September 25, 2008 | Comments ()

By Brian Prisco | Books | September 25, 2008 |


I usually don’t care for memoirs or autobiographies of people who are middle-aged. Especially actors. It’s like, seriously kid? You’re going to tell me about your life when most of it isn’t over yet? Why should I care about how you were destined for fame and you made it?

But this. Well this is fucking Bruce Campbell. It’s neat reading about his exploits, because the book is done in his typical self-deprecating, blue-collar folksy charm. I imagine the entire thing being read from behind a piano while wearing a smoking jacket. It’s got that cadence and that lack of total bullshit.

Bruce Campbell was not a cool kid. He was a dork, awkward, who liked to torment his neighbors, run around causing trouble (but not jacking cars, more like hitting trucks with water balloons) and was lame with the ladies. He and his friends used to make stupid films with a Super 8. It helps that one of his friends was Sam Raimi.

In fact, that’s the neat part, is watching all of his catalog grow alongside his friendship with Raimi, who was also influential in getting the Coen Brothers their start. Bruce admits he made bad movies, which is nice.

He’s also less of a bullshitter about his acting. He doesn’t pretend to be method, and he mocks people that have trouble releasing their characters. He bitches about how hard the process is, how much the Hollywood machine sucks, and how annoying and frustrating the acting/filmmaking life can be. But you also feel how grateful he is to be a part of it. He knows he’s lucky, and he’s worked hard to get where he’s at. He’s scraped and scrimped, worked shit jobs, divorced wives, and almost died to get movies made. The entire process of making Evil Dead — all three in fact — are hilarious.

It’s like listening to the commentary on Swingers. They set out to make a movie like four guys jerking around with their friends. And that’s what they make. I like reading stuff like this, about how the industry is bullshit, but if you work hard, you might make it. You can have a career without being an asshole, and without letting the LA culture eat you alive.

It gives me hope. It makes me want to pick up my pen and my camcorder and start working again. I’ve been going through a crisis of faith out here. Is it worth working my shitty job if I’m not writing? What’s the point of crapping all over shitty movies if I’m not making movies of my own? Why should I bother being in L.A. if I don’t get it enjoy myself? Do I really want to subject myself to all this rejection? Am I strong enough to handle this? Do I have the talent, and does it matter?

Bruce Campbell didn’t have my answers. But if you’re a fan of his work (and why wouldn’t you be — motherfucker was in my favorite Coen Brothers’ movie of all time) definitely pick this up. I’ll probably be getting Make Love The Bruce Campbell Way soon.

This review is part of the Cannonball Read series. You can read more about it, here.

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100 Books in One Year #7: If Chins Could Kill by Bruce Campbell

Cannonball Read / Brian Prisco

Books | September 25, 2008 | Comments ()



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