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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.
  • Early Draft Tie-In: Dark Horse's Army of Darkness comic adaptation of the film features many unfilmed scenes (such as the the "temple ruins" sequence) and filmed, but deleted scenes.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • Army of Darkness originally had a more downbeat and depressing ending - 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,
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    • There is also 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 (and was in the first drafts of the script), it was never used, and only appears as an extra on home video.
  • 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.
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  • 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: In the Latin American Spanish dub, Jesús Barrero provides the voice of Ash this time around.
  • 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.
    • Bruce Campbell's wife, Ida, was the costume designer on the film. They had only recently married before the film started production.
  • What Could Have Been: 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.

The comic:

  • Approval of God: Bruce Campbell likes the 1992 Dark Horse comic adaptation of Army of Darkness. 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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