Saturday, October 31, 2009

So you may remember over the past couple of years mentioning a movie called My Name is Bruce. The movie stars and was directed by Bruce Campbell, the King of B Movie Actors. Well the movie has finally, quietly been released. Starting this past Sunday Campbell kicked off a 20 city tour of the movie, which will be released on DVD in the next couple of months.

(This review originally appeared on November 25, 2008)

The movie premiered on Sunday, October 26th here in Austin at a screening which sold-out in 2 minutes. (the fastest a movie has sold-out since 1999 when tickets to an Evil Dead Marathon with Campbell in attendance.) Luckily I was able to get one of these coveted tickets and it is with much glee that I tell you I not only got to see My Name is Bruce, I got to see the man himself as he introduced the film and did a Q&A afterwards.

The film will be well received by fans of Campbell, and should get some love from anyone who loves B movies, and cheesy horror flicks in general (Although it you love either of these and aren't a fan of Campbell I don't think you really love B movies or Cheesy horror as he's the king of both.) But I'll give a fair warning to those who don't really know Campbell you won't enjoy it near as much as us fans as there are a ton of inside jokes, mostly poking fun at Bruce and his storied career.

The movie opens with a couple of small town folks singing a song about Guan-Di, the Chinese god of Vengenance and Bean Curd (yes it's absurd). When a teen boy, and Bruce's self-proclaimed number 1 fan unwittingly unleashes Guan-Di on a small town in Oregon his master plan is to kidnap Bruce and have him fight off the monster. Because as we all know actors can totally do everything that the characters they play can.

The movie's Bruce is a bit of a prick, he's loud, crude, and treats everyone around him like crap. His wife's left him and he spends the nights alone with his dog drinking lots and lots of Shemp whiskey. Now while Bruce is playing himself, it's much like NPH's version of himself in the Harold & Kumar movies, in that it's over the top and a very fictional version of the real man. But man is it fun to watch. Bruce is clearly having a great time playing himself and it shows.

Now once he's kidnapped it's clear the town hasn't completely thought this through. First Bruce thinks it's an actual movie shot guerrilla style. Second it's quite clear he's an incompetent oaf who couldn't plan out how to kill a fly let alone a big, bad monster. But the town doesn't seem to notice this until there first attempt at killing the monster ends in several deaths (some from Bruce who just fires his Boom-Stick in every direction without looking). And as Bruce runs away to live another day, he breaks the heart of our teen fan and his mother (who happens to be Bruce's love interest)

I don't want to give it all away, but know there is a surprise ending or two. Campbell not only starred in the film, but he also directed it as well. The script comes from Mark Verheiden of BSG fame, and came about from an old book in which I believe Errol Flynn was kidnapped and forced to fight real pirates. They sent it to Campbell who says he loved that they wanted him to direct a movie making fun of himself.

The movie is just about as perfect as a B movie can get. First it star Campbell, who as I said is basically the king of B movies, and owns that fact beautifully. Second it's got a horrible cheesy villian, bad effects, and some amazingly awful dialogue. If you're looking for a wonderful art house indie go somewhere else. But if you're looking for some sweet Bruce Campbell action, or a cheesy waste of 90 minutes, you can't go wrong with My Name is Bruce.


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