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This review originally appeared in issue 7 of THE CINEMA LASER.

ARMY OF DARKNESS

Rousing, undead fun is about the best way to describe Sam Raimi's ARMY OF DARKNESS ($35). Another way to describe ARMY OF DARKNESS is as an exercise in inspired stupidity. ARMY OF DARKNESS is the third film in Raimi's EVIL DEAD series, and believe me, this is a third helping that definitely satisfies.

Imagine, if you will, a film that combines medieval knights, undead zombies and THREE STOOGES' routines into a high powered entertainment cocktail. Director Raimi's complete mastery of the visual medium keeps images whizzing past the viewer so rapidly, that one has little time to realize that the proceeding are really quite ludicrous. Bruce Campbell (lately of BRISCO COUNTY JR. fame) stars as Ash, a hero so full of self importance and so deliriously stupid that you can't help rooting for him. Thanks to the Necronomicon (The Book Of The Dead), Ash finds himself thrust back in time to the 14th century, fighting off an undead legion lead by his evil, undead mirror image. Hey, a movie with fighting skeletons hasn't been this much fun since Ray Harryhausen brought them back to life!

Will Ash vanquish the undead hordes? Will he be able to retrieve the Necronomicon? Will he be able return to his own time? And most importantly, will Ash be able to return to his job at the S­Mart? You're going to have to buy the disc to find out!

Just as ARMY OF DARKNESS the film does not disappoint, neither does ARMY OF DARKNESS the Laserdisc. MCA/Universal has another winner on their hands. ARMY OF DARKNESS has been transferred at its correct 1.66:1 aspect ratio, and it looks terrific. Colors are fresh and the image is quite sharp, although there is a bit of film grain during some of the darker sequences. The digitally encoded Dolby Surround is a knockout. Just as images go flying past you at a break neck pace, sounds come rushing at you from all sides. This is truly one heck of a great disc. My first copy of this Pioneer pressing suffered from laser lock on side two (which is in CAV), but the second one was just fine. This Laserdisc is highly recommended.

 
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Laserdisc reviews are Copyright © 1996 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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