If you are going to watch “Army of Darkness,” I would assume that you already know that it is the third installment in the “Evil Dead” series directed by Sam Raimi. However, if you are not aware of this, and if it wasn’t for the three-minute recap of the first two movies, you wouldn’t really know that this is a part of that series. The first two “Evil Dead” films were so similar to each other, whereas this movie takes the series in a whole other direction. The only connections between “Army of Darkness” and the first two “Evil Dead” movies is Bruce Campbell’s character of Ash, and the book. Though, if you paid attention to the second movie, Ash did end up in this other realm at the end of the movie, in which “Army of Darkness” takes place. Also, the first two movies dealt more with the characters becoming possessed by an evil entity, whereas “Army of Darkness” has all sorts of creatures and demons in it.
Sam Raimi returns to his ways of making a dark comedy. Though a little more on the serious side, “Army of Darkness” does still incorporate a lot of that “splatstick comedy” element that “Evil Dead II” has, that almost makes you feel as if you are having a bad trip. The writing is definitely creative and original and will probably have you wondering if the writers were on drugs while coming up with these ideas.
The cinematography in this movie is great, with many close ups, and interesting angles. However, the amount of zooms and pans in this movie is a bit ridiculous and way overused. During the fight scenes, there are many shaky and very quick shots to add to the intensity and suspense of the fights. Similar to the first two movies of the series, this film has shots where the camera is quickly gliding through the woods acting as the evil force, which is done very well. The editing and special effects of this movie are fantastic, with everything from a group of tiny Bruce Campbells running around to a two-headed Campbell to an army of skeletons fighting in battle.
If you are an “Evil Dead,” Bruce Campbell and/or Raimi brothers fan, you should definitely watch Army of Darkness. Not many good horror films are also comedies, and this series definitely pulls it off well. It will have you both cringing and laughing.