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Army of Darkness: Boomstick Edition (1993)

 

Starring: Bruce Campbell
Director: Sam Raimi

Rating: R

Studio: Anchor Bay

Review Posted: 3.10.03

Spoilers: None

 

By John Teves.

Originally appeared on DVDFreak.net

 

Synopsis

 

The one and only Bruce Campbell stars as Ash, a hapless house wares clerk time warped back to the Dark Ages by the demonic power of the Necronomicon. Now armed with only a '73 Oldsmobile, his trusty chainsaw and a 12-guage double-barreled S-Mart shotgun, our knuckleheaded hero must battle vicious she-bitches, a diabolical Evil Ash and the relentless hordes of the medieval dead... Get ready for some sugar, baby!

 

The Video

 

ARMY OF DARKNESS: BOOMSTICK EDITION appears in an aspect ratio of 1.66:1 on this single-sided, dual-layered 2 disc set; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. ARMY OF DARKNESS looked magnificent for the most part. I notice a little more clean up on this disc compared to the other versions that were previously released. Sharpness was excellent displaying some softness at times. For the most part, I felt the film remained crisp.

 

I saw no signs of jagged edges or evidence of edge enhancement. On the other hand, I noticed a great deal of specks, grit and scratches here and there, but otherwise the image looked clean. The colors looked rich and brilliant. Black levels were deep and rich, while shadow detail came across clear.

 

Overall, ARMY OF DARKNESS displayed a sharp and impressive DVD presentation compared to past transfers, but yet lacks on it's overall restoration performance on its Director's Cut.

 

The Audio

 

ARMY OF DARKNESS is presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 for it's Theatrical Version and a Surround 2.0 audio track for it's Director's Cut.  All five channels received a vigorous workout through much of the theatrical version of the film. I thought the film created a terrific sense of atmosphere and allowed the viewer to become completely involved in the action. Audio was positive; dialogue was natural with no signs of edginess. Music score was lively and the bass appeared tight and deep throughout the film.

 

Overall, the DD5.1 track for THE BOOMSTICK EDITION was engaging and worked well for the film. The Director's Cut on the other hand displayed a mono track and like it's video transfer, was not impressive.

 

The Extras

  • Commentary by director Sam Raimi, star Bruce Campbell, and co-writer Ivan Raimi
  • U.S. theatrical version
  • Original ending (presented separately)
  • Exclusive behind-the-scenes featurette "The Men Behind the Army" narrated by Bruce Campbell
  • Director's cut with 15 mins. of additional footage
  • 4 deleted scenes
  • Director's storyboards
  • 8-page collector's booklet with all-new liner notes by star Bruce Campbell
  • Theatrical trailer(s)
  • THX certified

Overall

 

Okay, listen up you primitive screw-heads... ARMY OF DARKNESS: BOOMSTICK EDITION is thus far one of the better transfer endeavors for the U.S. theatrical version of the film. To say that this may be the last version we will see of this film is an exaggeration, but for now the BOOMSTICK EDITION remains to be the king of it's ancestors.

 

Of course, the Director's Cut still lacks the video and audio quality it truly disserve. This disc is truly a fans dream and the lack of DTS track was some what disappointing. For the most part, the theatrical version displayed a brilliant transfer with some minor concerns, but the nice supplement of extras, and the digitally mastered THX certified DD5.1 track makes the 2-disc set enjoyable nonetheless.

 

ARMY OF DARKNESS: BOOMSTICK EDITION, is one of the most outrageously spectacular horror comedy action films ever made. This disc comes highly recommended to all.

 

Film Rating: 4 out of 4

 

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