Monday, November 7, 2011

Bruce Campbell Week! Part One: If Chins Could Kill

It's November, a time to look back on all our blessings to reflect on what we're thankful for.

This Mild-Manner Librarian is thankful for Bruce Campbell.

Bruce Campbell is the second man I ever loved.  The first was the Red Power Ranger, Jason, and, in hindsight, that was just lust.  The first time I looked at a boy and thought, "Hey, he isn't icky."

Then I started watching a leather-pants clad Bruce Campbell in "The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr." and there was a new man in my life.

Side by side comparison, there is not contest.

Unlike the Red Power Ranger, my love for Bruce Campbell endures to this day.

But what does this have to do with books, Librarian Blogger, you may ask?

Well, my friends, the mighty Bruce Campbell is not just a god among actors, he's also an auteur.  And I'm reviewing three of his works this week.

Now, I'm not a horror gal for the most part, so my exposure to Bruce Campbell had mainly been limited to Brisco, then Xena and Hercules, the sadly short-lived Jack of All Trades, then later his appearances in the Spiderman Movies and finally Burn Notice.  Evil Dead what now?

It took me a while to hear about Evil Dead, and then there was a long time that I just felt an overwhelming guilt as a Bruce Campbell fan for not having seen it.  Then, I came across a co-worker who loved Bruce Campbell as I did, and she loaned me his book: If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B-Movie Actor.  I never returned this book. (Sorry Carrie. I also lost the book and bought another one, then found out that her copy was in the Take a Book, Leave a Book area at my work at the time, so the Bruce Campbell joy continues to be passed on!)

In, If Chins Could Kill, one of the highlights is the section on the making of Evil Dead.  How they did so much with so little, how Campbell would come home every morning dowsed in syrupy fake blood while church goers would stare at him, and, of course, detailed notes about "Shemping" a low budget movie.

If Chins Could Kill came out in 2001, so if you haven't read it I don't know what the hell you're waiting for.  Still, there could be unenlightened among us who have not read it just as someone who counts Bruce Campbell as her second love didn't watch Evil Dead until the late 2000s (shame face).  I suggest it for Bruce Campbell fans, diehard or otherwise, but also for the beginning film-maker.  You get to see the ingenuity that went into making a horror movie on no budget.  Also, you see how Hercules and Xena basically home-grew a film industry in New Zealand.  There's a lot to learn from his sections about almost being "The Phantom" and the desperate attempts to keep Brisco on the air, which included Rodeo visits.  It's a fun, delightful read.  Also, there are pictures.  Pictures of Bruce Campbell.

And, after reading all about the making of Evil Dead.  I got the courage to watch it, figuring that since I knew all the behind the scenes info I wouldn't be scared.  Finally, I could be a true Bruce Campbell fan!

I didn't sleep at all that night.

I give If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B-movie Actor 5 chins out of five.

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