Book Review: If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B-Movie and many other books by Bruce Campbell

Everyday, we should give thanks to Bruce Campbell is not a jerk.

Seriously, can you imagine how disappointing it would be to discover that Bruce Campbell — ASH!  GROOVY BRUCE! — was not a laidback, blue collar actor who appreciated his fans, had a sense of humor about his films, and who enjoyed ending the day with maybe a can of beer and a nicely rolled joint?  It would be awful!  Bruce Campbell going on and on about the method while telling people not to see his early films?  Unthinkable!  Bruce Campbell demanding a huge trailer and bad-mouthing his co-stars?  That’s not our Groovy Bruce!

No, Bruce Campbell is pretty likable and appears to be downright nice.  That’s a huge part of his appeal.  He’s an actor but he’s also a fan.  He’s talented but he’s also level-headed.  He loves his films but he doesn’t pretend that they were anything that they weren’t.  Other actors would hide the chin.  Bruce shows it off every chance he get.  He even named his first memoir after the chin!

And it’s quite a good memoir too, If Chins Could Kill is,  Bruce discusses growing up.  He discusses the first films that he made with Sam Raimi.  The Coen Brothers make an appearance.  There’s stuff about Bubba Ho-Tep and Maniac Cop.  Really, it’s the definitive overview of the first part of Bruce Campbell’s amazing career and it’s a fun read.  Campbell has a sense of humor about both himself and his movies but, at the same time, he also has a deep love and appreciation for indie filmmakers.  It’s the humor that makes the book entertaining but it’s the love that will keep your reading.  And, after you finish the first memoir, move on to Campbell’s subsequent books — How To Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way, Hail to the Chin, and The Cool Side of My Pillow.  They’re all good books.  They’ll make you appreciate not only Bruce and the movies but also the art of writing about yourself without acting like a pompous jackass.  Bruce pulls it off and we’re all the better for it!

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