The final movie of the original Evil Dead series is the unforgettable comedy, The Army of Darkness. While I don’t love it as much as the Dead By Dawn, no one can deny the pure legacy and quotability of The Army of Darkness.
Now you’re asking yourself “wait, did he just say that Army of Darkness is a comedy?”. Yes, yes I did. Somewhere along the line, I think the scripts got messed up and somehow AoD was directed by Mel Brooks, because this entire movie seems to be an homage.
Army of Darkness picks up immediately at the ending of Dead by Dawn. The Necronomicon somehow hits 88 mph and sends Ash, his car, a shotgun, and about a half-dozen other things flying through a portal. And they land… in the middle ages… hey, I said this was a comedy.
While Ash is still in a panic, a group of soldiers surround him and take him to their castle, assuming that he is working for their enemy, Duke Henry. Upon arriving to the castle, they force him towards a pit that’s filled with “unholy terrors”. Ash tries to fight back, but before he can escape the grip of his captors a woman (cough love interest cough) hits him in the head with a rock, and he stumbles into the pit.
After a few moments, one of the evil dead (referred to in this iteration as “Deadites”) rises from the water behind him and… decks him in the face… multiple times. For a few minutes after, an epic Man V. Zombie fight takes place, until the (what I assume to be) local lore-keeper throws Ash’s signature chainsaw down into the pit with him.
Fate, perfect timing, and movie magic allow the saw to land directly on Ash’s arm. After hacking the beast to chunks, and climbing his way out, Ash angrily confronts the townspeople, and brings them all to treat him as a king and prophecised hero, sent to rescue them from the evil Deadites.
Acting-wise, Army of Darkness is not meant to be taken seriously, similar to the second film. While the overall acting quality in AoD is better than it is in Dead by Dawn, it is corn- you know what, screw it. If you’ve read this far you know, you just know the acting is corny, I don’t even have to point it out any more.
I feel like the music lacks the most in Army of Darkness, but it’s by no means bad, it’s just not as good as one or two in my opinion.
I just want to mention the quotability again too. My friends and I reference this movie constantly, thanks to the plethora of amazing one-liners, such as: “Groovy.”, “Give me some sugar, baby.” (okay, well, my friends and I don’t use that one too often.), “This is my boomstick.”, and the all-time classic “Hail to the king, baby.”
Army of Darkness is undoubtedly a great movie and it could, I suppose, stand alone if you’ve never seen it before and are looking for a light comedy. As the conclusion to one of the greatest trilogies ever created, it does it’s job in ending things in a big fantastic bang, and that’s just…………. groovy.