IF CHINS COULD KILL: Confessions of a B Movie Actor

Bruce Campbell, Author, Ivan Raimi, Foreword by, Sam Raimi, Foreword by . St. Martin's $23.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-24264-0

Though it offers few revelations about the details of Campbell's personal life, this entertaining and witty Hollywood memoir combines his life story with how-to guidance on making independent films and becoming a pop culture cult hero. Campbell began working in show business as a teenager, and in high school became friends with future director Sam Raimi, with whom he eventually co-produced the 1982 cult horror hit Evil Dead, in which Campbell starred. Despite his wry, modest sense of humor—Campbell recognizes the peculiar place that Evil Dead holds in contemporary culture—he sincerely conveys the enormous commitment and work that went into making and marketing the movie. By the time he describes the film's premiere, Campbell's sense of triumph is palpable: we share his excitement when the film makes back its money and by 2000 becomes number three on the all-time video charts after Lady and the Tramp and Titanic. When Campbell isn't starring in new films like Evil Dead II and Moontrap, he is desperately—often hilariously—looking for investors for his new projects. His subtitle aside, Campbell's career has gone mainstream: he has appeared in Homicide and Ellen, is a regular on Hercules and Xena, and has started directing as well. (June)

Forecast: While a boon to film cultists and to Campbell's many fans, this book also has enough insights and smarts to appeal to readers with a serious interest in popular culture. A planned author tour and national print advertising will help it capitalize on Campbell's cult following.

Reviewed on: 05/21/2001
Release date: 06/01/2001
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-312-29145-7
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