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Is OZ THE GREAT & POWERFUL Raimi’s Kid Friendly ARMY OF DARKNESS Remake?

*Editor’s note: You may have heard me mention Mr. Grap once or twice before. He’s my collaborator (and the driving creative force) on cool events like the Horror for the Holidays series here in the Twin Cities. Chris shared his crazy theory with me over the weekend and I asked him to do the same for our readers. I have to say, he makes a compelling argument. (TK)

3_7_oz4Name a Sam Raimi-directed film where a character with a healthy, somewhat misplaced ego falls from the sky into a strange land where he is believed to be a prophesied hero? I’ll accept two answers.

From the trailers Oz: The Great & Powerful looked like a been-there-done-that affair. I hadn’t heard much from anybody about it and didn’t seek out many reviews beyond their loglines that mostly depicted the film as nothing special. Imagine my surprise when find I myself at the theatre and realize Raimi didn’t remake Oz like many had suggested. He fucking remade Army of Darkness! And for families!

Stay with me here…

Like Ash, Oz falls from the sky only to discover a prophecy foretelling his coming as he’s told he’ll be the one to free the land from a wicked witch. He meets a lady, charms her and she eventually turns into a witch. Oz tells people all along that he’s not the hero they think he is. Eventually he assumes the role they believe him worthy of but not before learning a little lesson himself. He’s not the hero they think he is, though he might just be the hero they need.

After taking stock of the locals and their skills at his disposal he uses a book he brought with him to teach them how to make gunpowder and other weapons as well as modify a vehicle to be used against the stronger forces. I was seriously expecting to hear cries of “Ha! Hu! Hi! Ya!” somewhere in this sequence. Oz the man eventually rises to the occasion and becomes the hero he needed to be and runs the enemies out of Oz the kingdom.

Get this, there’s even a part where the China Girl in Oz gleefully suggests they go kill themselves a witch. Didn’t Ash once suggest he and his female cohort go carve themselves a witch? The similarities are too obvious to ignore. Let’s recap, shall we?

Ash vs. Oz

  • Ash falls from the sky with an Oldsmobile
  • Oz falls from the sky in a hot air balloon
  • Ash learns his arrival was foretold by a prophecy and he is the chosen one that will vanquish evil
  • Oz learns his arrival was foretold by a prophecy and he is the great wizard that will vanquish evil
  • Ash charms a lady that later turns into a hideous witch
  • Oz charms a lady that later turns into a hideous witch
  • Ash’s bragging gets him in over his head
  • Oz’s bragging gets him in over his head
  • Ash utilizes the skills of the locals and enlists them to combat a stronger army
  • Oz utilizes the skills of the locals and enlists them to combat a stronger army
  • Ash uses a book he brought with him to teach his army how to make gun powder and other weapons
  • Oz uses a book he brought with him to teach his army how to make gun powder and other weapons
  • Ash works with the locals to modify a vehicle for use against his enemies
  • Oz works with the locals to modify a vehicle for use against his enemies

What? Holy shit. Did Raimi sneak one by Disney and get a paycheck to make a family friendly, big-budget version of a cult classic he directed 20 years ago? I know I can’t be alone in thinking this. Any Chewers have some thoughts? Did I miss anything?

bruce