Details: Released in 1992. About an hour and twenty minutes long. Directed by Sam Raimi. Stars Bruce Campbell.
Army of Darkness is the third film in the Evil Dead franchise. It is undoubtedly a B movie and deliberately so. This is campy, sort of horror with bad effects and mostly comedic in the delivery of most lines.
The story centers on Bruce Campbell’s character. Following the events of the last two Evil Dead movies, Campbell gets sent back in time to the medieval era where he must fight the evil monster and undead of that era with his fist, his shotgun, a chainsaw arm, and eventually a modded car. It’s pretty out there stuff that is done poorly but likely on purpose.
This film satisfies a very specific type of viewer. If you deliberately campy, self-aware, bad special effects, and pretty campy acting, then this is for you. This isn’t the kind of self aware silliness you’d get in a Will Ferrell comedy. The feeling you get from watching this film is that everyone is trying their best but just screwing up in delivering a seriously scary film. They are screwing up so bad that it cannot be anything other than deliberate.
There’s a whole genre of films like this. I imagine this film is meant to imitate the bad horror pictures of old. The thing about those films is that those old horror films were actually trying to be scary. In fact, they were scary because film had only progressed so far in that time period. Films like this try to emulate those film while also paying homage to them. The film techniques and narrative styles used in those old films are so outdated that if used in a more modern film, they wouldn’t be horror. They would be comedies. This film is a good example of that.
Lot of familiar faces in this movie. This is unsurprising considering that Raimi also did Xena and the Spider-Man movies.
Overall, I can recognize and appreciate that there are a lot of people who like films like this. From what I’ve read online, there is a cult following for films like this. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people. This film was not a fun time for me. It was a stupid waste of time. Movies like this feel like what a person would do when they realize they are incapable of creating something great, so they just try to create something bad. They try to create something so bad that the extraordinary bad-ness they achieve is, in a way, great. This film felt like an attempt to fail spectacularly and, while I appreciate the effort and recognize and respect differing opinions, I did not enjoy it. Watching this movie made me want to go on my phone and check social media for an hour and a half.