Bruce Campbell Q&A - Cameo Cinema, Edinburgh, Thursday 5th February
It has been over 20 years since horror legend Bruce Campbell was last in Scotland to promote his debut feature The Evil Dead. That film was a revelation for horror fans and it launched director Sam Raimi on a path towards the Hollywood A-list with the Spiderman franchise. Campbell on the other hand began a distinguished career in B-movies, gracing many a production over the years from Maniac Cop to Alien Apocalypse with his brand of comical hammy acting.
The man himself turned up at the Cameo Cinema last Thursday night to promote his new film My Name Is Bruce. The film was co-written, directed by and stars Bruce Campbell and parodies his career, portraying him as a drunken loser who lives in a trailer. His only offer for work is for Cave Alien 3, he can’t afford to pay his alimony and his agent is useless. Meanwhile in small town America a daft teen has awoken an ancient Chinese god who likes to behead people. Being a devout fan of Campbell, he appeals to the aging actor for help and ends up kidnapping him. Bruce goes along with the ploy assuming it is a bizarre birthday present from his agent but soon discovers the monster is real turning his tail and running.
The film is packed with references to Campbell’s career and he excels as a cheesy parody of himself. He is sleazy with the ladies and there are some great comedy moments including his offer to let one woman play with his 'boomstick'. Whatever you might think about Campbell’s talents, he would be the first to admit that he is not, as the teen fan in the film would have it 'The finest actor of his generation', but he is a fine comic actor. Campbell has a great sense of timing and a love of hammy acting that shines through on the screen. His Q and A session after the film was polished and sarcastic and felt more like a stand up comedy routine than an interview.
Campbell has had a few highlights in his career, but Bubba Hotep was the only film to reach anywhere near the level of success that he enjoyed with the Evil Dead franchise as the memorable anti-hero Ash. My Name Is Bruce is a lot of fun, and fans will love it because it plays out like a big in joke, but it doesn’t come close to his finest work. Campbell has long had a fanatical fan base – the tickets for his Cameo appearance sold out in 13 minutes – and he has written two successful books about his career in B-movies. This latest film is a reward for all those people who have stuck with him through the years.
My Name is Bruce
Director: Bruce Campbell
Stars: Bruce Campbell
Country of origin: US