Turning Sam Raimi’s terrifying “Evil Dead” movie into a long-running, crowd-pleasing, series seems like the ultimate underdog story (not to mention the fact that each entry in the franchise is as strong as the one that came before it), but that’s what “Army of Darkness” manages to accomplish. It’s equal parts big-studio picture and giddy, gonzo bloodbath courtesy of Raimi, who clearly relishes the opportunity to paint the walls red with a significantly enlarged budget from the previous two entries, and stuffs the movie full of winning one-liners, hilarious comedic interludes and so much blood and guts that it’s impossible to resist. However, none of it would matter were it not for Bruce Campbell, who makes a perfect horror hero here: He’s chiseled like a Disney prince, has attitude for days, and does all of it with tongue planted firmly in cheek, like a horrorland Indiana Jones. This one is always enjoyable, but it’s even better with a boisterous group of good friends.
Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)