Bound in human flesh, tattooed in blood - and incredibly tough to pronounce - the ancient "Necronomicon" (Book of the Dead) unleashes offensive evil upon mankind in director Sam Raimi's (Darkman) outrageously funny sword-and-sorcery epic. Back to do battle with the ugly "Deadites", Bruce Campbell reprises his function from the Evil Dead series as Ash, the good-looking, shotgun-toting, chainsaw-armed department store clerk from S-Mart's housewares department. Demonic forces time warp him - and his '73 Oldsmobile - into England's Dark Ages, where he romances a beauty (Embeth Davidtz) and faces legions of undead monsters, consisting of a dreadful army of skeletons. Can Ash conserve the living from the dead, rescue his sweetheart and return to his own time? Overruning with magnificent special impacts, Army of Darkness will make you yell with worry and laughter. In the words of The Washington Post, it's "drop-dead enjoyable"!
A motion picture that just true horror buffs could like, Army of Darkness is formally part 3 in the wild and crazy Evil Dead trilogy masterminded by the perversely inventive director Sam Raimi, who would later on serve as executive producer of the popular syndicated TV series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Raimi's preferred actor, Bruce Campbell, returns as Ash (hero of the first 2 Evil Dead flicks), a hardware-store clerk who is amazingly transported-- together with his run-down Oldsmobile and a chainsaw accessory for his severed left forearm-- to the harsh battlegrounds of the 14th century. He rapidly assumes power (who else in the Middle Ages loads a shotgun and a chainsaw?), and unifies his band of middle ages knights against the feared Army of the Dead. Raimi gleefully subverts practically every horror-movie cliché as he dishes out a continuously parade of blood, gore, and vicious sword-bearing skeletons-- a caring homage to animator Ray Harryhausen's classic Jason and the Argonauts. The frenzied action is enjoyable while it lasts, however even at 80 minutes Army of Darkness almost breaks its welcome. You understand that Raimi can keep the trouble for just so long before it grows tiresome, and thankfully this madcap movie gives up while it's ahead. -- Jeff Shannon