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If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor Paperback – 1 Aug 2002

4.7 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Saint Martin's Press Inc.; New e. edition (1 Aug. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312291450
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312291457
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.4 x 23.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


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


‘[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.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Paperback
Autobiographies can come across as smug romances or sordid kiss-and-tells, but Bruce Campbell's "If Chins Could Kill" avoids both clichés. It's a disarmingly modest and frank account of his struggles in Hollywood, and the author simply comes across as a damn nice guy. It is an eminently readable book for that reason; you care what this poor, strangely popular fellow has gone through. Largely at the hands of his demented friend and tormentor, Sam Raimi (those bits are a hoot).

On a nerdier level, people interested in filmmaking will learn a lot. Bruce's "in the trenches" perspective of the Evil Dead films is invaluable and fascinating. Even if the cult film isn't to your tastes, you'll soon have to concede that it was a minor miracle over a restricted budget.

And obviously, the whole thing has a gentle level of humour that just enhances that Good Bloke of an author. Occasionally I found myself chuckling defencelessly - a rare feat with a non-fiction book. Oh, and Bruce offers a littany of pictures, "not all crammed in the middle like in those other actor books." Value for money! Not to mention the fact that this book is the size of a psychology textbook, yet remains a quick read simply because of the high quality of it.

Can't wait for the next instalment!
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