Rant: Army of Darkness – The Greatest film of all time?

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As everyone already knows, Army of Darkness is the greatest motion picture of all time. After thousands of hours of sober and strictly professional research, it can be safely concluded that Sam Raimi’s undead epic is the only bona fide work of original fiction that the human race has ever produced. Academics agree. Yes, all of them.  Scroll on to survey the proof.

EDIT: FOR SOME BIZARRE REASON, THE FIRST EIGHT PHOTOS ARE NOT SHOWING UP. UNFORTUNATELY I HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO RESOLVE THIS ISSUE, BUT I PROMISE YOU THEY WERE REALLY GREAT!

1: The Bible! How’s that for a start? One screenshot in and Christianity has been debunked.  See also: Apocalypto and the training montage from Rocky IV .

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 2: The Naked Gun  series always opens to a POV shot of a police siren, and if you hadn’t seen Army of Darkness before  you might think you’d accidentally downloaded one of Leslie Nielson’s slapstick outings. You would be mistaken, the victim of a red (or rather blue, flashing) herring, because this is no cop comedy.  This is S-Mart!

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3: Cabin in the Woods, Cabin Fever, Cabin Fever 2, Cabin Fever: Outbreak, Cabin Fever: Epidemic, and Cabin Fever: A plague o’ both your wooden houses! It may be true that only the first three films on that list actually exist, but the point is this; every lumbering log-shack horror movie owes its success to  Army of Darkness.

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4: Behold! The Necronomicon Ex Mortis (book of the dead). As for the newspaper man that ‘invented’ the obituary column – be ashamed! Of course, the Necro also pops up in films like The Mummy and Army of Darkness  ‘prequels’ The Evil Dead  and the Evil Dead II, prequels being a loose term in this case; both films expound on the  opening scene from AOD,  turning the two minute woods attack into two feature length films, almost identical to one another in event and outcome. More like The Evil Dead Ringers!

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5: The big scream, vocal point of every good horror film from Psycho  to, um, Scream.

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6: Sorry to kill your buzz, but The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is nothing but a flimsy impersonation, wearing the face-skin of its idol over its own misshapen cranium…The Talented Mr Ripping-ley, anyone?

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7: Doctor who? HAH! Normally, people joke that someone/thing of note has been overshadowed by someone/thing else. For example, if someone made a bad ass film called Reservoir Cats, a film journalist might quip: ‘Quentin who?’ In this instance, the rhetorical usage of ‘who?’ is redundant because the thing which copies the AOD screenshot below is called Doctor Who. Thus, when you remove the second part of the title and add ‘who?, it reads exactly the same. Apart from the question mark.

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8: Possessed furniture is a well known trope of the demonic horror flick. Though it’s inarguably put to its most effective, drawer-soiling use in The Exorcist, Army of Darkness did it first –  curtains for you, Willy Friedkin!

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9: Want to know Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ biggest secret? Well you know that flying car, right? Not their idea. Fail-gardium Leviosa!

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10: ‘Gandalf? What are you doing here? You’re not meant to be in this film!’

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11: Django, Chained. Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ  springs to mind too. Can’t say anything bad about Mr Gibson though as he’d be very cross.  Did you know he owns Malibu?

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12:  Rancor Pit-iful!HAHA! Star Wars most famous hole has got away with its ill-gotten fame for too long and should be banished far, far away.

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13: Examples of thematic thievery abound with this one. That new film Pompeii starring Kit Harrington. That film Volcano, with Tommy Lee Jones. That Krakatoa film, from the sixties.Yellowstone, from Roland Emmerich’s 2012. What a load of palava!

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14: Star Wars again, and more evidence that George Lucas is only capable of recycling material; this time it’s the Death Star garbage disposal scene. It’s not just the walls that are closing in, George, it’s the legal teams as well.

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See below also, the laser danger scene Resident Evil.

15: Protagonist Ash is missing a hand. There couldn’t be any other film brazen enough to cop- oh wait, Star Wars  is at it again. Force? Farce, more like. Bad Day at Black Rock musn’t escape mention, and as for Captain Hook, well, it’s just sicklening!

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16: Creature from the Black Lagoon, you’ve been rumbled you scaly man-fish!

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17: AOD was the originator of the impossible-to-actually-do whip-grip. Eat your hat out, Dr Jones.

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18: Ash sucker punches a fool. You have to hand it to Zack Snyder, he didn’t even try to veil the theft when he made his film Sucker Punch.  Man of Steel? More like Ma – meh, why bother? Then again, typing ‘meh, why bother?’ actually took longer than it would have done to complete the über obvious Man of Steal!  pun, so perhaps it was worthwhile after all.

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19: Arthur pulls a knife, Ash pulls a gun. Lucas, does your depravity know no bounds?!

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20: ‘Yeahhh, we need a montage! MONTAGE!!!’ Forget Battleship Potemkin, you saw it here first.

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21: ‘Groovy!’Army of Darkness’ prequel-but-not-really The Evil Dead 2 had this same sequence. Not groovy.

22: Pretty much every film containing a romance scene uses this exact shot, right down to the lighting and the fabric of the sheets.

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23: MC Hammer, before his rapping days. ‘Too legit, too legit to hit (nails)!’

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24: Honey I Shrunk the Kids ought to be renamed Honey I Plagiarised Army of Darkness.

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25: It’s the four armed dudes from Mortal Kombat.

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FAKE-TALITY!

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26: Gulliver’s Travels… Into the Land of Copyright Infringement.

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27: Pans Labyrinth did it wrong; you couldn’t have eyes on your palms, that would hurt like hell and you’d effectively be blind every time you needed carry out a simple task. An extra eye on the shoulder, though? Now you’re looking.

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28: Frankenstein’s fiery conclusion takes place at this very windmill, as does Bride of Frankenstein’s rising phoenix of an opener. Wonder where they got the idea for the location… Cerberus claims that he Hades this movie, but that’s obviously a ploy to put people off the scent of the canine’s crimes.

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29: Every film in which someone is tied down to something and gets chopped up. Law Abiding Citizen’s title has proved rather inaccurate, and then there’s the Texas Massacre movies again; they came, they saw, they copied.

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30: ‘Heyyy yoouu guuyyss!’ Also, Witches. Those broom-bashers have newt in the way of originality, and should be ex-spelled from the film making community.

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31: Hands coming out of the ground. Carrie’s ending is infamous, but Sissy Spacek and Stephen King done goofed because in Carrie only ONE hand emerges from beneath the soily depths – in this screen shot there are ELEVEN, and who know how many off screen? If you’re gonna steal an idea, don’t just steal one eleventh of it.

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32: No matter how much you HARPY on about it, plagiarists never learn. It’s plain for all to see; Icarus and Leonardo da Vinci lifted based their designs directly on this aerial assailant in AOD. At least the Cretan craftsman gave it a go; Leo never even made it to the prototype stage.

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33: ‘Can you dig it? CAAANN YOOUUU DIG IT!’ Aside from the Warriors speech, this poignant moment from Army of Darkness is often see integrated into a popular necklace design – it has a little man stretched out on like an X shape or something.

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34: Gothmog (the elephant Orc) and Two Heads, the captains of the Minas Tirith siege, are no match for evil Ash. ‘Fear. The city is rank with it’. And you’re rank with copyright infringement, Mr Jackson.

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35: The formula for Gunpowder is revealed! Army of Darkness truly shot us into the modern age.

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36: Man gallops in on horse: ‘The deadites are coming!’ Paul Revere, be revered no longer!

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37: Ray Harryhausen is credited as the granddaddy of stop motion animation, but his techniques can all be traced back to Army of Darkness. Jason and the Argonauts? Jason works in Argos, more like!

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38: Tolkien, Jackson… you lied to us. I’m helms-deeply offended.

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39: Gladiator’s first sweeping battle may have been an awesome spectacle, but Maximus would have been demoted to Minimus had he not seen AOD and instructed his men to set their arrows on fire before volleying at the barbarian horde. Notice also in the background that there’s double-tiered pyramid under construction. Tut, tut, tut  Egyptians.

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40: Goodness, gracious, great bones of fire! Ghost Rider had a motorbike and a leather jacket, but no matter how you dress theft up, theft is what it remains.

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41: Battering rams are a staple in pretty much all Movie Quibble’s films, like The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers,The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and – if you consider the cave troll as a door-opening utensil- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. So thanks Army of Darkness, for making films better.

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42: Video games draw inspiration from Army of Darkness too. Observe the jump.

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Getting into eagle shape.

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Boof! Safe and sound, hidden amongst the hay. At least Assassins Creed’s Altair stole from the best.

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43: Car driven by a time traveller? Back to the Future, you’re history! Vehicle that busts up  undead? Send Ghostbusters to the ghoulag! Souped up ride with a battle-ram, metal plating, flame throwers, rotating blades, etc. etc.? Mad Max, to the asylum with you! And as for Death Race and Death Race:2000… what the hell happened to the other 1,998 movies?

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44: Not so fast, Ben Hur! Spikes on the side of the chariot… What is this, Pimp my Pony? Army of Darkness got there first anyway, so you’re Testament clearly ain’t Old enough!

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45: Rung up another foul for LOTR, it’s the ladder push time.

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46: Swinging so fast, computers can’t even get a clear shot of him. Unlike Tarzan, Ash can shout the word ‘America’ with startling clarity as he swoops towards his foe – that vine-clinging jungle dweller can barely get out the first syllable…

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47: The final shot of Army of Darkness is the most famous moment in cinema history – here’s a short list of some of the sub-Raimi fantasy worlds it has inspired: Planet of the Apes, H.G Wells’ The Time Machine, 1984, Fallout 3 and last but not least, the city of Detroit.Image

48: Look at the top of the screenshot there. Rosebud. As in Rosebud from Citizen Kane. As in Rosebud from Orson Welle’s Citizen Kane. Masterpiece? Masterful piece of shit is a more fitting accolade.

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49: Lawyer up, you sons of bitches.

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To anyone that actually read this abominable pile of pun-laden nonsense; thank you. Look out for the next rant, in which Movie Quibble will dissect the Lord of the Rings trilogy scene by scene and weigh in on the famous conspiracy of the re-appearing leaf.

If this post has piqued your interest in the film then check out the glorious 80 minute theatrical cut below.

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One comment

  1. mjmacone · · Reply

    Fun read. W
    hy don’t you tell us how you really feel about Citizen Cain.

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