Raimi and company can’t allow Ash to be victorious for long, though. In order to dispel the Evil Force, Ash and Annie read passages from the Necronomicon that opens up a time portal, sending Ash helplessly back to the Middle Ages. In the final moments of “Evil Dead II,” the newly minted hero Ash finds being a prophesied savior a curse more than a blessing, with the denizens of Medieval times excitedly praising his arrival.
Beginning “Army of Darkness” with a new recap (featuring Bridget Fonda in the role of Linda this time) and a little bit of actual “Evil Dead II” footage, Ash mostly begins where he left off in the prior film, only his arrival in the kingdom of Lord Arthur (Marcus Gilbert) is not as welcoming as it was in part 2. While Ash is once again beaten, harangued and mocked (initially by the people of Arthur’s land as well as the Deadites), he’s no longer the innocent victim of the Evil Force. Now he’s all too aware of the dangers inherent in tangling with Deadites and questing for the book of the dead, and his fear of the evil combined with his newfound heroism and fish-out-of-water status makes him behave like, as Arthur puts it, a “loudmouth braggart.”
Despite all of Ash’s bluster — toward the citizens of the kingdom, his new love interest, Shelia (Embeth Davidtz), and the Deadites themselves — he manages to screw everything up by inadvertently releasing the Evil, painting a target on the kingdom’s back by bringing the Necronomicon to the castle, letting Shelia get kidnapped and cowardly demanding he be sent back to his own time.