"Army of Darkness." History of creation

Excessive time-portal protagonist is transferred from America nowadays in medieval Europe. There he is attacked by his own small specular reflections by demonic magic. As a result of their attack hero splits into "good" (the present) and "bad" (demonic). When the "bad" twin begins to tease and beat his "brother", he puts his nose to the shotgun and pulls the trigger. Then he says: "Good ... Bad ... The main thing - one gun!»

Popular quotes - this is usually the lot of the first paintings cycles. Sequels are rarely as cited as the original tape. But "rarely" does not mean "never." For example, a horror-comedy series Sam Raimi "Evil Dead" gave the world its most popular quote only in the third film. He came out in 1992, 11 years after the premiere of the first "dead" and he was called the "Army of Darkness" (or "Evil Dead 3: Army of Darkness»).

The first "Evil Dead" was the product of a rare form of fear - fear of Hollywood. In the late 1970s, the filmmakers - producer Robert Teypert, screenwriter and director Sam Raimi and actor Bruce Campbell - dreams of working in a movie, but were afraid to leave his home state of Michigan. They knew that in Los Angeles, nobody waits, and they believed that it would be easier to start a career in the "small country", among relatives, friends, acquaintances and other potential investors.


Having studied repertoire cheap cinemas, friends decided that we needed to shoot a horror. Raimi, however, preferred comedy, but the audience went only funny movies with famous actors. Horror did not need any celebrity, nor mandatory for militants pyrotechnics. Horror can be removed for a penny, and earn something, even in the very limited release.

Thus was born the scenario of how five students come to rest in the woods, find an abandoned hut in an old book Naturon Demonto (in sequels - Necronomicon Ex-Mortis) and accidentally cause the demons. Why in the woods? To save on the crowd and scenery. Why students? To remove the film peers, acquaintances (the main role, of course, played by Bruce Campbell). Why "Nature demons" and "The Book of the Dead"? Because Raimi was delighted with the books of HP Lovecraft, who for one of his short stories invented grimoire "Necronomicon", allegedly describing the ancient gods and forbidden spells.


Invent painting was easier than to find her money, but the trio decided this problem, a total of investors brought together with 100 thousand dollars. Part of the funds provided to them with friends and relatives, but among those who believed them to be and professionals. For example, the owner of a chain of cinemas Detroit. Guys trust because they previously in six days and $ 1,600 half-hour filmed horror srednemetrazhku "In the woods" - utterly amateurish, but still showing that the guys understand something in horror movies.

However, shooting a feature film, called "The Evil Dead", were only a little more professional. Since the collected money is not enough for the professional equipment for spetseffektnyh scenes Raimi always improvised and invented how to use whatever was at hand - mops, wrenches, carpentry goats, wheelchair ... Fortunately, director childhood fond of tricks, and He knew a lot about cheating audience's attention and use of the minimum items for maximum effect. As a result, instead of the planned hour and a half, he was able to tape within the budget to remove more than two hours.


Clearly, as long horror at Ramey nobody would have bought it, and the director took up the reduction of the picture. In this work was editor Joel Cohen, who at the same time took a few lessons from the director of the Investor. Several years later, Joel and his brother Ethan used the knowledge gleaned from Ramey to withdraw his debut "Blood Simple" and become famous Coen brothers.

The further fate of "dead" was formed by all the laws of Hollywood success. Successfully rolled film in 1981 in Detroit, Raimi began looking for partners for a national release. When he spoke about the "dead" maitre American Rental Irwin Shapiro, once worked with "Night of the Living Dead," George Romero, who organized the show out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival. In this session was attended by Stephen King, and the "Evil Dead" so he was impressed that in an interview with USA Today, he called one of the picture of their favorite horror. After that, the film promotion has become a matter of technique.


When rolling "dead" was completed, Ramey found that his love of cinema in Europe is stronger than at home. If the tape is in the US earned "only" 600 thousand dollars, the international distribution brought $ 2 million. And this despite the fact that the movie was released simultaneously in film and VHS! Bruce Campbell was overjoyed when he learned that the "dead" are sold in the video is better than "The Shining" by Stanley Kubrick. Recommendation King on the cover was stronger than the word "film is based on the novel by Stephen King».

As befits an ambitious director, Raimi still during the filming of "Dead" invented the plot of the sequel. He intended to send the protagonist Ash Williams (ash translates as "ash" - an allusion to the fact that the remains of the people associated with the demons) in the European Middle Ages, far away from modern civilization and closer to the fabulous monster. But when the "Dead Man" became a cult hit, the director found that can forget about them and switch to shooting the original movie studio with full funding.


Wise Shapiro, however, informed journalists that "Dead 2" still come out. And he was right. The second film Raimi "Crime Wave," coined by the director together with the Coen brothers, do not fit into the budget, failed at the box office and was zarugan critics and audiences. To save his career, Teypert, Raimi and Campbell were forced to return to the "dead" and release a sequel.

Since the failure of "Waves" limited budget that teammates could "knock out" a sequel of the investors (primarily from the Italian producers and distributors Dino di Laurentiis), Raimi refused Napoleonic medieval plans and re-built the action around an abandoned hut in the forest.


On the contrary, the tone of the second picture has changed radically. If the first "dead" were extreme and quite serious horror film (directed cater for tastes harsh detroyttsev, loves tough movie), the sequel was filmed as gags horror comedy in the spirit of the "Three dunce." Raimi had hoped that the change of the genre will attract a wider audience. For the same reason the film was both a sequel and a remake of the first "dead" - the director did not shoot for the fans of the original, but for an entirely new audience, not knowing who the Ash Williams and how it relates to the other world.

Change the genre was very risky decision, but it is completely justified. Published in 1987, "Evil Dead 2" grossed about $ 10 million (with a budget of 3, 6 million), joined the list of cult horror and once again forced to respect Raimi as a genre filmmaker.

In the wake of this success, the director tried to get the film rights of a famous comic book (he has always been a fan of superheroes). But when the studio Warner entrusted "Batman" Tim Burton, resentful Raimi has decided that he will come up with Superman in the spirit of classic comics characters. Thus was born in 1990 released "Man of Darkness" with Liam Neeson - long-suffering, not too good, but still commercially successful film (49 million world-rolled at 16 million budget), which confirmed its status as a master Raimi "B-movie."

As negotiations with Universal over "Darkman" were difficult and long time it was unclear whether the studio will dare to invest in the project, Renaissance Pictures («home» studio Teyperta, Raimi and Campbell) in 1988 signed with di Laurentiis preliminary contract to take third series "Dead." When Universal nevertheless gave its approval, the second sequel was frozen, but not forgotten, and after the completion of "Darkman" Italian caught Raimi at his word.


The director, however, and he was not averse to shoot another picture of the war with the demons. Firstly, he is finally able to realize its long-standing medieval plan and send Ash into the edge of knights and castles (the second "dead" end with the movement in time, so that the plot was the second sequel is predetermined). Second, di Laurentiis has promised that it will not interfere in the filming process, and permanent studio interference while working on "Man of Darkness" was a real torture for Raimi.

Agreeing with the Italian, Raimi and his brother by Ivan (ambulance doctor and co-author of "Darkman") began to write the script. Since relatives while living in different states (Sam has moved to Hollywood, and Ivan treated patients in Ohio), the brothers had to work together to visit each other's homes, and the essay "Army of Darkness" dragged on for eight months.


During this time, Raimi had many options to sort the scene (they even thought about returning to the enchanted hut), but in the end all the brothers have written a film which conceived from the outset - the mystical historical comedy in the spirit of "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court." Horror in the "dead" by this time had almost no smell, and Sam Raimi was not going to go back there. His staging benchmark for "Army of Darkness" were classic American fairy tape with special effects by Ray Harryhausen (apprentice animator "King Kong" Willis O'Brien). In particular, the "Seventh Adventures of Sinbad" (1958), "The Three Worlds of Gulliver" (1960) and "Jason and the Argonauts" (1963).

The main story "chip" was a new picture technology superiority over magic. While conventional horror repeatedly argued that technology against supernatural beings powerless, Ash Williams, did not really knowledgeable about the otherworldly forces, defeated them with a shotgun, chainsaw and other technical innovations of our time. In this regard, the "Army of Darkness" continues the line of other famous supernatural comedy "Ghostbusters."


As the scenario of "Army of Darkness" took shape, it became clear that the initially-approved with di Laurentiis 8 million dollars on the film is not enough. Therefore, the financing was involved already knowing Raimi Universal, and the budget has grown to 12 million. For the majority of the directors of this still would not be enough - especially given the fact that Raimi had planned to use special effects in almost every significant stage - but the choreographer was not the first time to shoot for a lot less money than he would like.


To save on fees, Raimi hired a lot of filmmakers, non-unions and Hollywood, respectively, costing less than the "unionists". It was a very dangerous move, since the picture above which worked together members and non-members of trade unions, could be struck unionists (those who were entitled to, for example, to force his players to go on strike until the producers did not hire for all positions of union members). So the filmmakers thought about how to take away the group away from Hollywood to England or Spain. But when it became clear that the "Army" is not so important for trade union project to break because of his spear on location were arranged in picturesque natural surroundings of Los Angeles - as in the forests and on the edge of the Mojave Desert.

Although the tour to England Raimi is not needed, he felt that it would be wrong to make a movie about the European Middle Ages, with entirely American actors, and gave the role of Lord Arthur (owner of the castle, which helps protect Ash from Army Undead) British theater and television actor Marcus Gilbert.

In turn, a girl named Sheila, who becomes the lover of Ash, played aspiring South African actress Embeth Davidtz, the future star of "Matilda" and "Schindler's List" and Mary Parker of "New Spider-Man." "Army of Darkness" was her first Hollywood film, and she liked Raimi what looked like a serious woman, not as frivolous starlet.


To be worthy of such a partner, Bruce Campbell had to thoroughly prepare for the shooting. He had occasion to pump up muscles to look good in a torn shirt, but "Army" is also required him to learn theatrical fencing and riding. Last he was given did not really (it would be strange if the Latino Center of the American automotive easily changed on a horse!), But at least Campbell was able to negotiate with the horse, that he only occasionally dropped it.

Also the role in "Army of Darkness" played works in the US Briton Ian Abercrombie (the future voice of Palpatine in the animated series "Star Wars: The Clone Wars"), a school friend of Raimi and Campbell Timothy Patrick Quill (he agreed to shave his head bald to portray a blacksmith), Jr. Sam's brother Ted Raimi and Ivan, and Stunt Woman actress Patricia Tollman (current studio head Michael Straczynski Studio JMS) and the glorious acting dynasty heiress Bridget Fonda. The star of the third "Godfather" portrayed Linda Ash's ex-girlfriend, in flashback, tells the events of the first two "dead." Fund became the third cycle in the history of Linda, as in the first film this character played Betsy Baker, and the second - Denise Bixler.


Whether by mistake, or because of the time frame dictated by distributors shooting "army" were scheduled for summer 1991 - not the best idea for a movie that mainly develops at night. After all, the summer nights are short, and the team Raimi could shoot only from 9 pm to half past four in the morning. Some of the scenes originally conceived because of this it was necessary to reduce or simplify, because the director was not always time to numerous duplicates complex fragments. Thus, the climax fight with evil Ashe Ashe (twin created by demonic magic) was originally conceived as a long episode without a single mounting glue. However, Raimi quickly realized that Bruce Campbell is not so good, that after two or three takes to perform the entire scene without corrections, and because the director is still broke into several pieces episode.


The most complex special effects used to create the "Army" were clever trick photography, connected the shots with real people and scenery with pictures created by animators, puppeteers. Latest mainly enlivened demonic skeletons rising from the ground thanks to the magic "Necronomicon". Scenes from the reanimated skeletons were taken in advance to then during shooting people project them into the camera lens using a system of mirrors and the "mix" with pictures of actors and scenery. Thus, the operator can see the picture that ends up on the screen, and it allowed him to command sighted actors, telling them what they should do to make it seem that they are fighting with skeletons. Nowadays such tricks is done by computers, but they were also possible in the pre-computer era. The picture quality, however, it turned out a bit worse than it is now, because the passage through the mirror scatters the light and makes the picture less clear.


Another problem was that the principal director of photography Bill Pope movie (future operator of "The Matrix" sequels and "Spider-Man"), too much cost to pay him overtime. So he worked on the film only on weekdays. In the same weekend for the camera becomes visual effects supervisor William Mesa, who come and organize spetseffektnye shooting, and capture them on film. And all this for less money than the ones that he might receive if he worked on "solid" studio blockbuster ...

I had to suffer for their not too impressive fee and Bruce Campbell. By the end of filming his face was speckled with bruises, and not all of them were painted make-up artists. Sam Raimi at school loved to mock one another, and when they grew up, he turned these abuses in his creative method. Like, the stronger Bruce suffers, the more realistic it in horror movies and game action movies. And whenever Bruce scenario was to get back on a carrot or a clod of dirt in the face, the actor could not be sure that this thing will throw "true" friend.

When Raimi finally completed and normal, and trick photography, as well as a rough cut of the picture, it became clear that di Laurentiis and Universal are not satisfied with the 96-minute duration of the tape. Distributors required to cut the film to 81 minutes, and the director had not only cut out of the picture for 15 minutes, and remove a few extra pieces to the audience because of the cuts do not lose the thread of the narrative.




See also

New and interesting