Army of Darkness: The Fan Cut
I felt each one had their own pros and cons so decided to make my own edition, incorporating all the good things from each version to make one definitive cut.
Army of Darkness: European Cut. Australian Edition.
Army of Darkness: Director's Cut. Hong Kong Edition.
Army of Darkness Soundtrack by Joseph LoDuca
- PAL DVD-5
24:02 - the Ash/Shelia love scene is added which was also removed in a few versions.
28:30 - the Demon chase in the woods is slightly switched. He jumps then falls, whereas in other versions he jumps then appears at the windmill.
29:40 - the slightly eerie 'coming of night' windmill scene. I always loved this scene which was removed in various versions. In true Evil Dead style, when night time comes, bad things happen.
30:59 - ok, now this is where it all starts… I used the full extended windmill scene from the Japanese cut so any alterations I mention are from that version. Unfortunately the theatrical cut is the only version to include the 'mini Ash's music' so I had to add it in separately.
31:21 - I removed the small part of ash looking quizzically at the mini ashes then removing the fork from his butt. Didn’t feel the scene needed it and it flowed better the original way.
31:38 - removed small part of Ash dialogue. then from the part where Ash trips on the broom, the music does not appear in any version that I have ever seen. However it does appear on the original soundtrack CD, so I just remixed it slightly.
31:47 - cut a small part where Ash reaches for the spatula, it always annoyed me that he held it in front of the camera for a few seconds before using it to pry his face from the stove. Also tried to mix the music to make it fit with the scene.
32:11 - removed the Ash slipping on the floor scene. I hated this part and thought it looked ridiculous. I felt the scene flows better from when he gets the bucket on his head to when he is tripped, also had to mix the music to make it fit with the scene.
32:19 - stopped the music then added sound effect to where Ash hit’s the pipe.
32:37 - added sound effect when Ash elbows the mini Ash into the fire.
32:42 - music restarted when Ash hears the floor creak.
32:54 - music stopped and sound effect added just before Ash hit’s the pipe.
32:59 - sound effect added when pipe explodes.
33:03 - music restarted when Ash glares at the mini Ash's.
33:41 - ‘horrible nightmare’ & ‘what a minute’ lines removed
34:00 - the mini Ash diving scene has been reshuffled to make it similar to the theatrical version and using the theatrical audio. For some reason all the editions have a slightly altered version of this scene but the theatrical works best, for the timing of Ash‘s gasp from when the mini Ash lands in his mouth.
37:22 - always preferred the line ‘I ain’t that good’ over ‘good, bad, I’m the guy with the gun’. I find it’s short and sweet and packs more of a punch.
54:24 - the Sheila shirt rip is added here. excluded from a few of the other versions.
60:08 - after ‘the deadites approach’ is called, there is a small scene with the soldiers are getting to their posts ready for battle and Ash scaling the castle.
60:43 - only available in the theatrical version. I’ve included the 'Chinese jet pilot' line.
60:55 - this is the European version of the battle. In a few versions, some of the deadites retreat after the first batch of gunpowder arrows are fired.
68:07 - this scene was included in the Japanese version. You see a few soldiers get hit with arrows and another fall from the castle wall, then Arthur appears. In the original version he calls to Ash to ask why Henry the red hasn’t come. Obviously the ‘Henry the red’ scene was cut from all versions, so this request would make no sense. However I really loved the little nod of respect that Arthur gives to Ash, so I had to edit the scene to remove the ‘Henry the red’ dialogue and reshuffle the audio.
69:14 - again, in the Japanese version there is a scene I removed where Ash is seen to be deserting his troops, which I didn’t really like. Especially after the show of respect show by Arthur in the scene previously.
69:23 - the death coaster scene is from the European cut. I was thinking of including the extended version but I felt it went on for too long.
70:56 - this is another extended scene from the Japanese version where they storm the walls. Although I cut it down to match the theatrical/European version, but included the ‘now, I will have that book’ line.
71:51 - the arrival of Henry the red. In some versions Henry and his soldiers appears right at the end of the battle and barely do a thing. I much prefer the timing in this version. Also I added the music from the theatrical cut. In the other versions there is alternate music for his arrival.
74:23 - after catapulting Sheila over the wall. The scene where evil Ash rips the cage off the wall is slightly different in various versions. In the theatrical, Ash catapults Sheila over the wall and has his back turned as evil Ash rips the cage off the wall, in the other versions he turns around after catapulting Sheila after hearing evil Ash ripping off the cage which I have included here.
74:48 - one of my favourite moments that is only in the theatrical cut. Ash’s reaction when his spear is cut in half. Love it.
74:59 - evil Ash line ‘prepare to die’ from the theatrical cut removed. I much prefer his distorted battle cry.
75:24 - small extra scene in the Japanese version where an unarmed Ash fireman carries a deadite onto the evil Ash and takes his sword. Which also explains the reason why in the other versions Ash appears to acquire a sword from thin air.
76:55 - a few extra seconds of evil Ash writhing around in flames, from the Japanese cut.
77:55 - there is a scene I cut out here from the Japanese version where evil Ash starts breathing fire, it is horrible and got the chop.
77:57 - between here and 78:02 I trimmed a few shots to tighten up the climax and help the continuity of the burning fuse.
78:28 - this is the point where Henry the red would come to help in the alternate versions. Definitely too late.
78:51 - the retreat scene that I mentioned in 60:55, fits in a lot better here.
80:35 - the alternate dialogue from the wise man regarding the 6 drops Ash must swallow.
81:44 - the start of the apocalyptic version. The original and my preferred ending.
As a big fan of AOD and the Evil Dead saga in general, I must say it's a delight to have this edition. Also, as a cinephile I find this edit very enjoyable, as I can get to watch all those tiny fragments/variations that didn't make it in original releases. The overall quality is no top of the line, but that doesn't bother me. I have my original BluRay of the movie. This edition, for me, is a way to watch the most complete version of all, so I don't miss a second of the original recordings.
My honest unbiased impression about this edit was "what if I watched all three evil dead films at once and wanted army of darkness to not feel so different than the other two" which honestly isn't a bad idea. The changes made in this make sense as the floor slipping and spatula in front of camera annoyed me too and always preffered the "I ain't that good" line. Alot of the other changes make sense w/ the pacing. WHether you,like it or hate it its another version to add with all the rest.
While I enjoyed this, and appreciate the effort the editor put in, I didn't find this edit added much for me. I think it is because I find the original so good. The choices made in the edit make sense, but it is like I said, I didn't have a problem with the original if I were watching Army of Darkness for the first time, yeah, this would be a good place to start.
I watched the AVI, and it could stand to have a re-encode from the source material. Some good H264 with 5.2, High settings, decomb bob, RF19, and maybe a denoise of light.
I use Handbrake.
Again, over well done.
So you're interested in a re-worked version of Army of Darkness, and you've come to the review page to find out if all of the changes worked for anybody other than the editor? I'm here to tell you, as a longtime fan of the flawed-but-enjoyable theatrical cut, that yes, Kult38 has compiled the the best version of the film that I have ever had the pleasure of watching. All of the decisions made were spot on, and the cuts were invisible. Since so many disparate sources were used, there is some inconsistency in the picture, but it wasn't terribly distracting considering this has never been a particularly polished looking film in the first place. You can finally get rid of all the different versions of of the film now; this is the only one you'll ever need.
A very well put together edit, a must-see for AOD fans.