I lost track of how many times I’ve watched this movie already. After seeing it for the first time many years ago, it has become one of my favorite movies in general. It’s just a perfect movie to watch at any given time of the day or year and it’s always endlessly entertaining.
I love how funny it is, I love how it manages to take a very simple and often told story and truly make it its own, I love the parallels to Lord of the Rings – especially the battle sequence that’s almost a carbon copy of the Battle of the Hornburg, right down to the appearance of a second army when things look dire – and how it’s both an homage to the previous movies with the copious amounts of revisited scenes as well as to typical fantasy fare of the time. It again starts with a retelling of the original story at the beginning, again it features the burial of a person at Ash’s hand, again with the planting of the cross accompanied by thunder and lightning, said buried person not staying dead and coming back to life, bodily dismemberment on a slab after securing the body to it with chains, the list goes on.
It’s just a fantastic movie all around. It’s obviously not a horror movie anymore and the gore has been dialled back by quite a lot, with the only blood fountain being a very literal one at the beginning. Other than that, it mostly focuses on very cartoony over-the-top action that serves to maintain the very dry humor present in the script.
One of my favorite scenes has always been the fight with the witch in the throne room, how Ash defeats her in an overly dramatic manner and how the sage just comes in from the back and continues his exposition in a dry tone without even acknowledging the ludicrous event that just happened here.
Also, there was one thing that I only noticed today and that was the scene on the cemetery, right as Ash forgets the phrase “Klaatu verata nikto” and literally says “It’s gotta be an N-word”. My mind was completely blown , how I managed to completely miss this really quite dark joke after watching it so many times.
But then again, that’s a testament to the movie, how it manages to stay fresh even after so many repeated viewings and how I can find little elements like this that make watching it a treat every single time. Which is why this one is my favourite entry in the series. I know that most people like Evil Dead II better, but to me, Army of Darkness simply resonates more with me. It’s a perfect movie.