Friday, September 23, 2022

'Army of Darkness' is still a dose of pure Sam Raimi joy









Sam Raimi is a joyous filmmaker. 

There are other words to describe him, of course, and many have been used over the course of a career that now spans more than four decades. We talk about his acrobatic camerawork, his fondness for old-school transitions and visual effects techniques, and of course the madcap humor that infuses most of his movies, even when things get dark. But above all of those other qualities, it's the joy in Raimi's films that stands out, no matter the budget or the subject matter or the time and place in which he's working. Even when the films don't always shine at their brightest, Raimi's joy for the very craft of cinema is there. 

Nowhere is that more apparent than in Army of Darkness, Raimi's 1992 capper to the Evil Dead trilogy which took all the goopy visual effects of the first film, and all the horror-comedy of the second, and blew them both up into a dark fantasy extravaganza full of visual gags, over-the-top performances, and pure Raimi delight. It's been 30 years since the film first arrived in front of audiences, and it remains an extraordinarily gleeful experience full of unforgettable, wild moments of invention. 


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