For this blog I will be talking about how both Versus and Evil Dead: Army of Darkness garnered themselves a cult following. As for some background, Versus is a 2000 Japanese independent zombie action film and Evil Dead: Army of Darkness is a 1992 American comedy- dark fantasy movie. Interestingly enough, there are quite a few similarities between the two films, which I believe played a huge role in the formation of their cult followings.
1. The main “heroes” have a “mock-heroic” type attitude.
Versus: “It took five men to kidnap a girl? Hey, why don’t you let her go and lose the toupee?” (main character; prisoner KSC2-303)
“…Why did you save me?” (“The Girl” to main character)
“I didn’t mean to save you; it just pissed me off.” (main character to “The Girl”)
( prisoner KSC2-303; main character)
In Evil Dead: Army of Darkness, the main character Ash also possesses a very dry and sarcastic personality. On multiple occasions he calls his main love interest some sort of derogatory sexist term.
2. Both Ash and prisoner KSC2-303 are connected to a different time period other than the one they belong in/are originally from.
(Ash Williams holding his “broomstick”)
Ash is from the year 1992 and is sucked through a time portal which takes him all the way back to the year 1300 AD. There, he has the upper hand especially because of his gun.
Sort of similar, prisoner KSC2-303 and the other main characters (from Versus) are reincarnations from 10th century Japan. Not only are both the hero and villain talented with weapons, such as the samurai sword and multiple types of guns, but they are also both extremely skilled in the martial arts.
3. There’s always an “evil” force/villain.
In Versus, “The Man,” is trying to open the “the darkness of death” for power.
“The darkness of death. That’s where the real world will begin. I’m going to open that doorway. Come with me?” (“The Man” talking to prisoner KSC2-303)
(“The Man” from his first/original life)
Likewise, in Evil Dead: Army of Darkness, there are “Deadites,” magic that can go wrong, unseen forces, and a haunted forest.
(Ash having an evil clone form due to shattered glass entering his throat)
4. The zombies know how to fight and make decisions for themselves
(Evil Dead: Army of Darkness; the “Army of Darkness”/”deadites”)
This is something we rarely get to see in any type of zombie film. Almost always, the zombies are slow, cannot make conscious decisions, and do not know how to do anything else besides walk and eat people. So I think the fact that the zombies are pretty much opposite in Evil Dead and Versus easily pushes these films onto the map.
For example, even though the undead in Evil Dead are only united because of Ash’s evil clone they still know how to make calculated attacks. One of the flying deadites even soars down to grab Sheila (Ash’s love interest).
And in Versus, the zombies know how to fight martial arts style, and shoot guns. (Sorry, I couldn’t find a picture of this!)
….Yep. That’s it! So if you ever watch a “cult” zombie movie in the future look back to this blog and you’ll probably see it has one of these four characteristics. It’s almost like a formula… but obviously some end results are better than others.
(1st picture taken from http://reeleyes.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/versus-film.png)
(2nd picture taken from: http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/57/28/78/572878dcef942b4d3c1198b2e7b3a71e.jpg)
(3rd picture taken from: http://www.fantastique-arts.com/photos/819.jpg)
(4th picture taken from: http://www.attackfromplanetb.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/armyD2.jpg)
(5th picture taken from: http://www.dedfest.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Army_of_Darkness.jpg)