The third, and still possibly last part of "The Evil Dead" trilogy continues with the slapstick "Army of Darkness" that crashes onto a fun two-disc DVD release, much like an Oldsmobile dropped from a great height.
Two versions of the film are included on this release: the 77-minute US original on disc one, and the 92-minute director's cut on disc two.
Picture Both versions of the film look quite similar, with some very grainy process shots mixed in with otherwise fair image quality. The transfer to DVD is fine, but the source print never looked that great in the first place.
Sound The US theatrical version is available in Dolby and DTS 5.1 mixes (the DTS carries extra effects for a rear centre speaker). Both come with serious bass enhancements, and some nice rear-speaker swapping effects. Unfortunately the director's cut comes only with a 2.0 surround mix, but it's surprisingly effective, if a little lacking in the bass department.
DISC ONE SPECIAL FEATURES
The Men Behind the Army" This 18-minute look behind the scenes is narrated with Bruce Campbell's typically droll tones. Find out how the pit bitch nearly didn't make it onto the screen, the inspiration for the look of the skeletons, and more, through some great footage innovation on a low budget.
Original Ending This four-minute alternate ending is the one you'll have seen in UK cinemas and on the old Guild video releases. The US release of the film contains the finale you may not have seen of Ash in the supermarket battle.
Additional Extra Features Also on disc one is a trailer, and biographies for Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell.
DISC TWO SPECIAL FEATURES
Audio Commentary Sam Raimi, co-writer Ivan Raimi, and Bruce Campbell feature here for this group commentary, which is every bit as fun as you might expect. As usual, Campbell is an excellent source for technical details on the film, and isn't afraid to show it. Sam mentions in one scene "those are rubber chains" only for Bruce to butt in with "they're plastic actually" in somewhat overly commanding tones. There's plenty of silly detail discussed, including Campbell's favourite Foley effect, which turns out to be his squishing shoe.
Deleted Scenes Three deleted scenes and the original planned opening are presented here with commentary from Raimi and Campbell. The problem with the opening was to provide re-caps of the first two films for those people who hadn't seen them. As this became ever more complicated, the idea was dropped.
Storyboards You can select a storyboard option so that while you watch the film, boards for the relevant scenes pop-up in the right-hand corner.
Additional Extra Features Also on disc two is a creative concept drawings gallery.
Ratio: 1.85:1 (anamorphic) or 1.33:1 full screen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1. Dolby 2.0
Audio Tracks: English
Menus: Animated with music... and the odd eerie noise.
Special Features Subtitles: None of the special features come with subtitles, although the storyboards do utilise a subtitle track (if we're going to be picky here!)
This DVD was reviewed on a JVC XV-S57 DVD player.