Friday, December 25, 2015

Different Shades of Royalty: Five Underrated Bruce Campbell Performances

When you think of Bruce Campbell, what do you imagine?  A working-class shmoe cutting up demons with a chainsaw?  A cowboy-lawyer who talks to his horse?  A mojito drinking former navy SEAL with a loyalty streak a mile wide?  Or an elderly Elvis trying to make one last stand and redeem all of his terrible life choices with a single act that will save the humanity of his fellow rest home citizens? 

Well, here are several little known or overlooked Campbell performances that often get overlooked when people talk about his career.   Get out your Netflix Ques and take a look at this list of semi-obscure look at the best and most unknown of the chin's kingdom.

5: P.T. Madison, Goldrush: A Real Life Alaskan Adventure: Campbell scores as a rugged outdoorsman/privateer/entrepreneur P.T. Madison in this made-for-television drama.  Suave, enterprising, serious and caring, it’s easy to see why Fizzy Fitzgerald (almost) falls for him.

4: Ed Billik, Ellen: Introduced as your everyday, average macho conservative guy with kids and a wife trying to make things work –and a natural foil for Ellen Morgan, who sold her bookstore to him to finance her home – Ed’s inclusion in the show took quite a serious turn, and Bruce’s acting keeps pace with the plot, in which Ed is unable to accept his friend when Ellen comes out of the closet as a lesbian.  He quietly proved that prejudice can come wearing a friendly smile.

3: Alex Windham, Assault on Dome 4: And from subtle to deliciously hammy, Bruce plays the consummate villain in this cheesy sci-fi/action flick, portraying a mad, utopian-minded terrorist who holds the hero’s wife hostage.

2: Jack Stoddard, Beggars and Choosers: In this little-seen Showtime series, Bruce portrays macho cowboy actor Jack Stoddard – who may or may not be bisexual but definitely has a thing for network head Malcom.

1: Carl Martushka, Running Time: Oh Carl.  You are nobody’s idea of a good guy, a good catch, or a smart employee.  Yet, as you flounder your way through one last heist mere hours after being released from your first stint in the pen, you’re enormously sympathetic, and that’s entirely due to Bruce’s performance. The key to Carl is that his greed has distracted him so thoroughly from his true objectives and the people who care about him – among them a comely ex-girlfriend from highschool who’s fallen into prostitution.  Will Carl choose a future with her or life on the run with his foolish hothead of a friend, Patrick, who caused him to get locked up in the first place when Carl decided to take the heat for him after a robbery goes bad?  It’s well worth watching the innovative film to find out.

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