Movie: "My Name is Bruce"
Directed by: Bruce Campbell
Writing credits: Mark Verheiden
Reviewer: Dr. Boogie
Plot: Bruce Campbell is abducted by a young fan and taken to the town of Gold Lick, Oregon. The townsfolk believe that he is the only one who can save them from Guan Di, an ancient spirit sent to avenge the deaths of several Chinese laborers who lost their lives in a mining accident decades ago. Campbell, meanwhile, thinks it's a big ruse until Guan Di shows up and starts chopping off heads. Will he man up and help save the town?
Review: Bruce Campbell has been in a lot of bad movies, and heís not ashamed to admit it. A man has to eat, after all. But what if there was a whole movie built around this notion?
Thatís more or less what you have with My Name is Bruce. Bruce Campbell plays himself (kind of), and the very first scene with him in it is him acting in a fake movie that you wouldnít be surprised to see on the Sci Fi Channel. Once his scene is over, he starts dishing out the corny one-liners like thereís no tomorrow, first trying his best to pick up the female lead, and later taking his obnoxious fans down a peg.
I like Bruce Campbell. Heís got a funny niche carved out for himself, and he makes it work. When I heard about a movie where he plays himself trying to bring his demented fans in line before theyíre all killed by a real monster, it seemed like a sure thing to me. Iíll say this: I liked Bruce Campbell in this movie, but the movie itself... eh.
Part of the problem is the filmís focus on bad movies, particularly those that star Bruce Campbell. The film pokes fun at bad movie cliches, and Campbell himself even remarks that Guan Di attacking Gold Lick sounds like the plot of a bad movie. The film commits many of these same cliches with a wink to the audience to let them know itís all a joke. In the end, though, it all winds up being really tiresome.
By himself, Campbell does have a few funny moments. When he has to interact with any of the other actors, the humor quickly devolves into really lame jokes, and pratfalls punctuated with cartoon sound effects. When Campbell is alone, he puts on a one-man show with ranting monologues and such, and itís funny because heís acting like Bruce Campbell, and odds are, youíre watching this movie because youíre a Bruce Campbell fan. Not long into the film, however, youíll wish you were just watching him.
One of the worst examples of this comes from Ted Raimi. Raimi plays three different roles in the film, each worse than the one before it. First, he plays Campbellís seedy agent, and he does alright. Later, he reappears sporting a fake mustache and a bad French accent as the guy who changes the population sign for Gold Lick as people are killed. Later still, he puts on a Fu Manchu moustache, stains his teeth, and unleashes an atrociously bad Chinese accent as Wing, the only surviving relative of one of the laborers buried in the mine. Though meant to serve as some kind of amusing slur, the two sequences with Raimi as Wing are just plain painful to watch.
I really wanted to like this movie, but itís a horror/comedy thatís pretty lame on both fronts. It pokes fun at bad movies, yet in doing so, it winds up being just as bad. And not in a good way. They say thereís already a sequel in the works. Hopefully, it will be either a lot funnier, or a lot scarier.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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