By Raymond Knowby


Sam Rami’s third and supposed final chapter in the EVIL DEAD trilogy has Ash (Bruce Campbell, reprising) battling deadites in 1300 A.D. A melding of sword and sorcery satire and the slapsticks of EVIL DEAD 2, ARMY OF DARKNESS is a fun ride that will undoubtedly have a following for the rest of its days. Raimi’s trademark kenetic direction is all over the place, and Campbell’s onscreen antics are a howl.

After the ending events of the previous entry, one handed, one-line spitting square chin is transported back to middle England and, contrary to the last conclusion, is now looked unfavorably down upon by the locals. Ash is captured and chained, then brought as a slave back to the castle to hold court with Lord Arthur (Marcus Gilbert), the fair Sheila (Embeth Davidz), and the rest of the goody two-shoes. We also meet captive Henry the Red (Richard Grove), who is scheduled for execution in “the pit”, but they throw in Mr. Fancypants first. Following a battle royale (where our protagonist is finally tossed his trusty chainsaw), the primitives are quickly awed into accepting his prophesized existence. He’s then dutifully pampered and sent on a quest to retrieve the Necronomicon from a skeletal horde in exchange for a way back to his own time period.

We’ve come a long way from the backwoods splatter movie that was the original EVIL DEAD, but since it’s been heading into strange territory since the first sequel, all is welcome with loving arms. See the superior directors cut if you can–it has a much better, more fitting end.

"Hello's ME AGAIN!" Ash VS. Himself in ARMY OF DARKNESS.