Army of Darkness
There are classic films, and there are cult classic films. The classics are studied and praised while the cult classics are watched over and over again and enjoyed, whether they are fine filmmaking or not. Army of Darkness is clearly in the former character, but while it isn't on par with Citizen Kane, it seems more people would rather have a Bruce Campbell action figure than one of the 'fat guy who sold no wine before its time'.
Army of Darkness is actually the third movie of a trilogy, following Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2. The original title for Army was to be 'Medieval Dead' which would have fit the titles of the other two films better, but Army Of Darkness was chosen in the end. As one can guess from the titles, there is something evil (and dead) afoot, and only hapless hardware store clerk Ashley J. Williams, or simply 'Ash', can save the world from it. The film is a combination of horror and comedy and is full of memorable lines and characters, most noticeably the lead played by fan favorite Bruce Campbell.
The film's poster (which is the front cover of the fifth-panel window box the figures are packed in) proudly proclaims that the 'director of Darkman' directed this film, though if it were printed today it would probably say it came from the director of the hugely successful 'Spider-Man' (which has a cameo of Campbell). Sideshow Toy chose to go with two characters from the film for their 12-inch action figures - Ash and Evil Ash, his magically created doppleganger. The figures' portraits were sculpted by Mat Falls.
Both figures use the same standard Sideshow Toy male body, with plenty of articulation, and they each come with a stand. The stands are the same as those included with the Dark Crystal figures, and they have a plastic base with the figure's name and logo for the line, and a metal holder that slides into the base. The height of the holder can be adjusted, and the stands are a great addition to ensure your figures don't take a fall. The articulation of the figures is as follows:
- shoulders (ball jointed)
- bicep twists
- elbows (double-jointed)
- forearm twists
- wrists (move in two planes)
- hips (ball jointed)
- thigh twists
- knees (double-jointed)
- lower-leg twists
- ankles (move in two planes)
Click on a picture below to see more pictures of that action figure.
Ash is the reluctant hero after he is hurled through time into the past and decides to help rid the world of the evil Deadites. Ash uses his sharp wits, bad memory and a chainsaw for a hand to smite down evil. Once the chainsaw is out of gas, he switches over to a new metal hand that replaces his right hand, which 'went bad' so he performed a home amputation. Kids, don't try that at home!
Ash the reluctant action figure comes with all the accessories you would need if you traveled back in time to destroy demons and evil dead people. Along with the chainsaw, there is a metal hand. Both of these can be placed on the right arm and are interchangeable for quick changes from the fist+1 to the chainsaw of cutting. In the movie the hand extended down the forearm, but the toy version simply has a hand to facilitate easy switching. For enemies that aren't close enough to reach out and smite, there's S-Mart's top of the line shotgun with a handy carrying case that attaches to the back via two straps with snaps on them. The icing on the cake is the cape included, which was a gift from a would-be girlfriend.
Ash has a complete cloth outfit with pants and a shirt with small buttons sewn onto it. The pants have a small belt, and there are several straps that go across the shirt to either hold the chainsaw or attach the gun holster across his back. He also has a watch that doesn't work but still manages to be correct twice a day, which is on average once more than Enron's accountants. Hail to the king!
A common plot device for drama has been the 'evil twin brother' concept. It was used by Dumas in 'The Man in the Iron Mask', Twain in 'The Prince and the Pauper', on Star Trek: The Next Generation several times and even in Timothy Zahn's 'Heir to the Empire' set of Star Wars books. For this film, the use of it has been just a little twisted so that the initial evil twins are miniatures versions that sprout from a broken mirror. After that they eventually all become one big evil twin, but his isn't a match for the good Ash, who dispatches him rather quickly and then dismembers him with a chain saw.
Just like a headline from the National Enquirer, man is cut to pieces with chainsaw and lives! Being evil and dead has advantages, so the 'Evil Ash' comes back to lead the Army of Darkness against the good Ash. The two were identical at first, but dismemberment (and the beating he took) has slightly blemished the evil version like a banana thrown into a wrestling match between gorillas. He could really use a trip to 'Glamour Shots'.
Evil Ash has an identical body to good Ash, but the hands, face and clothing are all different. Evil Ash sports two hands (neither has 'gone good' on him) and a big ugly face with an attached bone helmet and rooted black hair. His clothing is basically the same outfit as Ash, but it has bloodstains and a lot of stitches where it was sewn back together from the chainsaw incident. The shoes, however, are the same. Evil Ash also has some armor that is strapped around his body, with shoulder pads, a breast plate that looks like a rib cage with some plates hanging down, his aforementioned bone helmet and some spiked elbow pads and forearm guards. To finish the ensemble there is a ratty red cloak that attaches by two metal chains around the neck, and a bloody sword and scabbard. All of the armor is well sculpted and has a unique look about it, including the different shoulder pads. Give him some sugar, baby!
Click to see pictures of Ash
Click to see pictures of Evil Ash
Read about the S-Mart Ash
|Where to buy Army of Darkness: The Ash and Evil Ash 12-inch action figures are limited editions of 10,000 each. They retail for about $30 to $40 each and are available through Sideshow's online store and in specialty stores such as Suncoast and Spencer Gifts, as well as various online toy retailers.
Several such online stores are RTM sponsors AisleSniper.com, Big Bad Toy Store, and The Outer Reaches. (Be sure to check the other RTM sponsors, listed on the Shop Center.)