Bruce Campbell loves his fans, no matter how off-the-wall they can be. During a recent interview with Film School Rejects, he explained why he loves them: because of their passion (and they pay his mortgage). Case in point, Campbell once met a guy who tattooed the entire poster of Army of Darkness on his back. “No one’s putting Risky Business on his back,” Campbell said proudly.
This month, Campbell is trekking across the heartland, meeting his fans and bringing them his latest directorial effort My Name Is Bruce. This a 22-city tour that will be coming to FSR’s virtual home in Columbus, Ohio on November 19, where he will be present for a Q&A session after the 7:45 p.m. and 9:50 p.m. screenings of the film.
Campbell first became involved with My Name Is Bruce when writer Mark Verheiden brought him the concept. The story follows an obsessed fan that kidnaps a rather pathetic Bruce Campbell the actor so he can defend their town from a killer demon.
“I thought it was a really fun idea, so I was all over it,” Campbell told Film School Rejects. He jumped into the writing and took on the role of director. Of course, Campbell drew from his real-life experiences (i.e., dealing with fans, not dealing with real demons) to add comedic moments.
“There are lines of dialogue that are verbatim from fans,” Campbell said. “There’s going to be some who’ll wet themselves.”
Still, Campbell ultimately appreciates his fans, and he recognizes that the ones who don’t quite know how to separate fiction from reality are in the minority. “For those people, you know, I’m happy to mess with them,” he said. “For those people who can’t make the distinction, they deserve to be confused because they’re already confused. For everybody else, we’ll get a chuckle.”
Campbell accepted his status as a cult movie icon years ago. “My fans are my clients. I’m never going to really insult them. I’ll dick with them in the movie because I interact with them, and I actually go to conventions, and I go meet these people,” he said. “I know how to mess with them. And I’m going to do just that. It’s an old Sam Raimi rule: The innocent must suffer.”
Much to the pleasure of his fan base, My Name Is Bruce is rated R, which is very apparent in the early scenes, which involve some brutal murders and a decapitation. Campbell, who is no stranger to splatter cinema, aimed for an R rating from the preproduction stage.
“There’s no such thing as a PG-13 horror movie,” he said. “I mean seriously, you show me a PG-13 horror movie, and I’ll show you a sell out.”
Campbell made his film R for his audience, his coveted fans, rather than the “safe” PG-13. “The reason [Hollywood does this] is so they can get $10 to $20 more million at the box office,” he said. “I don’t want it. I don’t need $10 to $20 million. I need, like $2 million. So as a result, I’m not going to make the movie for just anybody.”
With a little luck, My Name Is Bruce will be a hit among his fans, which might open the door for a sequel, the rumored My Name Is Still Bruce. “Well, we certainly joked about that, and we have the money for it,” Campbell admitted. “But we figure it might be a little disingenuous to start the sequel before the first one has ever made any money.”
Bruce Campbell is currently on tour, promoting his film My Name Is Bruce. Check out the tour dates here.