Hail to the king, baby. Or at least politely wave if you’re a fan of Bruce Campbell – he of jutted-chin, chainsaw-hand, sugar-receiving, boom-stick-shaking Evil Dead fame.
Campbell directs, produces and stars in My Name is Bruce — a cheesy, cheeky spoof in which America’s favorite B-movie actor finds himself fighting an A-list demon. Packed with references and in-jokes — including catharsis for those of us who sat through steaming quick-check piles like Serving Sara — Bruce is an amiable timewaster.
Still, at 84 minutes, it feels 20 minutes too long. Perhaps a cable special might have been a better idea. Working from Timecop scribe Mark Verheiden’s script, Campbell also runs a few too many jokes into the ground. But it’s not as if Campbell and company are aiming outside their niche, and even just a little of their purposefully lousy filmmaking goes a long way.
Jeff (Taylor Sharpe) is an outcast in the small town of Gold Lick — a Goth-encrusted teen obsessed with his favorite schlock-film star. Unfortunately, he’s never gotten to make love the Bruce Campbell way, and an intended petting session at a graveyard instead unleashes Guan Di — the violent, angry-eyed patron saint of bean curd. Yes, bean curd.
As the people of Gold Lick are offed — and various ethnic and social stereotypes dug up from their dusty graves — Jeff turns to Bruce Campbell for help. Stuck on the set of yet another hellishly awful sequel, Bruce is a burned-out cur with a massive alimony payment, a loathsome agent (Ted Raimi — Sam’s brother — in one of three roles), a drinking problem and a rusted-out trailer.
Bruce then becomes ¡Three Amigos! minus two when Jeff kidnaps Bruce, deposits him in Gold Lick and recruits his help in vanquishing Guan-Di. Hey, if he got that ugly she-demon to leave the S-Mart, he can do anything, right?
Believing it’s an elaborate birthday role-playing gig set up by his agent, Bruce goes along, until he realizes Guan Di is the real decapitating deal. Then, he must decide whether to make something of his life … or make Cavealien 3 and 4 in Bulgaria.
My Name is Bruce is presented in a 1080p 1.78:1-framed widescreen transfer, using the AVC MPEG-4 codec on a 25GB disc. Given the Z-budget nature of this affair, it’s hardly a flattering transfer, but it does the job nicely.
Faring better is the English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack – from the swopping scythe attacks of Guan Di to ambient noises upon Bruce’s arrival in Gold Lick.
Blu-ray extras include: a 22-page color comic book; audio commentary with Campbell and producer Mike Richardson; an hourlong, standard-definition mockumentary called Heart of Dorkness; a raft of standard-definition featurettes, including Awkward Moments with “Kif,” Kif’s Korner, Bruce On … , Beyond Inside the Cave: The Making of Cavealien 2 (Campbell’s fake movie-within-a-movie, for which there’s also a trailer), The Hard Truth, and Love Birds; three galleries of poster art, props art and photos; and a few Easter eggs to be found when tinkering with the main menu.