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The Sunday Telegraph

27 February 2005

Movies - Express

Bruce Campbell - An acting career that just won't die

AMONG horror enthusiasts Bruce Campbell is instantly recognised as the chainsaw-wielding Ash from the three Evil Dead films but his career spans genres and styles.

He first became attracted to acting in suburban Detroit where he joined a local amateur theatre company and linked up with Sam Raimi to make The Evil Dead.

"I like to judge how I am viewed by the roles I am offered in the industry and there have been a lot of different genres and
mediums," he says. He has been seen in Coen brothers' films and more recently in the Spider-Man films.
On television you might have seen him as one of the regulars in Lois And Clark.

Then he jumped to directing to make Hercules and its companion show for Xena: Warrior Princess in New Zealand. It was during the final series of Xena that Campbell found his crew heading off to join Peter Jackson for his Lord Of The Rings trilogy ... "all that was left was the one-legged one-eyed cameraman", he joked.

Jackson later sent a thank you note to the Xena production team who had trained many of his crew.

Campbell's next work is his own creation, a film called The Man With The Screaming Brain about an American business executive who has part of his brain replaced by a KGB operative. "It's really a socio-economic metaphor but I say it's horror so that the studios will buy it."

Movie Review

It's Shlock Horror Stuff

Stars: Bruce Campbell and Ossie
Director: Don Coscarelli.
Where: Selected cinemas.

It is the news we have been waiting for: Elvis is alive and so is JFK. Sadly they are now in a nursing home in Texas, plagued by nasty nurses, thieving inmates and, probably, worst of all, an evil Egyptian mummy (Ho-Tep) who is out to take revenge on anyone nearby.

There are a few things that need explaining before we go on: the Elvis that died so igno-miniously was merely an Elvis impersonator. And his death didn't give Elvis a chance to swap back into his real persona.
Hence he finds himself very old, crotchety, suffering from a dodgy hip and other unmentionable diseases (though he does mention them) and on a Zimmer frame.

No spangly suits now.

But one thing Elvis (Bruce Campbell) does know is that he has to do battle with the evil incarnation that is attacking the inmates and staff of the nursing home.

And for assistance he must turn to his friend JFK. Now JFK (Ossie Davis) was not assassinated but was the victim of a CIA plot which captured him, turned him black and had his brain replaced with sand ... although he does get messages from the White House every so often.

Fortunately this is not a one joke movie. Director Don Coscarelli seems to be well aware of the dangers of cult movie making (and even at its premieres this was being hailed as a cult classic, which is a little bit presumptuous) so he introduces some real characters and paces the film so the climax works.

It's not everyone's cup of blood but it does prove that there are still inventive minds in the world of American filmmaking.

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