Yet another b-movie unafraid to take that plunge into po-mo 'extremism'…

Fed up with seeing the dreadful films those I meet through my involvement with the culture industry want to discuss (Hunger, Milk etc.), I decided to catch My Name Is Bruce (2008) at The Prince Charles. It had been on for a week at the Soho Curzon before being moved for one night only to this second run movie theatre (on Friday 13th of course!); part of a very limited UK theatrical release before it is issued here on DVD in March (it came out on disk a few days ago in the US).
In My Name Is Bruce, actor/director Bruce Campbell stars as an obnoxious caricature of himself, a washed-up b-movie star living in a trailer. Jeff Graham (Taylor Sharpe), an obsessed fan, abducts Campbell because he wants him to save a hick town called Gold Lick from the ancient Chinese demon Guan-di. Thinking the set up in Gold Lick is an elaborate prank, Campbell agrees to slay the demon, but when he realises this supernatural entity is ‘real’ he turns on his tail and heads for home. The following day it dawns on Campbell that Jeff plans to take on Guan-di single-handedly (which is clearly suicidal), so he goes back to save the boy and ‘get’ the girl (Jeff’s hot mom). At the climax, the film splinters into a series of hilarious false endings involving both the screening of rushes, and Guan-di bursting through a movie screen. Basically My Name Is Bruce is a groove sensation but it could have done with a lot more nudity, while the scenes of Ted Raimi playing a stereotyped Chinese character should have been cut coz they just ain’t funny. That said, and while the movie boasts loads of self-referential jokes about Campbell’s earlier comedy hits like Evil Dead and Maniac Cop, there is more than enough slapstick to keep anyone who knows nothing about this particular actor interested.
Watching My Name Is Bruce in a theatre full of laughing trash film freaks – and yes the fat white guy sitting to my right was swigging from a two litre bottle of coke and snacking on a giant bucket of popcorn throughout the screening, while the mixed-race gay couple on my left were skinny as rakes – it struck me just how sophisticated the average exploitation flick is in comparison to middle-brow movies. The obvious comparison to make here is with Oliver Assayas’s Irma Vep (1996). In that movie Maggie Cheung plays herself, a Hong Kong action star brought to France to act in a remake of the classic silent serial Les Vampires. In My Name Is Bruce director cum star Bruce Campbell happily blurs various story elements; while throughout Irma Vep the viewer is never in any doubt as to what constitutes the film within the film and the larger narrative containing it. Likewise, although Maggie Cheung dressed down in a tight latex bondage suit holds my attention, neither the tedious pastiche of new wave cinema nor Cheung as herself in street clothes does anything much for me. Assayas has made it clear in interviews that he was interested in brilliance, whereas Campbell is unrepentantly post-modern in his rejection of all notions of cinematic elevation and depth. So not only is My Name Is Bruce a much better movie than Irma Vep, it is  more adventurous on every level precisely because it rejects bourgeois notions of good taste. So kids, don’t waste your time on so-called ‘quality’ cinema, go for ‘trash’!
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – – you know it makes (no) sense!


Comment by K Mail on 2009-02-15 13:39:20 +0000

I’ve just been hired to play Stewart Home (and the producers aren’t even sure whether that is me or not) in a post-modern re-make of Iain Sinclair’s “Hackney, That Rose Red Empire”. The version of the film we’re remaking was actually made in 2024, but by falling thru a worm hole we’ve been able to see this future classic which we’re remaking in the present past.

Comment by Lana Clarkson on 2009-02-15 14:00:19 +0000

Bruce is great isn’t he! I’d have loved to have worked with him.

Comment by Bruce Dickinson on 2009-02-15 14:50:23 +0000

I’ve been kicking myself since turning down the chance to play this role.
When Bruce asked me to star I was just starting my new career as airline pilot and also thought it a bit cheesy what with me being called Bruce in reality – I thought people might think it was really about me and that wouldn’t do my heavy metal image any good or confidence in from my passengers in the air.
But now I wish I’d taken the role.
Kisses to all my fans.

Comment by The Unloaded Lindsay Lohan on 2009-02-15 15:22:54 +0000

Hey nice review but I think you should concentrate on trash films featuring strippers. I notice you haven’t mentioned my last movie yet, “I Know Who Killed Me” in which I play a stripper and her twin sister. Filming had to be stopped wihile I had appendix surgery and I was also in rehab while we we’re making it, so I was just allowed out to the set in the day and had to go back to the clinic at night. “I Know Who Killed Me” won me first and second place for worst actress at the Golden Raspberry Awards too. So there is plenty to write about, especially as I look pretty rotten in the movie due to being in rehab at the time it was made.

Comment by K.L. Callan on 2009-02-15 15:28:24 +0000

I had alook at the sleeve of the DVD of this on Azamon ro see if I’d recognise Campbell. I didn’t and also didn’t think he looked like the type of guy I’d want to get in the dark with in The Prince Charles but then your…I mean…my review got me pure horny with the result that I’m off to see it tonight.
Streuth! I just found out it’s not on tonight. Luckily I went to see it the other night and have just finished reviewing it for this blog.

Comment by Stewart Home on 2009-02-15 15:37:15 +0000

I haven’t seen it yet but will try to get it on doovde when it comes out as it sounds like a groove sensation. I’ve just been out to the library to get a movie for tonight and was surprised to score ‘Return to the Valley of I Could Have Sworn Somebody Else Said That’.

Comment by The Inauthentic Lukas Moodysson on 2009-02-15 17:13:52 +0000

But in my recent movies you get tits and ass and avant-garde aesthetics, so why aren’t you reviewing like “Container” and “A Hole In My Heart”?

Comment by The Silicon Enhanced Carmen Electra on 2009-02-15 17:54:10 +0000

Don’t forget to review my new movie “Mardi Gras” when it comes out later this year….

Comment by Phina on 2009-02-15 18:38:32 +0000

Bruce Campbell, an angry kangaroo and an old lady throwing cans of discount mushie pies…my dreams get stranger and stranger!

Comment by Msmarmitelover on 2009-02-15 19:17:34 +0000

Sounds like fun, let me know next time you go to a trashy screening

Comment by The Postmodern Clint Eastwood on 2009-02-15 19:20:09 +0000

Do you feel lucky?” Well, do ya, punk? Go ahead make my day, go see a Bruce Campbell movie instead of some middle-brow crud! Now you know why they call me “Dirty” Harry- every dirty movie that comes along… I go watch it!

Comment by The Reanimated Steve McQueen on 2009-02-15 20:58:21 +0000

Hey you need to bite the “Bullitt” and start reviewing really popular films like “The Towering Inferno”!

Comment by Carmen Electra on 2009-02-15 21:10:10 +0000

My Name is Prince

Comment by The Man In The Moon on 2009-02-15 21:37:05 +0000

When I’m waxing there’s nothing I like better thatn sitting down with a Bruce Campbell DVD and a bottle of claret, but when I’m waning I prefer a Michelle Bauer DVD and a bottle of bourbon!

Comment by Llewellyn Khairdean on 2009-02-15 23:40:27 +0000

Release Delshad Namiq Zorab and grant him asylum in the UK
Online petition: Target / Jacqui Smith, Home Secretary
http://www.gopetiti petitions/ release-delshad- namiq-zorab. html
Mr Delshad Namiq Zorab is an active member of the UK Committee of the Worker Communist Party of Iraq and a member of The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees. He is currently detained and awaiting deportation. The Worker Communist Party of Iraq is a banned organisation in Iraq and Kurdistan. Its members both at home and abroad are persecuted by the Kurdish and Iraq security forces. Delshads life is in danger if we deport him back to Iraq Kurdistan
Delshad was born in 1/7/1956 in the village of Sewsenan, Sulaimaniyah, into a politically active family. Both he and his family have been the regular victims of persecution for their political beliefs and activities; his brother Kamal was killed by the Baath regime for his political activity and for being a member of the Iraqi Communist Party, 70 people from Delshads village, mainly family members and friends were killed in a chemical attack, similar to Halabja, by the Iraqi army’s on 22/3/1988.
Dalshad and his family moved to Sulaimaniyah after the attack, where he joined a political group called Rowti Communist (The Path of Communism). This group was very active in organising the mass uprising in 1991 against the Baath regime and was involved in the formation worker’s council’s movement and then the Worker Communist Party of Iraq in July 2003.
Delshad joined the party in 2004. and has remained committed to fighting for the rights of people both at home and here in the UK; he has been involved in and led on a number of demonstrations and meetings calling for the end to violence and war, for the freedom of women and children, for equal rights of women and children against reactionary religious and nationalist influences.
As a result of this campaigning Dalshed has once again been the target of the PUK, KDP and Islamists hatred campaign against the movement, whilst Dalshed has escaped with his life to the UK, many of its leaders, members and activists have been assassinated, imprisoned and brutally persecuted. Delshad himself was arrested and tortured on a several occasions by the Kurdish nationalist parties and by the Baathist Iraqi regime
Dalshed has lived in the UK since 2003. He is unable to return to Kurdistan or anywhere else in Iraq for fear of his life and persecution. Dalshad fears for his life and the life of his family. Please help us stop this deportation.
Please support the campaign to release Delshad Zorab and grant him asylum by;
*Signing this online petition.
*Passing on this petition to friends, family members and your community members; encouraging them to sign.
*Writing, faxing, emailing the letter of support below to the Minister of State for Border and Immigration: (Please email: jasm_rg@yahoo. a copy of your support letters)
Rt. Hon Jacqui Smith, MP
Ministers of State for Borders and Immigration
3rd Floor, Peel Buildings,
2 Marsham St
London SW1 4DF
Fax: 020 8760 3132
Emails:UKBApublicen quiries@UKBA.
Dear Home Secretary
Mr. Delshad Namiq Zorab – D.O.B:01-07- 1956-Home Office Ref: H1050750 was detained on Friday 13th February and is currently held in Rotherham Police Station awaiting transportation to an Immigration Removal Centre, despite the fact that his case is still pending.
Delshad came to the UK in 2003 to escape persecution by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party (PUK), the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and by the Baathist regime. Delshad is a member of the worker communist party of Iraq, a banned organisation (in Iraq and Kurdistan) and has face persecution over a number of years. He has and continues to be an active member of the WCPI and he consistently fights for the rights of children, women and workers’ rights.
Recent deportees to Kurdistan and Iraq have been killed in car bombs, kidnapped or have committed suicide since returning. Many live in hiding. The same parties whose persecution forced Delshad to leave Iraq – PUK and KDP – are now in government. They have been condemned by human rights groups, including Amnesty International, for imprisoning human rights campaigners and those who oppose them politically.
Delshad has been outspoken of his criticism of them from the UK. He has lead and organised demonstrations and meetings about war and violence and has taken a leading role in a number of activities throughout the UK.
He is an active member of the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees, organising and attending demonstrations outside the Kurdistan Regional Government’s offices in London.
If he goes back to Iraq I am afraid his life will be in serious and imminent danger. He will be a huge loss to his local community in Doncaster and the many groups and causes he is involved in.
I hope very much that you will release Delshad Zorab from detention and grant him indefinite leave to remain.
Yours Sincerely,
City: Postcode: Country:
Date: Email: Phone:

Comment by howling wizard, shrieking toad on 2009-02-16 12:48:28 +0000

Comment by Megan Marauder on 2009-02-16 14:42:03 +0000

Well I was only married to K.L.Callan…I mean…Michael K..for 12 hours but now I know what it’s like to be ridden roughshod by the upper echelon of the Post Samplist Internotional!!!

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