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

Bruce Campbell
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Aug 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!

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.

Product details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Saint Martin's Press Inc.; New e. edition (1 Aug 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312291450
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312291457
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 368,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


‘An insightful and rant-filled guide to being almost famous'

(GQ )

‘[an] entertaining and witty Hollywood memoir…[with] enough insights and smarts to appeal to readers with a serious interest in popular culture.’

(Publishers Weekly )

‘This engaging memoir offers much more than the standard, glamorous "and then I did..." show business autobiography… it succeeds as an evocative memoir that allows the reader to know Campbell. High recommended’

(Library Journal ) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Bruce Campbell is the ultimate "B" actor with an ever growing fanbase. His films in the "Evil Dead" series are cult favorites and his TV roles spark the same enthusiasm. He lives in Oregon.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book must be read... 23 Jun 2002
I bought this book off Amazon after seeing it advertised while I was ordering THE EVIL DEAD COMPANION, as it had Bruce Campbell's grinning face pictured on the cover, and lets face it folks, the guy's a legend! It is easy to see that he is a guy that puts his all into what he does (physically as well as mentally - just take a look at that kitchen sequence in EVIL DEAD 2!), and from reading his biography my respect for him has risen sky high. He doesn't fictionalise aspects of his life (not that I've been there and known him, but it sure as hell doesn't come across as such anyway), he doesn't demand sympathy, he doesn't gloat at his success with his ever-growing career and fandom, and his writing is brilliatly literate, a quality in him that some people wouldn't have expected - I mean, a rocket scientist wouldn't star in the EVIL DEAD trilogy, right?
The commentary on his life is fascinating, and at points truly hilarious. It is very rare that I will laugh out loud at a book, but in places this book had me in stitches, and that is no exageration. Reading it you almost become jealous of the childhood he has had. This is the story about a man who really worked for the position he is in now; he's not a Hollywood-manufactured star, and that's his quality, but he is generally regarded as the greatest B-movie actor of his time, and that is a position properly earned.
Insiteful also of the lives of Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, Scott Speigal and others he has worked with and maintained a friendship with, this is not just a self-indulgent account of someone trying to make money out of a life story. It is a book truly worth paying money for and I parted with my cash gladly. I cannot recommend this book enough.
The fact that out of 11 reviews so far, ten have awarded five stars should speak for itself. For any fan of Bruce Campbell, this is a must buy. Get it now!
THE EVIL DEAD COMPANION is also a good buy for fans of the trilogy.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Well Written 18 Oct 2002
Being an Evil Dead and Bruce Campbell fan aided in my choice of his biography. However compared to other biographies which usually use ghostwriters, this book was one i could not put down. From his first acting job to his now known success throughout Hollywood and the world, Bruce Campbell captures every moment only he knows how. It is insightful, encouraging, funny and well worth a read. Even if you are unfamiliar with his work on the big screen after reading 'If Chins Could Kill' your appetite for his work would be hungrier than ever.
He is proud to declare himself a B grade actor and encourages everyone to follow their dreams no matter how difficult that prospect may be. He describes his struggles to find finance and support for the now cult classic 'Evil Dead', which was his first full length film. The story of the making of this film is hilarious in many respects but also heartbreaking as actor after actor give up and more money is need to complete it. He tells of his fellow actors, directors and friends, one of which recently directed the blockbuster 'Spiderman', in which Bruce has a small part.
Overall it is an exceptional read, not only for film fans, but for anyone in search of a dream.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hail to the King baby!! 28 Nov 2003
Being a lifelong fan of Bruce I couldnt wait for this book to arrive after ordering it from Amazon. After reading it in record time I can honestly say its one of the best autobiographies I've ever read!
Only a small portion of chapters are written about his childhood but they are packed with humour-you can't help but laugh at his adventures with the opposite sex.
Its not long before he tells about meeting someone called Sam Raimi and coming up with an idea for a film which would eventually become The Evil Dead.
This book is impossible not to enjoy. Its funny, fast moving and very informative.
After reading the last page I had earned even more respect for Bruce than I had before. He works damn hard at his profession, enjoys it alot, obviously loves his fans but never moans about his celebrity status, getting bad breaks or that his good friend Mr Raimi has become a Hollywood hotshot!
Bruce you are a God and I look forward to your next book!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars shop smart..... 11 Dec 2002
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
No-one buying this book is going to be disappointed. If you haven't heard of Bruce Campbell you're probably not going to buy it. If you have heard of him this is the book for you!
With enough anecdotes on cheap film making to make anyone think they could do it, to the bizarre stories of fandom which might put you off and everything in between. This book actually goes quite nicely with a viewing of the extras on the 'Evil Dead' DVD as the two elements compliment each other nicely.
Always the 'small star in a big movie or a big star in a small movie', here Bruces candid charm takes centre stage throughout. Fluidly written, a quick enjoyable read and not just for the fans. Lots of gossip and info from behind the scenes in the film industry moving on nicely to the TV series (Hercules) as well.
Top bloke.
Top book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant account of an underated actor! 7 July 2001
By A Customer
Well, what can I say? Having been a fan of Bruce's since I was introduced to him a few years ago by being forced to watch The Evil Dead movies (which I had never heard of at that time!), I was intriqued originally by the title - "Confessions of a B Movie Actor". That title was snappy enough to sway me to purchase it.
I read the book pretty quickly and was astounded by how good it was. It also managed to surprise me and gave me an insight to what kind of people Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert are. (This was interesting as I am a Xena and Hercules fan.) I would have giving this 5 stars but it disappointed me in to ways. Firstly it did not answer my question as to why in Evil Dead 2 the flashback of the first film was different to the original film. I'm guessing now after reading the book it was due to rights issues. The second is that the book was over too quickly and hell, it left me wanting more!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars If you like Bruce Campbell work, get this book
There is a lot of funny stories from Bruce's upbringing and about the movies as well, including lengthy parts on the Evil Dead series. I was a nice read, I recommend it.
Published 3 months ago by Magnus Borg
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Bruce Campbell.
This is a really honest book about his career and personal life. And if you're interested in knowing some background stuff to Evil Dead, it's a must read.
Published 3 months ago by Ruben Ekelund
5.0 out of 5 stars Hail To The King Of B' Movie's Greatness Baby!
Bruce Campbell is better known for playing Ash Williams in the original Evil Dead trilogy but has also starred in several cult movie's & tv shows from Maniac Cop to... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Timelord007
3.0 out of 5 stars bruce cambell grovey.
i havent got around to reeding it yet ,so i cant tell you to much.but it looks good .thank yopu.
Published 12 months ago by lez wez
3.0 out of 5 stars kinda interesting
well it tells you everything you need to know and more much much more its very very very full of details but quite a interesting review of a b movie actors lot
Published 17 months ago by m. dosa
3.0 out of 5 stars Bruce is King of the try-ers
A really interesting read, with effort and dedication key to never quite making it into the big time.
Well worth a read.
Published 18 months ago by Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Great read for any movie buff, Bruce's style of writing is both funny and engaging. Nice to read an autobiography from a real person instead of a vacuous A-list celeb.
Published 20 months ago by Mr Richard Clarson
5.0 out of 5 stars Full on Enjoyment!
OK, I admit it, I'm a big Bruce fan and encountered this book with real enthusiasm. The confidence was well rewarded, because this is a great fun read - and also a worthy insider... Read more
Published on 30 May 2012 by Calvin Sokkan
5.0 out of 5 stars Groovy
A real revelation
As a huge Evil Dead Fan
and only a casual bruce campbell fan i had no idea about the man himself
i had a few half formed thoughts along the lines... Read more
Published on 5 Feb 2012 by dregj
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading
Bruce Campbell is the ultimate B movie actor. Here we have his autobiography of sorts.
I say of sorts because really this is essentially a run down of how a B movie actor... Read more
Published on 22 Jan 2012 by Colonel Decker
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