In the climax of this horror comedy Bruce Campbell who is playing Bruce Campbell is staring down two executives after the screening of his latest horror film and proclaims “The Fans Deserve Better.” I honestly don’t think he believes that anymore. Because for what I’ve seen over the last few years, Campbell is very aware that he is now riding on his cult reputation more than anything and is strictly winging it in terms of entertainment and original horror films. Campbell who has become somewhat of an icon over the decades by making bad movies and appearing in conventions eventually became a joke. Then there’s this 2007 monstrosity that further emphasizes Campbell the joke while also acting as an obvious vanity project that pretends to be for the fans but really feels like it’s for Bruce.
“My Name is Bruce” is a horror comedy within a horror comedy within a horror movie and surely enough no one here seems to be trying too hard to build up anything worth watching at all. There’s no new ground covered here. We’ve seen the whole actors forced in to a real life or death situation before, we’ve seen the whole fiction becoming reality before, and we’ve seen Campbell making fun of Campbell before. He’s been doing nothing but making fun of himself for almost two decades and hasn’t been intent on changing that to form a new classic for himself and instead just goes on auto-pilot channeling Ash from the “Evil Dead” movies while never quite being sure how to make himself look like an everyman. He cowers and screams in fright whenever faced against a demon, sure, but he’s still very heroic thus signaling that though Campbell wanted to portray Campbell in a realistic light Campbell didn’t want Campbell to really come off as a coward in this flick.
The whole pretense of the film is jumbled. “Bruce is not like Ash in real life, he’s just a regular man, but when faced with a high stress situation, he is actually like Ash just more comedic!” Wow, Campbell spouting clever one liners and talking trash to people, we’ve never seen that before! And Mike Verheiden gives Campbell some of the worst lines and most ridiculous situations that attempt to come off as satiric but are really just flat jabs at the man. From his dealing with mini devil and angel versions of himself, to spitting lines like “Hari Kari Larry,” it’s all just so cringe inducing to endure. And I’m not totally against anything Campbell since I love the “Evil Dead” movies, I liked “Bubba Ho-Tep” and I even enjoyed “Man with the Screaming Brain” on some level.
But what is basically a silly non-movie tries desperately to be a new cult phenomenon from Campbell who seems like he’s on auto-pilot the entire time. Hell even the villain itself is a lazy regurgitation of monsters we’ve seen before and rarely ever seems to provide much of a match for the man. Overall when the movie has clearly stopped trying to maintain its horror comedy pretense it become more of a meta-movie and in the closing scenes is just one big gag from Bruce who can’t even deliver a competent treat for his fan base. Smug, silly, and forgettable, this vanity project wants to be the next cult hit but really is just another vehicle for Bruce Campbell who, at this point, is just riding on his once respected personality to further drain the wallets of horror fan boys all over America. I doubt even people who attended his “Make Love The Bruce Campbell Way” tour will enjoy this mess.