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Army of Darkness
Army of Darkness: Evil Dead 3 / Evil Dead 3: The Medievil Dead / The Medieval Dead / Armee der Finsternis

USA 1992
produced by
Robert G.Tapert, Bruce Campbell (co), Dino De Laurentiis (executive) for Renaissance Pictures, Dino De Laurentiis Corporation
directed by Sam Raimi
starring Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidtz, Marcus Gilbert, Ian Abercrombie, Richard Grove, Timothy Patrick Quill, Michael Earl Reid, Bridget Fonda, Patricia Tallman, Ted Raimi, Deke Anderson, Bruce Thomas, Sara Shearer, Shiva Gordon, Billy Bryan, Nadine Grycan, Bill Moseley
written by Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi, music by Joseph Lo Duca, Danny Elfman (title theme)

Evil Dead, Ash

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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After his last encounter with the evil dead has left super market clerk Ash (Bruce Campbell) in the middle ages (see Evil Dead 2), he, once there, finds himself immediately dragged off to an execution, as Lord Arthur (Marcus Gilbert) thinks he is in league with Duke Henry the Red (Richard Grove). Only Arthur's wise man (Ian Abercrombie) feels there's more to Ash & he might be the Promised One to help them fight the Deadites. but Arthur is much too busy throwing him into the pit to listen to the old man.

In the pit, Ash soon runs across a few demons (or Deadites, as the medieval folks prefer to call them) & is almost a goner, when the wise man throws his chainsaw (that along with his car travelled to the middle ages with him) down the pit, & when Ash connects it with his right arm (his hand has also come off in Evil Dead 2), he can cut the Deadites down to size (literally), which gains Ash the respect of his medieval friends - & also gains him a maid in bed, lovely Sheila (Embeth Davidtz).

But despite everything, Ash wants to go back to his own time, but the wise man tells him that is only possible when he manages to retrieve the Necronomicon from a nearby graveyard & say some magic words.

Of course, this is not quite as easy as it sounds, as Ash has to fight his way through a horde of demons, mini versions of himself, & he also has to witness an evil twin of himself (henceforth called Evil Ash) being created. But somehow he comes through all of this alive & finds the Necronomicon ... opnly to realize he has forgotten the exact magic words ... he takes the book anyhow, but now he has really unleashed the army of darkness, led by Evil Ash, & quite soon they are approaching Arthur's castle.

Reluctantly Ash agrees to help Arthur to defend the castle, & soon brings a bit of 20th century technology into play when he rebuilds his car as an icredible weapon to mow down Deadites, helps them build bombs according to a book called Chemistry 101 he found in his trunk, teaches them in modern warfare & hand-to-hand combat & persuades them to call on Henry the Red for help.

The batte itself is long & fierce, with Sheila eventually turning into a demon, & the castle (& the book Necronomicon, for which the Deadites have come) is almost lost, but somehow, Ash can get rid of Evil Ash using a catapult & quite some explosives, /& when Henry the Red & his troops finally show up, the tide is turned, & the war is not only won, but also Henry & Arthur are finally reconciled ...

& Ash, he gets a magic potion that makes him sleep through to his own time. But he sleeps a tad too long & wakes up to the ruins of London after a war he doesn't even know about yet ...

In another version, Ash, after saying some magic  words, is transported back to his own time ... but he didn't get all the words right (again) & one day in the supermarket is again attacked by the Evil Dead ...

Bridget Fonda plays Ash's girlfriend Linda in some flashbacks.

 

The first Evil Dead movie was an efficient piece of (somewhat brainless) horror cinema, Evil Dead 2 was a parody of the first part & an early piece of splatter-slapstick, with Army of Darkness, Sam Raimi took pretty much another route, leaving the horror genre somewhat behind & instead taking its inspiration from sword & sorcery films, Ray Harryhausen special effects spectacles (especially the swordfighting skeletons look like right out of Jason and the Argonauts), but also Three Stooges comedies & the Looney Tunes - & wouldn't you know it, that mix works perfectly, not at least thanks to Bruce Campbell, who seems to be just cut out for this kind of role & thanks to a fast-paced direction that takes the action as seriously as the comedy & leaves hardly a dull moment. Great fun !

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD