Thursday, June 7, 2018

Movie #464: My Name is Bruce

My Name is Bruce is comedy/horror movie starring Bruce Campbell, Grace Thorsen, Taylor Sharpe, Ted Raimi, and James J. Peck.

Bruce Campbell (Campbell, obviously, playing an over-the-top, washed-up version of himself) is down to doing z-grade TV movies, drinking a lot, and drunk-dialing his ex-wife (Ellen Sandweiss). His agent (Raimi) mentions a "surprise," and when he's kidnapped by a desperate teen named Jeff (Sharpe) and wakes up in the tiny town of Goldlick, OR, he figures this is a movie where he gets to be the hero.

In actuality, Guan Di (Peck), the Chinese god of war and protector of the dead (and bean curd) has returned to wreak havoc on the town, and only Bruce Campbell can stop it! From there it plays out more or less like the Hero's Journey says it should; Campbell flees, then returns, and defeats the monster, more or less. We get a couple of false endings before...another false ending.

This movie is cute. Campbell is a gifted comic actor and it's interesting watching him play "himself" (he also directed). The other folks are local Oregon stage actors that they picked up, minus Raimi, who plays three roles, one of them a rather unfortunate old Chinese man named Wing (so yeah, "unfortunate" in the "racist and kinda gross" sense). Thorsen plays the mother of the teen that goes to find Campbell, and both she and Sharpe commit to the roles well.

Overall, it's a fun premise for a movie but the script wanders a bit and utterly fails to stick the landing. There are some good laughs, mostly in call-outs to other Campbell movies, but in general it's pretty so-so.

My Grade: C
Rewatch Value: Dunno, medium?

Next up: My Neighbor Totoro