Film: Army of Darkness

Army of Darkness (1992) is the third movie in the Evil Dead franchise.

Ash is transported back to Medieval Europe, where he finds out he can return to his own time if he can retrieve the Necronomicon. Ash manages to find the book, but when he inevitably screws up the retrieval, he's forced to train and help the not-so-peaceful villagers he's placed in the path of an Army of Darkness.

This film provides examples of:

  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Mocked.
    Deadite Sheila: "You found me beautiful once."
    Ash: "Honey, you got reeaaaal ugly."
  • Black and Gray Morality:
    • Lampshaded.
    Good Ash: Good... bad... I'm the guy with the gun.
    Good Ash: I ain't that good.
  • Blasting It out of Their Hands: Variant, where Ash blasts a sword in half.
  • California Doubling: The deserts of southern CA are used as a stand-in for medieval England.
  • The Cavalry: Henry the Red and his peoples.
  • Critical Staffing Shortage: The castle is evacuated leaving 60 men to fight an army of the undead that outnumber them about 10 to 1. They have to keep moving defenses from wall to wall as they simply don't have enough people to effectively guard each side at the same time.
  • Deadly Rotary Fan: Taken Up to Eleven with the Cool Car's combat refit.
  • Dem Bones: Most of the eponymous Army raised by Evil Ash/the Necronomicon.
  • Description Porn: Ash introducing his boomstick.
  • Dung Ages: The setting for this film, and results in Ash being a jerk to everyone in the beginning.
  • Enemy Without/Evil Twin: Evil Ash
  • Evil Makeover: Bad/Evil Ash initially looks exactly like his regular counterpart, but after being shot in the face, dismembered, and then buried by Ash he later comes back as a rotting zombie.
  • Eye Poke: Ash gets a number of these in the cemetery scene in a The Three Stooges homage.
  • Forging Scene: Ash and the villagers building his Armored-hand and supplying weapons to his car. "Groovy".
  • Fridge Logic: Brought up in the commentary. Invoked
    Sam Raimi: How come your hand's still stuck in there even though it's chopped off?
    Bruce Campbell: It's 'cause the director told me to.
  • Genre Savvy: Ash knows that just because a Deadite is down, doesn't mean it's dead. However, he learns this through hard experience, not pre-thought wisdom.
    Ash: It's a trick. Get an axe.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: Ash and Sheila's sex scene is played out as romantically as possible, with a rose-tinted lens, sunset and Ash gently letting Sheila's hair unravel as he gazes into her eyes.
    • Inverted with Evil Ash, who rips Sheila's dress off and forces her to kiss his rotting, mutilated mouth.
  • Gulliver Tie-Down: The mini-Ashes do this after Ash knocks himself out in the medieval windmill.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Evil Ash, which is the evil force coalesced into an evil double of Ash.
  • Idiot Hero: Ash, who knows an awful lot about killin' deadites but somehow manages to bungle both attempts to speak the magic words.
  • Ignored Expert: The wiseman.
    Wiseman: My Lord, I believe he is the one written of in the Necronomicon. He who is prophesied to fall from the Heavens and deliver us from the terrors of the Deadites.
    Arthur: What? That buffoon? Likely he's one of Henry's men. I say to the pit with him!
  • Insult Backfire:
    Arthur: Are all men from the future loud-mouthed braggarts?
    Ash: Nope. Just me baby. Just me.
  • King of the Homeless
  • Kirk's Rock: Principal photography for the movie was done in Vasquez Rocks, and the rock itself appears about half an hour into the film.
  • Laughing Mad: In the original ending, Ash, after finding out he'd slept too long and woke up in a post-apocalyptic England.
  • Leg Cling: The original poster.
  • Living Legend: Ash could have been a king. In his own way, he was king.
  • The Magic Versus Technology War: To some point, thanks to Ash's quick application of steam and gunpowder knowledge the medieval Englishmen got a chance against a vast undead army.
  • Medieval Morons: "You primitive screwheads!"
  • The Middle Ages: Setting of this film.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: The titular Army of Darkness. Partially subverted in that they run away screaming when shelled with explosive arrows and bags of gunpowder.
  • Nipple and Dimed: There's a short, blink-and-you-miss-it moment where a couple of topless slave girls are herded past the camera. It may have been intended as Fanservice, but the fact that they're being led off to be raped by demonic undead monsters achieves the opposite effect, underscored by the fact that it happens while Sheila is being forcibly kissed by the Deadite copy of Ash.
  • Offhand Backhand: Ash does this with a shotgun.
  • Post-Climax Confrontation: Replaced the Downer Ending that was made originally.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "This... Is... My... BOOMSTICK!"
  • Rated M for Manly: Although this is present in the second film as well, Army of Darkness is so manly that it can make your TV grow chest hair and a full-length beard. Some of it is definitely satirical, however.
  • Refusal of the Call: Ash does everything he can to avoid being the savior the people need him to be. It takes a Damsel in Distress to snap him out of it.
  • Revised Ending: Filmed originally was an Cruel Twist Ending with Ash waking up in post apocalyptic England after taking too much of a sleeping potion, which was changed to a Pre Ass Kicking One Liner filled ending thanks to Executive Meddling.
    • "Hail to the King, baby!"
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: After Ash's Enemy Without becomes necrotized and takes charge of the Deadite army, he starts wearing a skull-like helmet.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Lampshaded by Ash.
    Ash: First you want to kill me, now you want to kiss me. Blow.
  • Slept Through the Apocalypse: The original ending.
  • Time Passage Beard: Happens to Ash in the deleted alternate ending, when he "slept too long" and overshot the 20th century.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: Sort of. They weren't exactly peaceful to begin with, but showing them how to make gunpowder certainly was useful. Oddly enough there's another scene where he teaches them how to use their own Blade on a Stick weapons.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Bad Ash and Bad Sheila.
  • The Walls Are Closing In: The beginning of the film sees Ash thrown into a pit containing a few demons that he has to fight, as well as this particular Death Trap just to make things more exciting. He escapes by hanging onto the chain powering the closing walls as it moves up.
  • Weaponized Car: See Cool Car above.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Ash manages to kill two of his tiny counterparts, but several of them manage to escape with no account for their whereabouts.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Ash messes up reciting The Words and doesn't care that he has doomed everyone.
    Ash: Klaatu! Verata! Ni—*coughcoughcough*...OK then! That's it!
    • It takes the castle getting raided, everyone turning his back on him, and his love interest kidnapped for him to snap out of it.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: the English in 1300 are perfectly capable of understanding Ash's very slangy modern English, and themselves speak modern English peppered with "thee"s and "shalt"s.