‘Army Of Darkness’ Collector’s Edition reviewed

❉ “This is a movie that loves being a movie and loves that YOU love that it’s a movie”, writes Nick Clement.

“The new 4K UHD Blu-ray release from Shout! Factory leaves nothing to be desired in terms of radiant picture quality and ear-popping sound. The four disc platter includes all available versions of the movie, including an International and Television cut for true connoisseurs of the Necronomicon.”

The third chapter in Sam Raimi’s creepy and exuberant Evil Dead trilogy, 1992’s Army of Darkness still ranks as one of the wild-man director’s best films, if for no other reason than its total lack of pretension, while demonstrating a genuine and overwhelming desire to entertain its audience. The latter could be said about many of Raimi’s films – he’s a classical showman who revels in modern touches – and when he finally got his reported $11 million to make Medieval Dead (the film’s original title) – you can just imagine the smile he had on his face while seeing his insane vision come to life. Hot off the heels of the critical and commercial success of 1990’s Darkman, Raimi was in a position to get any number of movies made, and the fact that he used his new-found clout as a way to cap off the series of films that so memorably kick-started his career, and which would re-team him with early on-screen muse Bruce Campbell, says a lot about what kind of filmmaker – and person – he is deep down at heart.

Army Of Darkness [Collector’s Edition]
What’s so much fun about Army of Darkness is how it both serves as a direct continuation from the events of Evil Dead and Evil Dead II, but for the uninitiated, the film works totally on its own, thanks to a quick and nifty pre-credits sum-up of the cinematic universe on display. Back when this was first released, my father took me to see it opening weekend; I was 11 years old, and down and dirty horror movies were not on constant rotation in my house as a kid, so nobody in our family had seen the two preceding films. But we both loved it, primarily due to the amount of joy it seems to be having at all times – this is a movie that loves being a movie and loves that YOU love that it’s a movie. The plot pivots on Campbell’s now-iconic character of Ash, the handsome, shotgun-toting, chainsaw-armed department S-Mart store clerk who is time warped backwards into England’s Dark Ages, where he romances a gorgeous woman (Embeth Davidtz) and faces legions of the undead, all the while plotting how to stay alive and get home.

One of the many pleasures that Army of Darkness affords is that if you’re a younger viewer, the film serves as a great warm-up to the horror genre, as the comedic tone that’s been mixed-in keeps things funny-scary, as opposed to scary-funny, and the amount of blood and gore is never threatening on any level. The slapstick elements, to say nothing of the stop motion skeletons, add a wonderfully over-the-top vibe to the proceedings, and Bill Pope’s constantly inventive camerawork brings so much visual pizzazz to the piece that you’re always treated to something cool on a pictorial level; Pope’s subsequent credits are a roll-call of massive blockbusters and seminal favourites and it’s stunning to look at the trajectory of his career as a Cinematographer. Joseph LoDuca’s phenomenal musical score brings notes of regal majesty to the aural forefront, with big, exciting bombast during the playful action scenes.

The new 4K UHD Blu-ray release from Shout! Factory leaves nothing to be desired in terms of radiant picture quality and ear-popping sound. The four disc platter includes all available versions of the movie, including an International and Television cut for true connoisseurs of the Necronomicon. The release sports a new 4K scan of the original camera negative, with the process being approved by Raimi, Pope, and legendary Editor Bob Murawski. Of very special note is the new and very comprehensive making-of documentary, Medieval Times: The Making of Army of Darkness, which features over 20 key members from the production discussing their experiences making the film, including Campbell, co-writer Ted Raimi, actor Bill Moseley, and many more. It’s the ultimate piece of behind the scenes madness that fans of this film are craving, and it doesn’t disappoint in the slightest.

Army Of Darkness [Collector’s Edition] Steelbook

SPECIAL FEATURES:

DISC 1 – (Theatrical Version – 4K UHD)

❉ In Dolby Vision (HDR Compatible)

❉ NEW 2022 4K Scan of the Original Camera Negative approved by director Sam Raimi, director of photography Bill Pope, and editor Bob Murawski

❉ DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, 2.0

DISC 2 – (Theatrical Version – Blu-ray)

❉ NEW 2022 4K Scan of the Original Camera Negative approved by director Sam Raimi, director of photography Bill Pope, and editor Bob Murawski

❉ Medieval Times: The Making of “Army Of Darkness” feature-length documentary with over 20 people interviewed including Star & Co-Producer Bruce Campbell, Actors Ted Raimi, Bill Moseley, Patricia Tallman and many more.

❉ Original Ending

❉ Alternate Opening with optional commentary by Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell

❉ Deleted Scenes with optional commentary by Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell

❉ Theatrical Trailer

❉ TV Spots

❉ U.S. Video Promo

❉ DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, 2.0

DISC 3 – (Director’s Cut – Blu-ray)

❉ Audio Commentary with director Sam Raimi, actor Bruce Campbell and co-writer Ivan Raimi

❉ Creating the Deadites – vintage featurette

❉ On-the-Set Video Footage Compilation

❉ Behind-the-Scenes Footage from KNB Effects, Inc.

❉ Vintage “Making of” featurette

❉ Extended interview clips

❉ DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, 2.0

DISC 4 – (International Cut – Blu-ray)

❉ Television Cut (Standard Definition)

❉ The Men Behind the Army – vintage featurette

❉ International Theatrical Trailer

❉ Still Galleries with rare behind-the-scenes photos and props

❉ Storyboards

❉ DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, 2.0 (International Cut)


❉ ‘Army of Darkness’ (Collector’s Edition) is available in US & Canada from October 4, 2022 via Scream Factory™ on 4K UHD + Blu-Ray™ and in a Limited Edition Steelbook . Click here to order. Product Note: The limited edition poster has SOLD OUT as of September 22, 2022.

❉ Nick Clement is a freelance writer, having contributed to Variety Magazine, Hollywood- Elsewhere, Awards Daily, Back to the Movies, and Taste of Cinema and is a regular contributor to We Are Cult.. He’s currently writing a book about the works of filmmaker Tony Scott.

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