army-darkness

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army of darkness

ARMY OF DARKNESS (1993 - R)

The third effort in a trilogy of hilarious sci-fi sword-and-sorcery adventure yarns, this film tells the story of a supermarket employee who is inadvertently transported back to medieval times after fooling around with a magic book, the ancient Necronomicon, a book bound in human flesh, and inked in blood. After traveling back in time with his car, winding up in the year 1300 AD, he faces his first challenge; being a prisoner, and having to prove himself as being a friend, not a foe to the stressed-out people, facing an evil force.  He leads the people in a battle, using his 20th century tools, against an evil supernatural force - Good fun!

This film could be compared to "Jason and the Argonauts." Bruce Campbell is delightful as the tongue in cheek hero. Scenes, depicting the stop motion animation of skeletons, are well done. Alert viewers may appreciate Bridget Fonda in a small role as Campbell's present-day girlfriend.

The cast includes: Bruce Campbell, Bridget Fonda, Embeth Davidtz, Marcus Gilbert, and Ian Abercrombie.

Directed by Sam Raimi.

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SYNOPSIS...

A department store employee messes around with an old magic book. Soon, he ends up being time transported back to old England.

The employee goes off in search of a magic book that will transport him back to the present. Saying a magic chant, he accidentally brings the dead to life.

Our hero, and his old English buddies, battle and defeat the army of the dead. The employee is sent back to the future.

REVIEW...

Co-Writer/Director Sam Raimi's, ARMY OF DARKNESS, is a fun, fast paced, semi-gory hallucinatory Fantasy, Comedy, Fantasy, Adventure.

Bruce Campbell (The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.) is delightful as the tongue-in-cheek hero. Campbell, who's worked wirh Director Raimi before in such films, as "Evil Dead" and "Evil Dead II", among others, brings fun, tongue-in-cheek delivery to lines like, "Give me some sugar, baby" and "Good, bad, I'm the guy with the gun."

The supporting cast, including Embeth Davidtz, Marcus Gilbert, Ian Abercrombie, deliver colorful and entertaining performances. Director, Raimi, seems to bring out the best in actors.

The Director of Photography, Bill Pope, delivers some powerful screen visuals. Particularly good are shoots of an army of the dead leaving a graveyard.

The film's Music is bold, heroic, and fully orchestrated. Joseph LoDuca gets the credit.

Some scenes feature great stop motion animation of skeleton's, bringing to mind Ray Harryhausen's work in the classic, "Jason and the Argonauts". These are my favorite scenes in the film. Director of Visual Effects, William Mesa, and Introvision International, Inc., seem to be the responsible parties.

Director Raimi works in some cute touches. In order to activate a black magic book, Campbell is told he must recite the words, "Klaatu barada nikto", the same words that Patricia Neal uses to deactivate the killer robot in the Sci-Fi classic, "The Day the Earth Stood Still," (1951). Pretty cool, eh?

Alert viewers will notice Bridget Fonda in a small role as Campbell's present day girlfriend. It's hard to say why she appeared in what amounts to a cameo, but hey, it was probably a fun set to be on.

ARMY OF DARKNESS should be rather watchable for many Sci-Fi Viewers. Those with weak stomachs, or who don't appreciate sick humor, may be turned off.

If you liked ARMY OF DARKNESS you may enjoy THE TIME MACHINE and/or TRANCERS 4.