Army of Darkness

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2 1/2

In this grotesque spoof on horror movies, Ash (Bruce Campbell) plays a clerk in the hardware department of S-Mart. He and his girlfriend discover a strange "Book of the Dead" and an unseen force sucks her into a time whirlpool and takes over control of Ash's hand. So, Ash cuts off his new evil hand with a chainsaw and uses the chainsaw in its place. Then the time whirlpool drops him into the 1300s. Captured by Arthur, a feuding knight, Ash is thrown into a torture pit. Body parts fly as he defeats the inhuman occupants and overcomes spiked walls closing in on him. To return to his own time, Ash must retrieve the Book of the Dead from a nearby cemetery. In search of the book, Ash must confront a split image of himself, called "Bad Ash." Ash finds the book, but awakens the army of the dead, mostly skeletons and decomposing bodies, led by Bad Ash. The army marches against Arthur's castle to reclaim the book, but Ash helps Arthur so he can return home. As a spoof of horror, sword and sorcery movies, ARMY OF DARKNESS borrows from several classics and is so corny it's funny. Of course, it's supposed to be funny, but its violence, gore and lack of heroic qualities seriously detract from its humor.

Although good overcomes evil, even that theme relies on gratuitous violence. The almost non-stop violence is slapstick and done mostly to non-human characters. Nevertheless, it involves gross scenes of impaling, dismemberment, shotgun blasts to face and body, kicks, hits and assorted varieties of explosive destruction. Ash relies on sorcery to defeat evil. Grotesque makeup exaggerates monstrous evil characters including threatening, decomposed bodies. Witches with glowing eyes are frightening and blood splatters profusely during acts of mayhem. Macho, self-centered Ash uses some obscenities and other crude language. Although no nudity or sex is shown, intercourse is implied once by dialogue. It's not for kids, and discriminating adults will find it too crude, gory and grotesque.

Preview Reviewer: Paul R. Bicking
Universal Pictures, 100 Universal Blvd., Universal City, CA 91608

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (15) times - Mild 8; Moderate 7.

Obscene Language: Several (5) times (s-word 1, f-word 1, other 3)

Profanity: Exclamatory - Few (2)

Violence: Many times - Frequently severe (chainsaw dismemberments, stabbings, arrows, gunshots to face/body, explosions, hits, kicks, torching, bloody mayhem)

Sex: Implied once in dialogue

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Leering at girl in short skirt

Drugs: None

Other: Evil characters, witchcraft, sorcery, demonism, decomposed bodies)

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