Books and the written word in general, have been around for quite a long time. Just a shade less than 2000 years ago, a bunch of folks got together and wrote up a little ditty that came to be known as "The Bible". Not the catchiest of titles, no pictures, and written with a teeny tiny typeface. Yet despite its flaws, this little bit of mythology remains a bestseller to this very day. The darned thing has caused such a stir that it's even been able to incite war and hatred that have lasted for generation upon generation. Some people even think that the thing is fact! Wow!
In school, you may recall that we were threateningly forced to read books by Canadian authors, and plays from Shakespeare. Other than that, there were stories ranging from a disgruntled grumpy young man who catches things in the rye to a tale about a bunch of talking commie farm animals. If you're still in school, you're probably in the midst of reading something you don't like right now (NO…I don't mean PULP smartass). None of this really caught my fancy. In fact, I think the reason that so many people don't read is that they think that everything is like the offerings they had available in high school can-lit English. There's also the cold hard fact that the world's population is filled by at least 70-75% moron. I can attest to this because I've had the pleasure of working in retail. You'd be shocked and appalled to see how many grown-up, working members of society can't grasp the concept of a 2 for 1 coupon…but I digress. Now, I'm no genius myself. I ain't no Einstein, Geena Davis or Batman. Unlike the bulk of the population though, I read. I admit that most of my literary intake consists of Star Wars expanded universe novels, Stephen King fare and behind the scenes movie books…but I read none the less. I always have a novel stashed in my backpack and a stack of comics neatly stacked at my bedside.
I've roamed greatly from the path of my intended topic today. I'm not here today to degrade the world's population for being a bunch of illiterate bastards. What I'm here to rant and write about today, ladies and gents, is a new literary offering that finally brings some legitimacy to this otherwise hollow art form.
Have you heard of Bruce Campbell? [If the answer is no, please stop reading my article. In fact, you really shouldn't be reading PULP at all. We don't want your kind here. If the answer is: "Yes…I know Bruce Campbell and think that he's a god amongst men"…please read on]. Bruce Campbell has decided to grace his beloved fan-base and the world at large with an autobiography. That's right, not only is this star of the Evil Dead trilogy and the ill-fated Jack of All Trades TV show the greatest actor of all time, he can also coherently and interestingly string a sentence or two together.
What you'll find within the pages of If Chins Could Kill isn't the average ghostwritten, self-glorifying, celebrities-are-better-than-real-people pap. Oh no…on the contrary my naïve little friend. What you will find is the amazing story of a man with a love for his craft who has worked damn hard to get where he is today. And this isn't merely a tale of an actor's struggles at climbing the movie biz ladder and getting his feet into that proverbial door. Bruce also shares with us some great sitcom-esque stories from his childhood. Like when he and his brothers made fake UFOs and scared the neighbors so much that the spacecraft sightings ended up in the local small town paper. We follow Bruce through school, where he meets up with the merry band of wannabe moviemakers. Young men like Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, with whom Bruce would travel the path to greatness and eventually do the Evil Dead films.
You'd think that upon reminiscing about the Evil movies, the book would wrap up. But, Bruce wisely realized that like any great piece of work, it should appeal to both the newcomers and the die-hard card carrying members of the fan club. So, we also are given a look at the human side of things. The every day struggles, like his failed first marriage. Which is quite shocking. If Bruce can't stay married, what hopes do the rest of us have?
And on the movie side of things (without reading too much between the lines) you learn how much he really and truly hates Hollywood. He doesn't discourage aspiring movie folks (there's nothing I hate more than actors who complain about how difficult they have it and that other people with dreams of getting into the movie business should consider something else), but he does paint quite the vivid word picture at the hardships within the biz. Even after Evil Dead II, Bruce had to work at "joe job's". And he made virtually no money for Army of Darkness. What the hell's wrong with the world!?!
If Chins Could Kill isn't some dollar bin washed up star, James "Scotty" Doohan or Burt "1960's TV Robin" Ward plead for attention whine-fest. Bruce didn't have to write this 'cause he needed the money to pay off mob debts and a drug habit. Bruce isn't writing a tell-all, back-stabbing, bridge-burning tale about all the famous folks he's worked with. No unkind words for Ellen "Queen of the Lesbians" Degeneres. No dirt on Lucy Lawless. No hate filled rants about Sam Raimi for neglecting to put him in both A Simple Plan and For Love of the Game (though Sam would be quite deserving of one for not casting his friend in every single thing he does. Thank Satan he came to his senses and is putting Bruce in Spider-Man). Nothing but love for one and all.
Bruce's foray into the written word received an "A-" from Entertainment Weekly and is on both the New York and LA bestsellers lists. I (admittedly a biased fan who has recently placed orders for an Evil Dead lunch box and an 18 inch Ash action figure), would give it even a better rating than that. I can safely say that it's the best $38 bucks and change that I've ever spent. Pure and simple, what we have here is a damn entertaining read. Along with Robert Rodriguez's Rebel Without A Crew, it should be on the MUST READ list of moviemaking hopefuls and struggling actors everywhere. It should be handed out like a textbook at film and acting classes. And, even if you're not a movie type of folk, still give it a shot. Because if your not a fan of Bruce's [and if you're not a fan you shouldn't be reading this because I've already politely asked you to leave], after reading this, you will be.