Bruce Campbell's Latest B-Movie Bouillabaisse Arrives in the Bay Area
Bruce Campbell isn’t opposed to making a fourth installment in the Evil Dead series that has helped secure his reputation as a B-movie superstar. In fact, both he and childhood friend Sam Raimi, who used the Evil Dead movies as a launching pad to the mammoth success he now enjoys as the architect of the Spider-Man franchise, have gone on record as saying that another sequel is tentatively in the works.
Just don’t expect Campbell, still boyishly handsome at 50, to leap at the prospect simply because it exists.
In San Francisco as part of a nationwide tour to promote his second directorial feature, the proudly low-budget comedy My Name Is Bruce, the actor known almost as well for his tough-guy chin as his acting chops, cites Steven Spielberg’s decision to revisit Indiana Jones as proof of the dangers of reliving past glories.
“If you ask a theater of 300 people if they wanted another Indiana Jones movie, two hands go up,” he says. “They just forced that movie down people’s throats, but I don’t think there was any need for it.
“The time to make a fourth Evil Dead was probably 12 years ago. Just so you know, Army of Darkness is already 17 years old. Sometimes I wonder what the point would be. Still, I love working with Sam, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened, but I have no idea when it might.”
Although Campbell warily acknowledges that fans and journalists inquire about the possibility on a daily basis, he’s hardly wanting for work as the franchise remains dormant. After the twin successes of his 2002 autobiography (If Chins Could Kill) and a follow-up novel (Make Love! The Bruce Campbell Way), he’s busy on a new book. He’s currently working on a five-year contract with the USA Network for the hit cable series Burn Notice. And he’s currently winding down a rigorous but exhausting driving tour of the U.S.
As for My Name Is Bruce, in which he plays a drunken, loutish version of himself doing battle with a homicidal Chinese demon?
“It’s just a silly comedy,” he says of the film, which premiered on consecutive nights in San Francisco and Berkeley this past week. After making his feature directorial debut with 2005’s middling Man With the Screaming Brain, Campbell shot his follow-up on a set he built at his home in Oregon. He worked almost exclusively with local talent and credits that decision for making the process smoother and more satisfying.
Just don’t expect it to be anything more than what he intended – a movie for fans, not critics.
“I don’t know what people were expecting,” he says. “The guy in the New York Times acted like I stepped on his dog. I must’ve cut him off in the streets or something. But they’re not going to run me out of town. I have a lot of movies left in me, don’t worry about that.”