Fans of Raimi’s early work could stomach his movies’ ramshackle construction, but how would this fly in a studio film? Evidently, no one at Universal asked that question. “Army of Darkness” looks like a Cannon flick. You can see the seams, and sense the behind-the-scenes scramble. “How are we ever going to pull this off?” Certain VFX-heavy sequences appear to have been shot on the fly. One such set piece is the moment where Bruce Campbell’s Ash finds himself battling mischievous mini versions of himself.
According to the commentary track for the 95-minute director’s cut version of “Army of Darkness,” this scene was spearheaded by Introvision’s William Mesa. It’s a pre-CG bit of optical trial-and-error, one that required doubles and the manipulation of perspective. Per Campbell:
“We had, I don’t know how many of these guys, in total. Six or seven. But for specific shots there were three of us. There was myself and two other guys, Bruce Thomas and Deke Anderson, who were sort of lookalikes for me. And what we did was, we had them wear Bruce Campbell chins and Bruce Campbell noses, and several of these guys, once you’ve got ’em all tricked up, they wound up being pretty good doubles. Because they were so small on screen, it was harder to tell the details.”