Army of Darkness

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Film poster for Army of Darkness

Army of Darkness (1993) is the third installment of the Evil Dead film trilogy, written and directed by Sam Raimi and starring Bruce Campbell. This movie takes a more humorous bent than its predecessors; as a matter of fact, to refer to this movie as comedy would not be inaccurate.

The advertising tagline was "Trapped in Time. Surrounded by Evil. Low on Gas."

The protagonist, Ash (Campbell), who, in the previous The Evil Dead and Evil Dead II discovered the Necronomicon ex Mortis, or "Book of the Dead," and unleashed demonic forces, is sucked into a time vortex caused by reading the spell to defeat the demons. He ends up in England in AD 1300, where he is believed to be the "Hero From The Sky," the man destined to deliver mankind to salvation from the "Deadites," or demons. The only way to return to his time and stop the Deadites is to retrieve the Necronomicon, which contains both spells. Ash must lead the humans against an army of the undead headed by his evil clone (also played by Campbell) and retrieve the Necronomicon to ensure the survival of the human race and, more importantly, to get him home.

The movie had a considerably higher budget than the prior two Evil Dead films. The budget was estimated to be around $15 million; Evil Dead II had a budget of $7 million and The Evil Dead a budget of $350,000.

Financially the film was considered a bomb. It was in and out of the box office in the blink of an eye, grossing much less than its budget. The box-office failure is generally attributed to the mainstream audience's having never heard of the Evil Dead films and thus not having a clue as to what was happening. After its video release, however, it has obtained an ever-growing cult following, along with the other two films in the trilogy.

The movie has become a cult classic, and quotes and tributes have even found their way into video games such as Duke Nukem 3D, Blood and Warcraft III.


The mystical phrase Ash is supposed to speak when he takes the Necronomicon, "Klaatu verada nikto," is a reference to the classic science fiction film The Day the Earth Stood Still. In the film, the phrase "Klaatu barada nikto" is used to cancel the robot Gort's attack.

Bruce Campbell sustained an injury on the set when a piece of armor made a gash in his chin. When he was rushed to the emergency room, he was still in his costume and make-up. The physicians had to ask which cut was the real one!

The film was mostly shot in the Nevada desert near Las Vegas.

The plot of the film was originally meant for Evil Dead II. During pre-production, the plot of Evil Dead II involved the evil force from the end of the first film hitting Ash and sending him back to 1300 AD where he would destroy the book. Promotional drawings were created and published in Variety during the casting process before the budget was deemed too little for the plot. The working title at the time? Evil Dead II: Army of Darkness.

In the opening scene when Bruce tells the story so far, you can see the support cable he was attached to as he was being sucked into the portal from the cabin. This was obviously over looked by the film's editors and can still be clearly seen on television (on rotation on the SciFi Channel.) to this day.

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