The Good, The Bad & The Badass: Bruce Campbell

Last week, we examined the career of master character actor, Ed Harris. This week’s subject is another beloved actor of the same generation, albeit more on a cult level...
Bruce Campbell

Bruce Campbell showed me the power of the internet. As a youngster in the year 1996 who had just gotten access to the then-novel “World Wide Web”, Campbell’s official site was an early page I bookmarked, and I frequently checked it out hoping for some glimmer of hope over a possible Evil Dead IV. One day I emailed him and, to my absolute amazement, he emailed me back. Access to celebrities? What is this “internet?”

As far as cult stars go, Bruce Campbell is one of the biggest. Assured big-screen immorality thanks to his iconic role as Ash Williams in the EVIL DEAD series, Campbell’s been working steady for over thirty years now. Effortlessly charming, it’s a shame he never really got to be a leading man, with several hoped-for roles, such as the lead in THE PHANTOM never quite panning out. No matter, I’d argue being Bruce Campbell is cooler than being Billy Zane (and that’s no slight to the latter either).

While he’ll always be Ash, Campbell’s branched-out and had success outside the character, memorably playing an uncanny Elvis Presley in BUBBA HO-TEP, Sam Axe on the long-running “Burn Notice” and even Ronald Reagan in season two of “Fargo”.

His Best Work

Bruce Campbell will always be Ash Williams, and I think Campbell’s at peace with that fact. While I love all iterations of the character, my first exposure to Campbell, and Ash, was ARMY OF DARKNESS. Controversial among fans for how It downplays horror for comedy and action, as a kid this was one of my favorite movies and one I still return to frequently. That said, EVIL DEAD and EVIL DEAD II come pretty close to this, and as much as I love “Ash vs Evil Dead”, I’d still love a legit, Sam Raimi-directed sequel.

His Most Overrated Work

I only watched “Burn Notice” for Bruce Campbell. Initially, I thought it was a pretty fun show, and Jeffrey Donovan is a solid leading man. But the show began to lose me early on, and I’m surprised it lasted as long as it did. I think USA is probably the culprit, as their idea of beautiful people in sunny locales couldn’t quite measure up to the best in cable at the time.

His Most Underrated Work

“The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.” was way ahead of its time. A western sci-fi mashup, Campbell was the ideal square-jawed hero, and its a shame Fox only gave it the one season. That said, there are twenty-seven episodes of it still floating around out there, and it’s worth checking-out for a glimpse at what Campbell as a regular Joe leading man would have been like.


His Best Scene

Time to be controversial. Many EVIL DEAD fans are upset with the theatrical cut of ARMY OF DARKNESS, specifically due to the re-shot ending. They prefer the one where Ash wakes up in the apocalypse. I always liked Ash getting a happy ending (and this is the timeline the TV show seems to follow), and his fight in S-mart is badass indeed.

5. ”The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.”

Up Next

Campbell’s got lots of stuff coming up, from low-budgeters, to Web Series and, of course, a third season of “Ash vs Evil Dead.” Worth-watching in anything, I hope Campbell keeps on working as a character actor for a long, long time.


Source: JoBlo.com



Latest Entertainment News Headlines