Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Campbell, Bruce – If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor

Bruce Campbell is a legend in certain circles. He played the protagonist Ash in the wildly popular Evil Dead series; the smarmy Autolycus in Xena and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys; and the titular character in The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. I myself remember eating cereal with my Dad on lazy weekend mornings watching Brisco and can attest to the awesome power of Bruce Campbell’s B-rated goodness.
 If Chins Could Kill is a fitting literary companion to Campbell’s cult career. It follows him from high school student to the present (or at least the present as of 2001) in a meandering way.  While there is some exposition Campbell relies on anecdotes. The book is divided into short sections that usually revolve around a single aspect. The bulk of these tales will elicit a chuckle. My personal favorite involved his desperate quest for investors to fund The Evil Dead. As Campbell says:
You haven’t lived until you’ve screened an unrated Super-8  film at a dinner party for four dentists and their wives, watching them squirm as a possessed creature (me, in this case) bites his own hand off. The band news was – we ruined their meals. The good news was—we god some moola [sic].”
 Although a fast and funny read the above except can speak to its sloppiness. Campbell is a great storyteller but he is no writer. The large number of pictures seems like filler at times and the rampant clip art is both cheesy and often irrelevant.
To hardcore horror fans this is a must read. Readers who are not familiar with Bruce Campbell may want to sit this one out. 

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