Campbell, Bruce (My Name is Bruce)
If there's one guy out there whom we can always count on to kick some demon ass should the need arise, it would probably be Bruce Campbell.
Strangely enough, that's also the premise of his latest film, My Name is Bruce! Recently we sat down with his royal chin-ness to get the skinny on the flick and to talk all things groovy, baby!
Check out the interview below! And don't forget to VOTE FOR US ON PODCAST ALLEY!
**NEW! Don't feel like downloading the whole thing? Scroll down to read the entire interview transcribed!**
Uncle Creepy: Everybody, Uncle Creepy here for Dread Central. Today, we are here with Bruce Campbell, star and writer, well actually writer director, and jack of all trades, basically … but anyway the brains behind My Name is Bruce. Bruce how are you buddy?
Bruce: I’m doing good, good, my pleasure to be here
Uncle Creepy: So another movie man, another one but with a little bit of a twist, sort of like a kind of an Evil Dead vibe but something completely different huh?
Bruce: Yeah it’s a little more like a bad Hulk movie with a couple of decapitation. It’s a weirdo little movie.
Uncle Creepy: So let’s talk about the idea, where did they come from?
Bruce: Well they came from Mike Richardson over at Dark Horse comics. I’ve known him for a few years and this is the stuff that he loves. He is also partnered up a lot with Mark Verheiden who was the writer; they’re all from Portland. I live in Oregon now so we just started shooting the ball and they dished this idea to me about the context of a small town having problems with a monster and then kidnapping someone, a B-movie actor, who usually plays the hero to help them. It turns out of course to be a very bad idea … Very bad idea.
Uncle Creepy: Now you’re directing this time.
Bruce: Uh huh.
Uncle Creepy: So what’s it like directing? What’s it like being in a director’s chair and more importantly how do you direct yourself?
Bruce: I did it on a movie before called Man with the Screaming Brain and before that I did some “Hercules and Xena” episodes in New Zealand. I did a lot of that so I kind of got my practice doing it. It’s okay. It just means you have to pay attention more. As an actor you don’t always have to pay attention. You sit around, crack jokes and do this in front of the camera, blah blah blah and then you’re done. But as a director, you have to pay attention to what the actors are doing and what the cameras are doing. It’s good. As a low-budget movie, if I don’t have that much money to work with I just want to be left alone and would do my own thing so it was fun to do that.
Uncle Creepy: Now, what would we expect in terms of demon action?
Bruce: You’re going to get a little action, yeah. There’s some for the demon lovers out there. Our bad guy in the movie is Guan-Di, he is the Chinese God of War and in old Chinese Lord, the God of War is the protector of the dead and bean curd. So we decided that, back in my area in Oregon, there was a lot of mining and most of it was done by the Chinese so we decided to concoct the story where these Evil Dead-loving kids go creeping around the old Chinese graveyard and they disturbed the tomb of a bunch of dead Chinese laborers and of course that releases Guan-Di who will now play havoc to everyone in town.
Uncle Creepy: Well the good thing for you, I guess this time with the demons is a Sam Raimi dared to beat you up with trees and shit.
Bruce: Exactly I can do it myself now and when I don’t like it I can stop.
Uncle Creepy: Yeah really huh?
Bruce: Yeah, it’s fun to be my own boss and to mostly boss the other actors around.
Uncle Creepy: Now speaking of the other actor, who else joined you in the movie?
Bruce: All the other hacked from my past.You know it’s Ted Raimi who is taking a rest but I got him on this because Ted amd I figured out we have been in 11 movies together. I always pretend in my movies to make me look better as an actor. So then a lot of bone, a little with bumps and bones for the fans, I don’t understand why is it that my ex-wife she was Sheryl from the first Evil Dead. Danny Hicks is here and he plays a farmer, he has played Jake, the horrible toothless guy in Evil Dead 2. Tim Quill is in it, he was an old pal who goes back to high school with us and he was in a couple of Spider Man movies and he was in Army of Darkness so we are trying to pepper the cast for people so that they can go “Oh that’s that idiot, that’s the guy.” We are kind of making like “Green Acres”.
Uncle Creepy: So was there any, I mean did you have to fight back the need to sort of get revenge on Ted and maybe beat him with some trees?
Bruce: No, I just forced him to play an 80-year-old Chinese man and that was enough torture right there because you have to undergo 400 hours of make up.
Uncle Creepy: Oh God. How extensive are the special effects in this movie? I mean is it an extravaganza? Is it sprinkled in?
Bruce: You know what it’s appropriate. It’s where needed. Sometimes the special effects are used to create a bad movie that I’m pretending to be in called Cave Alien and so we have to create bad special effects for that which and then what really what happened was this movie was going to go to DVD and the company, Image Entertainment, decided to give it upgrade so we had to upgrade all the digital effects to the proper theatrical format. So that’s been really fun to do, now they’re actually good quality effects just like any other stinking movie, we just can’t afford that many but we used them sparingly and hopefully cleverly.
Uncle Creepy: And I know the fans are going on about the gore factor.
Bruce: Well there’s definitely head count. I think there’s probably as far as death there’s probably six or seven, that’s not so bad. In fact, this is not a horror movie but in fact, we used none of us is scared ourselves, this is a silly comedy that has a horror format and it’s about this jerk actor named Bruce Campbell who is hired to help this town and failed repeatedly. In fact this is a story of non redemption; fas are going to walk away so confused after this movie I can’t wait to record their expression.
Uncle Creepy: So playing your self in a movie. I mean did you have to prep?
Bruce: No I had to figure out who was that Bruce Campbell was though. He was actually good insight to a question because which Bruce Campbell am I going to play. So it was actually wasn’t hard to play Bruce Campbell because I wasn’t playing Bruce Campbell, I was playing the other Bruce Campbell.
Uncle Creepy: Oh the other Bruce Campbell.
Bruce: I’m creating a parallel universe, Bruce Campbell who drinks vodka and whiskey and whose bad to his dog, stuff like that
Uncle Creepy: So this is like that “Star Trek” episode where Spock had a goatee?
Bruce: Could be, can be a little weird like that yeah. If we are going to watch it and go, is this really happening?
Uncle Creepy: So the movie is just about ready to come out, what’s next for you man, I mean over the years you’ve popped up in some amazing places and you know you…
Bruce: Well I just never go away. That’s my secret to success; just don’t leave and they have to go all right you’ve gone this far. This one was fun because it’s an experiment to try and make more consistent low-budget movies because movies now are either 200 million or there’s 2 million and so more than actually 200,000 it was like, there was only 3 grades now but there’s no middle class of movies really anymore so I’m happy to work in this low-budget film because it allows you to come up with stories that don’t have to be a cookie cutter as some of the other ones, there aren’t nearly as many chefs involved with the financing and all that so and hopefully we can make stuff that the fans, that we make it high enough quality that they still want to see it. We can’t go head to head with Spider Man 19 but that’s their bag, we have to entertain in other way. So hopefully my sheer stupidity this movie will entertain.
Uncle Creepy: There’s a good question, when you first start in Evil Dead way back when; God, I can’t believe it’s as long as it goes as it was. I mean, who said it’s okay for us to get older?
Bruce: But we shot it in 1979.
Uncle Creepy: Yeah, it’s really; I mean God I was eight, I think or something like that. I had to sneak in to the theater to see it actually if I remember right but…
Bruce: Yeah there are people who have great Evil Dead stories. I used to sit in some of the theaters just to watch it because you want to see if, how they react to the flick so, one couple was conquered down, a guy and his girlfriend and they had attacking over them and they were wiping it through this bleed. And they’ve taken only parts of this screen at a time and if you got to roll, they would just close up the end of his bleed like an elephant trunk and so after a while it’s fun to watch people watching.
Uncle Creepy: How do you feel? I mean it’s been such a long time ago and the film industry has changed so drastically it’s not easy to get an independent movie like Evil Dead into theaters anymore and things have just changed so much over the years. What’s your take on all that?
Bruce: I think everyone just better buckle up and hang on because none of us know where this is going to go. Movies are becoming like video games. Video games are becoming like movies. The digital age is not going to go away. What it’s done is technology has empowered the little guy. So I love the fact that Joe Public is making a movie because maybe we will get some cool of interesting movies in the internet that has saved between YouTube and all that. You got a lot of showcases now that nobody had before.
Uncle Creepy: Uh-huh.
Bruce: All you got to do now is click, click, click and you’re up linking your movies that’s something which you certainly never had 25 years ago. So it’s great, I think it gives more power to the little guy. YouTube is really the most whacked out thing I’ve ever seen just because of what you can see on there and so it’s changing everything and I think people just have to be flexible; filmmakers, actors, everything learning. Follow where the trends are going. I’ve been doing more video game work and boys work because there is really animated in ball games now.
Uncle Creepy: Yeah it’s definitely interesting. It’s going to be even more just a guy like in 10 years we finally see where this all ends up.
Bruce: Yeah because eventually I think our little communication devices will be everything that will come up with various sizes of these things that can do basically everything, whatever you want you just take your device because everyone wants it now. You know I think it will just eventually get that way because you know, palm devices and computers are getting way closer now too. Computers are shrinking and palm devices are growing, so we will have a few collisions there too, technological collisions, but it will be a beautiful outcome.
Uncle Creepy: Well you know what no matter where we end up and no matter what happen, I’m pretty sure people are always going to still be watching like Evil Dead and My Name is Bruce and stuff like that.
Bruce: They still want to watch, yeah there will still be entertainment so the funny thing is even when times are bad people go, “Oh at least we’re not being chased by zombie.”
Uncle Creepy: And at least they’re home and that’s spending money.
Bruce: No but that’s true when they don’t go out, entertainment still works because you got pay-per-view and, you got all kinds of ways, you rent, you get a DVD, gets Netflix whatever. It’s no big deal.
Uncle Creepy: It’s never been a better time to be a film fan that’s for sure. Well hey man we’re just about of time. I really want to thank you for stopping and bullshiting with us a little bit.
Bruce: I know those are important to get the word out about the little teeny movies out there. There are little teeny movies putting around out there so you better check them out because sometimes you’re buying it. Those where the cool stuff is!