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Army of Darkness

By BryanBaugh
This drawing was done as a commission for a client who has bought a lot of my original art. And now for a few words on the movie it pays tribute to...

I like "Army of Darkness" a lot... but I don't love it... "AOD" is easily my least favorite of the "Evil Dead" movies. Here's why: I was 10 years old in 1982, when the first "Evil Dead" came out. That original film was too obscure for me to catch it in the theater at that young age, but I had the Fangoria magazine with pictures from it and I had read Stephen King's review where he famously referred to "Evil Dead" as "A black rainbow of horror" and "The most ferociously terrifying film of the year"... So by the time I finally caught it on video tape, a couple of years later, in say 1984 or '85, I was all fired up, and boy did that movie deliver the goods. The original "Evil Dead" was one of the best horror films of the 80's. There was just an outta-control, sloppy, messy, chaos to it that was scary just because of how crazy it was... with all that gushing blood, and axe-dismemberments, and screaming, wailing demon-people. It was a classic, and it became one of my favorite movies ever.

Based on that experience, nobody was more excited than me when "Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn" came out a few years later. But when I saw it the first time, I had really mixed feelings about it. Sure it delivered some more crazy horror violence, but it was so damn silly, which kinda turned me off at the time. They even had green blood instead of red blood, to tone down the impact of the gore! The movie has grown on me (a LOT) in the years since, but I remember when "Evil Dead 2" was brand new, I was really kinda disappointed that it wasn't half as ferocious as the first one.

Then some years later "Evil Dead 3" came out, but it wasn't even called "Evil Dead 3" it was just called "Army of Darkness". I went in not sure what to expect, and got a movie that had totally moved away from the savagery of the first film and had totally embraced the goofy comedy of the second. So I had mixed feelings again, but eventually, as with "Evil Dead 2", I did learn to enjoy "Army of Darkness", in its own way.

A strange thing has happened in the years since. Somehow, "Army of Darkness" has become a really popular (in my opinion, disproportionately popular) cult film... while at the same time, the first 2 movies seem to have become increasingly ignored. This seems especially true among non-horror fans. I've heard a lot of mainstream comic book/ super-hero fans praise "Army of Darkness" but never mention "Evil Dead" the extent that it makes me wonder if some of these people are even aware that "Army of Darkness" is not an original film unto itself, but only the 3rd (and weakest) film in a series of movies called "Evil Dead".

Nowadays, the whole Evil Dead franchise and Bruce Campbell cult has almost had all the fun sucked out of it, due to over-exposure. Like a great, underground punk band that only you and your best friend knew about for years... and then one day they put out a softer, less aggressive album and suddenly the great unknown band becomes beloved by the mainstream. It kinda kills it for you because you look at these new bandwagon fans and think, "These people don't get it. They don't even like the original stuff that made me fall in love with this thing in the first place."

So, I dunno, maybe I am being too tough on the subject, but when I see a comic book with Ash drawn by some popular, mainstream super hero artist, that's how it makes me feel. I just turn into a horror snob and think, "Get outta here, you weren't there when it MATTERED. This was MY thing and you never loved it until they watered it down."

Anyway, sorry, I don't mean to be a snob about it. At the end of the day, yeah, I like "Army of Darkness". It has a lot of cool stuff in it, and it is definitely entertaining. But I admit, I also have a little bit of a chip on my shoulder toward it, for achieving an almost obnoxious level of popularity, thanks mostly to non-horror fans who shun its far superior predecessors.
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© 2009 - 2021 BryanBaugh
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Scholarly-Cimmerian's avatar
I love Army of Darkness because it was my gateway to the rest of the Evil Dead series and all, but I do understand why it's not your favorite. And, ironically considering that I got into AoD through said mainstream exposure, I do see your point about the franchise being overexposed. It's weird, is all I can say... there's some part of me that *does* get a kick out of some of the doofier stuff done with Army of Darkness media, but at the same time I also know that it's pretty goofy nonsense too. *shrugs*

Anyway, enough rambling on my part. This is still an awesome picture. :) Thanks for drawing it! 
drippin99's avatar
I WILL SALLOW YOUR SOULLL Olivia and Negan (Slap) - Icon 
Mister-Crool's avatar
I saw the movie a few days ago for the first time and i loved it but i haven´t seen the first two Evil Dead movies. Would you recommend them?
BryanBaugh's avatar
Read my "Artist's Comments" above on this illustration. I explain my full thoughts on the matter. I always preferred the first, original 1982 Evil Dead film and, while I enjoy the sequels, I think each subsequent film in this franchise is a step down and away from the greatness of the original.

The only reason I created an illustration of Army of Darkness is because a client hired me to.

Eventually I need to do a proper illustration of the first, original film, my favorite incarnation of this series.
Invaderskull1995's avatar
I Love that movie :) 
A5hera's avatar
I like this! Great work!
love the movie... nice work..
kaijusaurus387's avatar
I love them all, number two is by far my favorite, and i like the third too. and what you said about the mainstream thing is very true.

As for the remake it's not the best, but it's still very good. they went with more of Horror approach with it rather than a Horror Comedy (which is my favorite genre). I saw it at the theater with my older sister, it was a great movie to see at the theater, not as great at, home, but still good.  
TheGurch's avatar
I just watched the EVIL DEAD remake couple of weeks ago, its a good horror film but doesn't hold a light up to the original trio.
I love this witch pit scene where your image is based on it ends in that wonderful crimson geyser that never fails to light up my face.
Its a joy this film , the first time i watched it I just didn't get it...i was like "what the freakin heck?!?" it didnt sit right with the first two films ...repeat views and its wormed its way into my heart.
This film offers soooo many sequences that warrant making into pictures. 
BryanBaugh's avatar
I haven't seen the Evil Dead Remake… Just can't bring myself to watch it since I know it's gonna be so… I dunno… Remakey.
I will get around to watching it eventually. 

The first, original EVIL DEAD will always be the best. 
TheGurch's avatar
Ooh the second Evil dead really does it for me, the right mix of ingredients no other movie manages to throw in hand severing, mirror strangling, laughing moose heads and chainsaw arm as groovily as ED2 does and still retain the ability to remain terrifying.
1 and 3 also nestle in my heart. 
I liked all three films, the humor needs to be in them for them to be an Evil Dead film (or Book of the Dead when it was first show at the Redford Theatre)
When the remake was announced and i heard they were changing lead to a girl, i was like, k letting see what its like. I saw the trailer, was very interested. Then saw the movie, no humor. They just used the name to make a buck, and was disappointed.
BryanBaugh's avatar
Interesting, I have not seen the new Evil Dead remake yet. I had not been eager to see it, because I assumed such a remake could only disappoint. But if it is more horror and less cheeseball humor (like the original Evil Dead) it sounds like I may enjoy it. I guess I better give it a chance.
Avary18's avatar
Love the trilogy and the remake
Rammsteinfan1994's avatar
I like Army Of Darkness and every trilogy has a weak movie
alandriter's avatar
dude, nice job!, one of my favorite movie-scenes!
BryanBaugh's avatar
monstermyth23's avatar
While I feel that the first Evil Dead is more like a (quote-unquote) "regular" horror film, Evil Dead 2 is easily my favorite of the series. Army of Darkness is not AS good, but I still love it. Terrific artwork, though!
BryanBaugh's avatar
Glad you like this piece and thanks for your kind words.
Also - Thanks for reminding me, I need to do a tribute illustration to the first Evil Dead.
The best and truest horror film in the series in my opinion.
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