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Army of Darkness - The Primitive Screwhead Edition

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http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v326/RidgeShark/7a987d46.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v326/RidgeShark/54984a85.jpg


Although the Region 3 Director's Cut DVD of Army of Darkness was fantastic, it was still missing two great sequences and music which seem to only exist in the version shown on the SciFi channel. For the last 2 years, I have been working off and on to create a slightly extended version of the director's cut which could incorporate all of my favorite elements.

I was able to obtain a copy of the SciFi version by recording it with the best setup I have - my digital 8 video camera connected to DirectTV via s-video and rca audio cables.

The elements I'm using from the TV version are -

-A sequence early on in the film where Ash and Arthur have a direct confrontation before Ash's capture.

-Alternate audio when Ash enters the windmill and sits down. The day begins to pass away quickly as the old windmill creaks. The official DVD versions have music during this sequence. The SciFi version has no music, just sound effects. There's something about the music-less version that I prefer, so it's going into this cut.

-Sequence where Ash cautiously leaves the windmill when he hears his horse cry out.

-Alternate audio during the 'Little Ashes' sequence. The official director's cut dvd has no music during this long sequence - making it a chore to watch. Strangely (yet appropriately), the SciFi version is scored with silly, Looney Toons-esque music.

-The line "Battlestations!", which Ash yells before the beginning of the final battle.

-The music during the exchange between Arthur and Ash - "I was wrong to think you a coward"

Also - I'm using a few things from the theatrical version which isn't featured on the director's cut -

Music during the fight with the "She-Bitch"

All of these lines missing from the Director's Cut will be present -

"Good, Bad - I'm the guy with the gun"

"...yeah, and maybe I'm a chinese jet pilot"

"Put your backbones into it"

"Women and children first"






As far as the multiple endings go - I'll figure out how to make this a branching dvd.


**A Matter of Aspect Ratios

You may be wondering how I'm going to incorporate the standard 4:3 SciFi footage into the widescreen footage. Thankfully the SciFi version was transferred mostly open matte. When looking at the inferior quality versions of these sequences on an official dvd, it is clear that the SciFi version can be easily cropped in order to recreate a close approximation of the intended widescreen version.

inferior quality version from the official dvds-
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v326/RidgeShark/AshReflectionWorst.jpg

unmodified SciFi version -
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v326/RidgeShark/AshReflectionSciFi.jpg

my tinkered around with version -
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v326/RidgeShark/InTheDoorway.jpg

Unfortunately, not all shots in the SciFi version work out that nicely.

Here's a shot that gave me a little trouble -

As you can see, Ash is located in an area that would force me to include the SciFi logo -
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v326/RidgeShark/AboveShotSciFi.jpg

The inferior version from the official dvd is unattractively framed and doesn't serve as a guide in how to appropriately crop this scene-
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v326/RidgeShark/AboveShotWorst.jpg

Here's what I came up with -
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v326/RidgeShark/AboveShotFinished.jpg

Since this is a stationary shot, it proved easy to remove the SciFi logo. I just superimposed some fullscreen dvd footage over it. The footage I'm refering to is the other up-above shot when Ash runs out of the windmill screaming, "Oh dear God, it's growing bigger!"

Edit* Currently there's no telling when this thing will be truly finished.

If I could possibly find a copy of a workprint, then I will put any additional footage from that elsewhere on the disc as a special feature.


The final version of my edit will feature a smooth 24p framerate and 5.1 surround sound.

This cut uses -

Director's Cut - MGM Region 3 DVD
Theatrical Cut - Universal HD-DVD/DVD Combo Edition
Television Cut shown on the SciFi Channel

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Well, looks like the project I was going to help out on this summer has been taken care of! Can't wait to see this.

I used to be very active on this forum. I’m not really anymore. Hi everybody. You’re all awesome. Keep up the good work.

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I was wondering if someone would eventually do a version incorporating the sci-fi version's exclusive scenes. I have the R3 disc and so I am looking forward to this

To contact me outside the forum, for trades and such my email address is my OT.com username @gmail.com

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I did this years ago, crappily. Always intended to do it again properly someday. Great job doing this. I and all the other primitive screwheads on these boards thank you.

My comments.


People will kill you if you don't include the "Chinese jet pilot" line. It's a good one.


The S-Mart ending is better than the apocalyptic ending, so that's the one you're actually gonna append to your cut, but it's easy to use both via seamless branching.



For the best in picture quality, you really need to use the M2V video DIRECTLY from the DVD (apart from the couple of extra scenes you're adding, of course). You can plunk your M2V video directly from the MGM DVD into your DVD creation program for 90% of the film, then for your added scenes, create your own files just covering those segments.

If your material goes through your editing program, there will be a slight drop in picture quality which you can avoid by doing it this way.


There's an added bonus which is that this method makes it easier to include the original ending via seamless branching.



Now - there's a couple of sequences that would have been in my cut, which aren't surfacing in yours. Consider using the following:


Portions of the darker alternate opening ... I really like the alternate line delivery of "It got into my hand and it went bad ... SO I LOPPED IT OFF AT THE WRIST!" (use video from the theatrical cut over audio from the extended opening) ... Then we see Bruce shouting an incantation (deleted scene only) and cut to even more Evil Dead 2 footage.

Since this is only a couple of shots (Bruce chanting, and I think there's another one of Bruce putting a cross over Linda's grave - I'd have to check my ancient edit), and they're dark and weird anyway, the drop in picture quality is not really noticeable, especially with color correcting.

Now get out your Evil Dead 2 DVD. There's an extra closeup of Bruce screaming in the vortex as electricity of many colors swirls all around him. It fits perfectly into an Army of Darkness cut.

Just short extra bits but you'd be amazed at what a statement it makes for people familiar with the film as is.


Okay, now Henry the Red. The quality of this scene is shit, but if you cut out the splice marks on every cut, and color correct the hell out of it, it's a fun thing to include.


If it doesn't work for you, you can include it as a deleted scene, but it would be nice to see.



Also, I think you're darkening the windmill footage a bit too much.

Another option for removing the sci-fi logo when you REALLY need to is to take the inferior quality Anchor Bay cuts and paste just that portion of the image over the sci-fi version, removing the logo. Color correct til you can't notice it.


Looking forward to this!
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Why not have two audio tracks to include both versions of the lines/ music/ no-music?
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Great stuff. Can't wait to see your finished project.
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Wow. Now this looks like a fantastic project. I'm drooling at the thought of it already. I like the ideas posted above of seamless branching and alternate audio tracks.

I would also like to see the Sci-Fi channel cut included in its raw format in the final 'release' if at all possible.
where have i been all this time ?
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I was hoping someone would do this too! Except I didn't know about these television additions and it looks like you've done a fantastic job. I have been aggravated forever about the line change ("I'm the guy with the gun") and the inferior ending on the Director's Cut (in character it may be, fun it is not). Also aggravating is the terrible picture quality on the Anchor Bay releases, which they persistently refuse to fix on every umpteenth edition of the movie.

Oh man. You are my new favorite person.

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You know the Anchor Bay releases are all mastered from VHS? They're bad quality bootlegs.
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This project is a beautiful thing to behold. As some others have mentioned, any chance of getting the Sci-Fi channel cut and running two audio tracks instead of choosing one way or the other?
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Hopefully it will just take a few days to get familiar with Sony's DVD Architect 3.0. The program should allow branching, although I doubt it will be seamless - more likely there will be slight pauses. I'll do what I can to orgranize the footage so that the branching is done during the more quiet and still moments.

As for Ocpmovie's suggestions - I am going to incorporate the deleted scene where Ash recruits Henry the Red. I feel it is a worthy scene that deserves to be in some version of the movie. The video quality in this scene is actually not too terrible, though it certainly has blemishes. I've already spent a day digitally removing a great deal of hairs, spots, markings, and all of the splices in the footage - and it looks a little better but still needs more attention. As far as the audio in this deleted scene - anyone have any ideas on how to make it sound better? I've tried different audio filtering methods and nothing really helps. There probably isn't a whole lot that can be done.

And yes - I am using a method that directly streams all 24p VOB footage into my video editor without loss of quality or recompression of any kind. For the SciFi footage and deleted Arthur scene, I am using IVTC to recreate the original 24 frames per second. Again - it's all progressive. The final version will have the necessary pulldown flags for interlaced players - but the progressive image will be preserved for progressive players.

For those of you asking about it - A preservation of the SciFi cut itself is a fine idea for a project. Except for the tape running out during the S-Mart ending (which should be exactly the same as the theatrical version), I have the entire SciFi cut recorded onto Digital 8. I believe that other than the extra scenes and additional music - the only other main difference with this cut is that the final battle sequence is edited in a different manner from both the theatrical and director's cut (though I'd have to check to be sure). Sometime after my main project is done I'll also release the unmodified, full-screen SciFi version separately if no one else gets around to it. I'll need to recheck the tape to ensure there won't be any problems.

I think that about covers it - looks like I'm going to have a little more to do with Army of Darkness than originally planned. It shouldn't force that much of a delay though. However, I do have finals coming up - and that gets top priority unfortunately.
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If you need a source to finish out the straight presentation of the Sci Fi cut, I have it on VHS back at home somewhere. Quality won't be as good at the Hi8 tape, but it'll be better than nothing.

I used to be very active on this forum. I’m not really anymore. Hi everybody. You’re all awesome. Keep up the good work.

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Alright Reverend - thank you for the offer - I'll keep it in mind.

I'll also try to keep up on SciFi's schedule. They play their cut of AoD every few months. Maybe I'll get an opportunity to get a higher quality copy of the full ending.
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Glad you're including Henry the Red. Please keep my suggestions for the opening sequence in mind.

I don't think there's any need to present an alternate cut of the battle sequences or indeed anything else (including alternate audio). Don't worry about that. Make one good cut. (Although do put the alternate apocalyptic ending on there!)

The Sci-Fi cut is worth preserving by itself, unmodified and exactly as it is - I also have it on VHS somewhere, an old showing with a different watermark.

Just slap the Sci-Fi cut onto a different DVD and call it a day.

I'm amused by some of the Bruce Campbell lines used to cover profanity in the Sci-fi cut ... "I ain't never even seen these apeheads before!"
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I'd be VERY interested in this - is there a chance of this getting uploaded to MySpleen or another torrent site when you finish it?

A well-respected membet of the community

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Originally posted by: ChainsawAsh
I'd be VERY interested in this - is there a chance of this getting uploaded to MySpleen or another torrent site when you finish it?

I wouldn't be suprised if it did find it's way onto a well-visited torrent site.


Originally posted by: focuspuller
project sounds great, can't wait to see it. How are you able to sync all the clips from the different sources, what programs are you using?


Vegas 6.0 is making it all possible.

-Sorry to keep this message extra short, but lately my free time has been greatly reduced thanks to upcoming finals. I shall return with full force to this project after May 2nd.

Also - A big "Thank You!" to everyone for the kind words and interest in the project.
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As for the torrent upload... I'm Your Huckleberry!

What has ‘theology’ ever said that is of the smallest use to anybody? When has ‘theology’ ever said anything that is demonstrably true and is not obvious? What makes you think that ‘theology’ is a subject at all? - Richard Dawkins<br /><img src="http://tinyurl.com/y5ul6h" alt="http://tinyurl.com/y5ul6h" />

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Thank you very much, Rikter.

Progress is still being made on this project. The audio mix is almost done and the SciFi sequences look as good as I can make them. In the next few days I'll be working on cleaning up the rest of the dirt in the deleted "Ash recruits Henry the Red" sequence. I've already spent plenty of hours removing the dirt and markings on this sequence, and in the end it will look as good as it possibly can.
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I'm really looking forward to this, those screen shots look promising!!

What has ‘theology’ ever said that is of the smallest use to anybody? When has ‘theology’ ever said anything that is demonstrably true and is not obvious? What makes you think that ‘theology’ is a subject at all? - Richard Dawkins<br /><img src="http://tinyurl.com/y5ul6h" alt="http://tinyurl.com/y5ul6h" />

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Here's a dramatic "before and after" example of the cleanup I've been doing on the deleted Henry the Red sequence. Most of the cleanup has involved removing small bits of dirt and dust, which is time consuming but not really challenging - but as you can see, this frame right here was a monster -

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v326/RidgeShark/HenrytheRed1.jpg

This is one of 8 frames with this type of marking moving all over Henry's face. It's tricky work, but the results have been pretty good. I'm not saying you won't be able to tell that I did some cleanup on these 8 troublesome frames, but it doesn't call attention to itself or distract. =)

Even with the cleanup, this deleted sequence won't look as good as the rest of the movie - but hopefully it won't stick out as bad as it would've.

Well - back to work.
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excellant work so far! i can't wait to see this completed
"Love is the only pain that doesn't feel good."
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