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"If Chins Could Kill" (Book Review)

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    "If Chins Could Kill" (Book Review)

    "If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor" by Bruce Campbell
    St.Martins Griffin ( My copy purchased at Borders Books ($13.95 US)

    This book is a combination of autobiography and a case study of the life and career development of Bruce Campbell and a close group of his friends. Bruce is a "B" movie actor and science fiction/fantasy genre favorite. If you are not familiar with him or his work, you may still find the book educational. The section of the book dealing with his very young days passes mercifully quickly and gets rapidly into the bits that interest us most. Those of us who aspire to independant film making get an inside peek at how one group of talented guys from Michigan made it in a notoriously difficult industry.

    The book becomes a real treat for those familiar not only with Bruce's work, but also the work of his childhood friends and co-conspirators Sam Raimi and Rob Tappert. Fans of the genre series Hercules and Xena will get a special thrill because Rob and Sam are the main force behind those series. Brother Ted Raimi plays the recurring character of Joxer on Xena as well as cameos on special occasions on Hercules. Bruce plays the recurring character of Atolycus (sp? forgive me, my faux Greek is weak) on both Hercules and Xena. These series embody Sam and Rob's quirky irreverent humor, allowing fertile ground for Bruce's dry delivery.

    This menacing trio of Bruce, Sam and Rob are perhaps most famous for the Evil Dead series of movies, rife with delightful sick twisted humor amidst buckets of gore. (Being a sicko myself, how can I condem these schmucks from Michigan?). These guys never take themselves too seriously and a good chunk of the book is a frank and gritty look at how the first movie got funded, filmed and flimflammed into being.

    The humor in this book is very dry with an attractive laid back midwestern style, although the forward by Ivan and Sam Raimi is more in style with the movies and series (not surprising since the various Raimi brothers have done so much of the writing).

    Very educational, very entertaining, though with a few dry spots here and there. A good book for independant film wannabes and a great book for genre fans who are also wannabes.

    Two thumbs up, highly recommended.

    Best regards,
    ScreechingHalt Productions
    Most lenses and most cameras are better than most photographers.