Army of Darkness

Don't touch that please, your primitive intellect wouldn't understand things with alloys and compositions and things with ... molecular structures.

A review by Mike Shea   Movie Rating: ( * * * * · )    DVD Rating: ( * * * * * )

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Army of Darkness is the third in the wild Evil Dead trilogy. Since watching the first two Evil Dead movies again, I found myself really turning into a big fan. There is something about the quirky Ash and his misadventures in the land of evil that I just find, well, fun. Army of Darkness is more slapstick than horror. Instead of feeling the horror as skeletal hands pull Ash into the ground, we are treated to an ode to the Three Stooges with everything from slappings to eye pokings. Even in it's tackyness, I have to laugh. Ash himself has finally lost it completly as he is hurled five centuries back in time and tossed in a pit full of mutants only to emerge, chainsaw "sword" in hand chanting "Who wants some!?". This movie does a good job tying together the story and gives us enough laughs to not care about how little of the original horror there is here. There are two DVD versions of this film, the original cut and the unapproved directors cut. Luckily, after some coaxing, I got Gary to sell me a copy of the discontinued Army of Darkness special edition. This copy contains both the original US theatrical version as well as the official "Directors Cut" of the movie. Both versions are 16x9 enhanced and THX certified but only the original one is in Dolby Digital 5.1. The directors cut contains a commentary with Bruse Campbell and the Raimi brothers as well as some extra deleted scenes. The alternate ending on the directors cut sure is quite a bit different than the original happy S-mart cut but a little too back to the future-ish for me. Nevertheless, this still is an excellent quirky comedy / adventure and I can definitely see why it is a cult classic. If you are a fan and can get a hold of a copy of the limited directors cut, definitely pick up a copy.