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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
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
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 !