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If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor

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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 house 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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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 house 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.

30 review for If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor

  1. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    This book is refreshing in many, many ways--how to count them? For one, it is refreshing to see ample proof of the rumors that Bruce Campbell is a friendly and considerate man--how pleasant it is to see an autobiography of someone in the movie biz who seems as concerned about the crew and those he has worked with as with relating the story of his own climb. Campbell shows a real fascination for the process of filming stories as with his own stardom. A lot of time in this book is spent on the mak This book is refreshing in many, many ways--how to count them? For one, it is refreshing to see ample proof of the rumors that Bruce Campbell is a friendly and considerate man--how pleasant it is to see an autobiography of someone in the movie biz who seems as concerned about the crew and those he has worked with as with relating the story of his own climb. Campbell shows a real fascination for the process of filming stories as with his own stardom. A lot of time in this book is spent on the making of the first _Evil Dead_, and with good reason, since this was his gateway into the celebrity he has achieved, but it seems that the making of some other movies gets rushed through a little bit--but this is merely personal preference. Had I my druthers, I would have signed Campbell to a three-volume deal, but it's clear that Campbell is not taking the stance of a bigwig gracing the little people with details into his personal life, and that's another refreshing item about this book, in that it is full of warm self-deprecation and even a little bit of amazement at where he has come to. From the blurbs on the back of the book, it will become apparent that Campbell has a good sense of his fanbase and wants to communicate with both the avid reader and the not-so avid. It is also refreshing to hear how Campbell aspires towards serious acting as well as appreciating the fun of doing _Hercules_, because it shows how Campbell has branched out into his own style of actor. Rather than be easily categorized into A or B, Campbell has spawned a brand new creature, a whole new blood type of actor: AB+. His role as Elvis in _Bubba Ho-Tep_ is probably the best example of this: the movie is of course quite a lark and laugh--an aged Elvis pairs with a delusional black JFK to combat a cowboy-hat-sporting mummy who has been sucking out old people's through their anuses (ani?)--but there are also some tender moments with the King and his desire to redeem himself and his legacy. Campbell has achieved the status of being an actor who may be mostly known for B-grade movies, but conveys himself in this book to have a more than A-grade wit and personality, and this is hands-down the best autobiography of a star I have ever read. To be honest, I don't think I've ever been able to finish any star's autobiography, simply because of the smarm and conceit that laces the pages, and my simple nauseating ethics than keep making me wonder if this person really NEEDS me to contribute another dozen bucks or so to his or her estate. But Campbell has earned my money, and I read this book with great pleasure. Were I to pursue acting, I would want a career like Campbell's, though I would hope that some tips in the book would get me past some of the bumps in the road...but maybe the bumps in the road were things that helped Campbell keep his ego in check and helped him to be the wise and compassionate man that he is. Don't cheat Bruce--BUY THIS BOOK. Forget signing it out from the library--own your own, and be comforted that you're giving your money to someone who deserves it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    I like the Evil Dead movies, and the campy humor of Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness are my favorites. I really liked The Adventures of Brisco County Jr when I was younger, too. I don't know why, really, except that it was on TV and stuff. I don't remember much about it except the title. Whatever, I liked it. Bruce Campbell is like Stephen King in that the thing that he's best known and most loved for happened super early in his career. King has The Shining and The Stand, his two big hits, and B I like the Evil Dead movies, and the campy humor of Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness are my favorites. I really liked The Adventures of Brisco County Jr when I was younger, too. I don't know why, really, except that it was on TV and stuff. I don't remember much about it except the title. Whatever, I liked it. Bruce Campbell is like Stephen King in that the thing that he's best known and most loved for happened super early in his career. King has The Shining and The Stand, his two big hits, and Bruce Campbell has the Evil Dead franchise and Brisco County Jr. But other than those things, I probably couldn't have named one other thing that Bruce Campbell was in. But looking at his IMDB page, it's like a mile long. Go figure. He's been in everything! Or close to it. And he talks about much of it in this book. I couldn't really rate this 5 stars though, because there were some parts of it that I was just like "Ehhh, ok then" about - like a lot of the stuff about his childhood with his brothers, which was funny at times, but didn't really interest me much. I wanted to know about his work, not how many toy soldiers he mutilated. But man, the work stuff was good, especially about the start of his career and Evil Dead. So fascinating. I really enjoyed it. Anyway, pretty good book. Bruce is charming and relateable and funny, and I loved how he started each section with fan or hate mail. Ya can't please 'em all! :D

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    I finally got all the Quarry books & was dying to read them, so why did I read this instead? Am I a FAN? A Deadite? Yeah, sort of. I've loved the Evil Dead movies since... well, a really long time, and I've liked Bruce Campbell's acting. He doesn't seem to take himself too seriously & his on-screen sense of humor seems to mesh well with mine. After reading this book, I understand why. Let me qualify this by saying I'm not much for following actors or famous people. When I heard Mel Gibson got a I finally got all the Quarry books & was dying to read them, so why did I read this instead? Am I a FAN? A Deadite? Yeah, sort of. I've loved the Evil Dead movies since... well, a really long time, and I've liked Bruce Campbell's acting. He doesn't seem to take himself too seriously & his on-screen sense of humor seems to mesh well with mine. After reading this book, I understand why. Let me qualify this by saying I'm not much for following actors or famous people. When I heard Mel Gibson got a DUI, I shrugged & flipped the channel. I've seen plenty of drunks go back out & that saddens me, but I really don't care about his personal life - it's none of my business. It's not like he's a friend or anything. I watch his movies for entertainment - nothing else. If you like the typical glitzy Hollywood story, this isn't for you. Campbell writes, "St. Martin's Press, in their wisdom/foolishness decided to give me a shot on this tale of Hollywood's unrecognized lower middle class." He succeeded in showing that to me. From the importance of the guy that cleans up the lot to all the techs & extras. I was also surprised by the breadth of his experience & the number of roles he has had. Very cool. I was quite surprised by some of the things he was subjected to, often because his boyhood friend, Sam Raimi (Spiderman director) was delighting in torturing him while in the throes of yet another artistic vision & short on cash. I can't wait to watch the ED trilogy again with the knowledge that this book imparted. It was a neat glimpse into Raimi's early career, too. Great directors & actors don't spring out of the earth, but work their tails off & are gambling the whole way. It gives me a new respect for them. Self-employment is scary enough. To do it in the face of the whimsical executives of Hollywood is down right terrifying. To have a sense of humor about it is just fantastic. Campbell has both my thanks for all the entertainment he's provided me & my respect for having the courage to make a decent living in this weird industry. Check him out at http://www.bruce-campbell.com/

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    This is a good book. It's a "pre-Burn Notice" "memoir" from Bruce Campbell (the only person to ever "almost" convince me to try Old Spice). I'm not big on "showbiz", movie-star, "my climb to fame" or "my crash from fame" books. That's not what this is. It's just what Campbell says it is, the story of a "work-a-day actor"...and it includes a lot of laughs. I think I was sold on this book early on as I could identify with a lot of the "childhood" stories BC related here. (When I was a kid the "gree This is a good book. It's a "pre-Burn Notice" "memoir" from Bruce Campbell (the only person to ever "almost" convince me to try Old Spice). I'm not big on "showbiz", movie-star, "my climb to fame" or "my crash from fame" books. That's not what this is. It's just what Campbell says it is, the story of a "work-a-day actor"...and it includes a lot of laughs. I think I was sold on this book early on as I could identify with a lot of the "childhood" stories BC related here. (When I was a kid the "green army-men" were made of a different plastic than they are today. In fielding "realistic battles" it was at times necessary to use actual fire...in secret of course as parents didn't seem to understand the need and felt playing with matches [the ones you'd sneaked out of that drawer in the kitchen you weren't supposed to get into] was "dangerous". Silly huh? Anyway, Campbell mentions the great zzzllliiippp noise that the burning plastic made as it dripped... Oh and the way if leaves a lasting impression when the burning plastic lands on, and sticks to skin. [I almost burned our barn down once while fielding a battle. Happily I managed to "stomp the flames out before they got much more than a foot...or two high. Other than the smell of smoke which I allowed to "air out" of my clothes before I went back inside later in the evening I was barely singed and my parents never knew about the "near disaster". Childhood ain't what it used to be.]) I'm apparently about the same age as Campbell's oldest brother. Like him I was (and really I suppose still am) a Man From U.N.C.L.E. fan, like BC I liked the TV show Combat...I adventured outside with fireworks, sharp objects, personal building projects and other assorted life and limb risking projects. While not a big fan of many of his films (I was never really a Deadite) I do like others and find his take here interesting, readable and often humorous. Pretty good read. Oh, I almost forgot... Groovy.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    November 14, the race began. Right from the get go, filming was a comedy of errors, or terrors, if you will. Within minutes of leaving for the first location, an abandoned bridge, the production van got lost and we spent a half-hour trying to locate it. No sooner had we found it than Sam drove his “Classic” into a ditch and we had to get a towtruck to haul it out. The next location was an isolated dirt road. Sam felt that a high, wide shot would be best. We weren’t versed in the etiquette of loc November 14, the race began. Right from the get go, filming was a comedy of errors, or terrors, if you will. Within minutes of leaving for the first location, an abandoned bridge, the production van got lost and we spent a half-hour trying to locate it. No sooner had we found it than Sam drove his “Classic” into a ditch and we had to get a towtruck to haul it out. The next location was an isolated dirt road. Sam felt that a high, wide shot would be best. We weren’t versed in the etiquette of location shooting, so no effort was made to get permission of any kind. We just hopped the fence and set up the camera. Things were going pretty well, until Josh spotted a large bull glaring at the crew. "Sam... there’s a bull,” Josh stated, flatly. “Yeah, hang on,” Sam replied, focused on the shot at hand. “No, Sam, you don’t get it. The bull is coming this way.” Sam got it in a hurry and he was chased about a hundred yards by the angry bovine. Man, what next? I thought. A cliff was next. About two hours later, Brother Don, scouting for an additional vantage point, lost his footing and tumbled headfirst off a nearby cliff. Apparently he was well enough to get up under his own power, but he was taken to the hospital for some tests. Other than that, day one was very productive. A week later, shooting a night scene at the same bridge location, Sam had a little run-in with a tree branch. A construction winch was drawn around the side of the bridge to bend a steel girder into position. Unbeknownst to anyone, the cable was also around a large tree branch that promptly snapped when tension was applied to the cable. It flattened Sam—a limb of easily fifty pounds. He staggered back and sat on the wrecker, dazed. "Sam, you okay?” I asked. “Why wouldn’t I be?” he asked back, a blank look on his face. At first glance he seemed fine, but upon closer inspection he was pale, his lips werewhite and crusty, and a small amount of blood trickled from his left nostril. “Well, you don’t look so good. What the hell happened?” “Oh, I just needed to sit down for a... for a little bit...” With that, he rallied himself and carried on shooting. On the way home that night, he passed out cold. During the next three months, Evil Dead left a path of destruction through the South as wide as Sherman’s march to the sea. Among other things, we destroyed the paint job of a white pickup truck, bent the housing of our 16mm camera, ripped the roof off a rental truck with the help of a low-slung tree branch, and crushed the septic system of my folks’ house in northern Michigan. 3 1/2 stars

  6. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Ryan

    This is a review of the audiobook version - The King of the Bs takes a breezey, light-hearted trip down memory lane. Anecdote rich and often funny, this account covers Bruce's career up until 2001, from his early years making Super 8 shorts with Sam Raimi and Robert Taipert, through the arduous but ultimately career launching production of The Evil Dead and on through the occasional ups and frequent downs of life as a member of 'the Hollywood lower-middle class'. Hercules and Xena fans will find This is a review of the audiobook version - The King of the Bs takes a breezey, light-hearted trip down memory lane. Anecdote rich and often funny, this account covers Bruce's career up until 2001, from his early years making Super 8 shorts with Sam Raimi and Robert Taipert, through the arduous but ultimately career launching production of The Evil Dead and on through the occasional ups and frequent downs of life as a member of 'the Hollywood lower-middle class'. Hercules and Xena fans will find plenty to enjoy in the later chapters and the addendum provides an insight into the difficulties of undertaking a book-tour in the aftermath of 9/11.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Karla

    I have no idea why I requested this book through library loan so many years ago. Perhaps it was fate. I don't think I'd seen Evil Dead yet. Maybe I'd heard about the legendary Bruce Campbell and wondered what the hype was all about. No doubt I'd seen some Xena episodes and fell madly in love with Autolychus. At any rate, and needless to say, I've been a fan of BRUCE ever since. My overwhelming memory of this book is that I'd had eye surgery and couldn't read, so I had it read to me while I lay in I have no idea why I requested this book through library loan so many years ago. Perhaps it was fate. I don't think I'd seen Evil Dead yet. Maybe I'd heard about the legendary Bruce Campbell and wondered what the hype was all about. No doubt I'd seen some Xena episodes and fell madly in love with Autolychus. At any rate, and needless to say, I've been a fan of BRUCE ever since. My overwhelming memory of this book is that I'd had eye surgery and couldn't read, so I had it read to me while I lay in a dark room feeling sorry for myself. And both of us kept giggling from all the funneh. I remember that more than what was in the book, which I still know was epic and awesome and on par with Holy Writ.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Joey Marcus

    So I met Bruce Campbell. He came to my high school because it was close to where he and Sam Rami would make 8mm films back when they were kids. Infact, areas that I grew up in were actually in the book. I have read a handful of biographies and most of them at some point were pompous and these writers spoke about themselves in a way to separate themselves from common people... with that said Bruce does not do that. He does not see himself as a huge star and pokes fun at himself along the way. His So I met Bruce Campbell. He came to my high school because it was close to where he and Sam Rami would make 8mm films back when they were kids. Infact, areas that I grew up in were actually in the book. I have read a handful of biographies and most of them at some point were pompous and these writers spoke about themselves in a way to separate themselves from common people... with that said Bruce does not do that. He does not see himself as a huge star and pokes fun at himself along the way. His ups and downs, his friends and family. This Bio is something unlike anything else ever written because it seems that Bruce is just a common man whos done common things in a uncommon way.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Davie

    After hearing Bruce kick all this @$$ on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, was reminded to put this on at the top of the to-reads. Having been raised on the Evil Dead (culminating in my official designation by Bruce Campbell himself as the "#1 fan", in writing, on my VHS copy), I was excited to read those parts of the book, and Bruce didn't disappoint. Fake blood recipe, dentist investment cabal, and all. What I wasn't expecting, and really enjoyed, were the origin stories about himself, his group of chil After hearing Bruce kick all this @$$ on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, was reminded to put this on at the top of the to-reads. Having been raised on the Evil Dead (culminating in my official designation by Bruce Campbell himself as the "#1 fan", in writing, on my VHS copy), I was excited to read those parts of the book, and Bruce didn't disappoint. Fake blood recipe, dentist investment cabal, and all. What I wasn't expecting, and really enjoyed, were the origin stories about himself, his group of childhood friends, and the other humble film aspirants they met along the way (including the Raimi and Coen brothers). The amount of work they put in, their relentless curiosity about all stages of the process, their willingness to put themselves out there no matter how undignified the situation to keep learning, experimenting, and keeping one ear peeled to hear opportunity knocking -- it would have fit very nicely into "The 10,000 hour rule" chapter of Outliers. That kind of spunk would have made me dig Bruce Campbell even if his good humor, wit, Evil Dead pedigree, and bite-sized chapter layout hadn't already done the job. Bruce, you had me at hello.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Chetley

    Excellent. Of course it's funny. Of course it's brilliant. But here's the rub. Campbell has starred in B-movies, been a bit actor in blockbusters, and has also both directed and written for film/t.v. Even more, his first films are on Super-8. Shot by himself and a group of friends, including Sam Raimi (Spiderman), starting at the ages of 18-21. The book outlines the gangs' career from their garage,s to raising their own money for theatrically released independent films (Evil Dead et al), to bein Excellent. Of course it's funny. Of course it's brilliant. But here's the rub. Campbell has starred in B-movies, been a bit actor in blockbusters, and has also both directed and written for film/t.v. Even more, his first films are on Super-8. Shot by himself and a group of friends, including Sam Raimi (Spiderman), starting at the ages of 18-21. The book outlines the gangs' career from their garage,s to raising their own money for theatrically released independent films (Evil Dead et al), to being given $$$ budget by the big movie houses for Hollywood smash hits (Spiderman, Quick and the Dead). Also, Campbell's career and commentary covers the surprisingly very different world of television (Hercules, Xena). The man has perspective and a wealth of knowledge to go along with it. Even if a reader isn't a fan of Campbell's, his behind the scenes look at a bit actor's life, director's life, television vs film actor's life, and the PROCESS of making film and television productions is fascinating. Book also includes Evil Dead's homemade recipe for fake blood.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Melissa McShane

    I first read this when it came out back in 2002 and was charmed by Campbell's presentation and humor. I'm not an Evil Dead fan--I think I've only seen Army of Darkness--but the story of how that first film was made wowed me. And the book only got better from there. (I was one of Brisco County, Jr.'s only fans, and I was upset when it was cancelled. And Autolycus was my second favorite thing about Xena and Hercules, right after Joxer the Mighty. So there's my fangirl cred right there.) Fast forwar I first read this when it came out back in 2002 and was charmed by Campbell's presentation and humor. I'm not an Evil Dead fan--I think I've only seen Army of Darkness--but the story of how that first film was made wowed me. And the book only got better from there. (I was one of Brisco County, Jr.'s only fans, and I was upset when it was cancelled. And Autolycus was my second favorite thing about Xena and Hercules, right after Joxer the Mighty. So there's my fangirl cred right there.) Fast forward almost twenty years, and I'm telling my kids about the book. One of them said, "You should see if there's an audiobook--I bet he reads it himself." And there is. And he does. So I listened to it this time, and was charmed all over again. Campbell occasionally drops in comments about what's changed since he wrote the book; I can't remember when he did the audiobook, but I think it was 2014 or 2015, right in the middle of Burn Notice. So the comments are fairly up to date. At any rate, I think this is my very favorite celebrity autobiography, because it's the story of someone who has a great career without ever quite reaching A-list status. Campbell has been involved in many different aspects of filmmaking and television, including directing, and his insider's take is refreshing as well as funny. I bought the sequel, Hail to the Chin: Further Confessions of a B Movie Actor, and now I have to decide if I'm going to read it, or get the audiobook as well. I'm a fangirl. Probably both.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Eli Hornyak

    Great book! Bruce Campbell's storytelling of how he made it in the behind the scenes of Hollywood was funny and entertaining. Even if you don't know who Bruce Campbell is (which I know you've seen him in something) read this book. Great book! Bruce Campbell's storytelling of how he made it in the behind the scenes of Hollywood was funny and entertaining. Even if you don't know who Bruce Campbell is (which I know you've seen him in something) read this book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    Love it. Listened this one on audio and it was very cool to hear Bruce read his book (with the occasional update). I am a big fan of Bruce’s movies and it was cool to hear him talk about some behind the scenes stuff and how him and some of his friends, like Sam Raimi, got started.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    Unusually modest, self-depreciating account of the ups and downs of (near) stardom, charged with wit and even a kind of glee. Groovy.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tor.com Publishing

    It's Bruce Campbell. 'nuff said. If you need more, suffice to say that I still to this day paraphrase anecdotes from the bit about filming Evil Dead (I &II)... --MK It's Bruce Campbell. 'nuff said. If you need more, suffice to say that I still to this day paraphrase anecdotes from the bit about filming Evil Dead (I &II)... --MK

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

    If you are not clear right now on who Bruce Campbell (the actor) is, then you don't need to read this. Bruce Campbell has a bit of a cult following from a number of things he's done (Evil Dead / Army of Darkness, Brisco County Jr., Xena, and possibly even Burn Notice even if that happened after the time covered in this memoir), and if you were a fan of his you'd know. That said, possibly you are just generically interested in how someone with no direct connection to Hollywood becomes a B-level a If you are not clear right now on who Bruce Campbell (the actor) is, then you don't need to read this. Bruce Campbell has a bit of a cult following from a number of things he's done (Evil Dead / Army of Darkness, Brisco County Jr., Xena, and possibly even Burn Notice even if that happened after the time covered in this memoir), and if you were a fan of his you'd know. That said, possibly you are just generically interested in how someone with no direct connection to Hollywood becomes a B-level actor? Bruce's first chapters are a bit stilted and rough and it's pretty clear he's finding his voice a bit. It doesn't matter a ton -- most people's childhoods are not that interesting -- but it takes some work to get to the point where it's less work to read. The writing remains choppy, but it's readable and conversational. Campbell reveals some things that are definitely of interest. I'm always interested in what the life of an actor is like (how movies are made when it's winter and what kinds of things have to happen behind the scenes to make a movie), including what kind of variation there is to actors' behavior (Bruce mentions a few actors who stay on the set even when they don't have to, and some who disappear into their trailer as soon as the director yells cut). He talks about how some actors memorize their lines completely and how some almost don't at all, and how it took four years to make his first movie and some time after that before it broke even, money-wise. If you enjoyed this kind of information from Cary Elwes' As You Wish or Penny Marshall's My Mother Was Nuts, you might also like it here. Bruce is personable and seems like a very nice guy. He also seems to have his feet on the ground; you can tell in some actors' memoirs their idea of reality and normal behavior is not the same as most peoples', and Bruce isn't like that. I look forward to the sequel!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    This was a great book. I desperately want him to write one about his time doing Xena and Hercules. The start of the book was a little slow. I just wanted him to hurry up and get to the good stuff. There were many, many times in the book that made me laugh out loud. He is such a character, you can easily hear his voice telling these hilarious stories. After reading this, I realized I would never want to read a book about the celebrity gods of Hollywood. The reason it was so good was because it wa This was a great book. I desperately want him to write one about his time doing Xena and Hercules. The start of the book was a little slow. I just wanted him to hurry up and get to the good stuff. There were many, many times in the book that made me laugh out loud. He is such a character, you can easily hear his voice telling these hilarious stories. After reading this, I realized I would never want to read a book about the celebrity gods of Hollywood. The reason it was so good was because it was about a man who loved something so much, he didn't care how small a part he played in it; he just wanted to get in there and do it. No job in front or even behind the camera was too small for him. The final product was what was most important to him. He loved the process and growing and learning and being a part of the fun. I love that. I didn't mean to talk about him in the past tense. He's still around, fighting Evil Dead on Starz. This book made me want to track down all his movies. Because now I know what he went through in each one.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    I've never really loved "Evil Dead" or many of Bruce Campbell's other movies. ("Bubba Ho-Tep," however, is totally awesome.) I would kind of smile and nod whenever Jim or one of my other guy friends would talk about how great Bruce Campbell was. And I only read "If Chins Could Kill" because I felt like I had to. It turned out to be a great book, and it gave me a lot of respect for Bruce Campbell as a person and an actor. Campbell has truly worked his way up from the bottom (I don't think it gets mu I've never really loved "Evil Dead" or many of Bruce Campbell's other movies. ("Bubba Ho-Tep," however, is totally awesome.) I would kind of smile and nod whenever Jim or one of my other guy friends would talk about how great Bruce Campbell was. And I only read "If Chins Could Kill" because I felt like I had to. It turned out to be a great book, and it gave me a lot of respect for Bruce Campbell as a person and an actor. Campbell has truly worked his way up from the bottom (I don't think it gets much lower than community theater in Michigan), and he really understands all aspects of theater and film because he's done every crappy job in the two industries. He's truly struggled to get where he is. And he's good at what he does. And he treats everyone along the way with respect. You don't get much greater than that.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shira Karp

    I took this book out of the library on recommendation from a friend, but wasn't really expecting much out of it. Sure, I love Bruce Campbell as much as the next Hercules/Xena/Spiderman movies fan does, but I usually find these autobiographies dry and boring, filled with technical details of things I just don't care about. As much as I love memoirs, if it's in the autobiography section (as this was), I shy away. But I underestimated Bruce. Is that technical stuff in there? Sure it is, but he KNOW I took this book out of the library on recommendation from a friend, but wasn't really expecting much out of it. Sure, I love Bruce Campbell as much as the next Hercules/Xena/Spiderman movies fan does, but I usually find these autobiographies dry and boring, filled with technical details of things I just don't care about. As much as I love memoirs, if it's in the autobiography section (as this was), I shy away. But I underestimated Bruce. Is that technical stuff in there? Sure it is, but he KNOWS how boring it is to readers and finds a way to make it entertaining. The whole book is just extremely endearing. I laughed my way through the entire thing and surprisingly learned a thing or two about film making in the process that I found interesting.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Stephan van der Linde

    The populair cult-hero Bruce Campbell, famous of his character 'Ash' in the Evil-Dead trilogy, describes in this biography his youth and happenings about the making of 'Evil Dead'. But also his share in some Xena-episodes. While reading you will find a lot of (funny) pictures of Bruce himself, but also drawings made in his youth, in fact.. a lot of various pictures/photo's prominent throughout the book. This is wrote with the humour you can expect of Bruce. I liked it and every fan of The Evil Dead The populair cult-hero Bruce Campbell, famous of his character 'Ash' in the Evil-Dead trilogy, describes in this biography his youth and happenings about the making of 'Evil Dead'. But also his share in some Xena-episodes. While reading you will find a lot of (funny) pictures of Bruce himself, but also drawings made in his youth, in fact.. a lot of various pictures/photo's prominent throughout the book. This is wrote with the humour you can expect of Bruce. I liked it and every fan of The Evil Dead (like me) really must like this as well. You will have another look at the movie, when you know how it's made and in which conditions :) And for the one's who like this book, I can recommend the movie "My Name Is Bruce" as well.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Clausen

    It's been several years now since I've read this book. But what I remember most about it is the brutal honesty and tongue and cheek approach to that Campbell took toward his life and career. Most importantly, I remember reveling in some of the details involved in becoming a B-list icon. The way Campbell had to cold call prospective investors for the first Evil Dead movie; his time spent as a security guard after the Evil Dead movies. These are the details that make you feel such a strong connect It's been several years now since I've read this book. But what I remember most about it is the brutal honesty and tongue and cheek approach to that Campbell took toward his life and career. Most importantly, I remember reveling in some of the details involved in becoming a B-list icon. The way Campbell had to cold call prospective investors for the first Evil Dead movie; his time spent as a security guard after the Evil Dead movies. These are the details that make you feel such a strong connection with Campbell--it also helps the reader connect the person with the "every day persona" he displays on the screen.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Edgarr Alien Pooh

    Hey its the dude from Evil Dead writing about his life and his friend Sam Raimi (who went on to direct Spiderman) and how in college they made Evil Dead. No money, colored mashed potato for gore and eventually a funny horror movie too. This book is the same. A funny horror movie. Bruce is a funny man and his life sort of sucks but he'll tell you about it anyway. Loved it! Hey its the dude from Evil Dead writing about his life and his friend Sam Raimi (who went on to direct Spiderman) and how in college they made Evil Dead. No money, colored mashed potato for gore and eventually a funny horror movie too. This book is the same. A funny horror movie. Bruce is a funny man and his life sort of sucks but he'll tell you about it anyway. Loved it!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

    3.5-4 stars. A fun read overall for Evil Dead & B movie fans.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Thomas

    I’m not normally a pursuer of actor biographies but I made an exception for Bruce Campbell. I’ve seen him in a number of movies and TV shows including the Evil Dead franchise, Hercules/Xena, Brisco County Jr., and others. He’s always seemed like a pretty down-to-Earth guy and this autobiography, thankfully upheld that impression. Bruce doesn’t take himself too seriously which is a nice departure from most movie/TV stars. What really comes across in this book is a sense of a hardworking actor who I’m not normally a pursuer of actor biographies but I made an exception for Bruce Campbell. I’ve seen him in a number of movies and TV shows including the Evil Dead franchise, Hercules/Xena, Brisco County Jr., and others. He’s always seemed like a pretty down-to-Earth guy and this autobiography, thankfully upheld that impression. Bruce doesn’t take himself too seriously which is a nice departure from most movie/TV stars. What really comes across in this book is a sense of a hardworking actor who is content to steer away from the glamour and big money side of the business in favor of steady blue-collar work and the fun of working with people he knows and/or grew up with. A large part of this book is devoted to the Evil Dead movies, particularly the first one. Afterall, this was his very first movie made on a shoestring budget with buddy Sam Raimi when they were hardly more than teenagers. The details of their creativity and inventiveness was downright fascinating. It was really fun to read about how this group of childhood friends achieved their dreams of movie making. Quite a success story to think that they all ended up working in the business for many years, just the way they had dreamed of as kids. The book takes us up through the Hercules/Xena era ending around 2001. A follow-on book called Hail to the Chin: Further Confessions of a B Movie Actor picks up from there and covers the Burn Notice years and Ash vs Evil Dead among other things. Based on my enjoyment of this one, I’ll be turning to that one soonish.

  25. 4 out of 5

    TraceyL

    Read this quite a while back but must have forgotten to mark it as read. If you love Bruce Campbell and the Evil Dead franchise, you will love this book

  26. 5 out of 5

    Optimus

    One of the best autobiographies about one of my favorite actors. I loved it from beginning to end.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Charlie

    Groovy

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Griffin

    'If Chins Could Kill' is the biography of Bruce Campbell, star of the 'Evil Dead' movie series, TV's 'Brisco County Jr.,' and more. He has a cult following owing to his wise-cracking everyman hero persona. Barry Neville, Campbell's editor, writes the humorous foreword. In the introduction, Bruce dedicates the book to "the players on the second string, the "B" people," of which he includes himself as a member. The 2002 paperback edition also includes a 39-page addendum: 'Chins Across America, The 'If Chins Could Kill' is the biography of Bruce Campbell, star of the 'Evil Dead' movie series, TV's 'Brisco County Jr.,' and more. He has a cult following owing to his wise-cracking everyman hero persona. Barry Neville, Campbell's editor, writes the humorous foreword. In the introduction, Bruce dedicates the book to "the players on the second string, the "B" people," of which he includes himself as a member. The 2002 paperback edition also includes a 39-page addendum: 'Chins Across America, The Tour,' in which Campbell discusses his book tour in 2001 for the hardcover edition. This is the story of Campbell's career and the people behind the scenes with whom he worked. He feels it is very important to recognize the contributions of the employees who handle the various duties required in making a movie or television series. It is obvious that Bruce wrote this book with his fans in mind, because there are stories involving most of his projects. Campbell writes in a conversational way. Included are many discussions between himself and his buddies, reminiscing about their adventures from Michigan to Tennesee, from Hollywood to New Zealand. Through most of the book he talks about his friends he grew up with and made the first 'Evil Dead' with, including Sam Raimi, who went on to produce and/or direct such mega-hits as 'Spiderman.' Throughout the book, Campbell's humor is apparent. There are photos on nearly every page that tie into the text. I loved the humorous captions! All Bruce Campbell fans will find something to like in this book. My personal favorite is 'Brisco County Jr.,' but I found this section of the book rather short. Probably because it is my favorite I just wanted it to go on and on. There are several typos in this book (Mr. Neville, Bruce deserves better!). I believe the addendum is a necessity, as it gives his observations on interacting with his fans, and an update on 'where are they now' for the buddies he talks about in the main part of the book. I am a true Bruce Campbell fan and, of course, my copy of this book has his signature in it advising me to 'shop smart!' If you are also a true fan, you MUST purchase this book!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bjorn

    There are, basically, two kinds of people in the world: those to whom Bruce Campbell is Jesus, Schwarzenegger and the Three Stooges rolled into one, and then the rest. (Most of the rest, amazingly, have never even heard of him.) As he observes at one point in the book, the difference between a mainstream movie and a cult movie is that the former might be seen by 100,000 people 10 times whereas the latter is seen by 10 people 100,000 times. His autobiography is one of the most fun - and funny - bo There are, basically, two kinds of people in the world: those to whom Bruce Campbell is Jesus, Schwarzenegger and the Three Stooges rolled into one, and then the rest. (Most of the rest, amazingly, have never even heard of him.) As he observes at one point in the book, the difference between a mainstream movie and a cult movie is that the former might be seen by 100,000 people 10 times whereas the latter is seen by 10 people 100,000 times. His autobiography is one of the most fun - and funny - books on the movie industry I've read in some time, which makes sense considering his career. (There really isn't much to tell by way of drugs, debauchery and swimming-in-champagne when your biggest movie ever gave you a net annual salary of under $50,000.) Instead, this is the movie business as seen from the lower rungs; Campbell goes just as fanboy as everyone else when he finds himself sitting opposite Chuck Heston, and later on he spends an entire chapter on the career of one of his assistants on the set of Brisco County Jr. It's the little guys that keep the business turning, as a b-movie actor from Detroit would know. He got into the business almost by accident – he acted in a movie (Evil Dead, of coursewith a couple of childhood friends and suddenly he was apparently an actor (his account of his first interview with an actor's agency is a hoot). Where his characters on screen are often loud, obnoxious and funny, Campbell himself comes across as a genuinely Nice Guy trying to make a living simply by honest hard work in an industry that doesn't exactly encourage niceness or honesty. But still funny. He's no great writer, but he can spin a yarn. I'd say reading his anecdotes from movie sets, fan convents and his personal life (man, Sam Raimi comes across as the most lovable utter asshole ever) feels almost like spending an evening just shooting the breeze with Bruce Campbell, but... well, it's such a quick read, it basically IS an evening shooting the breeze with Bruce Campbell. Lots of fun.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rose

    I found "If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor" to be a pleasantly funny, yet insightful read about how Bruce Campbell made his way up the actor's ladder. Much of the book is a combination of telling his life story - his childhood, his family life, among other personal pursuits, but it's also an interesting view of how the movie and television industry has worked in his experience, from his pursuits as a teen to the actor he's become in his latter projects (which included accounts I found "If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor" to be a pleasantly funny, yet insightful read about how Bruce Campbell made his way up the actor's ladder. Much of the book is a combination of telling his life story - his childhood, his family life, among other personal pursuits, but it's also an interesting view of how the movie and television industry has worked in his experience, from his pursuits as a teen to the actor he's become in his latter projects (which included accounts of his time on Brisco County Jr, Hercules, and Xena). He provides several interesting tips on how he made it through the rough times (making more money for projects - something that just about any starving artist can relate to) to hilarious moments revolving around his fandom (including some interesting fan letters peppered in throughout the work). I enjoyed it not only for hearing about the vein of his experience, but also for the approachable tone he takes with it. For a memoir, it's easy to follow, and like he mentions in the book blurb, he provides plenty of pictures and visuals to fill the space of the book, rather than just being mounds of text. It definitely wasn't a waste of time or space by any measure of the word, and it certainly illustrates that as a "B" movie actor, the real measure of success isn't just about the fame, but the amount of investment you put into the work you do - and Bruce seems to have plenty of that. Overall score: 4/5

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