…Sam [Raimi] wanted the climactic sword fight to play out as elegantly as a Fred Astaire movie and he wanted it all in one crane shot.
I must have rehearsed the routine for three weeks, but when it came time to shoot, the rigors of running up and down steps, fighting with both hands, and flipping skeletons over my head was too much to pull off without cuts. After ten takes, I knew Sam was pissed off, because he yanked the bullhorn from John Cameron.
‘Okay, obviously, this is NOT WORKING, and it’s NOT GOING TO WORK, so we’re going to break it up into A THOUSAND LITTLE PIECES.’
When Sam gets upset, he lets you know it, and he’ll torture you for days afterward because he’s one of those guys who never forgets. The first ‘little piece’ of the sequence was a shot of me ducking as a sword glances off the stone wall behind me.
‘So, you think you can do this, Bruce?’ he’d say, loud enough for the entire crew to hear. ‘Or should I break this ONE shot into THREE MORE SHOTS?’
Sam also threatened to put Ash in a chorus line with skeletons.
Bruce Campbell, If Chins Could Kill: Confessions Of A B Movie Actor (re Army of Darkness)