Recently, Bruce Campbell was in town promoting his latest film project and the re-releasing of his book “If Chins Could Kill, Confessions of a B-movie Actor.”
For those of you going “huh?” and “who?” Bruce Campbell is considered to be one of the kings of contemporary B-movie horror films. Or better yet, go and rent either “Evil Dead 2” or “Army of Darkness,” and try to find the shemp-ish coward/hero guy.
If you are into the cult movie thing and ever get a chance to see Bruce live, do it. His book signings run a lot like a stand up comedy show, and he’s a down-to-earth, generally all-around good guy. I got to learn first-hand in an exclusive interview with Bruce Campbell for the Vanguard.
IK: Mr. Campbell, when you visit Portland what are your favorite places to visit?
BC: Oh, I don’t really have a favorite place, I just like the city. Ya know, I like the Pearl district, I like the waterfront, I like the, just the general mentality of it. It’s my home state, ya know? It’s my adopted city.
IK: Now your book has been out for how long now?
BC: Well, the hard cover came out last May, and now I’m touring for the paperback.
IK: And how has that been received across the country?
BC: Good, very good. We’ve had some kinda killer signings, and we’ve had a few fizzles, but ya know …. There’s a lot of things happening in our country, so you gotta kinda roll with it. But it’s overall been very good.
IK: Has it done as well as you expected or hoped it would do?
BC: Better than I expected. Yeah, I had no idea what to expect with this book. I was grateful to get it out. And now it’s doing pretty well. We got it on the New York Times Best Seller List.
IK: When did you have the idea to write a book?
BC: Oh, four or five years ago now. Um, a guy sort of prodded me into it, and then helped me shape it – a guy who’s a literary agent. And it seemed to make sense the more we talked about it, that no one’s really offering up the … the other side of the story. Because basically 99 percent of the media covers 1 percent of the industry.
IK: Did you intend for your book to not only read as a memoir but also almost as a how-to book as well?
BC: Well, yeah, a little bit, in that I didn’t really have anything I could look at that would let you know what was in store. I think we kinda need that. We need more information like that about what it’s really like. I don’t need the glossed-over version. Gimme the real thing. But what should I expect when I go into this business? So it sorta came out of that, ya know? In the form of commentary, of ranting a little bit.
IK: Since your first book has done so well, is there any chance of a second?
BC: I already have a second one planned, it’s coming out a year from now. It’s a lighthearted look at relationships called “Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way.”
IK: That’s great. Listen, I know your busy so I wanted to thank you for giving up some time for this interview, get one more question in and let you go.
BC: No problem.
IK: Anything you’d like to say to kids out in Fanland?
BC: Uh, let’s see. Um, yeah. Realize that you have the power. That if you don’t like the movies today, then don’t support them. You pay my salary. If you don’t like my movies, I know that I will no longer be supported. Hollywood sometimes needs to get a message from either the “Blair Witches” of the world, who can prove to us you don’t have to have a big fancy movie to do well, and also from the “My Big Fat Greek Weddings” of the world. That you don’t have to have Julia Roberts and, ya know, Hugh Grant to make your movie. So, that’s all I’d say.
And that is that. So come on already, go get the book and give the guy a break. It’s instructional, insightful and a fun read. It’s written so that you start at the beginning of Bruce’s career (on Super 8 film) and work your way to the present.
Plus the new paperback addition comes with an extra chapter covering Bruce’s book signing tour. So get your “groovy” on. With things the way they are today, won’t it feel good to read something where the underdog wins?
Hail to the King, baby.