I’m 3 for 3 on Bruce Books, all have their own strengths.
For instance, his 1st book, If Chins Could Kill, sometimes comes off as a how to guide for indie movie making.
His 2nd, a novel, Make Love* *The Bruce Campbell Way, is an over the top, behind the scenes look at how a quiet movie can become a big disater fast.
But this book, a direct follow-up to the 1st, is quieter.
This one feels like visiting a friend you haven’t talked to in a long time because life got in the way, but you’ve heard through the grapevine that they were healthy and successful.
That is the strength of this book, and Bruce’s attitude/persona in general.
Fitz nor I have made our admiration of Bruce a secret, so if you are expecting some snide, shitty, searing put down piece, this is not the review for you.
This is just a stroke-fest from here in.
The chapters I dig most are when he talks about Bubba Ho-Tep, The Man With The Screaming Brain, My Name Is Bruce, Burn Notice (and after), and his return to the Evil Dead franchise, starting with the remake.
The Screaming Brain and My Name Is chapters are particularly good, as he dives in deep on the struggles to get them made, like culture shock of Bulgaria for the former and the money troubles as he turns his property into a backlot for the latter.
Having him candidly break down the struggles in finding work after Burn Notice is interesting.
The failed pilots and the (since ended) ConTV series that he now travels with, to a movie he shot called Highly Functional that he played a washed up 1 hit wonder country star in.
He talks about how that almost died on the vine due to internal friction and was shelved from 2014 until the director was brought back in late 2016 to finish it.
I can’t find many details on it besides an interview or 2 with Bruce saying it’s done and awaiting release.
The last chapter about Ash Vs Evil Dead coming together and all the details that entails are interesting for all who love that show as much as I do.
And the acknowledgements, those are a bitter sweet PS to the near 300 page adventure he takes us on.
I’m halfway there myself, I have a better understanding of the strange void it leaves, Mr. Campbell.
I can’t close out without mentioning how his USO trip with Jeffrey Donovan and his brother Don to Iraq is another culture shock that we rarely hear about over here.
From the stories of these uniformed soldiers to the intimidation of crumbling mansions, it’s fascinating to hear about it from the perspective of an average Joe.
There is so much jammed into this world traveling book that becomes even more impressive when you realize this only covers the last 15 years of his life.
If you have any interest in Indie moviemaking, the stories of an Actor that’s not always 1st on the callsheet, or the inner workings of smalltown bureaucracy, this book is for you.
Hail To The King!