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rare female film critic | by maryann johanson

Bruce Campbell Week: the Bruces we’ll never know

As we ponder, during this week-long geeky celebration of all things Bruce Campbell, the many joyous hours he has bestowed upon us with his chainsaw prosthetics and tongue-in-cheek swashbuckling and all that (as well as his forgive him his few missteps, like Alien Apocalypse), it is, perhaps, worth a look at the almost-were’s, the coulda-beens, the moments of snarky gloriousness that never came to pass, but might have. These are the roles that Bruce was up for but, for whatever reason, didn’t get.

Least notable, but maybe the most lamentable, is the part of Louis Creed in 1989’s Pet Sematary [IMDB], which went to Dale Midkiff. It’s minor King, to be sure, though it has its cultish following, of course… but just imagine how much more enjoyable it would be as a guilty pleasure with our Bruce in the starring role.

Woulda-been-memorable quote? “There’s something out there. That… that cat in the cemetary is only part of it. It lives… out in those woods, in the dark… something… something that’s come back from the dead. [pause] Oh, it’s just my son. Damn kid.”

Now this coulda been sumthin,’ I tell ya. Bruce was on the short list for the part of Kit Walker/The Phantom in 1996’s The Phantom [IMDB], the part that Billy Zane got. I mean, damn, I barely even remember the movie that got made with Zane, and I know I’ve seen it. More than once, probably. So how come I don’t remember it? No Bruce Campbell, that’s why.

Woulda-been-memorable quote? “Only the Shadow knows, baby, what evil lurks in the heart of man. [pause] Man, who buys that crap?”

Oh, and this is the best one. Bruce was up for the part of Agent John Doggett in the final seasons of The X-Files [IMDB] — how cool would that have been? Not that I’m saying anything against the lovely and talented Robert Patrick, but he’s just not the snarkster Campbell is — our man Bruce would have been a more logical followup to David Duchovny’s Fox Mulder. Why didn’t he get the part? Rumor is that it was too soon after he’d guest-starred on the show in a fascinating and really kinda poignant straight role as a demon who just wants to have a “normal” kid.

Woulda-been-memorable quote? “My name is Doggett and I am a government employee. As far as I can tell, the year is 2000 AD and I’m being smothered to death by paperwork.”

Some useless trivia via TV.com

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One Comment

  1. Didya ever think that, if Harrison Ford finally gives up the ghost and admits he’s a tad to old and mellow to play Indiana Jones, and if someone decided that the series simply had to continue, James Bond-style, that the only person who could be cast and possibly save that train wreck is our man Bruce?

    I’ve thought so since Briscoe County.

    Even if he is left-handed.

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