Through the course of working on So You Created a Wormhole, I created a lot of content that eventually got cut from the book. A number of these were excerpts with a more narrative bent, which were meant to illustrate a number of time travel scenarios and concepts by telling goofy little fictional stories.
One such narrative piece was one that I never finished was one based on the cult film Army of Darkness. Fans of the film will recognize it for a time-travel epic, stemming from the closing events of Evil Dead 2, in which main character Ash (Bruce Campbell) is swept back in time by evil demons known as Deadites. Army finds Ash in Medieval Europe, fighting the Deadites alongside knights as they defend a castle from the undead hordes.
So You Created a Wormhole contains numerous references to Army and to Ash’s time travel escapades, and this anecdote was supposed to be a greater reference to the film, while also filling out a portion of the guide concerning wizards in the medieval era section of the book’s Survival Guide. The anecdote itself was a fake interview with Bruce Campbell, as if he had actually expereinced the events of the film. The tone was more or less like sitting down with Campbell while he was between shoots on his show “Burn Notice” in Maimi, and I always pictured him wearing a Hawaiian shirt while drinnking mai-tais as we talked.
The interview itself was supposed to concern dealing carefully with wizards, and reference the alternate ending to Army that can be seen on the VHS and DVD releases of that movie. The theatrical version of Army features Ash returning to his time and battling Deadites there — specifically at S-Mart, his place of employment. (“Ash — hardware” and “Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.”) But in the alternate ending, Ash’s return trip to the future is botched. He’s getting back to his proper time by sleeping, Rip Van Winkle-style, and in the alternate ending he accidentally takes too much of the magic potion meant to make him sleep, which causes him to miss his own time and awaken in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The classic, horrified line, “I slept too long!” is how the film was supposed to end. Personally, I love that version.
All of this was playing through my mind as I tried to write the Campbell anecdote, taking a page from Max Brooks’ treatment of interviews in World War Z. Unfortunately, I never got through more than about a page of the interview. It was a little too hard to give Campbell enough things to say about wizards that amounted to more than “Stay away from wizards,” and in the end, it just wasn’t funny enough even with Groovy Bruce in tow.
Even still, the few hundred words I spent trying to bring Campbell into Wormhole were a good time.
There are a few more goofy bits of Wormhole-ness that didn’t make it into the book that I’ll likely be detailing a bit more in the future.