For my birthday yesterday, I decided to take in the new Bruce Campbell horror/comedy My Name Is Bruce playing at the Landmark Sunshine Theatre in NYC. Campbell, who also directed the flick, introduced the film and then came out for an audience Q&A afterwards. (Btw, the events of the movie take place on Bruce Campbell’s birthday, which I thought was pretty cool.)
Before I get into all that, I want to let you in the U.S. know that Campbell is currently “on tour” with the film, showing My Name Is Bruce at various movie houses across the country and holding these audience Q&As after most evening showings. For a full listing of tour dates, check out the tour page at the official Bruce Campbell site. For everyone in the NYC area, there will be two more showings/appearances today at 7:20pm and 9:45pm. The next city is Philly, so to my neighbors to the southwest, I say get your asses down to the The Ritz on 4th and Market this Wednesday!
Ok, now, back to last night’s screening …
Anyone who knows Bruce Campbell — star of the Evil Dead films, Bubba Ho-Tep, and more recently the USA drama Burn Notice — knows that he’s quite the sarcastic fellow, so you have to watch how you ask your questions of him. Typical rabid Campbell fans, while they love the actor to death, tend to ask backhanded questions, which really incurs his wrath. But, every so often, someone will actually say something nice. Last night, someone got up and said that My Name Is Bruce “was awesome” (I agree!) and Campbell thanked the fan by giving him five dollars. Another fan said that the movie was now his favorite Bruce Campbell movie, which got him two dollars. That’s when a front-row fan asked, “What would it take to get ten dollars?” to which Campbell replied, “Kill the reviewers at the New York Times, Time Out, and the Village Voice.”
Turns out, the aforementioned reviews trashed the movie. When I got home, I immediately looked up these reviews online. The Village Voice, said, “… the only things missing from this unfunny Campbell love fest are a passable script, Sam Raimi’s inventiveness, and a level of sophistication beyond nose-picking and ass grabs.” (That’s right, because what you really need in a b-horror movie is sophistication.) The New York Times said that the film “is filled with awful, recycled jokes” and “ridicules Asians.” (We’ll see what my Asian friend David Chen, defender of all things Asian, thinks about that.) Time Out New York, the cream of the reviewing crop, really went all out with their 76-word review, with this explanation of the movie: “In his latest, a rabid fan enlists him to fight an Asian demon unleashed from a mine shaft. Additional plot synopsis is beside the point.” Wow, now that’s effort right there. I wonder how many 76-word reviews trashing b-movies it takes to earn a living.
Here’s what I have to say to these reviewers: You are totally douches*. I mean, get a damn grip. It’s a low-budget, campy b-movie horror, starring a popular b-actor who’s playing himself, filmed in part on said actor’s friggin property in Oregon. What do you expect, Academy gold? It’s a funny, spooky movie that’s yes, aimed at Bruce Campbell fans (of which he has many, by the way), but it’s also enjoyable to anyone who likes to laugh at their horror — think Shaun of the Dead, Planet Terror.
For Bruce Campbell fans, here’s what you need to know: You will love this movie. Go see it.
If you’re not familiar with Campbell, but you like campy horror, you’ll like this too — give it a try. When you’re done, go back get Bubba Ho-Tep and Army of Darkness, you won’t regret it.
Check the trailer for My Name Is Bruce here below.
[*I know, I went total Royce there, but it was called for. There's a several ways to really piss me off; disparaging Star Trek, heavy metal, and Bruce Campbell are a few.]