If your ears perk up at the mere mention of a fourth Evil Dead movie, or you tune in to Burn Notice just for co-star Bruce Campbell, then My Name Is Bruce was made precisely with you in mind. A cult B-movie legend to throngs of fanboys who love sardonic zingers delivered with hammed-up machismo, Campbell takes it on the chin as director and meta-star of this juvenile horror/comedy, a self-serving tribute thinly veiled in self-deprecation. Campbell plays himself as a pompous, washed-up oaf who lives in a desert trailer, regularly drunk-dials his ex-wife, and laments taking degrading roles like Cave Alien 2, albeit in a universe where characters quote his old catchphrases and reference his straight-to-video dreck as punch lines. Mistaken for the hero he plays onscreen, Bruce is kidnapped one night by a goth teen (and super-fan, naturally) in the hopes that he'll save the kid's podunk town from Guan-di, the glowing-eyed Chinese god of war and bean curd who has been accidentally resurrected. With a high-camp villain that seems to have escaped from Bubba Ho-tep, slapstick scares a la Evil Dead, and Ted Raimi playing three different roles, the only things missing from this unfunny Campbell lovefest are a passable script, Sam Raimi's inventiveness, and a level of sophistication beyond nose-picking and ass grabs.
Campbell cleans up nicely.
Runs at Varsity, Fri., Dec. 12–Thurs., Dec. 18. Rated R. 86 minutes.