My Name is Bruce

I’ve been seeing a lot of these commercials telling me to put “ICE” in front of my emergency contact on my cell phone.  That way In Case of Emergency, like if I am in an accident, or have a heart attack the paramedics will know who to call.  It gets you thinking about things like that; If I needed help who would I call.  If I had car troubles I would certainly call my step-dad the master mechanic.  If there was a zombie apocalypse I would most definitely call Sean because he’s the only one who has seen more zombie movies than me.  But what if I was trapped by evil spirits in a cabin in the woods, or if I opened the crypt to an ancient Chinese demon?  Well in that case I would have to call Bruce Campbell!  But is Bruce just as heroic and cunning as the characters he plays in movies and on TV… I guess we’re about to find out because the town of Goldlick needs some help and there is no one else to call!

Jeff is a huge Bruce Campbell fan, and why wouldn’t he be!  He has seen all of Bruce’s movies, including the ones most people have never heard of (Maniac Cop, Moontrap).  You better not say anything bad about Jeff’s idol, or he’s liable to kick you out of his sweet ride.  He and his buddy Clayton meet up with the town goth queens, Little Debbie and Big Debbie, and while fooling around in the town’s old mining area Jeff removes this gold medallion from the entrance to the mine. An ancient Chinese demon which used to protect the miners of this area, and bean curd, is suddenly released on the town of Goldlick.  Luckily for the town Jeff has seen a dozen or more movies where evil doers need to be vaniquished, and 9 times out of 10 they call on Bruce Campbell.

So as logic would dictate, Jeff kidnaps Bruce and brings him to Goldlick to dispatch the evil Guan-Di, who has been killing the town folk like it was going out of style!  Unfortunately Bruce thinks it’s a joke; it’s a surprise birthday party setup by his manager (Ted Raimi).  He believes this little vacation is being staged because Bruce is a little down on his luck lately and he’s sick of all the crap movies made in sound stages.  So why not start fresh again out in the country, with a bunch of actors he’s never heard of before and let’s get back to what made Bruce a b-movie star… killing demons!  But Bruce will soon find out this is no setup, and Guan-Di is all too real.  He and Jeff will need to rely on every trick in the demon killing arsenal to take care of this one… that is if Bruce can keep his hands off Jeff’s MILF of a mom!

Monkeyface: In a world where Hollywood actors/actresses take themselves way too seriously and believe they are God’s gift to the masses, Bruce does a great job of mocking his career and making light of the fact that even though he isn’t the highest paid, most popular actor in the world, he’s had a great ride and is loved by many!  I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a good Bruce Campbell movie.  Even though every character is a slight variation on “Ash” it’s impossible not to root for him in everything that he does.  I can’t say that about anyone else in show business.

Sean: I was really surprised that any actor would make fun of themselves this much.  While I’m sure there’s a bit of truth to the character he portrays (himself, of course), you can really tell that he’s having fun with this film and with the mystique that surrounds him.  From the dumpiest Mazda 323 that you’ll ever see to falling for a trick involving him picking up a shiny new quarter outside the trailer he lives in, it really gives you insight into why this guy is so beloved.  He doesn’t take himself seriously and it shows.

Monkeyface: I love that Bruce spends more than half the movie in the dark about what is really going on.  He’s either too concerned about his dwindling career, or trying to get into Kelly’s pants.  And who would blame him, she’s quite a looker!  Plus she has an attitude, and believes Bruce is full of shit, which most of the time he is.  She’s spent the last 15 years trying to teach her son that the characters Bruce plays in the movies are all fake.  But for once she has to believe in him because he is all that stands in the way of Guan-Di wiping out the whole town.

Sean: It actually makes the whole situation that much more hilarious.  Bruce thinks he’s on the set of some kind of guerrilla filmmaker where all the people in the town are really good improv actors.  When he finally gets a look at Guan-Di, the Chinese patron saint of the dead – and bean curd – he looks genuinely shocked and freaked out, and shows his true colors by running in the opposite direction of the action and blind firing just about every bullet in his gun at the monster.  He scores hits with almost every single one of those shots, but unfortunately it’s directly into multiple townspeople.  That’s when he decides to high-tail it out of Goldlick and get himself back to his trailer!

Monkeyface: I’ve seen this movie a few times now and it keeps getting better.  I don’t think you will ever see Will Smith or Tom Cruise make a movie poking fun at themselves, because they couldn’t bare to be laughed at.  But Bruce takes it in stride, and deep down he’s grateful for the fans that have stuck with him all these years.  This movie really is a tribute to all of us, the ones who loved the Evil Dead series so much that we turned an ordinary man from Michigan into one of the most well known actors in action/horror movie history.  I give My Name is Bruce 4 trans-gender singing nurse Prostitute-O-Grams out of 5!

Sean: I’ve watched this a few times too and I actually watched the director’s commentary track (which is of course Bruce Campbell), and I rarely ever do that.  I think the last time I watched a movie with alternate tracks was for Mallrats, so that should be a good indication of how long it’s been.  I agree though, you wouldn’t see most actors making this much fun of themselves, so that’s what makes this film so much more refreshing and entertaining.  My Name is Bruce is a great film for any fan of horror or comedy films, and it stars a recognized face having a lot of fun with his own image.  And Grace Thorsen (Jeff’s mom) is hot as hell too, so it’s got that going for it.  My Name is Bruce is good for 4.5 Guan Di’s out of 5.

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