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My Name Is Bruce (2007)

DVD Cover (Image Entertainment)
Genres:
Comedy, Comedy Of Errors, Horror, Horror Comedy, Parody / Spoof, Supernatural Horror
Director:
Bruce Campbell Bruce Campbell
Starring:
Bruce Campbell Bruce Campbell
Grace Thorsen Grace Thorsen
Taylor Sharpe Taylor Sharpe
Ted Raimi Ted Raimi
Ben McCain Ben McCain

6.8 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Four teenage kids from the tiny mining town of Gold Lick vandalize a nineteenth-century cemetery of Chinese laborers when one of them disturbs a demon who's been guarding the souls of 100 workers killed in a cave-in. Jeff, the surviving teen, goes in search of his hero, over-the-hill B-movie star, Bruce Campbell. Jeff kidnaps the actor and brings him to Gold Lick to save the town. Bruce thinks it's a birthday treat engineered by his agent, so he plays along, humoring the townsfolk and chatting up Jeff's unimpressed mom. Bodies pile up as the demon slashes. What will the sorry, boozy Bruce do when he realizes that Guan-Di, the demon, is for real? --IMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: November 30, 2008
In the opening scene of the film, two young teens are driving down a backroad in an old, beat-up car that may look rather familiar to those of you who have followed the Evil Dead series. One of the guys grabs a stack of DVDs off of the seat and starts going on about how cheesy horror movies have become and how the driver will never get laid if he continues to spend his life watching that garbage. At this point, Jeff (Taylor Sharpe) - the aforementioned driver and the world's biggest Bruce Campbell fan - slams on the brakes and stands up for the latter day work of Mr. Campbell by telling his passenger that "if you don't like Bruce, you walk."

It's a humorous scene and a great way to kick off the movie, but it's also a bit of a message to the audience. You see, this is a movie that was directed by Bruce, it revolves around Bruce, and it was made for the die-hard fans of Bruce. It's a cheesy little monster movie as well, but if you don't like Bruce, you can do just like that driver said and walk... you can walk away and leave this one on the shelf because it will do absolutely nothing for you. As mentioned, this film was created exclusively for his fans, and I'm not just talking about the fans of the aforementioned Evil Dead: if you don't catch the significance of a Bulgaria joke and if you've never seen gems such as Alien Apocalypse, Man with the Screaming Brain, or Mindwarp, you're probably going to miss out on most of the jokes contained within this film.

The storyline continues onwards after this opening scene, and we discover that our two heroes are heading out to the local cemetery to meet some girls, kick over some tombstones, and have themselves a good time. Yeah, there's not much to do in the little town of Gold Lick, Oregon. As they're screwing around and having a blast desecrating the final resting spot of hundreds, Jeff notices a gold emblem attached to a nearby mine entrance, and being the rambunctious little teenager that he is, he decides to steal it. Bad idea: this act of defiance awakens Guan-Di, the Chinese God of war, the protector of the dead, and of course, the protector of bean curd. Jeff is able to escape with his life, but unfortunately for his friends, they all wind up on the wrong end of Guan-Di's sword.

In another part of the world, Bruce Campbell is on the set of his latest film, a shitty little alien invasion flick entitled "Cave Alien 2" (undoubtedly for the Sci-Fi Channel). Bruce is... well, to cut to the chase, Bruce basically plays an asshole version of himself. He's rude to the cast and crew of the movie, he repeatedly attempts to put the moves on his female costar, and his legions of adoring fans receive plenty of verbal abuse courtesy of their idol. However, not all is good in his life: the media considers him to be a washed-up failure after a string of bad movies (ouch), his agent (Ted Raimi in but one of his many roles here) is screwing him over, and his ex is attempting to get even more alimony.

Getting back to the demonic Chinese samurai problem, Jeff has decided to enlist the services of Bruce to rid the town of this pesky little monster, because who else is better at wiping the floor with the undead? Of course, Jeff doesn't realize that there's a world of difference between Ash (as played by Bruce Campbell) and Bruce (the actor playing a movie badass), but once Bruce gets a good look at Jeff's "MILF" of a mother (Grace Thorsen), he decides to try his hand at a little real-life ass-kicking.

Again, you really have to be familiar with Bruce Campbell's career to fully enjoy this movie. It's sort of like Shaun of the Dead, only, the references center around one man instead of a handful of classics from the horror genre, and instead of it being a movie that you can enjoy even if the references fly right over your head, the storyline itself is a huge cheese-fest when taken at face value (but to be fair, that's half the charm of a Bruce Campbell movie). Of course, this in and of itself is not a bad thing; Bruce Campbell is one of the few cult personalities working today who could make something like this work, but this is not a film that will do well with non-fans or even the casual Bruce fans.

With that said, I have to admit that I was a little disappointed with this release. I consider myself to be a fairly big fan of his work and I "got" a good deal of the jokes, and while there were more than a few genuinely hilarious moments to be found, the film started to lose steam towards the halfway point due to the fact that the storyline is a little too cheesy for its own good. I fully realize that the actual plot was attempting to emulate the cheesy b-movies that made Bruce a household name in the horror community, but I think it worked a little too well: instead of being cheesy in a self-referential way, it was just cheesy in the strictest sense of the word. I enjoyed the hell out of watching Bruce do his thing, but it would have been nice to have had a storyline that was interesting as well. Oh, and while there are numerous kills to be found, let me point out that the monster is pretty goofy and the kills are rather tame.

Working in the film's favor is the fact that Bruce is as enjoyable as ever, and in fact, his performance here probably ranks up there with the best of his releases. This was basically a requirement for a film of this nature, and thankfully, I wasn't let-down; Bruce still employs the physical comedy, he's still as sharp as a whip with his dialogue, and even though he doesn't have a writing credit for this film, you immediately get the feeling that he's ad-libbing his lines more often than not. I may have been a little disappointed with the storyline and I wasn't a big fan of the supporting cast, but Bruce alone easily tacked five or six points onto my final score.

I may have been a little disappointed with the film, but again, this doesn't mean that it's a horrible release - it's just not the 10/10 classic that I was hoping for. There are a lot of great lines and memorable moments, and of course, damned near every aspect of Bruce's career is explored here (besides the verbal references, watch for cameo appearances by at least one cast member from each of the Evil Dead movies), but it's just a little saddening that the surrounding storyline didn't measure up to Bruce's performance. 8/10 sounds about right and damned near every one of those points are for Bruce.
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Crispy #1: Crispy - added 11/30/2008, 08:26 PM
Really surprised you haven't started a Career of: Bruce Campbell list yet.
Tristan #2: Tristan - added 01/05/2009, 11:39 AM
"For the love of god, I could smell her chapstick."

For some reason, that one had me in tears. Like Chad said, it fell just short of being that perfect movie we were all hoping for. But it really was a great treat for fans of Bruce's career. I fully recommend this one.

9/10
bluemeanie #3: bluemeanie - added 01/06/2009, 11:28 AM
I finally got a chance to see this and was very much entertained. Bruce Campbell can do self-parody so well and he has the right balance between slapstick and seriousness. The brow is back! 9/10.
Nirrad #4: Nirrad - added 01/08/2009, 02:41 AM
Nothing else to be said, great flick. 9/10
Lucid Dreams #5: Lucid Dreams - added 04/28/2009, 01:03 PM
This movie was full of cheese and I loved every minute of it. 9/10
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