Since Sam Raimi refuses to put Bruce Campbell back in the shoes of Ashley J. Williams, Campbell took matters into his own hands and directed a new indie horror-comedy entitled MY NAME IS BRUCE, which he also stars in… as himself.
From the get go MY NAME IS BRUCE was intriguing. In the film, Campbell, playing himself, is kidnapped off the set of a B horror movie and, despite his protestations that he’s just an actor, is forced to play the role of his heroic movie character in order to save a small town from an ancient demonic curse.
The idea it that fans will get to see Ash back on the big screen… sort of. The film carries a barrage of references to Campbell’s career with jokes ranging from THE EVIL DEAD to MCHALE’S NAVY. Basically this movie was made solely for fans of Campbell as pretty much every comical moment is an ‘inside joke’. The only problem with MY NAME IS BRUCE is that even when Campbell “mans up” and decides to become a hero, he never quite puts on Ash’s hat, which is the climax I think we were all expecting. Instead, he continues to be a frail, smartass, washed up jerk that has zero respect for his fans, which sadly is the Campbell I see at conventions.
From a critics standpoint the movie is terrible. It has a poorly developed screenplay, half-assed directing and can’t decide what type of world this takes place in. One minute we’re supposed to believe this IS Campbell’s life and the next it becomes a cartoon. With that said, MY NAME IS BRUCE is still incredibly entertaining….
Again, this film was made for Campbell fans and nobody else. With all the quips, references and smart-alecky charm that Campbell brings to the table, there’s not a single second that’s hard not to love. While technically flawed, the heart is there and it’s in the right place.
MY NAME IS BRUCE is a very small film with the correct focus, making it an immediate gem. While most horror movies are crafted to be for everybody, Mark Verheiden writes a screenplay that will be hated by anyone who did not grow up on THE EVIL DEAD films. What this means is that Campbell had directed a very special film that was made just for you. Hold it close and cherish it.
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