There’s a good reason why Bruce Campbell has survived all these years and so many other B-movie heartthrobs have bitten the dust. Not only does he have a very distinct style of performance that has driven him beyond the Evil Dead franchise to be a crucial player in Burn Notice, Bubba Ho-Tep, and FX’s Fargo, he’s also genuinely smart and cultured in a refreshingly unpretentious way. He has his own taste and though it may not always come off as refined, it certainly reflects an intimate knowledge of and experience with the entertainment industry and genre filmmaking.
Case in point: when EW asked Campbell what movie he thinks people should watch this Halloween, he didn’t go with familiar answers like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, or, well,
The Evil Dead. Instead, he called out Roman Polanski‘s sublime and eerie The Tenant, one of Polanski’s most troubling visions of identity destroyed by paranoia, terror, and deep-seated fear. There’s really nothing even remotely like The Tenant, though Richard Ayoade‘s insufferable The Double certainly tried to replicate it’s unique, sweat-inducing tone. The fact that Campbell endorses Polanski’s twisted tale says quite a lot about his dedication and fascination with the genre that’s made him such an iconic figure. Indeed, I wasn’t looking for another reason to love the man, especially after the Ash vs. Evil Dead Season 2 premiere, but this will do all the same.
Here’s how Campbell explained his choice:
“I like Roman Polanski’s The Tenant…It messes with your mind. I feel those are the most disturbing horror films — the ones that make you think you’re going insane. It’s a particularly disturbing movie. Even though people may not like Roman Polanski, the man, his work, I think, is pretty strong. I saw it in college and it stuck with me for about four days. Most movies go in one ear and out the other. This one has a more lingering, damaging effect.”