In the horror genre there are certain titles that are just considered classics and defining films of the genre. Halloween. A Nightmare on Elm St., Friday the 13th. And of course, Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead. All of these films have spawned loads of sequels, remakes, television shows and more. The Evil Dead even has a new show just hitting the airwaves as you read this, Ash vs. The Evil Dead. But before that came 1987’s classic Evil Dead II and 1992’s Army of Darkness. And while Army of Darkness has been released multiple times before, even on Blu-ray, Shout Factory has seen fit to give us what may well be the definitive edition this month.
Ash (Bruce Campbell), the S-Mart employee who finds himself constantly battling the forces of evil, has now found himself transported through time to a medieval castle besieged by demons and the undead. Finding himself worshipped as a hero by the primitive people, Ash puts his 20th Century know how to the test and wages war against an army led by his own Deadite counterpart.
Army of Darkness is by far the least scary, the least ‘horror’ installment of the franchise, but it did become a new standard for comedy horror and gained an enormous cult following. Bruce Campbell is just brilliant in the role he was born to play spouting out more classic one liners than Arnold Schwarzenegger could even dream of. The comedy is fast and furious, the action is quite spectacular and wonderfully reminiscent of old Ray Harryhausen movies, and the deadites are crazy cool with amazing makeup. Army of Darkness may well be the most entertaining entry in the series.
The new Army of Darkness Collectors Edition is so packed with great features you might as well ditch all those old versions and just settle in with this one. First off, this set contains three versions of the film; the theatrical cut, the director’s cut, and a brand new 4K transfer of the international cut. All the transfers look fantastic and it will be a tough choice deciding which one to watch at any given time. As far as special features are concerned you might as well book a day off work now to check it all out. You get a brand new 96 minute making of documentary, a new 55 minute KNB effects featurette of additional behind the scenes footage, new stills galleries, a new still gallery of props and rare photos and new storyboards for deleted or alternate scenes. You also get loads of features that have appeared on previous editions as well including original endings, commentaries and more. For me, this IS the definitive edition of Army of Darkness. Highly recommended.