Why Bruce Campbell Kicks AssStigma
The other day, Meh and I were talking about Bruce Campbell. Being the attention whore I am, I jumped at the chance to do an opinion piece on just why Bruce Cambpell AKA The Chin kicks ass. First of all, let me say that I am a true Bruce Campbell fan. I have seen him in person, and I own his books. If you haven't read them, you should. The first one goes on about Campbell's early career (yes even the Evil Dead series) and how glamorous it is to be a Hollywood movie 'star'.
I also fully love and enjoyed Evil Dead and it's sequels. But I liked each one for different reasons, kinda like I love tequila straight from Don Julio, But I won't touch that Jose Quervo crap without some sort of sugary syrup to cover it's nastiness. Not to say that I don't love margaritas... I just wouldn't waste good Tequila on them. I digress (and look for my shot glass).
I loved Evil Dead as a horror movie. Sure, it was sorta campy, but who doesn't like that? If you have read the first Campbell book, you'll know that it was produced on a VERY tight budget... and they blew their deadlines. And the 'Sorry teacher, my dog crapped on my homework' excuse doesn't cut it with sixty year old rich guys (read: investors) who had nothing better to do with their cash. This means that parts of the movie were somewhat rushed into production, and some parts entirely ad libbed (Raimi's interesting camera inventions will go down in history... right next to Da Vinci's automatic butt wiper) - but it all worked. It worked so well, as to surprise Raimi and Campbell by its level of success. Kinda like when you find that ice cream sandwich in the back of the freezer that has molded to the wall - Nothing but goodness.
The second movie was a good mark as a horror movie as well - there were elements of fright in it, and somehow, I believed it. Even without the aid of consuming various mushrooms from my backyard, Evil Dead 2 was able to suspend my disbelief. And hell, there were scenes in it that made me laugh - just enough to ease the tension, sorta like in The Ring when the sister picks up the phone and the ghost sounds like its beer belching at her.
Then we head into the 3rd one, and I'm sorry, I just can't call it a horror movie. Maybe it was because I was too busy laughing my ass off at Ash's dialog (Campbell is a VERY witty guy) but I couldn't seem to find a way to be scared, frightened, grossed out, or even creeped out. For me, it's a superbly funny action flick, with some bad ass fighting, but not really scary. Does that make it bad? Hell no, I own all three on dvd, and I buy every strange new re-release of the trilogy that comes out. I also annoy my friends by trying to recreate the coolness of lines like 'Groovy...' and 'Good, Bad, I'm the guy with the gun."
His success goes beyond just those three movies. In addition to having his own show for a few seasons (Brisco County, Jr) Bruce has been in numerous films and has two bestselling books produced. I got a chance to see Bruce in person on his tour for the release of his second book and a screening of "The Man with the Screaming Brain". Before the show Campbell wandered into the theater and did a Q & A with the audience. Let me re-iterate: this man is hilarious, and by far the wittiest person I have seen.
However, Campbell's ability to be the one actor who gets crapped on has never really ceased to amaze me. Everything he has started seemed to be wildly successful, and yet, he still hasn't risen to that level of super-stardom like say, Tom Cruise. Maybe it's because he doesn't commune with aliens, molest little boys, or force feed Jewish mysticism to his fellow peers. He will be the first to admit that he lives on the B list (in fact that's the subtitle of his first book), and I for one, am glad. I don't like my stars rich, insane, and dim - I like my stars down to earth. Not communing with Zord, the king alien, gives Bruce time to make films like 'The man with the Screaming Brain' and put out books like 'If Chins could Kill'. So keep it up, Brucey old boy, this is one guy that will keep paying for that mansion you are saving for.