Introduction by New York Times bestselling author and famous minor television personality John Hodgman
Hail to the Chin is the new raucous and sardonic memoir from Bruce Campbell, a follow-up to the New York Times bestselling If Chins Could Kill. It’s been 15 years since his first memoir but Bruce is still living the dream as a “B” movie king in an “A” movie world.
Bruce Campbell makes his triumphant return from where he left off in If Chins Could Kill with further hilarious, gut-wrenchingly honest confessions.
Bruce brings us through his life in the decade since his first memoir and his roles as varied as they are numerous – from his roles in the Spider-Man movies to his self-referential My Name is Bruce to his role on #1 show Burn Notice and his new STARZ hit series Ash vs Evil Dead.
Over the last 15 years, Bruce has become a regular on the Wizard World convention circuit, has created his @GroovyBruce twitter account with over 400,000 followers and a Facebook page with almost 250,000 likes. His profile and reach is lightyears beyond where it was for Chins.
Hail to the Chin will be bursting with pictures and the signature humor that Bruce brought to If Chins Could Kill and will be devoured by his legions of fans across the country.
What We Thought:
With Hail to the Chin: Further Confessions of a B Movie Actor Bruce Campbell shows us how/why he’s lasted decades in the entertainment field. Bruce is a fantastic storyteller and is extremely self-deprecating for a man with a legion of fans! He may be the King of B-Movies, but he’s been in a blockbuster or two and oh yeah, multiple hit television shows.
Hail to the Chin starts where Bruce’s first Best Seller If Chins Could Kill ends. He and his wife move to Oregon for a quieter life or so he thinks. There are some fantastic stories about life in Oregon whether it’s putting up with wild game or even worse, wild humans. The entire book could have been about his life in Oregon dealing with bears, country folk and destroying numerous cars and I probably would have loved the book. The man can simply paint a picture with words.
But Bruce is an actor and he does what actors do, they act. The average person assumes movies and TV shows are made in Hollywood, but a look at Mr. Campbell’s passport will show you otherwise. Up next in his adventures is a trip to Bulgaria to make 2 films for the Sci-Fi Network (now known as SyFy). This is pre-Sharknado SyFy so budgets and expectations were quite different. The entire book could have been about his time in Bulgaria, shooting two movies, feeding dogs on the streets and overall life in a post-Communism country and I probably would have loved it. Ok you see where I’m going with this so I’ll stop while I’m ahead.
The book then gets into some of my favorite projects of his, Bubba Ho-Tep, My Name is Bruce, Burn Notice and eventually Ash vs Evil Dead. If you are a fan of his like I am, and I’m assuming you are if you’re reading his book, this is the stuff you’ve been waiting for. He plays Elvis in Bubba Ho-Tep and tried to learn from an Elvis impersonator before the film. Keyword there is TRIED. His back and forth with the impersonator is hilarious. For My Name is Bruce he plays himself in a meta way like Galaxy Quest. The book goes into detail about the production of the film because it was shot on Bruce’s property in Oregon. He literally had sets built on his land and at his house.
Next came Burn Notice a show we here at The Nerds Templar were big fans of. Bruce’s return to TV lasted 7 seasons playing number 2 to Jeffrey Donovan. I originally watched the show because Bruce was in it and stuck with it because it was a good show. Campbell talks fondly of his co-stars and the crew, but not so fondly of the weather in Miami. I enjoyed this section quite a bit especially the part about him, his brother and Jeffrey Donovan going to Iraq to visit the troops. I wasn’t aware of that, good for them. I also enjoyed his take on working in Colombia to film his spin-off movie Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe which actually came about because of contract negotiations.
Most fans first got to know Bruce because of The Evil Dead franchise and his friendship with Sam Raimi. Raimi would go on to become an A-list Hollywood director and Bruce talks about getting “pivotal” roles in the Spider-Man series and Oz The Great and Powerful that Raimi directed. After Burn Notice ended and he had a run of go-nowhere projects Bruce reteamed with Raimi and Rob Tapert first on a remake of The Evil Dead then on the Starz hit show Ash vs Evil Dead. After decades of working together and apart, everyone brought something new to a beloved series.
Hail to the Chin: Further Confessions of a B Movie Actor by Bruce Campbell is an inside look at a cult hero. He’s been around for almost 40 years and in that time period genre shows and films have become the norm. Nerds and geeks have taken over and horror, superheroes and fantasy movies now make big money. Campbell talks about the rise of conventions and fandoms and the shift in what’s cool today. He may consider himself a B actor, but to his fans, myself included, he’s a hero. He doesn’t shy away from stories others wouldn’t share. He mentions his DUI in the book, hurting himself on Burn Notice because he’s not a young man anymore and all the failures and projects that never had a chance. That’s why we love Bruce Campbell, he’s human just like the rest of us just a bit more groovy.