If you don’t know Ash Williams, the Evil Dead and the Army of Darkness, then you don’t just have a gap in your pop culture knowledge – you’ve got a chasm. Wherever Ash goes, chaos and Deadite-killing comedy-horror-action follow, but what could this mean for a US election campaign which is already out of hand? We find out in Army Of Darkness: Election Special.
Based on the latest ominous warning from the Necronomicon – the book of the dead – Ash seeks out a psychic to help him figure out what the latest ultimate evil unleashed upon the world is going to be. Amazingly, it turns out to be one of the two leading Presidential candidates. But which one? One is a hard-line Republican while the other is a more liberal Democrat, and both quote John Lennon. As the Necronomicon assures Ash, only pure evil can appropriate the Beatles and their lyrics so flagrantly, yet the mystery remains and Ash is stuck with the job of assassinating one of them.
However, when a third party candidate is revealed to be a Deadite, Ash kicks into high gear and lets his boomstick do the talking. His no-nonsense approach leads him to take up politics himself, and before long he’s on the campaign trail making ridiculous statements and gaining a following of his own. With a major debate against the other two candidates looming, can Ash learn the mystical words to reveal the true face of evil and put an end to it? Or will the USA fall under the thumb of a democratically-elected demonic entity?
The latest US election has been like a three-ring circus in real life, and this issue is a perfect antidote for that insanity. Army Of Darkness: Election Special is a barrel of laughs, with a lot of statements made about the nature of political pandering and wishy-washy figureheads. The action is solid and violent enough when needed, but in the best Evil Dead tradition it’s Ash and his blundering heroism which steal every scene. Uttering dialogue which is easy to imagine actor Bruce Campbell saying, Ash wisecracks admirably, babbles through his speeches like a goof and is completely bewildered by the world of politics.
Despite some completely forgettable background characters, the writing is solid while the artwork keeps the story moving smoothly. Together they add up to a wonderful entry in the Army Of Darkness series which fans should enjoy, and while it isn’t a classic the timely nature of it make it more than worthwhile. Not only that but there’s a great Douglas Adams reference which has to be one of the smartest things ever uttered by Ash (and which he’s naturally chided for)!
So grab your boomstick, cast your vote for Ash and pick up Army Of Darkness: Election Special. It’s the only thing which makes sense this election year.