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Introduction
Alright you primitive screwheads, listen up ... as some of you know, Army Of Darkness mainly comes in two flavours: the 82-min Theatrical (Universal) Cut and 96-min Director's (International) Cut. The former has been readily available on VHS, LD and DVD from the original distributors at Universal. However fans cried out for someone ... anyone ... to dig up the long-lost Director's Cut, since the only version available at this time was the OOP Japanese Laserdisc entitled Captain Supermarket. There were many different video releases of this movie which have presented some of the extra footage in question, but none of these versions ever housed the Director's Cut in its entirety the way the director intended.Anchor Bay answered the call (sort of) by delivering their ‘Limited Edition’ 2-disc DVD set with the Theatrical Cut in a brand new THX-approved transfer and the Director's Cut in a not-so-viewable transfer. Initially, only the THX'd Theatrical Cut was released separately and there were no similar plans for the Director's Cut at this time. Eventually though, these same two discs have been repackaged and reissued a number of times over. But to make matters worse, the less-than-acceptable presentation of the Director's Cut was never improved upon with each re-release - it was always the same encoding from the original 2-disc edition whereby the image and audio were located from mediocre VHS sources—a valiant effort, but not good enough really. MGM finally sorted out an amicable distribution deal with Universal to re-master the original film-stock and sound mix sources to release the Director's Cut in the way it was meant to be seen and heard. The only other DVD title that probably exceeds this level of reissue complexity is the original Evil Dead movie. What follows is a brief but descriptive rundown of the DVDs released so far and a series of screenshot comparisons for your own examination. There's also an ultimate DVD-Buyer's Guide for this movie at the end of this weblink ... it should help to avoid the headaches that all previous buyers have had to endure when choosing which DVDs will end up in their Deadite Movie Memorabilia. DVDs released This listing is by no means complete, but it gives you a pretty good idea of what's around :-

Army Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD ReleasesRegion 1 - Theatrical Cut - Universal issued 18 Aug 1998 - Theatrical Cut (82-min) - widescreen presentation but not 16:9 enhanced, AC3 2.0 sound, production notes, cast & filmmaker's bios, trailer, subtitles in English
Army Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD ReleasesRegion 1 - 2-disc Limited Edition - Anchor Bay issued 12 Oct 1999 - Theatrical Cut (82-min) & Director's Cut (96-min) on separate discs - read the next two items for info on each disc - (production run of 30,000 copies in U.S. and 4,000 copies in Canada)
Army Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD ReleasesRegion 1 -Theatrical Cut (THX) - Anchor Bay issued 19 Oct 1999 - Theatrical Cut (82-min) - THX-approved transfer, 16:9 and 4:3 presentations, AC3 5.1 sound, "The Men Behind The Army" 20-min featurette, includes separate "Apocalyptic ending", talent bios, trailer, no subtitles
Army Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD ReleasesRegion 1 - Director's Cut Limited Edition - Anchor Bay issued 25 Jul 2000 - Director's Cut (96-min) - poor 16:9 presentation, AC3 2.0 sound, audio commentary with Sam/Ivan Raimi and Bruce Campbell, 4 deleted scenes, director's storyboards, no subtitles - (production run of 40,000 copies in U.S.)
Army Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD ReleasesRegion 1 - Official Bootleg Edition - Anchor Bay issued 23 Oct 2001 - Director's Cut (96-min) - same content as original R1 Director's Cut Limited Edition release
Army Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD ReleasesRegion 2 - Double Disc Presentation - Anchor Bay issued 11 Nov 2002 - Theatrical Cut (82-min) & Director's Cut (96-min) on separate discs - same content as original R1 2-Disc Limited Edition release, includes additional DTS 5.1 sound on the THX'd Theatrical Cut
Army Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD ReleasesRegion 3 - Director's Cut - MGM issued 26 Feb 2003 - Director's Cut (96-min) - much improved 16:9 presentation, AC3 5.1 sound - same extras as original R1 Director's Cut Limited Edition release except no storyboards, includes separate "S-Mart ending", trailer, also contains subtitles in English and various Asian dialects
Army Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD ReleasesRegion 1 - 2-disc Boomstick Edition - Anchor Bay issued 04 Mar 2003 - Theatrical Cut (82-min) & Director's Cut (96-min) on separate discs - same content as original R1 2-Disc Limited Edition release, includes 8-page collector's booklet
Screenshot Comparisons
For the sake of simplicity, these images belong to the R1 Anchor Bay Director's Cut DVD- R1 Anchor Bay Theatrical Cut (THX-approved) DVD- R3 MGM Director's Cut DVD

Army Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD ReleasesArmy Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD Releases
Army Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD ReleasesArmy Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD Releases
Army Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD ReleasesArmy Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD Releases
Army Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD ReleasesArmy Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD Releases
Army Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD ReleasesArmy Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD Releases
Army Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD ReleasesArmy Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD Releases
Army Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD ReleasesArmy Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD Releases
Army Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD ReleasesArmy Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD Releases
Army Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD ReleasesArmy Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD Releases
Army Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD ReleasesArmy Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD Releases
Army Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD ReleasesArmy Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD Releases
Army Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD ReleasesArmy Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD Releases
Army Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD ReleasesArmy Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD Releases
Army Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD ReleasesArmy Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD Releases
Army Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD ReleasesArmy Of Darkness Video Shots & DVD Releases
Ultimate DVD-Buyer's Guide
If you'd like to acquire both cuts of this movie and have as much supplemental material as possible ... buy the R1 Anchor Bay (THX'd) Theatrical Cut and R3 MGM Director's Cut DVDs. With this powerful combination, you get the groovy "The Men Behind The Army" documentary from the Anchor Bay R1 disc and possess the awesomely looking & sounding Director's Cut from the MGM R3 disc (with subtitles finally). All you would miss out on is the director's storyboards that run alongside the R1 Director's Cut from Anchor Bay, but this should be no great loss. Word has just come through that MGM will release their re-mastered transfer of the Director's Cut in R2 UK, so now British and Aussie fans can finally watch this long-awaited version in their preferred PAL TV format. And Anchor Bay have decided to bring out a four-disc box set of all three Evil Dead movies for R1 which will contain exclusive never-seen-before extras on the fourth disc—details to follow. As for the first two movies in this Trilogy ... Elite once produced my personal favourite incarnations of these flicks with the Special Collector's Edition DVD of Evil Dead and the very rare blood-red Laserdisc of Evil Dead II (both now OOP). Anchor Bay also came out with their own editions, but the authentically replicated "Necronomicon: Book of the Dead" (THX'd) DVD of Evil Dead crops the original 4:3 image into a 16:9 widescreen presentation, and the Special Edition (THX'd) DVD of Evil Dead II houses a remixed 5.1 soundtrack which I feel is inferior to the fuller-sounding mono one on the Elite Laserdisc. The Evil Dead Trilogy has had the most chequered history of all video releases, so it's with great relief that we may get to see the end of all this distribution malarky and finally put the Deadites to rest.


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