Nostalgia is what I feel when I see movies like this. I watched cult classics like this all the time when I was younger with my family and even today I still appreciate the oddness of this film. This movie isn’t necessarily a spoof in the strictness of the word, but it certainly isn’t a serious horror/thriller film.
Army of Darkness is the third installment of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead films that were more or less successful, but nevertheless found a strong following as years went by. This film follows Ash, a man who in the Evil Dead awoke evil spirits from the Book of the Dead, lost his girlfriend to the darkness and had to cut off his own hand to save himself from succumbing to the evil. At the end of the Evil Dead 2 he is thrown into a mysterious portal; at the start of this film he finds himself in Medieval Times where the locals are threatened by the same evil as he was.
Now, this movie needs to be taken as its own genre. It’s a sort of Mel Brooke-like film with cheesy, smarmy dialogue and a melodramatic story-line, but it’s those very things that make the film so great. The acting by the awesome Bruce Campbell brings the film a true epic hero feel and even though some of the dialogue or scenes cause reflexive eye-rolls and bemused chuckles it still feels like a real film that has withstood the years and created a strong fan following.
If you decide to watch this film either out of curiosity or a prelude to the new Starz show “Ash vs. the Evil Dead” (which is set after the Army of Darkness) then I suggest going in with an open-mind and a sense of humor; you’ll enjoy it a lot more that way. Might I also mention that Ash uses a chain-saw for his missing hand and a cut off shot gun strapped to his back? You can’t get much cooler than that.