Science fiction and fantasy                                            



Army Of Darkness: The Medieval Dead

a Sam Raimi film

Army Of Darkness: The Medieval Dead poster  
Ash (Bruce Campbell), hardware store worker and reluctant hero, is transported back to the middle ages for the third part of the Evil Dead series. He ends up near the castle of Lord Arthur (Marcus Gilbert). But Arthur doesn't exactly welcome Ash with open arms, mistaking him for an enemy soldier. Instead he is thrown into a pit and left to battle it out with some deadites.

All Ash wants is to get back home. But the people he finds when he arrives are at war with Duke Henry (Richard Grove), and under attack by deadites. Fortunately for Ash, the Wiseman (Ian Abercrombie) believes that he is the man prophesied to deliver their kingdom from the undead. If Ash will find the Necronomicon for them, in exchange the Wiseman will help him to return to his own time.

However, as well as being mouthy and arrogant, Ash isn't the smartest of guys. When he tries to retrieve The Book Of The Dead he fumbles the spell, accidentally raising a dark army. If he can't rally the living and prevent the deadite captain (Bill Moseley) from getting his hands on the book he faces being stuck forever in a medieval world dominated by the dead.

There are plenty of comically primitive and over-the-top effects. The film spoofs the stop-motion style of Ray Harryhausen, as seen in Jason and the Argonauts, with its skeletons and other beasts. But far from spoiling the movie with monsters that look dated and unconvincing, they all form part of its crazy, slapstick appeal.

Ash stays at Arthur's castle just long enough to get attached to Sheila (Embeth Davidtz), who tries to convince him to stay and save everyone from the advancing supernatural army. But Sheila also catches the eye of the deadite captain, and Ash may not care about her enough to go to her rescue.

The fast-paced plot builds up to a frenzied and very silly climax as Ash brings his modern way of doing things to the medieval world. This movie is full of daft lines, absurd melodrama and cheeky buffoonery. Army Of Darkness: The Medieval Dead is quite short, but it doesn't contain a dull moment.

Film Details

Decade: 1990s

Categories: Films

  Horror

Classification: 15

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4 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson
Read more about Sam Raimi