I really like the Evil Dead movies but when it comes to the third instalment, Army of Darkness, I’d have to put it at the bottom of the list. Though it still has its spot in the Evil Dead universe and some of the best Bruce Campbell moments in the early movies, it didn’t hit the mark as hard as the others. Many have attributed this to the increased influence of Universal Studios in this instalment, which changed up a lot of the Evil Dead formula.
An Action Comedy
I’ll avoid spoilers but with the first Evil Dead, we were graced with a horror movie. The second one was released as a horror-comedy. However, Army of Darkness was turned into an action-comedy film, which didn’t quite feel like a proper Evil Dead movie.
It isn’t a bad movie but it just feels very out of place amongst everything else and that isn’t just because of the setting. The film toned down a lot of the beloved gore and opted for grand-scale battles over smaller, intense and more intimate thrills of the previous movie. Though the movie did have its merits.
Bruce Campbell (in all his glory) has a double role in this one and the skeleton soldiers were a lot of fun to watch as they trotted around being oddly formal about killing the humans. It is a lot of fun to watch Bruce Campbell fumble around in armour and wave a sword around as if he knows what he’s doing.
This film really made the character of ‘Ash Williams’ legendary. The focus on action really turned Williams into into a real badass (not that he wasn’t before.)
This is My Boomstick
One thing this film did bring the world was the iconic scene of Ash lifting his shotgun above his head and yelling “This is my Boomstick” while showing off the gun to some medieval peasants. That scene has gone down as one of the most iconic scenes in cult classic history. So, at least it gave us that.
Army of Darkness may not be the best Evil Dead movie but it is a lot of fun to watch and if you are keen to look into these the film series, it should be on your list.
After this film, the franchise went quiet for a very long time until a completely new take on the franchise was released in 2013 (which is a story for another time.)