Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hail to the King

While Facebook proclaimed "Bruce Campbell Day" sometime last week, today, June 22, is the man's 53rd birthday. Happy birthday, Bruce.

Star of the "Evil Dead" series and the amazing "Bubba Ho-tep," Campbell has been a horror favorite since the early 1980s. He's the master of camp, the actor's version of low-budget god Roger Corman.

He's an actor who is hard to hate, even when he's playing smug bastards as he does in the Old Spice commercial above.

Campbell even has two books out: "If Chins Could Kill" and "Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way." I've always been in the wrong place at the wrong time to meet the man on his books tours.

Campbell pulls off an attitude of mocking his fans, especially to their faces. He brings that attitude to "My Name is Bruce," a schlock fest that Campbell directed and starred in as "himself."

Cheap monsters, overacting and a barrel full of fun make "My Name is Bruce" worth watching if you are a fan of Campbell. If you're not, the movie probably won't change your mind about him. His books or "Bubba Ho-tep" might.

"Bubba Ho-tep," Campbell's best film, features the king as the King. He plays a 70-year-old Elvis, stuck in a rest home and forced to do battle with a Western-dressed mummy. The sections of the film with the mummy are great, but Campbell hits his stride during various monologues about growing old as someone who used to be Elvis. It's never 100 percent clear if he's really Elvis or just "Sebastian Haff," an accomplished Elvis impersonator. It doesn't matter if he's Elvis or not. Campbell, in all his comedic glory, plays it straight and never stops believing.

And we'll never stop believing in Campbell. Every Sci-Fi (sorry, SyFy) Channel original or straight-to-DVD 90-minute schlockfest gets bought by fanboys arounds the world. Hell, make Campbell an ex-spy and put him on the USA network and we'll watch that, too.

I know people who saw the three Sam Raimi Spider-man movies just for Campbell's cameos.

Hail to the King, baby. And happy birthday.

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