What’s that ineffable quality that makes Bruce Campbell so … groovy?
Published: February 27, 2013
I was in the Army from ’89 to ’91. I was stationed in Germany, and we didn’t really have a lot of options for TV or movies at our barracks. We had Star Wars, Top Gun and the two Evil Dead movies. We watched Ash beat up demons more than we watched Goose bang his head on the canopy. Bruce Campbell was our hero. Especially to the Michiganders in our barracks. I associate his movies with good times had by all who watched Evil Dead one and two in the dayroom. He entertained us. —Jim Gamboe
I love Bruce enough to have chosen my Suicide Girls name based on that. He was just an average Joe, born and raised in the metro Detroit area, passionate about creativity and making movies, a genius of his times and a classic Super 8 B-movie maker. My fondest memories are watching this b class horror flicks; and feeling that sense of comfort when watching them. His dry sense of humor and one-liners are one thing that makes me appreciate him the most; and I find myself quoting frequently. —Jessica Dawl
I certainly do feel as if he were a distant relative of mine. Being from the area makes him a bit more of a relatable human to me. —Eric Busch
In Bruce’s acting, what I enjoy is that he has a sort of comic wink that breaks the fourth wall and lets the audience in on his private joke. It’s not something that you find distracting, or something that takes you out of the movie. It’s something that lets you instantly relate to him. Also, in Evil Dead 2, the scene where he completely breaks down really impressed itself on me. In the scene, all the inanimate objects in the room start laughing and instead of letting the laughter push him down, he laughs along. It’s possible that as Detroiters we can more easily relate to going through the depths of hell and coming out the other side laughing, even if it is psychotic laughter. —Michael McGettigan
He’s like this Everyman, but he’s cool and weirdly heroic at the same time. He’s like a hero you could have hung out with in high school. His whole career is all this off-the-wall stuff, but he’s so distinctive, he’s the best thing about every film he’s ever done.
He could be that cool older guy who lived on your block and started all the interesting trouble you got into. —Mary Fortuna
I love his unapologetic manliness; he exudes it. Couple that with a brash tongue-in-cheek sense of humor and you have a winning combination in my book. —Kim Mitchell
Bruce Campbell is the Clark Gable of jocular reanimation cinema. —George Barry, director of Death Bed: The Bed That Eats and fellow Royal Oaker
It’s difficult to narrow down the qualities that make me love Bruce Campbell. Is it his wry grin? His heroic chin? His comic timing? I suppose if I had to pick just one thing it would be his self-effacing humor. There aren’t many actors who introduce themselves as “The Idiot, Bruce Campbell.” He may put on a comic act of being a movie star but he’s really just a regular guy. He was at the Toronto Film Festival a few years ago, supporting My Name is Bruce. After the screening he stuck around to sign interviews and have pictures taken with him. It got so late that the theater asked everyone to leave. Instead of taking this opportunity to head back to his hotel room, Bruce stayed out on the street in front of the theater for another two hours until every fan went away happy. He understands where his popularity comes from and appreciates it. —Mike White, co-host of The Projection Booth podcast
The appeal of Bruce Campbell is simple. He tells the truth. And he does it with a smirk and a dash of overconfidence. A lovable jerk we love to root for no matter the foe, zombies, witches, li’l Ashes, Peter Parker or his own possessed demon hand. Of all the characters Bruce Campbell has played in his career — Ash, the charming Autolycus, the swashbuckling Jack Stiles, the smartass Sam Axe, that snooty usher in Spider-Man 2 or just a plain ol’ shemp — my favorite is always … Bruce Campbell. —Chris Gore, former editor of Film Threatmagazine
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