Happy accidents are rare. They’re the only accident to like, though.
This next one was definitely a happy accident.
I remember writing about how mood can play into your first experience with a movie. My mood definitely played into the enjoyment I had watching this movie. My father and I both were in the mood for a laugh. Not just a laugh, a very mindless, goofy, “I don’t want to have to think,” kind of laugh.
“Army of Darkness” probably can’t be described better than I just gave it. The movie is pretty ridiculous, and if you can understand that the movie is aware of its own lunacy, you’ll laugh along with it. If that’s not your cup of tea; you ain’t liking it.
I find that you love or hate these movies. My father and I loved them.
I think that for those of us that love these movies, the one thing that keeps this series of films entertaining is the casting of Bruce Campbell. He’ll be the first to tell you that he was born for the role of Ash. He has this natural, silly charm about him that exudes an interesting self-confidence that is at the same time, self-deprecating. I think that there is a big part of Bruce Campbell that is Ash.
Where to begin about the story…? Know that I was unaware that this film was a part of the “Evil Dead” universe until I got into college. More on that later…
We start with a VO recap by Ash, who catches us up to speed about the previous two movies (again, didn’t know they existed at the time). He is sucked through a vortex and sent back into medieval times. We learn about the Necronomicon (the book of the dead) and how it set out an evil that possessed Ash’s hand, so he lopped it off and replaced it with a chainsaw. When he lands from the vortex, he finds himself in the middle of a clan feud and he and his car are taken hostage with the losing clan to the castle of Lord Arthur (not that one, but Arthur nonetheless).
The same evil that possessed Ash’s hand is prevalent in this time he finds himself in and Arthur and his crew decide to throw Ash into a pit with those that have been possessed by the evil and the shenanigans ensue. Given his previous experience fighting these creatures, and with a little help from a wise Noble, Ash gets his chainsaw back and that’s all she wrote. He climbs out from the pit and the phrase “Boomstick” is born.
I know I’ve made this sound more like a horror movie than a comedy. This is a movie about the dead, possession, evil, etc. It’s a movie with that material unlike any I’d seen at the time. I envision the Raimi brothers were a couple of guys that found parts of “The Exorcist” funny when they grew up watching it and decided to make a unique, funny version of their “Exorcist.”
The dialogue delivered by Campbell is a large part of what makes the movie funny:
“Give me some sugar baby.”
“Hail to the king, baby.”
“Groovy,” after he time lapses the creation of a medieval replacement hand.
“Well, I’ve got news for you pal, you ain’t leadin’ but two things, right now: Jack and shit…and Jack left town.”
“Come get some.”
“Yo, she-bitch! Let’s go!”
“Oh that’s just what we call pillow talk, baby, that’s all.”
Remember, the gimmick here is that he is in Medieval times talking to people that say things like “thou” and “thee.”
When Campbell’s not busy being funny, he’s kicking ass, with his “Boomstick” and his chainsaw. If you’re looking for an intelligent comedy with wit and dry humor…this is not your movie. It’s closer to Mel Brooks than Woody Allen. If you enjoy silly gore like you’ll find in Tarantino movies and slapstick with corny charm, this is the movie for you.