Army Of Darkness [Review 34 for FQ13]


Why I Saw It: It’s arguably one of the most popular horror films ever… at least that’s what its fans tell me. It might be a cult classic, but that just makes me want to see whether or not I belong in that “cult”. I’ve enjoyed Bruce Campbell’s work in BURN NOTICE, so I felt like he deserved the chance to impress me additionally with the role people love him for.

What Was It About?  “A discount-store employee (“Name’s Ash. Housewares.”) is time-warped to a medieval castle beset by monstrous forces. Initially mistaken for an enemy, he is soon revealed as the prophecised savior who can quest for the Necronomicon, a book which can dispel the evil. Unfortunately, he screws up the magic words while collecting the tome, and releases an army of skeletons, led by his own Deadite counterpart. What follows is a thrilling, yet tongue-in-cheek battle between Ash’s 20th Century tactics and the minions of darkness.

Rating: 7.8 out of 10

army-of-darkness-screwhead-edition-20090915020003601_640wMemorable Performances: Bruce Campbell is the only person I remember from the film without looking it up, and now that I’ve looked at the cast, I don’t recall any performances that I’m likely to remember beyond today.

Potential Nominations for Film Quest ’13:  

  • none

Favorite Parts: The ending, while super campy, works for me because it proves that he wasn’t crazy all along and it shows him back in his element. As for the middle of the movie, the part where he drove in with his war machine hit home with me because as a kid, I often drew those sorts of things while daydreaming in class. As you might expect, I really liked the chainsaw-hand weapon and just about any mention of the boomstick. The fight in the pit was great.

The Regrettable Aspects: The campy horror style is mostly lost on me. I’m not a huge fan of gore, which typically results from those types of projects. I don’t much like slapstick humor, which is what we got from the scene with the mini-Ash monsters and the “pick the right book” scene. The alternate ending, reminiscent of Planet Of The Apes, wasn’t enjoyable either, but I guess that’s why it’s the alternate / un-official ending.

Would I watch it again? I would, especially if I knew some people who were excited about watching it, be it their first time or not.

To Whom Would I Recommend It?  I’d recommend it to anyone who likes campy stuff, or Bruce Campbell, or horror flicks. But I’m guessing most people who fit those categories have already seen it.

Other Recommendations:

TUCKER AND DALE VS EVIL – I hadn’t seen it at time time of my initial ARMY OF DARKNESS viewing, but I’ve seen it since, and it’s easily my favorite comedic horror film available.

SCREAM – It’s easily my favorite horror film, and I’ll explain why in a future article.

If you’ve got recommendations for alternatives to ARMY OF DARKNESS, or for other similar films, let me know!


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