Army of Darkness DVD

Disc of Spaghetti
Sam Raimi and his pals disappointed a lot of folks with this feature when it was first released. For one thing, the studio wouldn’t let them name this sequel Evil Dead 3 — or even Raimi’s even better title MidEvil Dead. For another, since the original Evil Dead was “the ultimate in gut-wrenching horror”, a lot of fans were put off by the sequel’s overall comic slapstick tone. But Army of Darkness has aged well, and now it’s considered a classic fantasy film.

This DVD pays tribute to that growth in stature. The disc contains the theatrical cut of the film, widescreen and looking gorgeous. There are also some extras on the disc: the trailer, a very entertaining documentary detailing the special effects work done by KNB (who claim Raimi and producer Robert Tappert tortured them during the shoot), and the original ending, which was shown all around the world but not in the USA. A deluxe two-disc set is available as well. The second disc has the original director’s cut of the film, which is a good 15 minutes longer and has a bleaker ending. The print is too dark on this disc, but Raimi, star/producer Bruce Campbell, and co-writer Ivan Raimi make up for it by providing a funny and informative commentary track (or “commentrak” as I like to call them). I really can’t decide which version I like the best, so I guess I’ll just alternate each time I revisit the Deadites.

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