Thursday, 10 October 2019

31 Days of Halloween: Best Horror Actors: Bruce Campbell

Me: Today, we're going to be talking about an instantly recognisable horror figure: Bruce Campbell. There aren't many people on this list who have their own puppet, but Bruce does.

Jay: Which you own.

Me: And I'm unashamed.

What are your thoughts on Bruce Campbell?

Jay: He's been lucky. Bruce Campbell fell in with Sam Raimi, who gave him roles in many of his movies. That's not to say he's a bad actor. He's not. I like Bruce Campbell... but he's not stellar.

Me: He's got a cheeky, camp quality, though, that makes him stand out.

Jay: True. And he's very expressive, in an often comical way.

Me: I suppose we really should start with The Evil Dead, The Evil Dead II, and Army of Darkness. Let me get your thoughts on that franchise.

Jay: The first one is the only one that's worth talking about. The others are alright, but when Sam Raimi decided he would never do a movie as horrific as The Evil Dead again, the horror industry lost what could have been one of its best directors.

Me: You don't like Raimi?

Jay: That's not what I'm saying. His other movies are good - but his horror movies were never as good as The Evil Dead.

Me: What about Drag Me to Hell?

Jay: It wasn't as good as The Evil Dead. It's good but it's a different time. It's harder to make a shocking horror film now. Hollywood is devoid of ideas.

Me: And Drag Me to Hell is essentially a remake of Night of the Demon.

Jay: Right.

Raimi is a good director and he's made some cracking films - like the Spider-man movies - but I don't think he'll ever hit that Evil Dead level again.

Me: Speaking of The Evil Dead, we really should talk about Ash vs. the Evil Dead...

Jay: The first season was good but seasons two and three were just stupid. I loved the idea. It was hammy, it was over acted and it stuck with the Evil Dead sequels quite well. By the third season, it was just crap. They would have done a much better job if they had taken it seriously, if they hadn't done it so tongue in cheek.

Me: I didn't bother with the second and third seasons. The first season was outrageous, though. I think I watched most of it with my jaw on the floor.

We haven't really spoken about Army of Darkness yet. I find a lot of people who aren't really into The Evil Dead are massive fans of Army of Darkness. Why do you think that is?

Jay: It appealed to more people. It was humorous. Ash became a comic character, with his boomstick. Army of Darkness was alright, if that's your thing, but it wasn't scary.

Me: Entertaining, but different.

Jay: Exactly.

Me: I hate to do it, but you know we have to talk about the Evil Dead remake that we made the mistake of going to the cinema to watch...

Jay: Rubbish. They made such a big deal about Bruce Campbell having a cameo in it. "Groovy." Really?

If you were going to remake The Evil Dead, you finally had the effects to do it well. They had the technical ability but failed to use it. The remake was utter garbage.

Me: I hated it. Adding more gore doesn't make a movie better. They lost the power of the story. It didn't even have the humour. Just awful.

Okay, so why is Bruce Campbell an icon?

Jay: He's the every man. He's not particularly great look and he isn't an amazing actor with an amazing physique. He's just a normal guy who made it as an actor - and he's done some great stuff. I love him as Sam Axe in Burn Notice.

Me: He was good in Hercules and Xena too.

Jay: That's right, as Autolycus.

Me: Is there anything else you want to add before I wrap things up today?

Jay: I think we've covered it all. Bruce Campbell's got the cheek, the swagger, to make the most of a lucky situation.

Me: That's it's for us today, then.

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to check back tomorrow to see who our next Best Horror Actor will be!

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