Monday, October 31

31 Days Of Horror: Day 29

Army of Darkness
Dir: Sam Raimi

No exaggeration, I have seen this film 100 plus times. My grandmother lives on the vast Navajo reservation and didn’t care much for television. So, when we’d visit in the winter, and it’d get to cold to be outside, we’d retreat inside and watch one of two movies she had in her VHS collection. It was either Cadillac Man or Army of Darkness; how she came across those two specific titles I will never know. So, my brothers and I watched that VHS tape of Army of Darkness so much one winter the tape broke, and Cadillac Man doesn’t lend itself well to repeat viewings, so it was a boring trip to Grandmother’s house that year. Army of Darkness is probably my favorite horror film, if not my favorite film. Humor, character, horror, slapstick, boomstick…classic!!!

 I was in Vegas a few years ago for Fangoria’s Trinity of Terrors. Bruce Campbell was in attendance. Now, I don’t usually get nervous around celebrities, but seconds before I was going to meet him I became a stuttering, bumbling fool. Army of Darkness is the third film in the Evil Dead trilogy, and we’ve talked about the difficulty of crafting sequels, but this film does a different job entirely in making a sequel. Moving the action from a cabin in the woods to medieval times in a castle was bold. Dimming the gruesome visuals of the first two films for a more comic, Looney Tunes, style action, with walking talking skeletons straight from Sinbad. But it works, as only the great Sam Raimi could make it work. Much of the credit of the success is due to Raimi and Bruce “F-ing” Campbell. The one man wrecking crew of slapstick, humor, action, machismo, and one-liners is utter magnetism on the screen. Raimi blends so many elements together so seamlessly, it’s remarkable that the film works so well. This film could be the biggest nostalgic film on the list, it almost seems like I can remember every time that I’ve watched this film. And still, after 20 years of viewing this film, I still walk away with the biggest smile, if that’s not the staple of a classic film, I don’t know what is. Day 29…Bruce for President.

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