Army of Darkness (1992)
The genius blend of comedy, horror, action, and adventure that exist in Army of Darkness makes this film one of a kind. It was created as part of the Evil Dead film series. Army of Darkness is a bit of an outlier compared to the two films that came before it. There are connections that can be found and plot components that reference the two prior films. That being said, the story-line of Army of Darkness is one of a kind.
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The Plot Thickens
Army of Darkness starts when the main character, Ash, played by Bruce Campbell, is transported to England in the 13th century with his car in tow. Upon arrival, Ash is captured by Lord Arthur because he is thought to be working for Lord Arthur’s enemy, Duke Henry. The two are at war and Lord Arthur has no plans to be merciful to Ash.
Taken away and locked up with Duke Henry himself, Ash manages to escape their prison not long after capture. He takes back his chainsaw, which he uses in place of his hand, as well as his gun, and evades Lord Arthur’s men. His final battle here is with Lord Arthur, where he defeats the evil captor and demands that Duke Henry gets released. This is just the beginning for Ash.
In all the madness of being captured, killing his captors, and escaping, Ash draws attention from Sheila, who is the sister of one of Lord Arthur’s slain men. Because Sheila is sure her brother’s death was dealt by Ash, she has no choice but to hate him at first. Eventually, as the movie continues, Sheila begins developing feelings for Ash.
Ash finds out that the only way he can return home and escape this time period he’s in is by finding the Necronomicon, an ancient book that will set him free. He eventually manages to find the book, though it is placed next to two other decoy books. Once Ash determines which book is the real thing, he forgets the ending of the phrase he needs to say in order to take the book. He mutters the phrase, hoping that it will be enough, but by saying it wrong, he wakes up an army of dead, Medieval soldiers called the Deadites.
It isn’t until Sheila is captured and turned into a Deadite that Ash agrees to fight the army. He uses his knowledge from the future as well as an army of humans on his side and ends up defeating the army, freeing Sheila, and returning home. The closing scene is of Ash back in his old job, trying to tell the tale of his adventure to an uncaring coworker.
Army of Darkness Fun Facts
- The original title of the film proposed by Raimi was Medieval Dead, but Universal didn’t agree. After some back and forth, it was decided that Army of Darkness would not be named with the Evil Dead series, and instead have a standalone title.
- In the movie, an Oldsmobile falls out of the sky, but in real life, that scene caused a 25-ton crane to fall off a cliff. They had to use an 80-ton crane to get the shot!
- Originally, the movie was set to end with Ash returning home and then waking up one hundred years later in a post-apocalyptic setting.
A Series Worth Watching
Though Army of Darkness is not titled as part of the Evil Dead series, if you have the time, watch them all in sequence. You’ll pick up on film nuances, character development, and more depth in the plot.
Army of Darkness 1992 Cast
- Bruce Campbell – Ash and Evil Ash
- Embeth Davidtz – Sheila
- Marcus Gilbert – Lord Arthur
- Ian Abercrombie – Wise Man
- Richard Grove – Duke Henry the Red
- Timothy Patrick Quill – Blacksmith
- Michael Earl Reid – Gold Tooth
- Bridget Fonda – Linda
- Bill Moseley – Deadite captain
- Patricia Tallman – Possessed witch
- Ted Raimi – Cowardly warrior/Second supportive villager/Anthony, the S-Mart clerk/Skeleton voices
- Angela Featherstone – S-Mart store girl (uncredited)
The film stars Bruce Campbell as Ash, Embeth Davidtz as Sheila, and Marcus Gilbert as Lord Arthur. Director Sam Raimi also makes a cameo appearance in the film as a knight. And if you listen closely, you can hear a brief voice cameo by actor Ted Raimi, Sam Raimi’s brother. Army of Darkness was a critical and commercial success, and its cult following continues to grow to this day. It’s a true classic of the horror-comedy genre, full of action, humor, and unforgettable one-liners. So grab some popcorn, turn down the lights, and settle in for a wild ride with Army of Darkness. Hail to the king, baby!