Saturday, July 25, 2009

My Name is Ash, umm... Bruce!


I come from a long line. A tradition, if you will. I am but one of many who, at a young age, underwent a ritual of sorts. I don't remember where it happened, exactly. But I do remember this: the lights went down, the voices hushed. The assembled crowd had been initiated before. I said, "What's going on?" Someone answered, "Oh, this must be your first time. Dude. We're gonna watch EVIL DEAD!"

You show EVIL DEAD to a 35 year old guy, and you'd probably get a healthy dose of ho-hum. But show it to a prepubescent young man, and it's world changing. You've never seen anything like this before, I promise. It redefines what movies can be. It allows you to love a film that has nothing to commend it. No matter how bad the production values, the acting, the special effects, it's still reall great. That being said, EVIL DEAD II is way better - and Bruce Campbell puts a freaking chainsaw on his stump after he loses his hand. ARMY OF DARKNESS, the next one, is pretty good too, but it's hard to top EVIL DEAD and it's sequel/remake/reboot/whatever.

I tell all of this to convey that I am a Bruce Campbell fan. I've seen most everything - from the sublime THE ADVENTURES OF BRISCO COUNTY, JR. to the tepid MAN WITH THE SCREAMING BRAIN to the rollicking greatness of BUBBA HO-TEP. Therefore, I am the target audience for MY NAME IS BRUCE.

Campbell directed himself in this one. He also plays himself. He also makes fun of himself. And his fans. And the movies he's been in. And it's a whole lot of fun.

The basic plot is this: Bruce is shooting a typical Bruce flick - CAVE ALIEN II - when he is abducted by his biggest fan. Said fan, who lives in a town called Gold Lick, is a little fuzzy on the whole "fictional" concept, and believes that Bruce is the best person to help rid the town of Guan-Di, an ancient Chinese God who has come back to wreak havoc on the citizens of Gold Lick. Bruce, who is a boozer and a loser, thinks that the town has hired him to act (shades of THE THREE AMIGOS here) in some sort of indie film. Once he figures out that Guan-Di is real, he tosses a little old lady out of her car and makes a run for it. In typical film fashion, he comes to his senses. I won't ruin the ending for you, of course.

You have to understand that this movie has nothing to do with a quality script, good acting, passable special effects, or even good continuity. It's got none of that stuff and it's still boss. MY NAME IS BRUCE is about one thing: Bruce. And it's absolutely crawling with Bruce. Bruce is all over MY NAME IS BRUCE and for that reason, I loved it.

Are you going to love it? Well, let me ask you something. Do you love Bruce? If so, then yes. If not, then go rent EVIL DEAD, invite your closest friends over, turn off all the lights, and watch. 'Cause there's only two kinds of people in this world. People who love Bruce, and people who are going to love Bruce.

MY NAME IS BRUCE gets four burning copies of Fangoria out of five.

1 comment:

the hamster said...

a few things here:

a) i like bruce campbell. i'm not going to say i LOVE him, as much as the john barber loves him. but i like him. he's total class.

b) i don't do the demons or demon possession. so i'm not a fan of EVIL DEAD. john, you know this. me and the demons are at odds with one another.

c) i started watching ARMY OF DARKNESS tonight, and it's amazing. very funny. very campy. more fun than i even expected.

d) i'm going to see this thing you're recommending here. this looks like exactly what i look for in a film. thanks for the recommendation.

good review, sir.