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Showing posts from November, 2020

Army of Darkness: Valorizing the Idiot Hero

Sitting down to watch Army of Darkness  (1992) for the umpteenth time, I found myself somewhat perplexed: On one hand, this was a family favorite; I'd grown up with this movie. Watching it this time, I found myself unable to enjoy it in quite the same way. It's certainly quotable—even funny in spots, if only for the visual gags. But the idiocy of the hero, Ash, was impossible to ignore, and not always for the better. He lampoons the heroic tale, but does nothing to abate its sexist blueprint. The first Evil Dead (1982) is a Gothic classic; its effects are crude but effective, and its hero actually suffers. The second movie is largely tongue-in-cheek, slapstick. Army of Darkness  is Raimi at his most Romantic, and sexist; he hurls Ash back into the past, where his wildest, manliest dreams come true. A tale of reaffirmed hubris, its dreamlike material sends our hero into an increasingly delusional state.  Byronic antiheros like Don Juan were intentionally excessive. A parody of p