His Name Is Bruce

Now, then. Bend me over a barrel of rum and call me Mary, if this isn't an exciting picture. I'm doing a passable impression of Napoleon right next to, for those who don't know, one of the foremost horror icons of our time. This is Mr Bruce Campbell - best known as the star of the Evil Dead movies, as well as the well-received Bubba Ho-Tep and a whole splendid slew of low-budgeters like Maniac Cop, Maniac Cop 2, The Man With The Screaming Brain and Alien Apocalypse. He also stars in the successful US TV show Burn Notice, which is currently taking up much of his time.

The occasion, last night, was the London press launch of his latest film My Name Is Bruce. Campbell directed and produced it in his home state of Oregon. If you've heard about Jean-Claude Van Damme's new meta-movie JCVD, then you might be forgiven for thinking they're similar. And they are, in the sense that each movie sees each star appearing as themselves and facing 'real-life' danger. Here's the difference: whereas My Name Is Bruce employs fun and humour, JCVD employs self-indulgence and tedium (disclaimer: a fair number of people seem to have enjoyed the wretched JCVD, so as always this is subjective. Your statutory rights are a mystery).

Campbell plays an Extras-style distorted version of the real Bruce, being a washed-up, womanising alcoholic Z-movie star who lives in a caravan while making Cave Alien 2. The local town of Gold Lick finds its meagre population dwindling further when an evil Chinese spirit (looking for all the world like a live-action Scooby Doo monster) starts chopping off hands, heads and generally reducing people's quality of life. The folk of Gold Lick misguidedly recruit Campbell to sort it all out, believing him to be a genuine monster-masher. He goes along with it all, thinking it's all a big hoot... then finds himself facing the homicidal, oriental fiend. Or as he memorably describes it as one point, "the one-ton wun-tun".

Despite ladling on some knockabout gore, it's a seriously funny piece of work, with a script (by Battlestar Galactica/Smallville's Mark Verheiden) ripping the piss out of Campbell, the fans, Hollywood and indie films. All affectionately, of course, as Campbell's love of the cheesy Z-flick comes plainly shining through. Fun, fun, fun. It also features some nice cameos from Evil Dead alumni, including Sam Raimi's brother Ted and Ellen Sandweiss.

Unsurprisingly, given Campbell's legendarily laidback and friendly nature, he turned out to be a pretension-free zone in person, chatting away, being funny and even giving me a pointer as to where to send one of my feature scripts. He told me that My Name Is Bruce took two years to make - in between shoots, he would go off and do other things. "Here's my rule of thumb," he said. "If you have a set release date on a film, then you ain't indie."

My Name Is Bruce gets a limited UK theatrical run from February 13. A loaded two-disc DVD setthen emerges through Anchor Bay Entertainment UK on March 2.

13 comments:

Laura Anderson said...

Ooh he's a handsome bugger. You lucky thing! I hope he poses for photos tomorrow in Edinburgh, although of course I will be insensible and unable to pose with him if he does :-)

rob said...

Oh... My... God...

Of all your myriad achievements that photo is the mightiest.

I am so jealous right now.

david lemon said...

Paint me jealous. You and Ash! Together at last. Will definitely check out his latest opus, though he'll have to go a long way to top his Old Spice Ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yg6bZSM48vU&feature=related

Kevin said...

That really is your signature pose, Mr. Arnopp.

What a glorious life you lead.

Jon Peacey said...

Sounds right funky good... both the film and the meeting! Lucky chap.

I wish I could recall what the basic plot reminds me of though: Three Amigos? Adaptation? Maybe. But there's something else vaguely nagging away at the back of the mind...

Oh well, I guess I should just giggle and give in!

(He's also in a forgotten gem: Sundown, Vampire In Retreat.)

Salina said...

OhmyGodsocool! Rawk on, sir.

Lee said...

Jason, my leige, who's that bearded little fool standing next to you?

drettworlb said...

Very cool, very cool indeed. Bruce Campbell that is. Lucky bugger.

JenHandorf said...

don't know, Jason... I'm not sure I didn't prefer the first version when it was titled "Three Amigos" or even the remake "Tropic Thunder" Who am I kidding, any story is better with Bruce...

Tom Murphy said...

I just got this from Curzon this morning:

MY NAME IS BRUCE AT SOHO - EXTRA SCREENING ANNOUNCED

Curzon Midnight Movies is over the full moon that Bruce Campbell will personally introduce two screenings of his new film MY NAME IS BRUCE on Friday 6 February at Soho.

Both screenings are now completely sold out, so anyone wanting to buy returns will need to turn up on the night.

Due to the unprecedented demand for tickets, we will be screening MY NAME IS BRUCE on Friday 13 February, alongside clips from the Q&A and some extra special features. We urge advance booking for this sensational film.

james henry said...

Awww, I couldn't imagine the mighty BC being anything other than lovely in real life, so good to have it confirmed.

Eleanor said...

He is a lovely bloke, very generous with his time and advice.

I met him on his first visit to London way back when. ... And I am really annoyed at myself for not knowing this was on.

DRAT!

Nice to know about the film though, thanks for the head's up to the uninformed! :)

Oli said...

Nyeeeeeah so jealous!