Darkness, not THE Army of Darkness.
No, this is for the Director's Cut version, which at last count, is the 5th DVD version of this film, and at this point can only be considered another attempt at bilking the legions of fans out of their hard earned money. This is one of three copies I own, and I am not buying anymore, even if the next one comes with Bruce Campbells spleen encased in Waterford chrystal.
Now I could go on and give you the complete run down about what this film is about, but odds are you already know this, so I'm skipping right over to the review.
Army of Darkness: The Director's Cut sucks. There, I said it. Send me your hate mail, but I think deep down you feel the same way and just don't want to admit it.
Now I'm not saying that the FILM sucks, mind you, I am reviewing it's the presentation here. You see, my problem is that this version is basically a hybrid of the two disc special edition from a couple of years back. That one gave us both the original, the directors cut, the deleted scenes that make up the directors cut, and a bunch of great stuff that should have been the last edition released, period.
Instead, we have been given this version of the film, with those deleted scenes inserted into the main body of the original, and the results are beyond hideous.The deleted scenes have not been cleaned, doctored, or color matched, they are just stuffed in there, so that when a "new" scene pops up it looks like one of the outtakes on the Austin Powers discs, fuzzy, dark, ugly, and incomplete. It's an unforgiveable thing to do to the fans, because we basically created an empire out of the Evil Dead trilogy through home video alone, and there is more than enough money to go back and clean these scenes up enough to make them less obtrusive. Go watch it again, and you'll see what I mean.
In addition to the fact that these scenes are ugly, they also show why they were deleted in the first place! The segments involving Ash's (Campbell) Three Stooges antics at the graveyard are stretched out to intolerable lengths, especially since I felt that they went on far too long in the theatrical cutat half the length. Raimi and Campbell are obviously huge fans of the Stooges, and that's great, but an homage is one thing, a full on 20 minute segment is overkill.
While I prefer the Director's Cut ending over the S-Mart conclusion in the TC, once again, this is presented as a grainy, incomplete tack on, and just infuriated me. When I see DIRECTOR'S CUT, I expect a full blown, hands on release, not the equivalent to a pirate copy procured from a Sci-Fi convention. We do get scads of extras, but nothing more than previous special editions, so if you already have the two disc LE, or the single disc LE, you're pretty much covered.
I know all of you probably bought this the day it came out anyway, and you're probably getting the new "Bruce Campbell Bootleg" version too, so the rich get richer etc etc.......
Anchor Bay, please, I implore you....no more.