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His Name Is Bruce

26 Nov, 2007 By: Billy Gil

Bruce Campbell (third from left) stars in, directed and co-wrote My Name Is Bruce, in which Campbell, playing himself, is abducted to help fight a real monster.

Few are on the fence about Bruce Campbell. Mention of the actor tends to elicit one of two reactions: a head-scratching, puzzled look or pure adulation.

As Anchor Bay Entertainment and Starz Home Entertainment prepare to release the three-disc The Evil Dead: Ultimate Edition Dec. 18 (DVD $34.97), we were able to catch up with the cultish actor, who recently has added director to his resume with such fare as Man With the Screaming Brain (re-releasing from Starz/Anchor Bay Dec. 18 at $9.98).

  • HM: What can you say about the DVD of My Name Is Bruce, the upcoming film you directed?

  • Campbell: The DVD is going to wait until we can do a proper theatrical release first. We are madly racing to finish up the film. Look for the film in the first half of '08 — 100% guaranteed.

    It's basically a Bob Hope movie with carnage and mayhem — the story of a ‘B'-movie actor named Bruce Campbell who gets kidnapped by a small Oregon town to help them with their monster problem, which turns out to be a really bad idea because the “real” Bruce Campbell is a loser and a jerk and couldn't kill a monster if his life depended on it. It's the journey of how a movie hero learns to suck it up and be a hero in real life.

  • HM: Man With the Screaming Brain and Alien Apocalypse (also due Dec. 18 from Starz/Anchor Bay at $9.98) are getting re-released on DVD. What do you think fans of your work can expect from these films?

  • Campbell: Honestly, I didn't even know they were being re-packaged. I don't control the rights to those movies, so I have little say over what they do (or don't) with those films.

  • HM: What do you attribute to the longevity of Evil Dead that it's being released for the sixth time?

  • Campbell: While crude, Evil Dead is a really cool and stylish horror flick with classical, timeless elements. The funny thing is — it's tame by today's standards.

  • HM: How do you feel about Evil Dead being referred to as a great “horror-comedy”? Did you guys take it completely seriously while filming, or was there a sense of fun about the whole thing?

  • Campbell: The first Evil Dead is a melodrama, but because it has such absurd stuff happening, folks laugh while they're being grossed out. Evil Dead II is when we got more into “splatstick,” intentionally adding comedy to horror.

  • HM: Is there a social commentary to the Evil Dead films, where an evil spirit inhabits people's bodies and makes them evil?

  • Campbell: I think you're better off just strapping yourself in and going for a ride.

  • HM: Evil Dead is being remade. Anything at all you can tell us? Are you involved?

  • Campbell: Sorry, I don't really know anything at the moment.

  • HM: You pop up in a number of Sam Raimi's films (such as Spider-Man 3, playing a ma?tre d'). Where will viewers see you next?

  • Campbell: I never plan that. We'll have to see where Mr. Raimi goes next.

  • HM: You recorded a full-length commentary for Bubba Ho-Tep in character as Elvis. What other DVD special features can we expect from your upcoming releases?

  • Campbell: There will be great stuff on My Name Is Bruce, but I'll give you the dirt on that when we know a release date.

  • HM: With all the work you've done over the years, what are you most proud of?

  • Campbell: I don't play too loose with that pride stuff. That comes before a fall, as the old saying goes. I'm grateful to have made a good living doing what I love for a good while now.

  • HM: Recently you've said you weren't going to be involved with a sequel to Bubba Ho-Tep. Is that still the case? Can you tell us anything on that front, such as if Paul Giamatti has been nailed down to star?

  • Campbell: That's a bit of a silly question. Since I'm not involved, how would I know any more details? I do wish the film — and Paul G. and [director] Don Coscarelli — well.

    Best of Campbell

    In addition to his cameos, Bruce Campbell has a wealth of work on DVD. Take a look:

  • Evil Dead II (Book of the Dead Limited Edition) – Starz/Anchor Bay
  • Army of Darkness (Boomstick Edition) – Starz/Anchor Bay
  • Army of Darkness (HD DVD, HD DVD/DVD combo) – Universal
  • Bubba Ho-Tep (Hail to the King Edition) – Fox/MGM
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters – Warner

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