My Name Is Bruce
If B-grade horror-comedies are your thing – as they are mine – then look no further than My Name is Bruce for your next hit! Consciously trading on the cult celebratory status of its producer/director lead, the legendary Bruce Campbell (playing himself!), this lightweight yet heart warming ride is an ode to all things B cinema and to its devotees.
Taking as its premise ‘what if something like this happened for real’ My Name is Bruce finds the townsfolk of Gold Lick besieged by vengeful Chinese deity Guan-di (amongst other things the God of Tofu?!) so they take the only logical course of action they can call upon the help of renowned battler of evil, Bruce Campbell. You see they ‘know’ Bruce. He has had vast experience overcoming all kinds of supernatural forces in such films as Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead trilogy and the more recently Bubba Ho-tep. Down on his luck Bruce, thinking this is some kind of birthday gift fantasy from his agent, agrees to head to Gold Lick and ‘save the day’. Before long he realises that this is not some joke – the bad guy is real – and the townsfolk realise he’s not the monster slayer they thought he was.
Tongue firmly in cheek, Bruce Campbell strips down his B-Grade film star persona in a warm comic celebration. It is refreshing to see film stars not take themselves seriously and yet retain an obvious love for the craft that has made their career. My Name is Bruce regularly comes off as a bit wooden and in house but its premise makes this forgivable; the film is meant to be a parody of its roots. Despite an often made for TV feel the film possesses enough charm to entertain more broadly than its target audience – just don’t expect a Shakespearean epic!
But it is not only the film itself that is makes this a pleasant offering, particularly for those who are fans of Campbell’s cinema or B-Grade cinema. Scattered with wry references to his cinematic past My Name is Bruce pulls no punches when extracting laughs at the expense of Campbell’s reputation. Particularly memorable is a scene where the our protagonist finds his ‘lust interest’ burning her brother’s collection of Campbell memorabilia and he despairs of the rare collectible nature of the ‘Ash’ doll she is about to hurl into the flames [for the uninitiated Ash is Campbell’s character from the Evil Dead trilogy upon which his celebrity is built]. Another scene sees a fan comment upon his downward spiral since 2002s very amusing Bubba Ho-tep, the sad truth of the statement left ringing in the air.
Bruce employs a cast and crew of Campbell’s friends and was even filmed in great part on his own plot of Oregon land. Included in the cast are key genre collaborators such as Ellen Sandweiss (who played a character Cheryl in both the original Evil Dead as well as Bruce’s ex-wife in My Name is Bruce), Ted Raimi, and Timothy Quill. Along with regular production crew associates this makes for somewhat of a ‘family’ affair and you can feel it in the film.
A reminder not to believe all of our own hype My Name is Bruce will definitely appeal to any genre fan and probably won’t make their partner cringe too much, plus it’s runs at a classic genre 84mins!
DVD Info + Special Features
Probably as good as the feature itself this 2 disc special edition boasts a host of features to satisfy all the b-film geeks. Including an informative hour long making of this set of features also ticks the newest genre box: the fake trailer (see the Tarantino/Rodriguez double feature Grindhouse amongst others). In the film Bruce is working on embarrassing fictional b-flick Cavealien and this pack includes a Trailer for the alluded to sequel Cavealien 2 but goes one step further and even has a Making of Cavealien 2! Genius.
The 16×9 picture and Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack more than match the quality of the screenplay (;-p) making this pretty cool DVD release for those to whom the film appeals.
» Region 4 PAL
» 16:9 Widescreen
» Language: English
» Subtitles: “Occasional English”
» Dolby Digital 5.1
» Commentary with Director Bruce Campbell and Producer Mike Richardson
» The making of: Heart of Dorkness
» Awkward moments with Kif
» Waxing philosophical with Bruce
» Cavealien 2 Trailer
» The making of Cavealien 2
» Kif’s Corner
» The Hard Truth
» Love Birds
Reviewed by: Jacob Powell
Rating: M – Contains violence, offensive language and sex scenes.
Director: Bruce Campbell
Actors: Bruce Campbell, Grace Thorsen, Taylor Sharpe, & Ted Raimi.
Dur: 84 min