Adored by fans and hated by critics, iconic actor Bruce Campbell recently came to San Francisco on a promotional tour for his new film My Name Is Bruce. In addition to starring in the film, Campbell also served as a co-writer and director on the project which gave him control to go wild and offend as many people as possible.
“No one’s safe in this movie," Campbell told B OXOFFICE. "Here I am coming to San Francisco and I got two gay ranchers in the movie and an old ancient Chinese man who’s played by someone who’s not Chinese, so this movie’s going to go huge in San Francisco.”
The 50 year old actor might be known to mainstream America for his cameos in the Spider-Man films but his heart lies in independent filmmaking. That’s where his fans embrace him and that’s where he wants to stay. He still gets stopped at conventions to sign Evil Dead merchandise but it’s also extended to his small directorial films and television work on the USA series Burn Notice. He’s not interested in ever directing a Hollywood blockbuster for fear of losing creative control. With a higher budget he would have to please the masses but with a smaller one he just has to please himself.
“If you’re spending 100 million dollars on a movie you’ve got to be careful about everything. You’re not killing that main character, you’re probably not even going to maim him. You’ll give him dirt on his face, give him a little sweat but that’s it. Movies are difficult enough to make, I don’t need anything else on top of that. I just want the process of making a movie to be what it is, no mental issues, no games, no politics.”
To say that film critics have never enjoyed Campbell's work would be an understatement but Bruce doesn’t care. His movies are meant to be silly escapist entertainment and he believes critics should stop taking them so seriously.
“We’ve got some reviews where I must’ve killed a guy’s dog, he must’ve witnessed me kill his dog with my bare hands and then walked right into the theatre to watch the movie. It’s like, 'Dude, What did I do to you?' This is a silly comedy, it’s not even like an unrated torture porn movie. My response to those critics is put the gin down and go upstairs to help mother make breakfast.”
One of the biggest questions Campbell is asked wherever he goes is the possibility of resurrecting his Evil Dead character Ash for another sequel. The closest the project has gotten was a horror grudge match in which Ash would have battled movie monsters Freddy and Jason. After some tough negotiating the project never took but Campbell thinks it’s for the best since franchises fighting each other isn’t his thing.
“We had a five minute conversation with New Line which was essentially this, they called and they were interested and they said how about Ash vs. Jason vs. Freddy ? And we said great, Ash can kill ‘em both. And there’s a long pause and they said, 'Well, no' and then we were done. That was the end of the conversation. Why would you be involved to not kill those idiots? And now the problem is it’s all about franchises. New Line is coming to you with their franchise, you think they’re going to let us kill their franchise? Freddy’s going to be the last man standing. Paramount’s not going to let you kill Jason. I don’t like franchises fighting franchises. I just think it’s done by marketing executives coming up with that idea, it’s bull----. Creatively, it’s a zero.”
My Name Is Bruce is now playing in limited release.
CLICK HERE to listen to our entire interview with Bruce Campbell.