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We take a break from the Criterion roundup this week to celebrate this great scene that never was, from Army of Darkness, the 3rd flick in the beloved Evil Dead Series, a franchise that has surpassed Star Wars as cinematic muse for thousands of would-be-filmmakers. Everyone working in genre filmmaking today – from Peter Jackson to Joss Whedon to countless less talented mimics – has no doubt been inspired by Raimi’s blend of homemade steadicams, smokey cinematography and clever mix of humor and horror. One of his greatest contributions to filmdom is the character of Ashley J. Williams (over-acted with verve by Bruce Campbell), a smug bungling douchebag who’s constantly in over his head – if not with demonic possession then with time travel and a Return of the King-like destiny. Being that Evil Dead II ended with one of the greatest WTF moments in film history, Raimi must’ve felt he had to top himself in Army. And even though the American version is hilarious (I won’t spoil it), it’s this Japanese ending, included as an extra on DVD releases, which seems to be more in the spirit of the series’ twisted, Raimi-kicks-his-protagonist-in-the-nuts-over-and-over-again motif. Enjoy!

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