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Evil Dead III: Army Of Darkness

I was going to watch this last week, but I got distracted by Simon & Simon. It's a very good distraction. Anyway, it was only a matter of time before the legions of the undead - not to mention the hordes of battling skeletons - won out; so, following on from Evil Dead II, here comes Evil Dead III. Got to say, I don't love this one as much. It begins well, and ends very well, but the entire middle section is basically The Three Stooges vs zombies; which probably sounds like a good idea to some people, but not to somebody who's allergic to slapstick. Anyway, the key ingredients remain, which is what's really important. Slightly bigger budget this time. Not entirely sure that you can call that a good thing.

Beginning at the beginning then, I love how the opening credits, rather than saying "Bruce Campbell in Army Of Darkness", instead say "Bruce Campbell vs The Army Of Darkness". It instantly makes the film more awesome than almost any other. Yes it does, don't argue. I also love how - either because of awkward cinematic rights issues, or perhaps just because they liked the idea of working with Bridget Fonda - they didn't use the cliffhanger from the end of ED II as a prologue. Instead they reshot it. This effectively means that Ash has now gone to that cabin in the woods, and accidentally raised the undead, on three separate occasions, and with three different women. All called Linda. This really does take idiocy to a whole new level.

Anyhow, on with the film.

Handy hints for time travellers. Never save Mediaeval warriors from flying zombies. They're highly unlikely to be grateful.

On the other hand, talking to one who has a really badly fake Scottish accent will apparently cause your shirt to spontaneously repair itself. It's also great for removing blood stains.

Lesson #12 in The Sam Raimi Book Of Film-Making. Never kill anybody subtly, if there's the slightest chance of doing it with a fifty-foot-high geyser of blood.

(Lessons #1 through #11 involve the inflicting of acts of artistic violence upon Bruce Campbell).


It's chainsaw time.

Bow before me, peasants. For yea verily, I doth has a boomstick.

Hmm. I have many an undead monster to fight. I could tear them to pieces with my trusty and battle-tested chainsaw... or I could leave the chainsaw behind and wear this glove. Choices choices.

Very nice castle and gallopy horses.

You can always tell when undead evil is approaching. It inevitably causes Sam Raimi to rush about in a forest with a camera strapped to his head.

Bruce Campbell saves me from thirty minutes of slapstick agony by blasting his Three Stooges-esque alter ego with a shotgun. A thousand thanks, Bruce.

One shotgun-blasted alter ego. Out for revenge.

A good part of what makes these films such fun is that all romance is doomed to be nipped neatly in the bud by the girlfriend's abduction and murder by ferocious beasties. You're not telling me that that wouldn't have improved Casablanca.

In all fairness, it is a very cool glove. It's just that it's sod all use for eviscerating zombies.

Whilst I readily admit to hating the "comedy" middle section of this film, I must give the last third all due credit. Boy does it know how to stage a fun battle scene.

Quite possibly the best screencap ever. That would make an awesome pirate flag.

Having accidentally drunk too much timey-wimey, magic sleeping potion, Ash winds up stuck in an apocalyptic future London. Which I love. The comedy beard is completely nonsensical, because if time is passing for his stubble, it's passing for him as well. Either he's in suspended animation or he's not. And, okay, I probably shouldn't be thinking about it that much. Apparently America didn't get apocalyptic future London as an ending. Because of studio meddling, they instead got a scene in a supermarket. Yeah. One of those times when Britain definitely got the better deal.

Anyway, that was Army Of Darkness. Not nearly as much fun as its prequel, but much better known - largely on account of having had a budget, proper cinema distribution, and rather less visceral dismemberment. Still, popular opinion be damned. Wholesale violent slaughter is always better than people tripping over. It's just one of those self-evident truths.

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