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Wednesday December 12th 2018

Army Of Darkness | 1992

The third Evil Dead movie goes back to the Middle Ages for this bloody romp, filmed mainly on what was then the Introvision International soundstage on North Fuller Avenue in West Hollywood (it's now the Quixote Studios). The witty original title, The Medieval Dead, was nixed by the studio but lingers on as the subtitle of the UK release.

The 14th Century castle of Lord Arthur (Marcus Gilbert) was constructed in the green and pleasant High Desert of California on the Polsa Rosa Ranch, 5726 Soledad Canyon Road, Acton, just off Route 14 north of Los Angeles.

The movie ranch, which is private property on the border of the Angeles National Forest, has also been used for productions including Gore Verbinski’s 2013 The Lone Ranger, with Armie Hammer and Johnnie Depp, the 2012 version of Red Dawn, John Woo’s Windtalkers and Spike Jonez’s Adaptation.

Scenes for James Cameron’s Titanic were also filmed in a specially constructed pool on the mesa.

The strange landscape "leading to an unholy place" through which Ash (Bruce Campbell) must ride to track down the Necronomicon is of course the familiar location of Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park, 10700 West Escondido Canyon Road, near Agua Dulce Springs, California.

This spectacular outcropping of the San Andreas Fault rearing up in a splurge of fantastic sandstone formations, off Highway 14 between Newhall and Palmdale, about an hour’s drive north of Los Angeles, has supplied rugged Western terrain or strange other-worldliness to many films, including Alpha Dog, Apache, The Flintstones, Bill And Ted's Bogus Journey and Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery), pop videos, photoshoots, episodes of the Star Trek TV series and – more recently – in JJ Abrams’ 2009 big-screen revamp of Star Trek.

There's one more practical location, but you need to watch the original (much better) ending of the Director's Cut to see it. In that version, Ash retreats with his adapted Oldsmobile to a cave, where he drinks the potion which can take him back to the 20th Century. Unfortunately, he oversleeps...

The cave is another screen favourite, the Bronson Cave in Bronson Canyon, Griffith Park in Los Angeles, famous as the Batcave for the Sixties Batman TV series.