My Name is Bruce
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Though he often shows up in small (but hilarious) roles in big-name movies—and he even has a regular role on TV’s Burn Notice—Bruce Campbell is best known for his roles in wacky B-movie classics like The Evil Dead. He’s played everything from an aging Elvis and a chainsaw-wielding zombie hunter— but, in his latest outing as director (following 2005’s Man with the Screaming Brain), he takes on what could be his most challenging role to date.

In My Name is Bruce, Campbell stars as Bruce Campbell, a cheesy B-movie prima donna who’s fighting to keep his career alive. But as Bruce struggles to make Cave Alien 2, not far away, in the tiny town of Gold Lick (population: 339), an ancient monster has been let loose.

One night, while trying to get laid in a creepy old cemetery, geeky teenager (and Bruce Campbell superfan) Jeff (Taylor Sharpe) unwittingly releases Guan-Di, the Chinese god of war (and protector of bean curds) from his resting place. Convinced that Bruce Campbell (or at least his character from all those zombie-fighting movies) is the town’s only hope, Jeff kidnaps his B-movie idol and brings him to Gold Lick (population now 333) to help the people fight.

Thinking that it’s all just an act, organized as an elaborate birthday surprise from his agent, Bruce is happy to play along—especially after he meets Jeff’s hot mom, Kelly (Grace Thorsen). But then he comes face-to-face with Guan-Di—and he realizes that it’s not just another corny B-movie.

My Name is Bruce is an hour and a half of cheesy B-movie goodness. The story is silly, the acting is often painfully melodramatic, and the whole thing is as over-the-top as one can go on a bargain basement budget. And I enjoyed every minute of it.

The story is a whole lot like ˇThree Amigos!, only there’s just one Bruce—and, instead of taking on a cruel Mexican gang leader, he’s brought in to fight an ancient Chinese god with a flowing white beard, red, glowing eyes, and his very own country-style theme song (not to mention a love of bean curds). But even though the story has been done before, Campbell’s outrageous B-movie style makes it feel new again.

In fact, Campbell alone makes this movie worth seeing. Had it starred anyone else, My Name is Bruce wouldn’t have been half as much fun (not to mention the fact that the integrity of Campbell’s spot-on Bruce Campbell impersonation would have been compromised). His personality is larger-than-life, and that makes his on-screen persona fun to watch—whether he’s slurping booze out of his dog’s dish or screaming and running for his life. But, most importantly, unlike many B-movie stars, Campbell doesn’t make the mistake of taking himself (or his career…or even his fans) too seriously. He doesn’t preach at his audience or try to make them respect him as an artist. He just does his thing—and he obviously has a whole lot of fun doing it. And, as a result, My Name is Bruce is unapologetically corny—and highly entertaining.

If you’ve never seen the Evil Dead movies, you’ll definitely miss some of the inside jokes, but you’re still sure to get plenty of laughs out of this silly B-movie spoof. And, of course, if you’re a fan of Bruce Campbell’s cult classics, it goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway): don’t even think of missing this one.

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