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SYFY WIRE evil dead

Why Schwarzenegger is to blame for Bruce Campbell's killer Army of Darkness poster six-pack abs

By Josh Weiss

Army of Darkness (the trilogy capper in Sam Raimi's original Evil Dead trilogy) is pretty wacky. Ash Williams is sent back in time to the Dark Ages where he battles skeletal warriors with a shotgun and a chainsaw for a hand.

The gonzo plot synopsis alone makes it iconic, but even after 28 years, the story gets a little bit weirder (and groovier). Answering a fan tweet on social media Bruce Campbell shed some light on the film's international poster, which features Ash with bulging pectoral muscles he didn't have in the finished movie (or, ya know, real life). According to the actor, the Adonis-like artwork can be chalked up to the foreign box office power of the T-800 himself: Arnold Schwarzenegger

"Yeah, producer Dino De Laurentiis had his hands all over that," he wrote. "It’s the foreign poster. He knew that Schwarzenegger sold overseas, so he made me look like Arnold. It’s very silly."

Check out the poster here.

Sadly, the marketing strategy didn't really work, as Army of Darkness bombed at the box office when it first opened in 1993. It brought in a little over $21 million against a production budget of $21 million ($10 million came from sales abroad). In the last few decades, however, the film has accrued a major cult following, which usually seems to be the case with many of Raimi's projects, like 1990's Darkman.

A new Evil Dead film — entitled Evil Dead Rise — is currently in the works, with Lee Cronin (The Hole in the Ground) attached to direct.

"From this point forward, they [new movies in the franchise] kind of have to stand on their own. Which is fine. And liberating," Campbell said in 2020. “You could have different heroes, different heroines in this case. This one's gonna be a little more dynamic. We just want to keep the series current. And the mantra, really, is that our heroes and heroines are just regular people. That's what we're going to continue."