Saturday, March 19, 2011

Which is Bigger? The Cult of Bruce, or the Cult of Nathan?

(Image taken from: the way, that's the best name for a website ever)

Bruce Campbell and Nathan Fillion are both pretty much Goliath's in Geekdom territory. Mr. Campbell, the man with the chin that won't quit, has had a long career of being a B-movie actor ever since he was in the cult classic Evil Dead trilogy. Though he's directed a few films here or there and is now a permanent fixture on Burn Notice, he's never really risen beyond B-Movie status, and his fans love him for it. It's why he's awesome. Just watch him here, being Brucey. Only HE could pull this off.

(Image taken from:

(Image taken from:

And then, you have Captain Mal himself, Nathan Fillion, whose rise to fame has been precipitous to say the very least. The head honcho on the immensely popular, if short lived, sci-fi show, Firefly, he's found a new home on Castle, accumulating new fans every week.

But whose cult is bigger?

Now, I'm not saying who has the crazier cult, as both camps have done some pretty crazy things in the names of their heroes. (I saw one woman with Ash tattooed from her fingertips to her shoulder, and let's not forget Mr. Fillion's one million dollar accumulation from fans who heard that he wanted to bring back Firefly if he had the money to do it). Both camps have done some pretty wild things. But let's look at the facts here, broken down side-by-side.

Bruce Campbell

(Image taken from:

Born in 1958, Bruce's first movie, The Evil Dead came out in 1981. That's before I was even born, man! That said, it means that while he may have only done bit parts or low budget flicks for his entire career, his fanbase spans 30 years. This makes him a recognizable icon in cult territory for decades, similar to Lloyd Kaufman from Troma, or John Waters. So, while not a majority of the population may know who he is, those who do adore him, and he's certainly had enough time to garner a large fanbase.

He also spans different kinds of media. Not only has he done movies, and plenty of them, but he's also done voice work, been on TV, and even has two books, If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor and Make Love! The Bruce Campbell Way . He's currently on Burn Notice as Sam Axe, and his popularity keeps growing. His cult is strong. But is it stronger than the voice of over a million browncoats? Let's look and see.

Nathan Fillion

(Image taken from:

Nathan Fillion is Firefly. His face and the show go hand-in-hand. There are millions of fans, or, "Browncoats" as they're called, and they follow the man like flies to a sugar heap. But his name goes much farther than that. Just recently, he appeared on the cover of Entertainment Weekly, and he's also now pretty big on the show Castle, which is growing in popularity every season. And unlike Bruce, he's actually the lead on a successful TV show now, which is a feat that Bruce Campbell has never accomplished (Even though Jack of all Trades and Brisco County Jr. were awesome shows).

He's also done movies as well, and many of his fans, most of them following him on Twitter, are pretty vocal in their support of him. They've even garnered a million dollars after he, in passing, said that if he ever won the lottery, he'd get Joss Whedon to start up Firefly again. It was a joke, of course, but fans took him very seriously. This guy's cult is huge. But is it bigger than Bruce's?

The Verdict

While Nathan Fillion is definitely on the rise, there's no way he can surpass Bruce's rabid and loyal fanbase. Bruce Campbell has simply been around much longer. And though I have little doubt that Nathan Fillion will one day reach his level, that day is definitely not now and probably won't be for quite some time. He still has some more cheesy roles to take on.

So the winner here is Bruce today. But in ten years time, who knows? Only time, and twitter posts, can tell.


Anonymous said...

1981 was 30 years ago, not 40.

Rich Knight said...

Jeez, good call. I'm bad at math, but not THAT bad. Careless slip. Thanks for pointing it out. It's been fixed.