This movie is not for everyone. Seriously, if you don’t even know who’s on that poster up there, you might as well stop reading. This cinematic extravaganza is a bukaki of awesome, but requires a both a love and familiarity with the titular Bruce Campbell, King of the B-Movie Horror flicks. Obviously not the most well known actor, but in certain circles (dorks, geeks, and nerds) the man is no less a thespian than a god.
“My Name is Bruce” redefines the meaning of self deprecating humor. Bruce Campbell stars as the worst, most embarrassing version of his real world self in this slapstick comedy that blends the facts of Campbell’s real life career with the satire that has made him so beloved amongst us hard core fans. This movie doesn’t just poke fun at itself… it stabs itself in the crotch with fun. Repeatedly. And aggressively.
The movie starts off with 4 teenage kids from the Gold Lick, Oregon desecrating an old Chinese graveyard, inadvertently setting loose the vengeful spirt Guan-Di, god of war and bean curd (yup, bean curd). Jeff, with a less-than-firm grasp on reality but lover of all things Bruce Campbell, decides to capture his movie star hero in the hopes that he has real world experience defeating supernaturual villains of this nature. We see Campbell in the meantime, drunk, womanizing, and desperate for work living out of his trailer with his equally alcoholic dog. It’s hilarious to see our “hero” playing up the worst side of things that have given him such a cult following and kept him in the acting business for over 3 decades. We’re treated to the absurdities of working on straight to DVD horror movies, the calamities of letting your ego run wild, and the, uh… “challengies” of having to contend with abrassive, self-entitled, hygiene-deficient super fans.
The film, also written and directed by Bruce Campbell, was made with a budget of $1.5 million, or in Hollywood dollars, $jackshit. This is a labor of love (many of the exterior scenes being filmed on Campbell’s own property), and draws heavily from movies that are obviously right in the big guy’s wheelhouse. Wacky gags, gruesome violence, over the top acting, and plenty of inside jokes. The whole thing is an inside joke, really, a fact driven home by the fact that Jeff’s room is stocked wall to wall with actual Bruce Campbell memorabilia mixed in with the fake stuff. The real absurdity is that if you haven’t followed Campbell’s career, you honestly couldn’t tell the two apart. This movie is so “Meta” that one of the townspeople, unconvinced by Campbell’s ability to defeat the ancient Chinese demon, suggests that they should have captured “that blacksmith from Army of Darkness” instead. Who played the blacksmith? The same guy who suggested they kidnap him. Holy crap, that’s the kind of mind-bending paradox that makes “Inception” look like a game of hopscotch!
So like I said at the beginning, you’re already going to know whether you love or hate this movie. If you’ve ever used the words “this is my boomstick,” or “give me some sugar, baby,” check it out. If you’ve never heard of the necronomicon or a deadite, you’ll probably want to start with some of Campbell’s early work before you dive into the deep end. Personally, all I can say about this movie is, “hail to the king.”
Have you seen the movie? What did you think about it? Let me know in the comments below!