Army of Darkness - Hail to the King, Baby

Army of Darkness (1992)
Directed by: Sam Raimi 
Starring: Bruce Campbell and Bruce Campbell 
Release date: February 19, 1933
Running time: 80 minutes

I tried to go in without thinking about the cult status or all of the hype I've heard about this movie over the years. It's one of those movies where even if you've never seen a single frame of it, it's so ingrained in pop culture that you know everything about it. You know Ash, you know the chainsaw, you know the boomstick, you know "groovy." You know most of the beats without ever even knowing who Bruce Campbell is. I tried to put all that aside and go in fresh. It's impossible to go in completely blind, but I'm only going in with a bit of knowledge about it. Most importantly the fact that it's not called Evil Dead 3 for a reason. I'm hoping it still retains a bit of the horror that made me love Evil Dead 2 so much without going completely over the top, but I get a strong feeling I'm not going to get any of it. 

In true Evil Dead fashion, Army of Darkness begins with a flashback to the prior movie with a couple of things altered for no reason. It's as if Raimi is trapped in Groundhog Day and has to keep telling the same story over and over again until he kisses Bruce Campbell and breaks the time loop. Ash and his girlfriend Linda, who’s now played by Bridget Fonda for about 5 seconds, are clerks at S-Mart vacationing to a cabin in the mountains. Not to be confused with clerks at Quick Stop who sit around and talk about Star Wars and hockey for 90 minutes. In the cabin they find the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis, a book bound in human flesh written in blah blah blah you already know what happened. They summon unspeakable evil and Ash and his piece of shit Oldsmobile are sucked into a vortex and crash land in 1300 AD. 

Only this time nobody is dropping to their knees and hailing him. He’s discovered by knights after falling from the sky, but instead of saving them he’s suspected of being one of Duke Henry’s men. This would be significant if any character other than Ash mattered in this movie. Basically, this guy who’s Not Ash thinks Ash is working for some other guy named Not Ash the Red, who he is at war with. Ash is taken prisoner and led back to the castle, which is 100% absolutely not just a giant cardboard cutout inserted into the background of the shot. 

I’ll just run through the deep pathos of their character arcs right now and save us all heaps of time: Lord Arthur and Duke Henry the Red are at war. Lord Arthur is definitely not King Arthur but he totally is, and the old Wiseman with the long flowing white beard who knows about ancient books of the dead is definitely not Merlin. Henry the Red and all of his men are medieval gingers. They’re at war, they work together at the end to stop the Deadites, and there’s peace between their nations. There, I just wrapped up every character whose name doesn't rhyme with "Smashley."

Ash and the gingers are sentenced to die in a giant pit. I have to say it’s good to see that even hundreds of years in the past everybody still hates Ash. One of my favorite recurring themes in the Evil Dead franchise is how everybody, especially Sam Raimi, loves inflicting misery on poor Ashley. It doesn't matter if he's surrounded by terrible actors in a cabin or terrible actors in a castle, somewhere off screen Sam Raimi is going to be throwing heavy shit at him and slapping his knee while laughing. 

One of Henry’s men is thrown into the pit. There’s quiet…quiet…quiet…giant fucking blood geyser.

bout to earn my red wings tonight
And just like that I’m into the movie again. Now it's Ash’s turn. Ash insists he’s not one of Henry’s men, because he doesn’t have red hair nor an Irish accent, but the crowd of people look over these simple facts because they want to watch this idiot die. He’s conked on the head by Sheila, whose brother was a knight who died under Arthur's watch and who believes Ash is responsible for absolutely no reason other than it's convenient. I just want to point out how it's been said (by me) over and over again how nobody but Bruce Campbell went on to do anything. Imagine my surprise when I realized the nothing character of Sheila was Embeth Davidtz, who just next year would be in Schindler's List. No scene in movie history makes me cry quite like Liam Neeson, after everything he'd been through, looking down at his chainsaw hand and crying "I could have got more." 

Still woozy from taking a rock to the noggin, Ash is shoved into the pit and attacked by a Deadite. A really plain looking one at that. Even the makeup jobs in the original were more creative than her, but this particular Deadite doesn’t live long enough for it to be an issue.

Hmmm, I like it, but what if we just made her a spooooooky witch instead?
They have a big dumb hand to hand fight until Not Merlin gives Ash his chainsaw back. This old Wiseman is dead set on the idea that this bumbling asshole is the savior of the human race. I'm pretty sure that was all written in the Necronomicon, which Ash has to go and fetch later so why would he even know that, but I digress. The Deadite leaps at Ash and he cuts her head off in mid air. Fuck it, just re-do everything from the last 2 movies but have people wearing silly costumes so nobody notices. 

Ash tries to make his escape but another Deadite comes out of the wall like a Temple Guard. Ah, the Pit Bitch. What a wonderful bit of prosthetic work. 

It's cheesy and silly and I absolutely love it. It's finally starting to feel like an Evil Dead movie with its over the top monsters and I couldn't be happier. It looks like something you'd see at a Six Flags haunted house and I love everything about its static expression and goofy gestures. Ash cuts its hand off, and in an overhead shot of the hand flying towards the camera you can clearly see both of the actor’s hands clear as day because they didn't even bother to put a glove on to hide it. Thanks high definition. This entire sequence is the first part of the movie I’ve really enjoyed. We're still early on so there was a bit of establishing and world building to be done, but this is the point where I start to get into it. Just don't get too into it and think for a second about the practicalities of a giant demon pit in the center of their castle or your head will explode Scanners style. 

Cut. Print. Perfect. Moving on.
Ash pulls himself out of the pit and punches Arthur square in his dumb fuckin face. Everyone is frozen in place and scared shitless by the strange man who just put a chainsaw where his hand should be and murdered two Deadites. All I’m saying is Ash fell into a giant hole, killed two demons and pulled himself out with one hand, and Boba Fett got eaten by a giant space vagina. Both of these characters are revered by nerds everywhere, but only one was killed by George Lucas' underlying sexual inadequacies. The Deadite re-appears and Ash shoots it in the face and kills it for good, and the entire nation (i.e. 30 extras and critically acclaimed actor Theodore "Ted" Raimi wearing silly clothes) look at him with reverence. Or maybe they’re all just wondering where he got ammo from. 

Afterwards, Ash is being waited on hand and foot. He’s got ladies fanning and feeding him. He’s being treated like a king, yet all he wants to do is go back to his own time. Well, on one hand I’ve got ladies bringing me food and wine, and everyone looks up to me as a mystical hero that will save them and will probably let me rule as their king. OOOOOOOOR I could go back to my dead end job and dead girlfriend. Shit, that blue light sale is tomorrow and my shift manager is a real c u next Tuesday if I show up late. 

The only way back is, you guessed it, the Necronomicon. There’s been 3 minutes without a demon of some sort so some old lady turns around and oh my God it’s a Deadite. She floats in the air, says he’s going to die, then flies around until he shoots her. It’s the same thing you’ve not only seen in the other 2 movies, but also in the last scene. He kills her, it’s really pointless and doesn't matter, and he agrees to retrieve the book. He uses a piece of armor to create a giant cyberpunk robo-hand (because why wouldn’t a convenience store clerk know how to do that) and prepares to set out on his journey. Before leaving, he has a riveting conversation with Sheila and they kiss, which apparently means they're madly in love. Even though he’s planning on going back to his own time. Alright. Apparently there’s a version where they have sex, but that’s not on my copy. I’ll get to all the fucking different versions at the end because oh MAN. 

Ash sets off to retrieve the book. It will rid humanity of the undead scourge that plagues them, but more importantly it will let this bumbling asshole go home. I truly love that he talks down to every single character in this movie like they're inferior to him. He acts like just because he's from a more advanced time his intellect is equally as advanced. He’s a fucking Wal Mart cashier yet he refers to all of these people as primitives and primates. He’s so consistently a bag of shit and it makes watching him get slapped around that much better. 

Ash is told that once he finds the book he must repeat three words: “Klaatu Verata Nikto.” I’m sure you know that’s a reference to The Day the Earth Stood Still, the classic alien invasion movie starring Keanu Reeves. At this point we’re almost a half hour into the movie and I’m really missing the horror. There’s been monsters, but monsters =/= horror. It’s been a bunch of yuks and homages to adventure movies. I don’t have any fond memories of Sinbad; I don’t care about seven voyages nor the fact that women be shopping. I’m hoping that as the Necronomicon comes into play some horror elements will follow it. 

As he approaches the cemetery the book is held in, Ash is chased by an unseen Force. Fucking finally. He’s chased into a windmill and decides to set up camp for the night. He sees his reflection staring back at him in the mirror, which I had always assumed is what mirrors are supposed to do, and runs into it and shatters it. It makes absolutely zero god damn sense, but once again there’s a more clear reason in a different cut. MORE. ON. THAT. LATER.

A bunch of tiny Ashes emerge from the shards of glass and torment him by making him watch Mirrors with Kiefer Sutherland. There’s a bunch of singing and stupid Three Stooges shit until Ash is knocked unconscious. He awakens to find himself tied down, because why reference classic horror when you can reference Gulliver’s Travels

One of the Lil Ashes jumps down his throat. I'm sure this happened in a stop motion movie from the 50's but I couldn't tell you which one. Ash tries to kill him by drinking boiling water but it’s too late. I had to rewind to make sure his head didn't turn into a giant thermometer and burst. 

Evil Ash begins to emerge from his body like some hellacious siamese twin. So to keep track, we’ve got Ash, Lil Ashes, Evil Ash, and Ashy Larry. 

Ash assesses the situation and runs screaming into the haunted woods in the dead of night. Evil Ash separates himself entirely and makes more awful jokes and dances like an asshole, then promptly gets shot in the face, chainsawed, and buried. Yes, Ash kills a demon and then buries it in the woods. Again. But it’s different because this time he has one-liners. Needless to say this is my absolute least favorite part of the movie. The jokes are complete groaners and I’m realizing I’m not going to get the movie I was hoping for. 

Ash makes it to the book's location and there are three books there. Shock of all shocks, the first two are traps. The first book sucks him inside it and the second book bites him. I really don't know what it is with me and this movie. Evil Dead 2 was my favorite one and it had a 5 minute sequence of him shooting at his severed hand, but this is doing absolutely nothing for me. A book with teeth isn't any dumber than a severed hand getting caught in a mousetrap, but here I am not going with it. I'm not trying to be the arms crossed contrarian asshole, but this movie just isn't working for me like the previous two. 

Ash find the real book and says the magic phrase. Or he tries to. He can’t remember the last word, so he tries to trick the book by coughing and mumbling it. I think I’m the only one who interpreted it this way, but he says to himself “Its an ’n’ word. It’s definitely an ’n’ word,” and then looks around nervously like you do when you’re about to tell a racist joke to make sure there’s only white people around you, then coughs the last word. I swear to God I thought he was dropping an n bomb. I mean, you’d think if that was the word he’d remember it, but I’m from Texas and any chance I get to subvert an entire race I’m gonna take. 

He starts back for the castle with book in hand but is attacked by skeletons. They fishhook him and gouge him in the eyes. There’s even tweety bird sound effects when he gets punched in the face. Did I mention Raimi really, really likes the Three Stooges? That makes one of us. 

Ash escapes and heads back to the castle as the dead continue to rise. Lightning strikes Evil Ash’s grave and he rises from the dead. I’m going to assume he wasn’t referencing Friday the 13th Part 6, but it’d be pretty funny if that was the one iconic piece of horror cinema he referenced in the entire movie.

Ash gives the Necronomicon to the wise man and tells him he kinda sorta said the phrase. He’s informed that by just kinda sorta saying it, he’s awoken the army of the dead. Finally. Finally the characters bring the evil on themselves. Ash didn't play a recording, but he fucked up and now he has to suffer the consequences. 

They apparently failed to mention that being overrun by skeleton warriors was a possibility in the first place, so why wouldn’t you just fucking write the phrase down? You don’t have a scroll lying around somewhere with the three words that allow you to retrieve the book that will stop all of the Deadites? Maybe Ash was right and they really are primitives after all. A bunch of god damned Niktos and Nikto lovers, the whole lot of em. Wiseman informs Ash that by not remembering three words he's fucked over all of mankind. “He didn’t do a very good job." Indeed, Ash. Indeed. 

The army has an insatiable hunger for the power the book holds and will come for it. All of it is Ash’s fault. He has fucked over humanity by summoning a giant army of the undead that’s about to be led by his evil counterpart. But he still wants to go home. The concept of altering the past in such a dramatic way (ie letting the human race be extinguished by demons) doesn’t enter his mind, he’s too deadset on getting back to his dead girlfriend and wage slave job. Sorry about your extinction, rats off to ya, I’m clicking my heels together and heading back to restock for Black Friday. Ash is that kid who comes over and plays with your toys, breaks one, then runs back home. God I fucking hate you, Kevin. 

They’re about to let him go back to the past when a flying Deadite swoops in and kidnaps Sheila. The girl who spoke 3 lines, whom he just seconds ago told he didn’t have any real feelings for, is gone and now he loves her with all his heart and will stay and lead the resistance to rescue her. Even when I'm not particularly thrilled about where the movie is going I can take solace in Ash being the biggest, dumbest piece of shit. It's not often you get to use the word "buffoon" anymore but there's no better representation on film. 

Sheila is taken to Evil Ash, who is uniting the Deadites into the Army of Darkness. There's even a brief titty shot. Thanks, movie. The biggest mistake of this movie is the Evil Ash makeup. Moreso, the fact that he has any makeup at all. Evil Dead II was all about Bruce Campbell’s physical comedy and facial expressions, and in this movie which is literally The Bruce Campbell Show they give him a chance to play the hero and the villain, only to cake him under a bunch of shitty makeup. This movie is so much about Bruce Campbell that they make him both main characters, yet instead of letting his facial expressions and comedic timing do all the work, he just looks like the singer from GWAR.

RIP Oderus Urungus. I miss you every day.
Ash will no longer suffer the injustice of having his rebound ass taken from him and bands everyone together to fight the army. He ignores the fact that this is entirely his fault and tells them to stop running away like cowards and stay and fight alongside him. Even though he was seconds from running away and leaving them to solve his mess. It never fails to put a smile on my face just how much of a horse's ass he is. 

Evil Ash unveils that Sheila is now a Deadite, which would matter if we cared about her, and leads the charge towards the castle. Ash only has 60 men under his command, but he uses his superior futuristic intellect (a chemistry textbook in the trunk of his Oldsmobile) to create gunpowder. He then teaches the knights how to fight, because this corporate cog in the machine knows how to use a lance better than the Knights of the Round. He's finally become the leader he thought he was since the beginning as the Deadites approach the castle. 

It’s a climactic battle that they didn’t have the budget to do properly. Raimi ran out of money and was having a ton of trouble with Universal Pictures. This movie got made in part because of Dino De Laurentiis, who had a huge hand in getting Evil Dead 2 made. Problem was, Universal was really pissed at Dino. Dino wasn't giving up the rights to the Hannibal Lecter character, meaning Universal couldn't film a sequel to The Silence of the Lambs. So in typical Hollywood fashion, Universal fucked with every project Dino had a hand in, including Army of Darkness. Welcome to Hollyweird, am I right????

The result of this pissing contest is the giant 20 minute final battle looking like it was scraped together for no money with any practical effects and puppets they could get their hands on. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that’s mostly how it would have been regardless of if they had 100 dollars or 100 million, but it looks like shit all the same. Please don’t comment with “that’s the charm of it” “that’s the point” “it was on purpose.” Regardless of whether or not it was intentional, it’s an 80 minute movie, meaning a quarter of it is shots of puppets exploding. It wears old quickly. It’s the same thing when people complain about giant CGI fights. There’s no physicality to it, it’s just computer rendered effects hitting each other. It’s the same concept, except instead of multi million dollar machines it’s a couple of guys in ponytails off camera pulling strings mixed with bad stop motion. Maybe I’d be more into it if I grew up with movies like Jason and the Argonauts, but I’ll get into that more at the end. 

It wears on me because in the first two movies the cheesiest effects were on screen for only a couple of minutes. In the first one, the bad effects are there when the demons melt at the very end of the movie. In 2, the giant plastic monster head is there for maybe a minute before being sucked into the portal. Here it's nonstop for the entire third act, from being summoned in the woods to the army being rallied together to the lead up to the battle to the battle to the aftermath of the battle. It loses its charm because it stops being a cute homage to genre films and becomes "oh fuck, is this really going to be the entire last half hour?"

It's funny here. Not so much after 15 straight minutes
I'll stop being a Negative Nancy and point out a couple of small details I liked here. As the Army of Darkness descends upon the castle, there are skeletons playing bones like flutes and skulls like drums. The idea of a little skeleton drummer boy is very amusing to me. There's a skeleton with no legs crawling on the ground with a knife in his mouth that's oddly reminiscent of Halfy from Freaks (or early South Park. Take your pick). I like the small touches, like all of the skeletons having angled brows reminiscent of the Harryhausen creations which gives them a bit of personality. I love Ash bursting through the wall with his modified Oldsmobile. 

There's things to like here for me, but the whole doesn't equal the sum of its parts. About halfway into this fight Evil Ash enters the castle and faces off against Ash. And I just…don’t care. It’s not really exciting and it goes on for way too long. I realized while watching it for the second time for this write-up I had completely forgotten how the fight ended. I obviously knew that Ash and his army succeeded and he got sent back to S-Mart, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember how. It just doesn’t interest me at all. I don’t know, I guess watching over the top, stylized action and carefully choreographed martial arts movies my whole life and then watching science class skeletons fly around the room just isn't a good mix. 

Turns out Evil Ash dies by getting catapulted into the air and then exploding. I honestly don’t know how I forgot that. I’m guessing it was just so ridiculous I thought my brain was playing tricks on me. With their leader dead, the giant army that completely outnumbers Ash’s retreats. I get that it’s a tidy wrap-up, but that annoys the shit out of me. It was dissatisfying in The Avengers and it’s dissatisfying here. It’s a sloppy, half-assed ending. Oh man our leader’s gone, fight’s over, thanks for coming guys. Oh, and Sheila is a human now. Whatever. He stabbed her and threw her off the castle, but now that the battle is over she's human again and alive. Not only does it not make sense, it also completely goes against everything that happened to everyone in the first two mo-I'm thinking way too hard about this. 

Maybe I'm being too critical, but your arch nemesis shouldn't be defeated like Team Rocket
I’m not trying to be a big ole Grumpy Gus, but in retrospect the more I think back on the movie the more I could do without basically the entire third act. Everything in the woods was pointless, and the giant battle did absolutely nothing for me. It's the Bruce Campbell Show and I want to see Ash, but instead I see a bunch of actors working for scale dressed like Robin Hood shooting arrows at plastic skeletons, and then a lame swordfight against a guy in spoooooky undead makeup. Everyone not named Ash is less interesting to watch than the giant plastic skeletons. It became more and more clear to me as the movie went on that this movie is simply not for me. That doesn't mean it's bad, it's just not for me. 

To wrap this story up all nice and neat, Ash is given a potion to drink and three words to say exactly that will allow him to wake up in his own time. At the exact right time. Exactly. He led an army to victory against a giant army of skeletons to save Sheila, and then just deuces out and leaves anyways. He's the hero Housewares deserves.

The movie ends with Ash back at S-Mart, telling Ted Raimi about his adventures and how he could have been king. But why rule over an entire land when you can stock shelves and tell customers you don’t know when you’ll get more in stock but you’re willing to check the back even though you know good and god damn well nothing is back there but a chance to sit down, check your phone, then go back and tell them you’re all out. Woah, sorry. Ash tells Ted he said the words mostly right and like clockwork a Deadite appears. 

She jumps around, does a bunch of flips, threatens to take his soul, jumps around some more, then gets shot in the face. It’s the exact same scene that’s happened twice already. Ash kills her, grabs some random readhead, says “hail to the King, baby,” and kisses her as credits roll.

But of course, there's always the fabled original ending. Originally, Ash is distracted by a falling rock and loses count and takes one drop of the potion too many. He oversleeps by a hundred years and wakes up in post Apocalyptic England. The studio wanted to end on a high note, but Raimi believes Ash is a complete horse's ass. Ash being a complete dipshit and drinking too much is exactly what Ash would do. I would prefer this ending if it led to a sequel of Ash roaming a Mad Max landscape and fighting the undead, but until that exists I'm going to go with the studio-enforced ending. It may be a dumb happy ending, but I had a smile on my face through most of it, and honestly I wish more of the movie was like it. I think what I'm saying is, I agree with the movie studio over the director. What have I become?

I know it sounds like I hated it, especially near the end. That wasn't the case. I didn't hate it at all, I just didn't love it. They’re all essentially the same movie, but one is more specifically tailored to you than the others. 1 is grindhouse horror with a tinge of comedy, 2 is one foot in horror and one foot in comedy, and 3 is comedy with no horror. And that's fine. Just because this one didn't click with me doesn't mean there's not an audience for it. Without this movie, the franchise wouldn't have nearly the cult following it does today and Bruce Campbell would be signing 8 x 10's from Maniac Cop. 

My biggest problem is this is a fantasy spoof - and I don't like the fantasy genre. I love horror and appreciated all the throwbacks from the prior 2 movies, but I have no attachment to Harryhausen. I have fond memories of watching horror movies as a child and sleeping with the lights on. I don't have any memories of stop motion skeletons. Raimi produced Xena and Hercules, but I wasn't watching those, I was watching Tales from the Crypt and Are You Afraid of the Dark? The movie doesn't click with me on a deeper level like the previous one because I just flat out don't enjoy the fantasy genre. I feel the same way about it as I feel about westerns: I'll watch the good ones but I'm not going to just watch any old movie and get something out of it. It's not like action or horror where even with some of the worst movies I can get something out of them just because I'm such a fan of those genres. 

I watch Game of Thrones with my girlfriend and it's one of the best "fantasy" pieces of entertainment to come out since the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It has an expertly crafted story with seamlessly interweaving stories and characters and masterful world building. Even with all that said, I'm still on my laptop while we're watching it and listening to the dialogue. This genre just doesn't do anything for me, so if something as carefully put together as The Lord of the Rings doesn't leave me hanging on every word, a cheap imitation mixed with slapstick comedy isn't going to become one of my favorite movies. 

This isn't Evil Dead 3. It's more of a sequel to Monty Python and the Holy Grail than it is to Evil Dead 2. Well, I didn't really find Holy Grail that funny, either. I don't want to come across as saying I'm too old for slapstick humor, but I don't find that or catchphrases very funny. At this age, at least. I can guarantee if you showed me this movie when I was 12 years old I would have watched it at least once a year since then. This would fit right in next to Wayne's World, Ace Ventura, and Austin Powers as comedies I'd watch and quote over and over again. If I turned on a movie as a kid and in the first 2 minutes a guy cut his hand off with a chainsaw and traveled through time to fight monsters it would be my personal Citizen Kane. But I'm a fat nerd who's spent his entire life on the Internet. I've heard all of the jokes repeated countless times by less funny people before getting a chance to experience them myself. It's the symptom of a comedy trailer giving away the best jokes times a thousand. It's not the best jokes I've heard repeated ad nauseum, it's all of the jokes. So when there's no comedic surprises, all that's left is a genre piece in a genre I don't care for. 

Like I said earlier, things would have been different in a more impressionable time in my life. I was born in 1990 and I'm assuming a majority of you are in the same age range, so think of it like Dragon Ball Z. Every day you came home from school to watch it, and the next day all you did was talk about yesterday's episode. You hadn't discovered girls yet, so this worst heartbreak you ever experienced was tuning in just to see the rerun cycle had started again. But there's some people who didn't watch DBZ growing up. They know who Goku is and what a Super Saiyan is, but they've never sat down and watched it. Chances are good if you sat that person down in their 20's and told them to watch this awesome thing you've loved since you were a kid, they'd look at you like you are a fucking idiot. Obviously this isn't that extreme, but you can see what I'm going for here. 

So as negative as it may have sounded towards the end, I had an all around enjoyable experience. But there is one god damned thing about this movie that infuriated me: the different versions. Prior to starting this retrospective I bought the newest releases of all the Evil Dead movies, thinking it's two thousand and fucking fourteen, surely this will have everything I need on it. NOPE. There's four (FOUR. FUCKING FOUR) versions of this movie, and the only one on the Screwhead Edition is the U.S. Theatrical version. The one that doesn't even hit 90 minutes. The only deleted scene is the original ending. I'd love to see a reason for Ash to run headfirst into the mirror and shatter it, but I made the mistake of buying the DVD released nationwide to all retailers that carry movies. Silly me! Between this and shit like Nightmare on Elm Street 5 I'm sick of having to find laserdisc rips on Youtube to see deleted scenes. They re-release this movie every full moon but I can't get a version that has all of the definitive material without going to eBay? It's a fucking movie, not baseball cards. 

As this (finally) wraps up, I just want you guys and gals to remember that each score in a retrospective is mostly indicative of how I rate it among other movies in that genre, and even more specifically in that franchise. In these giant retrospectives I grade the movies in comparison to other entries in that franchise, not to movies in general. This score translates to a 7 out of 10, and that’s even with not caring for basically the entire second half of the movie. It’s above average, bordering on great, It just doesn't resonate with me personally. It's not a bad movie, it's just not the movie I want.

This is many people's favorite Evil Dead movie and some people's favorite movie in general. For me: hail to the King, baby, and the King is Evil Dead 2


It would have been bumped up to 4 stars if it was called The MediEvil Dead, though.

Before I go I will say one last thing: maybe this will grow on me. After all, I enjoyed the original significantly more in my second watching, and that was just in the span of a week. I'm using this blog as a way to not only combine two things i enjoy, but also to dig deeper into film. Remember, I started this retrospective without seeing a single Evil Dead movie, one of the most influential horror franchises ever. Who knows what kind of movies I'll have seen a year from now, and how my perspective on the genre this pulls so much from could change. Don't be surprised if I revisit this down the road. 

Evil Dead Series
[ The Evil Dead | Evil Dead II | Army of Darkness | Evil Dead (2013) ]


  1. Replies
    1. Actually as I remember, when this film came out or was being made, it was SUPPOSED to be called Evil Dead 3: The mediEVIL Dead. I am one of those old fucks who actually DID see evil Dead II as a teenager and that is why that one resonates the most with me. When I finally saw the original one, it just seemed like a worse version of the exact same film I already knew and grew up with. and this one, like the author, it doesn't really grab me in the way the second one does. I enjoy the stupid one liners, but it;s just not up there with Evil Dead II.

  2. Shut the fuck up you stupid cock sucking faggot piece of shit

  3. According to that poster, it was released in Japan under the title "Captain Supermarket". That, and the Bruce Campbell Soup makes me unreasonably giddy.