There are two kinds of people in the world: Those that don’t know who Bruce Campbell is and those that are part of his fan-base. The latter group, though lesser in number, more than make up for it with their fanaticism for Campbell’s work in the B-movie genre and various projects across a wide range of media. With his newest book, Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way, the two groups may start to even out.
Make Love is an autobiographical novel. It details the fictional events of what would happen if Campbell tries to transcend the B-movie genre by taking a bit role in Hollywood’s latest romantic comedy.
Despite a botched audition Campbell is hired by director Mike Nichols to play the humble sidekick, Foyl, alongside Richard Gere and Renee Zellweger. In an effort to impress the cast and crew, he decides to use method acting to get under the skin of his supporting role. As the story progresses, the lengths Campbell goes to research his character becomes more absurd and out of control. Campbell finds himself face to face with studio executives, the secret service, an international thief and other oddball characters.
In addition to Campbell’s engaging writing, the book also includes a number of hilarious graphics to supplement the story. While I won’t spoil the over-the-top outcome of Campbell’s excursion into Hollywood, Make Love does leave the reader with an interesting revelation. As Campbell puts it, “What Hollywood considers A-list blockbusters are really just pumped-up, cheeseball, Saturday matinee serials.” B-movies have always been the films willing to take the risks. Even though a good number of them lack the talent and quality of Hollywood productions, they represent the core vision and desire of filmmaking – pretty much what makes the movies so magical in the first place.
On Sept. 23, I stood in line to meet Bruce Campbell at Metro Entertainment on State Street. Other fans in line ranged from assistant Artsweek editors, Film and Media Studies advisors and even a vampire with actual fangs. I had a chance to talk to Bruce Campbell in person before he continued on his cross-country drive to promote Make Love.
“With a car, I can bring whatever drink I want with me. I can even carry my knife while I drive. Flying’s for fools,” Campbell said.
I was surprised to find out that Campbell had never met any of the celebrities included in his novel. The seemingly intimate portrayals are completely based on public perceptions of them through the media.
“What are the things you know about Richard Gere? He’s a Buddhist, right? So you’d think he’d be a pretty laid back kind of guy. I take that perception and put him with my character. Before you know it, he’s giving me a roundhouse kick to the face,” Campbell said.
Campbell hasn’t received any complaints from them either. Why would they, considering how Campbell’s character is the only one that gets portrayed in a negative light? Rather than attack specific individuals, the novel provides a satirical perspective on the mainstream film industry and its tendency to write off B-movies.
Through Make Love and his personal appearances, Campbell proves that he is as charismatic and witty, if not more so, than his onscreen roles. And with works ranging from film, television, books and comics, there are barely any mediums left that Campbell hasn’t tackled.
“What’s left for me to do? Golf? Forestry? You tell me,” Campbell said.
For anyone that still doesn’t know who Bruce Campbell is, they should take the necessary steps to acquaint themselves with him. Just make sure not to call him “Ash.”