Most Bruce Campbell performances come equipped with campy self-awareness, so My Name Is Bruce—a film in which Campbell (directing as well as starring) sends up himself, his crummy oeuvre and monster movies in general—immediately seems redundant. That opinion is only further solidified by the film itself, a slapdash collection of wink-wink bits aimed solely at fans who want bloody horror laced with comedic jabs about the goofiness of their fandom as well as the lousy B-movies they esteem. For those die-hards, this disposable love letter will likely prove a modest success, as it affectionately and accurately tweaks the silliness of Campbell’s direct-to-video work as well as his buffoonishly macho screen presence. The rest of us, however, are barely even considered by this lukewarm lark. The proceedings’ low-budget lousiness is clearly in line with the movies being lampooned, but that doesn’t mean the clunky, amateurish sets, effects and script are tolerable, much less amusing. And while Campbell is in his element playing an egocentric, boorish variation of himself who’s enlisted by an admiring goth teenager (Taylor Sharpe) to save his country-bumpkin town from ancient Chinese demon Guan-Di, seeing the star act excessively rude quickly wears thin, as do the Deliverance/“I can’t quit you” gay jokes, the Chinese stereotyping, the lame country theme song and the unadventurous meta-commentary about chintzy supernatural cinema. Despite the fact that self-deprecating references to Campbell’s canon are the only reason for the film’s existence, and thus predictably wind up dominating the meager 86-minute runtime, they’re almost universally lethargic, and less critical than playfully congratulatory to those devotees apt to spot them. As such, My Name Is Bruce is just one-note insider navel-gazing with no aspirations except to excite its adoring base. The Comic-Con crowd should eat it up.
- Image Entertainment
- 86 min
- Bruce Campbell
- Mark Verheiden
- Bruce Campbell, Taylor Sharpe, Ted Raimi, Grace Thorsen
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