Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


IF CHINS COULD KILL: CONFESSIONS OF A B MOVIE ACTOR. Bruce Campbell. St Martin's Press; 2001.

A combo autobiography/Hollywood insider book by the likable star of The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, etc., a typical working actor who gets big roles in "B" [or less prestigious] productions and small roles in "A's -- one chapter is titled "The Higher the Budget, the Lower the Part." The early pages about his childhood are kind of tedious, but the book gets more interesting when Campbell starts making movies, and later stars in a television series. While much of his inside stuff about Hollywood is familiar, young actors who haven't been this way before may get a certain value from Campbell's experiences. Campbell had leading man charisma and talent, but it's a shame that the very movies that put him on the map -- the Evil Dead series -- also insured that he perhaps wasn't taken seriously enough by Hollywood. But weep not for him for he's had a continuing career, unlike many another actor who winds up waiting tables or in real estate. [He is now a regular on Burn Notice.]

Verdict: Not essential reading, but informative and of value to young people interested in a career in acting. **1/2.

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