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Ultra HD : Highly Recommended
Ranking:
Sale Price: $19.96 Last Price: $ Buy now! 3rd Party 24.09 In Stock
Release Date: October 4th, 2022 Movie Release Year: 1992

Army of Darkness - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray [SteelBook]

Overview -

Sam Raimi's intentionally campy Army of Darkness remains a wildly-entertaining cult horror-comedy thanks to Bruce Campbell's and the wacky visual effects. Celebrating its 30th Anniversary, Scream Factory unleashes the dogs of war with a four-disc 4K Ultra HD set showcasing an impressive and highly-satisfying Dolby Vision video of the theatrical cut while porting over the same excellent assortment of DTS-HD MA soundtracks and bonus features. Overall, the UHD SteelBook package is Highly Recommended for every die-hard fan that should be proudly displayed in their cult 4K library.  

Ash is transported back to medieval days, where he is captured by the dreaded Lord Arthur. Aided by the deadly chainsaw that has become his only friend, Ash is sent on a perilous mission to recover the Book of the Dead, a powerful tome that gives its owner the power to summon an army of ghouls.

OVERALL:
Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Region Free (UHD Only)
Video Resolution/Codec:
HDR10
Length:
81
Aspect Ratio(s):
1.33:1
Audio Formats:
English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo
Subtitles/Captions:
English SDH
Special Features:
SteelBook Packaging
Release Date:
October 4th, 2022

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

Sam Raimi's Army of Darkness has all the best elements any cinema fan could possibly ever ask of a movie. It's a slapstick horror comedy that incorporates Medieval knights, ancient warfare, an army of demons and a horde of zombies while featuring an all-American hero who works in the housewares section of a Kmart knockoff. And amazingly, it manages to turn them into one gloriously loony and hilarious travesty. This final installment in the Evil Dead series relies more on humor than the previous two, and it succeeds thanks to Bruce Campbell's comic timing and some imaginative visual special effects. After a brief recap of the events from Evil Dead II where Campbell's Ash has been sucked through a portal, our one-handed hero lands in the Middle Ages with his 1973 Oldsmobile in tow and soon captured by Lord Arthur (Marcus Gilbert). Amidst this chaos, hilarity quickly ensues as Ash goes into his dimwitted, fast-talking, machismo-dripping signature style while attempting to win over this alternate world's primitive Medieval people. 

However, it's not until after he defeats two pit monsters with his modified-chainsaw appendage and "S-mart's top of the line" Remington shotgun (or "boomstick"), which conveniently never runs out of ammo, that he finally gains the people's trust. That is until retrieving the Necronomicon at the request of a Wiseman (Ian Abercrombie), a few forgotten lines and some mispronounced words end up awakening the Army of Darkness. Using the wild, frenetic camera movements Raimi is known for, the director devises a boisterous story that blends clownish incompetency with amplified manly heroics. It's a smorgasbord of the popular director's wildest childhood inventions, full of medieval magic and fantasy, horror and tasteless violence, as well as a celebration of The Three Stooges. Even Campbell, quite possibly the most underrated physical comedian of our time, in all his swagger and chin-action looks chiseled straight out of the comics while employing just enough magnetism to win us over, along with the film's damsels in distress.

2022 Ultra HD

2015 Scream Factory Blu-ray

The oddball, campy masterpiece that combines Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court and Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels is a hyperactive and fun-as-hell addition to the horror genre. The special effects team led by Gregory Nicotero, Bob Kurtzman and Howard Berger spice things up with props and visual optics that look like Ray Harryhausen hand-me-downs. As cheesy and over-the-top as they may be, they only add to the film's humor. Rapid editing and effects are poorly done, but both deficiencies seem blatant enough to suggest that this is meant to be a self-mocking schlock-fest of the strangely macabre. Clocking in at a speedy eighty-one minutes, Army of Darkness moves from one silly gag or one-liner to the next without losing the audience or its own genuine spirit of sheer outrageousness. There's never been a better mixture of fantasy, slapstick comedy, and gory horror.

"Hail to the king, baby."

Vital Disc Stats: The Ultra HD Blu-ray
Scream Factory celebrates the 30th Anniversary of Sam Raimi's Army of Darkness on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray as a four-disc SteelBook combo package. The dual-layered UHD66 disc is joined by three Region A locked, BD50 discs, two of which sit comfortably on a center spindle while the third is on the opposing panel. The first Blu-ray disc contains the original 81-minute theatrical version, and the second comes with the 96-minute "Director's Cut" containing the infamous apocalyptic conclusion and a few alternate sequences. The third comes with the "International Cut" of the movie, arguably the best version of the bunch, which incorporates the Ash and Sheila love-making scene, and the same disc includes the extended television cut. At startup, viewers are taken directly to an animated menu screen with music and full-motion clips.

Video Review

Ranking:

2022 Ultra HD

2015 Scream Factory Blu-ray

A horde of deadites lay siege to the Ultra HD fortress with an impressive HEVC H.265 encode that exceeds expectations and pretty much puts the previous Blu-ray release to shame. Coming from brand-new restoration and remaster of the original 35mm camera negatives, the native 4K transfer, approved by Raimi and cinematographer Bill Pope, showcases incredibly sharp details for a majority of the runtime with a few soft, blurry moments sprinkled throughout. However, most of those are associated with the optical effects, compositing and matte photography, so they are to be expected and easily forgiven. Otherwise, the individual hairs of the cast, the threading in the costumes and the tiny pebbles on the ground are discrete, and the small fractures and imperfections along the castle walls are plain to make out from a short distance. Facial complexions appear natural with an accurate peachy-rose tone in every actor and lifelike textures, revealing every pore, wrinkle and negligible blemish. 

The Dolby Vision HDR presentation also lands with an excellent contrast balance and clean, radiant whites, making the movie look fresh and rejuvenated. Specular highlight are crisp and brilliant with a tight, narrow glow from the light of the torches and the many moments of explosions during the climactic battle while the metal armor comes with a realistic sheen and sparkle in the sunlight. Meanwhile, black levels are inkier with excellent gradational differences between the various shades and strong shadow detailing during the many nighttime and poorly-lit sequences, providing the 1.85:1 image with a beautiful cinematic appeal. At the same time, primaries are fuller and richer than their HD SDR counterparts, especially the deeper reds and more energetic blues. Likewise, secondary hues show better, more variation within the fiery oranges and in the colors of some outfits while yellows are noticeably more accurate and warmer. 

Overall, the theatrical cut of Army has never looked so good and is sure to please diehard fans. (Dolby Vision HDR Video Rating: 88/100)

Audio Review

Ranking:

2022 Ultra HD

2015 Scream Factory Blu-ray

In the audio front of this deadite battle, the dogs of war howl their way towards victory with the same pair of satisfying DTS-HD MA soundtracks: a 5.1 upmix and a 2.0 stereo track. For a more in-depth and thorough take on the audio quality, you can read our review of the 2015 Collector's Blu-ray Edition HERE. (Audio Rating: 80/100)

Special Features

Ranking:

2022 Ultra HD

2015 Scream Factory Blu-ray

For this UHD edition, Scream Factory ports over the same set of bonus features as their previous Collector's Edition, and they are spread out across the three accompanying Blu-ray discs. 

Blu-ray Disc 1

  • Original Ending (1080i/60, 5 min)
  • Original Opening (1080i/60, 3 min)
  • Deleted Scenes (1080i/60, 11 min)
  • Trailers (HD, 1080i/60)

Blu-ray Disc 2

  • Army of Darkness - Director's Cut (HD, 96 min)
  • Audio Commentary 
  • Creating the Deadites (1080i/60, 21 min)
  • Extended Interviews (HD, 5 min)
  • Vintage Featurette (HD, 5 min)
  • On-Set Video Compilation (HD, 5 min)

Blu-ray Disc 3

  • Army of Darkness - International Cut (HD, 88 min)
  • Television Version (SD, 90 min)
  • The Men Behind the Army (1080i/60, 19 min)
  • Trailer (HD)

2022 Ultra HD

2015 Scream Factory Blu-ray

Sam Raimi's intentionally campy Army of Darkness remains a cult classic thanks to Bruce Campbell's perfectly-timed performance and the wacky visual effects referencing Ray Harryhausen. Three decades later, the horror-comedy continues to scare the laughs out of fans while offering a fun ride. Celebrating its 30th Anniversary, Scream Factory unleashes the dogs of war with a four-disc 4K Ultra HD set showcasing an impressive and highly-satisfying Dolby Vision HDR presentation of the theatrical cut, which is a vast improvement from its Blu-ray predecessor. Porting over the same excellent assortment of DTS-HD MA soundtracks and supplemental material, this UHD SteelBook is highly recommended for every die-hard fan and should be proudly displayed in their cult 4K library.  

All disc reviews at High-Def Digest are completed using the best consumer HD home theater products currently on the market. More about the gear used for this review.