Some might have certain films they put on for the spooktastic season. But this year, the KFS decided to put on a classic that has a charming sene of horror with a timeless wit that is Army of Darkness.
Army of Darkness stars Bruce Campbell as Ash, a salesman from a department store that, after going through the events of the film Evil Dead, finds himself back in time with knights and wizards. Armed with his witts and his chainsaw, he must face the evils within the Book of the Dead and find a way back to his time.
I had never seen this film before this showing, and after watching the film put on by the Drunken Graveyard team, I have a newfound respect for this film. It’s quite easy to see how this series of films had put Bruce Campbell’s name on the market. The character of Ash comes alive every scene he’s as well as steals the show (Though he is in every scene so that makes sense. However, it is very easy for leads to lose the attention of the audience, but here the audience hangs on every word.) His straight man delivery contrasted by most of his co-stars giving it their all in a medieval setting negates any feelings of campiness that has aged exceptionally well.
The comedy is most likely the biggest accolade that the film holds, due to how prominent it is here. The motion picture came out in 1992, yet more than 20 years later, I found myself audibly laughing throughout the show, not just at parts. Campbell’s timing, as well as the delivery of his lines, generates a timeless quality that isn’t pushed back by out of date references or shock value. Even the low budget effects that were the only thing available of the time come with a hint of satire that gives off an awareness to it that gives it charm.
Some films don’t hold up either by their dependency on the original source material, their special effects, their humour becoming dated/crude or a mixture of the three. Thankfully, Army of Darkness succeeds at avoiding all of those tropes as well as holds a classic performance from a talented actor to create an almost perfect Halloween film. It doesn’t beat out the Shining but it definitely comes in the top five.