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Trivia / Army of Darkness

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The film:

  • Acclaimed Flop: Despite positive reviews from critics, Army of Darkness was a Box Office Bomb to the point that it killed off the Evil Dead film franchise. Though the fact that the theatrical ending is less Sequel Hook and more And the Adventure Continues, it's not an unsatisfying conclusion to the trilogy.
  • Box Office Bomb: During the film's original theatrical release in 1992, the film that cost $13 million to make only made $13 million worldwide, which means it actually lost money overall during its theatrical run. Bruce Campbell will often go out of his way to remind people of this in his live Q&A panels at conventions. While the series was always very niche, it would prevent any further films in the series to be released for decades.
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  • California Doubling: The deserts of southern California doubles as medieval England, circa 1300 AD. This is obvious when Ash heads off to get the Necronomicon and rides past the Vasquez Rocks.
  • Completely Different Title: Released as Captain Supermarket in Japan.
  • Creator Couple: Bruce Campbell's wife, Ida, was the costume designer on the film. They had only recently married before the film started production.
  • Deleted Scene: There is an alternate opening for the film, using the same voiceover and much of the same footage (including Bridget Fonda as Linda), but also includes close-ups of only Ash's eyes as he's telling the story. This opening is meant to tie back to the original 'Apocalypse' ending, so that when there is the reveal of his beard and manic appearance, we realize the entire film is Ash re-telling the story in flashback from the future. While it was filmed, it was never used, and only appears as an extra on home video.
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  • Early Draft Tie-In: Dark Horse's comic adaptation of the film features many unfilmed scenes (such as the the "temple ruins" sequence) and filmed, but deleted scenes.
  • Enforced Method Acting: During the scene where Ash is being pelted with rocks, fake rocks were thrown at Bruce Campbell, but in order to get a more realistic reaction (and partially as a prank), Sam Rami pelted him with potatoes. This cut was used.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • The film was shot under the prospective title of Evil Dead III: Army of Darkness, and Sam Raimi preferred the name The Medieval Dead, but Universal, feeling that a movie series which was (at the time, in the US) very niche and not terribly commercially successful didn't have enough name recognition, insisted that the title of simply Army of Darkness would reach a wider audience. They also very badly wanted the film to earn a PG-13 rating, but after the MPAA continued to give it an R even after numerous cuts, they relented and allowed the more violent version to be released.
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    • The ending was originally much more downbeat - after defeating the Army of Darkness the wise men presented Ash with a sleeping potion and advise him to drink an exact number of drops that will allow him to sleep for the next few centuries until he awakens in his own time. After being sealed up in a cave by King Arthur's knights, Ash gets distracted and takes too many drops of the sleeping potion, causing him to wake up after the Apocalypse and finding himself trapped in a wasteland, screaming in impotent madness. The producers disliked this ending as they felt it did not mesh well with the overall tone of the film, so the S-Mart ending replaced it. The original ending was used in some releases of the film overseas.
  • Focus Group Ending: The original ending (where Ash oversleeps after taking a sleeping potion and awakens in a post-apocalyptic future) was changed after negative test audience reaction. A new ending was reshot and used for the theatrical release. Fortunately the new ending includes a whole additional action sequence and originates one of Ash's iconic catchphrases, "Hail to the king, baby!"
  • Franchise Killer: The success of Darkman gave Sam Raimi enough clout to get Army of Darkness off the ground. While it met a warm reception from critics and has since become a Cult Classic like its predecessors, its box office failure killed the franchise until Evil Dead (2013). Ash himself would not see a onscreen comeback until Ash vs. Evil Dead.
  • No Export for You: The sole DVD release to include fully remastered footage of the extended material is available only in Region 3 (Asia) coding. All US and European releases use the same terrible-looking VHS transfer for the extra scenes. Copies are inexpensive and easy enough to find online, but a region-free DVD player is needed to watch it. The quality of the Director's Cut footage has been noticeably improved with Shout! Factory's 2015 release of the film on Blu-Ray.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Ash's girlfriend Linda briefly returns in the opening recap sequence, now played by Bridget Fonda, replacing Denise Bixler (who herself replaced Betsy Baker).
    • In the Latin American Spanish dub, Jesús Barrero provides the voice of Ash this time around.
  • Throw It In!: Ash was not originally supposed to say anything before his and Sheila's love scene. On the day of filming, Sam Raimi suddenly (to his own great amusement) came up with "gimme some sugar, baby," and wrote it into the script.
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • Bruce Campbell's father and older brother appear as knights of Lord Arthur. Campbell's brother, Don, is one of the soldiers that grabs Ash in the beginning of the film, while his father, Charles Campbell, is one of the knights that gets killed early on in the battle at the castle.
    • Sam Raimi's brother, Ted, also cameos in the film, as he does often in his films. In fact, he plays four people in the film.
  • Refitted for Sequel: Army of Darkness was originally conceived as the second film in the series, and some trade magazines even released advertisements announcing its production (under the title of Evil Dead II: Evil Dead and the Army of Darkness) in 1984. Thanks to a lowered budget and Dino De Laurentiis desiring a movie that was more like the original, that concept was shelved in favor of the Evil Dead II we know and love. Thankfully, Army eventually got made anyway.
  • Trope Namer: This Is My Boomstick.
  • Uncredited Role: Bridget Fonda as Linda in the real ending.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The opening scene as originally scripted actually matched up properly with the ending of Evil Dead II, with Ash being immediately hailed by the knights as the 'hero from the sky'. The familiar moment is followed by a skeptical Arthur arriving onto the scene, cutting Ash with his sword as proof that he's not the true hero, because "the one written in the Book would not bleed". When it's suggested that Ash be thrown into the pit as a test of his skill, he runs away, leading to an extended fight scene which ends with him being defeated and, as in the final version, enslaved.
    • The "Yo, she-bitch!" scene was written to be far more elaborate, with the battle being set in an ancient ruin in which the Deadite would fight back by knocking down the crumbling pillars. Preparations for the scene began, with all of the miniatures already constructed, but as filming went on and the budget tightened up, it was decided to cut the scene down and simplify it.
    • Charles Napier was supposed to play Ash's boss at S-Mart, but the part was cut.
  • Working Title: The Medieval Dead.

The comic:

  • Approval of God: Bruce Campbell likes the 1992 Dark Horse comic adaptation. Although if asked about the Dynamite Entertainment Army comics, he'll discuss his disapproval of them and how it isn't right that film studios can give someone else the rights to a series and do what they want with it without his or Sam Raimi's approval.


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