Bad Ass Movie Hall of Fame: Army of Darkness
Every so often a film comes along that oozes pure unconcentrated badassery. This column is to salute those films.
Our first induction into the Bad Ass Movie Hall of Fame is Army of Darkness. This is the 3rd chapter in the Evil Dead series of movies and by far the best of the series and a must watch film.
Here is a few reasons why this movie is Bad Ass:
The First 5 Minutes! -In this recap, you get basically a good idea of everything you missed in the original Evil Dead movies. Unlike missing an episode of Lost, you can get into this movie without having to watch any of the previous films. However, for the full effect you really should watch the first two.
"Into the Pit With Those Bloodthirsty Son's of Whores"-
Of the movies, many many many quotable lines, this phrase by some mideval hag is one of the movies top quotes. It is also signal to what I consider my favorite part of the whole movie. The moment the line is uttered follows one of the best scenes ever. After witnessing the bloody gusher of the prisoner before him spew out of the pit like Old Faithful, Ash is promptly thown into the pit where he must duel a summersaulting demon (which isn't quite as skilled as the summersaulting Highlander the first duel in Highlander). With his trusty chainsaw Ash is able to escape the pit and give the "Primative Screwheads" cinema's greatest monolouge: (click on icon to see it)
Ash vs. "She-Bitch" -
Ash has at this point had a few run ins with demons in the prior movies, but this has to be probably his best fight against the deadites. Even the burly Moustached blacksmith tries to go toe-to-toe with her before Ash disposes of her with his "Boomstick".
"Give me some Sugar Baby"-
This has to rank with "Frankly my Dear, I don't give a damn" when it comes to great lines men say to women in movies. Ash is already greatly annoyed with the whole being sent back into time thing that the advances of Shelia and her gift of a horse blanket just agrivates him further. However when Shelia is heading out the the door, Ash realizes that he can score with this mideval hottie and with 5 magic words he gets her in the sack. Works every time.
"Attack of the evil-little Ashs"-The "evil" manages to trap our hero into an abandoned windmill where via an incident with a mirror Ash brings several evil minature versions of himself into the world and must do battle with them. From the 3 Stooges like antics to the gratuitious death by fork, this is awesome.
"Birth and Death of Evil-Ash"-
So those little guys decided to allow one of their own enter into the body of a Gulliver's Travels inspired tied up Ash by swan diving into his mouth. While trying to rid himself of the pesky evil minature currently in his Stomach Ash drinks some boiling water, however it turns out that these minatures grow like those sponge dinosaurs when you add water and before he knows it Ash now has a full-sized Doppleganger. The Evil Ash explains via singing and sucker-punching Ash that he's the evil one and the Ash we know is a "goody 2-shoes". However, what Evil Ash doesn't realize is that "Good" Ash is the one with the gun to which a shotgun blast to the face and a quick dismemberment is the "end" of Evil Ash.
"Klatu Verata Nik?????...."Despite the wise man's warnings and instructions Ash singlehandedly forgets the most improtant part of claiming the Necronomicon and tries to BS his way into claiming the book. Unfortunately this creates the Army of the Dead.
Preparing for Battle-Since Ash's screwup, a little chaos happens. Shelia is kidnapped by a deadite, The Army of Darkness is assembled by a newly resurected Evil Ash, Shelia becomes a bride to Evil Ash (who somehow by "Giving her some Sugar" manages to turn her into a zombie girl who "looks bad, but feels so good"). Ash decides to help train the mideval guards to fight the Army of Darkness. During the preperations, Ash teaches chemistry to the Alchemists, creates a steam engine for his wrecked car (which teleported with him) , teaches fight coreography, and tries to make an appeal to make an alliance with Henry the Red.
"Say Hello to the 21st Century"-Theres plenty of awesome battle scenes, but when Ash goes and retrieves his car.....except this time around his car has a few modifications such as a spinning blade killing machine.
The Different Endings-
Army of Darkness has a few different versions out but of these versions the biggest difference can be found in the film's ending. The widely known original ending has Ash return to the present day at his job at S-mart where he's telling his story until he has to fight another "she-bitch". The Director's Cut of the movie, has the Wise Man giving Ash a potion that will allow him to sleep until the present time, but unfortunately, Ash overdoes it and ends up waking to a post-apocayliptic world.
Overall, this movie should be ranked up there with other "Bad Ass Movies" like Rambo, Terminator, Die Hard and the such. More importantly, Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell should get together and make another movie because this movie and it's prequels are proof that good things happen when that team is asembled.
(PS: On a personal note, I hosted an Army of Darkness movie screening and one of my guests ended up being my future wife. We had people sign a poster from Army of Darkness at our wedding)