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31 Monstrous Failures #27: Guan-Di

October 27th, 2011 No comments

My love of horror film icon Bruce “The Chin” Campbell is unqualified. Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness remain among my favorite films, and Campbell’s star turn as an aging, mummy-fighting Elvis Presley in Bubba Ho-Tep was surprisingly poignant.

However, his more recent films have been less endearing.

It’s a crime that Campbell’s square-jawed looks, amiable screen persona and considerable cult cred have failed to win him mainstream success. While he’s enjoyed an ongoing supporting role in the USA cable series Burn Notice, his latter-day leading-man gigs have been a deathly string of SyFy Original films: Alien Apocalypse, The Man with the Screaming Brain and My Name is Bruce. (Campbell co-wrote Screaming Brain and directed both it and My Name is Bruce.)

I wouldn’t have thought that it was possible to go downhill from Alien Apocalypse, but My Name is Bruce provided strong counter evidence. In it, a Bruce Campbell fan recruited the man himself–more precisely, a fictionalized version of Campbell even more down-on-his-luck–to battle a real-life monster in a plot lifted straight from Three Amigos and/or Galaxy Quest (only far less funny).

His foe? The Taoist god of war…

Guan-Di!

Someone–possibly Mark Verheiden, who wrote this mess–must have thought it was hilarious that Guan-Di is also the patron god of bean curd sellers. If you’ve ever wanted to watch a horror film in which the characters eat bean curd, talk about bean curd and use containers of bean curd to ward off Chinese war gods–and you’re not in the mood for Stanley Kubrick’s The ShiningMy Name is Bruce is the movie for you. My sides, they are splitting just thinking about the bean curd-related humor.

And that’s not even considering the film’s frequent musical interludes featuring a country ballad called “The Legend of Guan-Di.” (Guan-Yu / Guan-me / Guan-Di / Guan-Di is his name!)

I love you, Bruce, but you gotta stop this shit.