4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 28 January 2013
Bruce Campbell is the absolute king of B Movies and in this movie he's in the absolute prime of his career. He's got such screen presence doing all the corny and off the wall hilarious jokes and physical humor in what is the third movie of Sam Raimi's Evil Dead trilogy. The first movie was pretty much a straight up horror movie and a cult classic, then Evil Dead 2 while it still had a bit of true horror in it was very much a fantastic comedy/horror film also, in Army of Darkness they go all out with the comedy. But the comedy is done tastefully and doesn't make the movie into a parody of the previous films like a lot of bad movies like Scary Movie do. Plus it doesn't hurt that they time travel back to medieval times instead of being a modern day cabin like the previous two movies were.
We find our hero Ash (Bruce Campbell) sucked into a vortex which sends him back in time to 1300 AD. The Wiseman John knows that Ash is the one written about in the Necronomicom , "he who is sent back to deliver them from the evil deadites". But King Arthur suspects he's one of Henry the Red's men. After doing battle in the pit, we get a glimpse of Ash's sensitive side. He is able to strike a "deal" with Arthur that if he retrieves the book, they will send him back to his own time. He is instructed that he must say three little words before retrieving the book. If said wrong....he would release the Army of Dead.
While traveling to retrieve the book, he has a little run-in with his evil side. When he finally happens upon the book, he tries to say the words right, really. But, as you can probably surmise from the title, the dead march. Along the way, Ash must do battle with his possessed medieval girlfriend, the Army of Dead, and even himself (as Evil Ash and little Ashes). The end battle scene is a laugh a minute. This film has great effects and the best performance by Campbell in the series with some of the funniest writing I have ever seen. I cannot really say much for these films because they are movies which aren't meant to be critically analyzed or meant to be taken seriously, they are just to have fun with. Army of Darkness was one of the best comedy/fantasy/horror films out there, check it out.
Optimum's Blu-ray transfer reveals an impressive color-scheme where reds, yellows, and blacks are practically perfect. Army of Darkness really does look quite exceptional in 1080p, you also have the alternative ending but again like with ED2 on blu-ray not that much as far as special features.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 December 2013
Ash finds himself stranded in the year 1300 AD with his car, his shotgun, and his chainsaw.
Soon he is discovered and thought to be a spy for a rival kingdom and is taken prisoner. After proving his merit in The Pit, he decides to help the kingdom retrieve the Necronomicon, which will also help him return to his own time, which they need to battle the supernatural forces at play in the land.
Ash accidentally releases the Army of Darkness when retrieving the book, and a fight to the finish ensues.....
A word of advice, if you really want to enjoy the film for what it is, try not to see the first two movies in close proximity to this, it really does tarnish the overall effect of the film.
It can be seen as a standalone film, because the film really has no continuity with the first two, other than he gets sucked into the past, and he has a chainsaw.
But it's fun, and this was when Raimi was getting a too clever for Hollywood and when Campbell started self parody, so by no means expect a horror film. It has parts that are slightly eerie, like the pit scene, but its laugh out loud funny all the way through.
It's as if Raimi doesn't care what people think of his trilogy, he's doing this for himself and his friends, and the love of the film is evident, even though one feels we are being left out of most of the joke.
Effects are intentionally cheesy, as is the script, but its short, exciting and never once gets boring.
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 8 October 2008
I know what you're thinking - this classic film starring Bruce Campbell has been released so many times already (and it has)... but whether you're a long-time fan or newcomer, it's worth getting this movie on Blu-Ray. Essentially, it's the HD-DVD version transferred to the Blu-Ray format, but what a difference HD makes - the quality of the picture is the best I've seen of this film. One thing worth mentioning, as it neglects to tell you under EXTRAS on the box cover: This Blu-Ray edition is the U.S. theatrical cut with the S-Mart ending - but the Director's Cut appears as an "extra" in standard definition. Incidentally, the DVD release (with the same box art and extras information) is the Director's Cut! All in all, worth £14 of anyone's money. Hail to the king baby!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 October 2014
Though this movie isn't quite as good as Evil Dead II, it's still a great watch - especially with a few beers! - and there are some genius moments of Tom&Jerry style slapstick violence, some cool effects and a fair amount of laughs too. Bruce Campbell does his comedy/horror shtick with aplomb in this installment. Love the cover art!
on 17 November 2012
To fans of the Evil Dead films this DVD is no doubt a godsend; it contains two versions of Army of Darkness, the cinema release and a director's cut, each with different endings. In this respect the latter wins; Sam Raimi's intended last shot is a funny, bitter punchline. The studio approved finale's also good - it has a neat fight scene - but Raimi's is better. The studio were right about one thing though: Raimi's cut is too long. There's a lengthy action climax that doesn't suit a madcap film; the plot's just a clothesline on which to hang comic set pieces and special effects, so the swordplay grows pointless. The heroes and villains are caricatures, so why do they need an epic battle? It's like if Airplane! ditched the jokes during its third act and became a serious action film. The studio cut is also better-looking; its effects scenes are much clearer, but I think that's because Raimi's unused cut wasn't cleaned up for general release (or maybe, as another review suggests, it was poorly transferred from someone's VHS copy).
The plot is very simple: after a prologue covering Evil Dead 2 we pick up where that film left off, with Ash (Bruce Campbell) in 1300AD, where he's surrounded and almost killed by Lord Arthur's (Marcus Gilbert) men. After he shows off his shotgun and chainsaw they make a deal with him; if Ash brings them the Book of the Dead they'll use it to send him home. Ash messes this up, and in doing so raises an army of the dead which he'll lead Lord Arthur's men against. The angelic Embeth Davidtz plays a love interest, and in a great scene she and Ash parody how fantasy heroes fall for each other.
Army of Darkness' tone is almost the polar opposite of Evil Dead's, and though Evil Dead 2 was a comedy it's still much grimmer than this second sequel. Army of Darkness is a bit like if David Lynch directed a Three Stooges short. It's compellingly strange at times, but through it all is a light and jolly romp which aims for humour rather than tension. Campbell, who was an average slasher hero in Evil Dead, gives a brilliant comic performance here. He's a great physical comedian; he has a few slapstick scenes which are surreal and hilarious. It would be unfair to say that everyone else phones it in, but that's kind of how it feels. Apart from a couple of villains the others aren't memorable; they're basically enacting cliches for Ash to banter with. All in all, Army of Darkness is a weird, light-hearted fantasy adventure filled with imagination. Raimi rightly doesn't worry about plot, focusing instead on slapstick, parody and awesome visuals. This is a shamelessly outlandish film which doesn't care if you get it or not; for those who do get it, it's a hell of a ride.
on 16 April 2012
Yep, Ash is back! And just like the second movie, this starts with a very loose re-cap of the events in the first two movies -well sort of, only about 10% is accurate, the rest is a niffty reworking of the plot, starting with a brief flashback of Ash before he encountered the evil. But don't expect this to be a copy of Evil Dead II, this is completly different.
Gone is much of the gore, in comes a far greater reliance on slap-stick and one liners abound.
Army of Darkness sees Ash hurled back in time to an almost fantasy mediaeval world where he is prophesised to rid the kingdom of the evil that plagues it. It's more a comedy with a horror setting, rather than a horror with comedy like in the first two. This is truely a great comedy if you like the 'B' movie style. This isn't a big budget blockbuster, but it does have a charm that has lasted decades, marking this as one of those 'timeless' classics. Time genuinly hasn't spoilt this, unlike many other films that boast of being timeless, but aren't.
Of the three movies, this is probably the best, but it is worth watching the other two in order to fully appreciate the humour and the plot, fully, but this film can definately stand alone without any detriment to the enjoyment.
I don't have blue-ray, but the picture quality on this DVD is far superior to the quality as seen on the TV repeats [re-runs] on the late night channels. So if this isn't in your collection yet, then take a chance and try it now - "It's time for some sugar baby!"
on 4 January 2005
I'm glad this classic cult movie from one of the greatest horror trilogy's out there is on DVD however, have you ever sat and watched a movie, kinda happy but thinking to yourself "why?"
The movie itself does not link up to the end of the second movie, in which everyone praises him and we presume he becomes the king. In this movie, it starts off where he becomes a slave, has to kill some midget down a well (and that's what it really is! the monsters are no longer scary like the original two) until he gains respect and becomes a knight which everyone loves.
However... the films musical score is composed by Danny Elfman which knocks it back up abit and the fight scenes are entertaining enough to watch and be kept in suspense but for a horror movie, my dad was shocked when the guy selling it us said "this film is so funny, just like the Monty Python movies" Granted the movie is great, i love the trilogy but it is the latter of the series, you can watch this with your family however, if you want to bring some cult tv watching into the house.
If you want a "Monty Python"-esque film buy this DVD but if you want a horror film buy "Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn" by far, the most entertaining, and scariest of the trilogy.
As for the DVD extras, some new unseen footage is available but the documentaries are pretty bad, they explain how they had about 10 million dollars to make this movie and they spent 9 million on a skeleton horse which they never used in this movie.
on 10 July 2009
Army of Darkness is the most elaborate and expensive of the Evil Dead trilogy.Our time travelling hero Ash is transported from his haunted cabin in the second film to medieval times,landing in the middle of two rival armies.His only way home is to find the Book of the Dead in a dark forest and remember an incantation as he opens it.Of course, he screws up big time and raises the Army of the Dead instead.The Blu-ray comes in the hi-def theatrical cut and the extended Director`s Cut in standard def.The hi-def version is a revelation to behold, with detail and clarity top notch. There is plenty of film grain, but this contributes to the picture`s sharpness rather than obscuring it.The colour scheme is very impressive for what is supposed to be a low budget film as is the very meaty audio, which really gives the speakers a working over. I would ignore the longer, standard def version though - visual quality is very poor at times and suffers in comparison to the shorter Blu-ray edition. As well as the take it or leave it Director`s Cut, supplements include deleted scenes and commentaries from the great Bruce Campbell and the director Sam Raimi. Army of the Dead is bizarre, quirky and original entertainment, unlike anything else out there. It defies being pigeon holed and really is a genuine, highly recommended oddity in this stonking Blu-ray release.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 1 December 2008
Finally a decent DVD version of Evil Dead 3: Army of Darkness! I was ecstatic originally when the first Director's Cut of the film came out on a 2-disc edition (the second disc being the US Theatrical Cut - I wasn't so bothered about that version). Of coarse, as I'm sure many of you came to realise as I did, that "edition" wasn't so special after all. It just felt like Anchor Bay released someone's bootlegged version (a title the Americans had used) from some cheap VHS cassette. The picture was poor for the extended scenes and even the sound on the final battle was extremely ropey. I fobbed the DVD off rather rapidly afterwards.
Now, Optimum has stepped in and finally done something about it and what we have... is another DC of the film, yes, but with better sound and picture quality, well as better as it can get for AoD. This is it; this is the version that is a definite keeper. The extended scene in the mill doesn't add much to the film admittedly, just a couple more giggles but the final battle has changed considerably and, to my mind, is a little more exciting with a few more antics in it. Plus they have kept the much favoured "apocalyptic ending". All in all this is the version of the film (since the European Cut) I'm going to stick with, and hope all you fellow AoD fans can enjoy just as much as I have. My only tiny gripe really is the lack of special features (which include the rather stupid "happy ending" - sorry to those who liked it, hail to the king baby!), but it's the film that matters.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 November 2013
This is actually the follow on from the Evil Dead 2 and has Ash,the only survivor from the first 2 movies finding himself in medi-evil times,actually,if I remember rightly this was originally called The Medi-evil Dead.This one has it all.A brilliant way to round the set up,with a touch of Ray Harryhausen to be had,loads of comedy,loads of devilishness and fun!!!