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If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor [Paperback]

Bruce Campbell
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 24 2002
Okay, so at least you're interested enough to pick up this book and look inside. I think you and I are going to get along just fine.

Life is full of choices. Right now, yours is whether or not to buy the autobiography of a mid-grade, kind of hammy actor.

Am I supposed to know this guy? you think to yourself.

No, and that's exactly the point. Bookstores are chock full of household name actors and their high stakes shenanigans. I don't want to be a spoilsport, but we've all been down that road before.

Case in point: look to your left - see that Judy Garland book? You don't need that, you know plenty about her already - great voice, crappy life. Now look to your right at the Charlton Heston book. You don't need to cough up hard-earned dough for that either. You know his story too - great voice, crappy toupee.

The truth is that though you might not have a clue who I am, there are countless working stiffs like me out there, grinding away every day at the wheel of fortune.

If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor is my first book, and I invite you to ride with me through the choppy waters of blue collar Hollywood.

Okay, so buy the damned book already and read like the wind!

Best,
Bruce Campbell

P.S. If the book sucks, at least there are gobs of pictures, and they're not crammed in the middle like all those other actor books.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Though it offers few revelations about the details of Campbell's personal life, this entertaining and witty Hollywood memoir combines his life story with how-to guidance on making independent films and becoming a pop culture cult hero. Campbell began working in show business as a teenager, and in high school became friends with future director Sam Raimi, with whom he eventually co-produced the 1982 cult horror hit Evil Dead, in which Campbell starred. Despite his wry, modest sense of humor Campbell recognizes the peculiar place that Evil Dead holds in contemporary culture he sincerely conveys the enormous commitment and work that went into making and marketing the movie. By the time he describes the film's premiere, Campbell's sense of triumph is palpable: we share his excitement when the film makes back its money and by 2000 becomes number three on the all-time video charts after Lady and the Tramp and Titanic. When Campbell isn't starring in new films like Evil Dead II and Moontrap, he is desperately often hilariously looking for investors for his new projects. His subtitle aside, Campbell's career has gone mainstream: he has appeared in Homicide and Ellen, is a regular on Hercules and Xena, and has started directing as well. (June)Forecast: While a boon to film cultists and to Campbell's many fans, this book also has enough insights and smarts to appeal to readers with a serious interest in popular culture. A planned author tour and national print advertising will help it capitalize on Campbell's cult following.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

This engaging memoir offers much more than the standard, glamorous "and then I did..." show business autobiography. In an informal and entertaining style, Campbell describes his suburban childhood in 1950s Detroit, his introduction to acting at 13 via a summer stock production of The King and I, his involvement in theatrics and an 8mm movie production in high school, a semester-long foray into higher education, and his adult career as an actor. A large portion of the work is devoted to his friendship and working relationship with director Sam Raimi, who was a high school classmate and whose successful film Evil Dead brought them both to public attention. The book offers insights into the world of independent filmmaking and the life of a "B" actor, but most importantly it succeeds as an evocative memoir that allows the reader to know Campbell. Highly recommended for large public and academic libraries with film collections. Bruce Henson, Georgia Tech Lib., Atlanta
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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There is an L-shaped scar on the left side of my chin. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book for the fans July 13 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this for my boyfriend who is a Bruce Campbell Fan, and he just love's it. He always get's a giggle when he reads it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars If Chins Could Kill April 19 2010
Format:Paperback
Bruce Campbell (the Evil Dead Guy) has injected his book with the same kind of cool that infects his movies. Even if you don't know who Bruce Cambell is, if you care about movies and want some insite into how low budget "B" movies get made, then this book is a must read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Fairly basic summary with no real suprises Feb. 15 2007
By dejesko
Format:Hardcover
Straight forward simple read that never dove too deep into any one topic, save maybe the detail regarding the first evil dead movie and his childhood. If your looking for lots of info on Herc/Xena, or Bruce "shooting" about anything or anyone, you won't find it here- He dosen't ever really seem to "break face" and that's OK, something to be said for that really. He should get four stars for printing a nasty e-mail he got at some point, that really was a gut-buster, and I'd bet no one else in the Biz would have the parts to ever print! It shows he is a five star guy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worth A Look! Very Entertaining. June 26 2005
Format:Paperback
If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B-Movie Actor, isn't one of those cheesy, tell it all autobiographies as told by vain, has been stars. This is a book about a regular guy in the extraordinary world of showbiz. But instead of the grandeur that usually accompanies a movie star's lavish lifestyle, this is just a guy working day to day as "a working stiff actor". So gone are the images of free crap bestowed upon stars, rides upon private airplanes, or jet setting to all places of the world. This is just a guy relaying his experiences in the Hollywood system, which has made him a veteran.
First, a little info about the subject which is Bruce Campbell. Most likely, he's the guy who would prompt you to say "Isn't that what's his face?" He's the fellow who popped up in The Hudsucker Proxy, Spiderman, and "Ellen". Not the guy you would remember from abysmal fare like Assault on Dome 4 or Ice Rink. But what he's best known as, is being the star of the Evil Dead trilogy, about one kick butt superhero fighting evil demon possessed people in three movies. But while these movies are total cult status, you may have a little difficulty remembering him if not for the flash of a screen, which most of his mainstream roles usually consist of. Either way, he's a good actor, or shall I say, character actor and probably more worthy of getting better work than a lot of other stars today.
If Chins Could Kill is so much an autobiography as it is an opportunity to opine about the state of the industry. Campbell relays all his personal experiences from growing up a child of community theater, to eventually starring in his own vehicle (which unfortunately would flop). He talks about the delights of his Michigan childhood, his divorce, his movies, and other projects he has coming up.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and Hysterical July 3 2004
Format:Paperback
Bruce Campbell has done a magnificent job of writing his autobiography with a twinkle in his eye. He covers his life in Suburban Detroit with his family and his future co-workers in the Evil Dead. What comes across is a man that both loves his craft as well as understands his position in the "B" list position of Hollywood. Campbell Spends a great deal of time writing about his experiences from both the Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2. The movie is fun to watch, but it certainly not fun to make. Campbell gives an inside look at the whole process and how unglamorous it actually is. Campbell also writes how tough the acting life is on families. He writes about his divorce and why she left him. He also writes about how there are long periods of time between the work and dealing with this. He does not name names as some books do on the dirt, but he does mention some of his personal peeves of some actors and if you know the movies he writes about, you can figure out the actor. Mostly this book is alot of fun, full of pictures, and it is truly a nice way of passing time. Highly Recommended
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4.0 out of 5 stars Your Antidote to Hollywood Memoirs June 22 2004
Format:Paperback
Bruce Campbell has etched an incredible career for himself, but by popular Hollywood standards, he's still on the lower rung - a "B" actor as he proudly calls himself. This status has stuck him in low-budget films and somewhat trashy television shows. However, Campbell has a large and (obsessively) devoted fanbase. The beginning of most chapters start with a strange e-mail he received from one of his fans, ranging from marriage proposals to an invitation to a girl's senior prom.
Campbell keeps this light-hearted feeling throughout the book, which makes it incredibly accessible for those not looking to get into the nitty gritty of a huge Hollywood star. He is not a star, nor does he have much in the realm of personal details to share. It's his technically detailed and hilarious explanations on how "Evil Dead" and "Evil Dead II" were made that give this book an added flair for budding filmmakers. His experiences on the set prove to be inspiring and touching - a lesson for all those who harbor self-doubt in the face of daunting tasks.
Though I'm not a fan of "Hercules" or "Xena" by any means, I really enjoyed his briefly on-air television show, "The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.," and that is where my Campbell fascination began. Then I saw his "Evil Dead" films, and, being a horror fan as well as a huge admirer of Sam Raimi's directorial aesthetic, my love for Campbell was solidified. His campy, overacted performances in those films directly match his writing style, which makes for an entertaining read.
I recommend this book for all those interested in film, or anyone that wants to celebrate a proud B-grade actor who is hasn't been given the chances of many other A-list stars. Just to hear how happy he is with his near-inadequacy is enough to drive an artist to never give up hope in the face of intimidating Hollywood pillars.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book ever written
this is the best book i've ever read from the best actor to ever grace god's green earth, i can't wait to read your next one Mr. Campbell, keep up all your amazing work!
Published on Oct. 29 2005 by Deimos
5.0 out of 5 stars I laughed, I cried...
Well, I laughed mostly. Still, thinking back to my college days when I did a lot of work in film, I did feel like crying on occasion. I think it was sympathy pains. Read more
Published on May 24 2004 by Eric D. Knapp
5.0 out of 5 stars Cult Classic Icon
If they handed out an award for Cult Classic movies or television Bruce Campbell would be on the trophy.
This is a great read, you learn alot about Bruce. Read more
Published on May 19 2004 by Kevin G. Pitchford
5.0 out of 5 stars Bruce reveals the working man behind Ash/Brisco.
Bruce Campbell relates the humor filled story of how he and a bunch of friends turned their hobby into an actual career. Read more
Published on April 24 2004 by Chadwick H. Saxelid
5.0 out of 5 stars It was great!
I've been a fan of Bruce Campbell's for years, but still wasn't sure how much I would like this book. It turned out that I absolutely loved it! It was so funny! Read more
Published on April 14 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars "groovy"
this book is awesome i brought it and read it in one week acually twice. well this book is great for all you campbell fans you'll know hes so funny and just bruce. Read more
Published on April 7 2004 by Jennifer Preble
4.0 out of 5 stars A little rough around the edges, but charming anyway
Just in case my biases weren't clear up front, I'm a big fan of the Evil Dead series (Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, and Army of Darkness) and by proxy, the gents who worked on it (the... Read more
Published on March 22 2004 by Michael J. Tresca
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