Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Bruce Campbell, Grace Thorsen, Taylor Sharpe, Ted Raimi, Ben L. McCain, Ellen Sandweiss, Timothy Patrick Quill, Dan Hicks, Logan Martin, Ali Akay, Ariel Badenhop, James J. Peck, Jennifer Brown
Written by: Mark Verheiden
Directed by: Bruce Campbell
MPAA Rating: R for language and some violence
Running Time: 86
Date: 04/13/2007
IMDB

My Name Is Bruce (2008)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Ash Hit

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead II, etc.) jumps on the post-modern bandwagon with this refreshingly low-key and absolutely hilarious horror comedy. A teen horror movie fan, Jeff (Taylor Sharpe), unwittingly unleashes a Chinese demon called Guan-Di, or the guardian of bean curd. Not knowing what else to do, he calls on the real-life Bruce Campbell, hoping his experience in defeating cinematic monsters will come in handy. Bruce (playing himself, of course), drunk and despairing, and sick of starring in crappy movies like Cave Alien and its sequels, thinks this is a new job and happily leads the townsfolk into battle. Unfortunately, he discovers that the monster is real and comes up with a new plan: run. Campbell is a great screen presence who combines elements from Errol Flynn and the Three Stooges, snapping off one-liners like they were bubble-gum bubbles and energetically marching through each scene as if the battle were already on. He and co-writer Mark Verheiden mercilessly slice and dice his star image, from his (mostly male) fans to his list of credits, ranging from great to not-so-great B-movies. (Some of the titles mentioned here are fictitious.) This is Campbell's second feature film as director (his first was the fun Man with the Screaming Brain) and though he lacks Sam Raimi's amazingly kinetic visual style, he has a gift for humor and pacing; the film feels just right, and it had me howling with laughter many times. The lovely Grace Thorsen plays Bruce's love interest, and Bruce's old pal Ted Raimi plays several roles and gets decapitated -- twice.

DVD Details: Image Entertainment's 2009 DVD release comes with lots of great extras. We've got a Bruce commentary track, an hour-long making-of featurette, Bruce philosophy, the making of Cave Alien 2, a trailer for Cave Alien 2, galleries, and plenty of other funny stuff. (They just keep going!) This is a keeper.

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