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It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Movie

Reader Review

Army of Darkness

Posted by: Darien
Date Submitted: Tuesday, April 6, 1999 at 12:42:43
Date Posted: Tuesday, April 6, 1999 at 17:45:05

Ok, fine. I've been going back and forth on completing my collection of reviews of "Evil Dead" movies, and, now that someone else has already attempted it, I guess I'll tackle this one.

Army of Darkness, otherwise known as the "high budget" Evil Dead film, picks up with a monologue from Ash that I just don't understand. Not that I don't understand what he's saying, mind you -- I just don't understand why on earth he's saying it. You have to figure, this monologue could serve one of two purposes within the movie: either it's there to remind people who've seen the first two movies of what has gone before, or it's there to tell people who haven't seen the first two movies what's happened before. The trouble is, all it hits are the major points (necronomicon, evil hand, chainsaw, vortex) that, if people have seen the first two movies, they won't have forgotten (and if they have, the movie proper would remind them well enough). Of course, this tells people who have *not* seen them exactly nothing. ploy, anyone? This strikes me as being Raimi's way of conning people into watching the first two Evil Dead movies.

Ah, well; enough of that. The production qualities in this movie are *much* higher than in the first two, so that gets rid of much of the "bad movie laughability." However, this is replaced with much more outright lunacy, ranging from Three Stooges routines to ridiculous one-liners (Ever played Duke Nukem 3D? Ever wondered where Duke's sayings come from?) to surprisingly subtle things (such as the now-famous origin of the magic words).

Watch Ash make that metal hand of his; the way he makes it (no surgery required), and the fact that it works, *and* the fact that is makes a lovely little mechanical noise when it operates *in that scene alone* all combine to make it an absolutely priceless moment.

The bat thing that steals away Ash's chick is the throwback to the production qualities of the first two; it's a horribly-done stop-motion monstrosity.

This movie is indeed a bad movie, but it was meant to be. That was the point. In fact, since it's a bad movie on purpose, there is *so much* bad movie stuff that I can't even begin to touch it all. Suffice to say, it's a must-see, especially if you've seen the first two (whether you liked them or not).

(But where's the blood? A hallmark of Evil Dead movies is the absurd amounts of red spillage!)

My rating: Four turkeys. (I can't give it five because it is too obviously bad on purpose.)

Scene to watch for: The Little Men.

Best line: "Honey, you got real ugly."

Things that make you go "Huh?": Where the shotgun comes from after Ash climbs out of the pit (check the holster; it's never there until he uses it).

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