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If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor
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If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  17,424 ratings  ·  846 reviews
Okay, so at least you're interested enough to pick up this book and look inside. I think you and I are going to get along just fine.

Life is full of choices. Right now, yours is whether or not to buy the autobiography of a mid-grade, kind of hammy actor.

Am I supposed to know this guy? you think to yourself.

No, and that's exactly the point. Bookstores are chock full of house
Paperback, 344 pages
Published August 24th 2002 by L.A. Weekly Books (first published June 23rd 2001)
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Ward I have yet to get around to it. I am really kind of interested in it because I went to High School with Bruce. His locker was about 5 down from mine. …moreI have yet to get around to it. I am really kind of interested in it because I went to High School with Bruce. His locker was about 5 down from mine. I am curios to see how his career panned out. (less)

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Average rating 3.91  · 
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Jul 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: so-glad-i-read
This book is refreshing in many, many ways--how to count them? For one, it is refreshing to see ample proof of the rumors that Bruce Campbell is a friendly and considerate man--how pleasant it is to see an autobiography of someone in the movie biz who seems as concerned about the crew and those he has worked with as with relating the story of his own climb. Campbell shows a real fascination for the process of filming stories as with his own stardom. A lot of time in this book is spent on the mak ...more
Nov 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
I like the Evil Dead movies, and the campy humor of Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness are my favorites. I really liked The Adventures of Brisco County Jr when I was younger, too. I don't know why, really, except that it was on TV and stuff. I don't remember much about it except the title. Whatever, I liked it.

Bruce Campbell is like Stephen King in that the thing that he's best known and most loved for happened super early in his career. King has The Shining and The Stand, his two big hits, and B
Jan 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I finally got all the Quarry books & was dying to read them, so why did I read this instead? Am I a FAN? A Deadite? Yeah, sort of. I've loved the Evil Dead movies since... well, a really long time, and I've liked Bruce Campbell's acting. He doesn't seem to take himself too seriously & his on-screen sense of humor seems to mesh well with mine. After reading this book, I understand why.

Let me qualify this by saying I'm not much for following actors or famous people. When I heard Mel Gibson got a
Mike (the Paladin)
Jan 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a good book. It's a "pre-Burn Notice" "memoir" from Bruce Campbell (the only person to ever "almost" convince me to try Old Spice). I'm not big on "showbiz", movie-star, "my climb to fame" or "my crash from fame" books. That's not what this is. It's just what Campbell says it is, the story of a "work-a-day actor"...and it includes a lot of laughs.

I think I was sold on this book early on as I could identify with a lot of the "childhood" stories BC related here. (When I was a kid the "gree
November 14, the race began.

Right from the get go, filming was a comedy of errors, or terrors, if you will. Within minutes of leaving for the first location, an abandoned bridge, the production van got lost and we spent a half-hour trying to locate it. No sooner had we found it than Sam drove his “Classic” into a ditch and we had to get a towtruck to haul it out.

The next location was an isolated dirt road. Sam felt that a high, wide shot would be best. We weren’t versed in the etiquette of loc
Anthony Ryan
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a review of the audiobook version - The King of the Bs takes a breezey, light-hearted trip down memory lane. Anecdote rich and often funny, this account covers Bruce's career up until 2001, from his early years making Super 8 shorts with Sam Raimi and Robert Taipert, through the arduous but ultimately career launching production of The Evil Dead and on through the occasional ups and frequent downs of life as a member of 'the Hollywood lower-middle class'. Hercules and Xena fans will find ...more
Nov 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dead-tree
I have no idea why I requested this book through library loan so many years ago. Perhaps it was fate. I don't think I'd seen Evil Dead yet. Maybe I'd heard about the legendary Bruce Campbell and wondered what the hype was all about. No doubt I'd seen some Xena episodes and fell madly in love with Autolychus. At any rate, and needless to say, I've been a fan of BRUCE ever since.

My overwhelming memory of this book is that I'd had eye surgery and couldn't read, so I had it read to me while I lay in
Joey Marcus
Apr 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biographies
So I met Bruce Campbell. He came to my high school because it was close to where he and Sam Rami would make 8mm films back when they were kids. Infact, areas that I grew up in were actually in the book. I have read a handful of biographies and most of them at some point were pompous and these writers spoke about themselves in a way to separate themselves from common people... with that said Bruce does not do that. He does not see himself as a huge star and pokes fun at himself along the way. His ...more
Feb 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished
After hearing Bruce kick all this @$$ on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, was reminded to put this on at the top of the to-reads.

Having been raised on the Evil Dead (culminating in my official designation by Bruce Campbell himself as the "#1 fan", in writing, on my VHS copy), I was excited to read those parts of the book, and Bruce didn't disappoint. Fake blood recipe, dentist investment cabal, and all.

What I wasn't expecting, and really enjoyed, were the origin stories about himself, his group of chil
Jan 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. Of course it's funny. Of course it's brilliant. But here's the rub. Campbell has starred in B-movies, been a bit actor in blockbusters, and has also both directed and written for film/t.v. Even more, his first films are on Super-8. Shot by himself and a group of friends, including Sam Raimi (Spiderman), starting at the ages of 18-21.

The book outlines the gangs' career from their garage,s to raising their own money for theatrically released independent films (Evil Dead et al), to bein
Melissa McShane
Jul 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I first read this when it came out back in 2002 and was charmed by Campbell's presentation and humor. I'm not an Evil Dead fan--I think I've only seen Army of Darkness--but the story of how that first film was made wowed me. And the book only got better from there. (I was one of Brisco County, Jr.'s only fans, and I was upset when it was cancelled. And Autolycus was my second favorite thing about Xena and Hercules, right after Joxer the Mighty. So there's my fangirl cred right there.)

Fast forwar
Eli Hornyak
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book! Bruce Campbell's storytelling of how he made it in the behind the scenes of Hollywood was funny and entertaining. Even if you don't know who Bruce Campbell is (which I know you've seen him in something) read this book. ...more
Apr 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love it. Listened this one on audio and it was very cool to hear Bruce read his book (with the occasional update). I am a big fan of Bruce’s movies and it was cool to hear him talk about some behind the scenes stuff and how him and some of his friends, like Sam Raimi, got started. Publishing
It's Bruce Campbell. 'nuff said. If you need more, suffice to say that I still to this day paraphrase anecdotes from the bit about filming Evil Dead (I &II)... --MK ...more
If you are not clear right now on who Bruce Campbell (the actor) is, then you don't need to read this. Bruce Campbell has a bit of a cult following from a number of things he's done (Evil Dead / Army of Darkness, Brisco County Jr., Xena, and possibly even Burn Notice even if that happened after the time covered in this memoir), and if you were a fan of his you'd know. That said, possibly you are just generically interested in how someone with no direct connection to Hollywood becomes a B-level a ...more
Dec 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a great book. I desperately want him to write one about his time doing Xena and Hercules.

The start of the book was a little slow. I just wanted him to hurry up and get to the good stuff.

There were many, many times in the book that made me laugh out loud. He is such a character, you can easily hear his voice telling these hilarious stories.

After reading this, I realized I would never want to read a book about the celebrity gods of Hollywood. The reason it was so good was because it wa
Aug 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bruce Campbell fans, movie lovers
Recommended to Christina by: Chip
I've never really loved "Evil Dead" or many of Bruce Campbell's other movies. ("Bubba Ho-Tep," however, is totally awesome.)

I would kind of smile and nod whenever Jim or one of my other guy friends would talk about how great Bruce Campbell was.

And I only read "If Chins Could Kill" because I felt like I had to.

It turned out to be a great book, and it gave me a lot of respect for Bruce Campbell as a person and an actor.

Campbell has truly worked his way up from the bottom (I don't think it gets mu
Shira Karp
Sep 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like humor
I took this book out of the library on recommendation from a friend, but wasn't really expecting much out of it. Sure, I love Bruce Campbell as much as the next Hercules/Xena/Spiderman movies fan does, but I usually find these autobiographies dry and boring, filled with technical details of things I just don't care about. As much as I love memoirs, if it's in the autobiography section (as this was), I shy away. But I underestimated Bruce. Is that technical stuff in there? Sure it is, but he KNOW ...more
Stephan van der Linde
The populair cult-hero Bruce Campbell, famous of his character 'Ash' in the Evil-Dead trilogy, describes in this biography his youth and happenings about the making of 'Evil Dead'.
But also his share in some Xena-episodes.

While reading you will find a lot of (funny) pictures of Bruce himself, but also drawings made in his youth, in fact.. a lot of various pictures/photo's prominent throughout the book.

This is wrote with the humour you can expect of Bruce.
I liked it and every fan of The Evil Dead
Daniel Clausen
Apr 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
It's been several years now since I've read this book. But what I remember most about it is the brutal honesty and tongue and cheek approach to that Campbell took toward his life and career.

Most importantly, I remember reveling in some of the details involved in becoming a B-list icon. The way Campbell had to cold call prospective investors for the first Evil Dead movie; his time spent as a security guard after the Evil Dead movies. These are the details that make you feel such a strong connect
Jan 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
3.5-4 stars. A fun read overall for Evil Dead & B movie fans.
Benjamin Thomas
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-book, autobiography
I’m not normally a pursuer of actor biographies but I made an exception for Bruce Campbell. I’ve seen him in a number of movies and TV shows including the Evil Dead franchise, Hercules/Xena, Brisco County Jr., and others. He’s always seemed like a pretty down-to-Earth guy and this autobiography, thankfully upheld that impression.

Bruce doesn’t take himself too seriously which is a nice departure from most movie/TV stars. What really comes across in this book is a sense of a hardworking actor who
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read this quite a while back but must have forgotten to mark it as read. If you love Bruce Campbell and the Evil Dead franchise, you will love this book
Jun 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of the best autobiographies about one of my favorite actors.
I loved it from beginning to end.
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Stephanie Griffin
Apr 24, 2012 rated it liked it
'If Chins Could Kill' is the biography of Bruce Campbell, star of the 'Evil Dead' movie series, TV's 'Brisco County Jr.,' and more. He has a cult following owing to his wise-cracking everyman hero persona. Barry Neville, Campbell's editor, writes the humorous foreword. In the introduction, Bruce dedicates the book to "the players on the second string, the "B" people," of which he includes himself as a member. The 2002 paperback edition also includes a 39-page addendum: 'Chins Across America, The ...more
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: usa
There are, basically, two kinds of people in the world: those to whom Bruce Campbell is Jesus, Schwarzenegger and the Three Stooges rolled into one, and then the rest. (Most of the rest, amazingly, have never even heard of him.) As he observes at one point in the book, the difference between a mainstream movie and a cult movie is that the former might be seen by 100,000 people 10 times whereas the latter is seen by 10 people 100,000 times.

His autobiography is one of the most fun - and funny - bo
Jun 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: film makers, Bruce Campbell fans, or those who want to know more about the actor
Recommended to Rose by: Goodreads
Shelves: memoirs, non-fiction
I found "If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor" to be a pleasantly funny, yet insightful read about how Bruce Campbell made his way up the actor's ladder. Much of the book is a combination of telling his life story - his childhood, his family life, among other personal pursuits, but it's also an interesting view of how the movie and television industry has worked in his experience, from his pursuits as a teen to the actor he's become in his latter projects (which included accounts ...more
Dec 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is an autobiography unlike most others. Campbell, star of the Evil Dead films, starts from his surprisingly industrious childhood, through the physical tortures of his friendship with Sam Raimi (who would go on to direct the Spiderman films, among others), and into his career as a full-time actor. Not only is it a fascinating look into the making of Evil Dead and Hercules, it's downright hilarious. Campbell writes the way he speaks, a sort of campy monologue full of entertaining anecdotes. ...more
Dec 17, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: aspiring actors
This was okay-ish. Campbell isn't a great writer, but he does seem like a genuinely great guy who is very thankful for his success. The book, however, just sort of seems to skim the surface of his life. I guess I was just hoping for something a bit more interesting, rather than a quick rehash of how he got to where he was. Shame on me, I guess, for wanting more gossip-y stuff, but that would have been more compelling. ...more
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Bruce Lorne Campbell is an American actor, producer, writer and director. He is best known for his starring role as Ash in the Evil Dead trilogy of horror/slapstick movies, and has since become a B-movie icon.

His acting style is an "over-the-top" machismo that lends itself well to roles such as that of Ash Williams, whom Campbell himself has dubbed "an idiot and a jerk like the rest of us". This s

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