Kamera recently caught up with Evil Dead icon Bruce Campbell in amongst his super busy schedule, which in 2005 alone has included his signing tour for his new book Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way and his new directorial effort The Man with the Screaming Brain (which us Bruce-fans in the UK eagerly await). Graciously agreeing to answer ten quick questions, whilst otherwise being kept busy by his life as a cult icon, Campbell had just one request… "Don’t ask me any Evil Dead questions okay?" Of course, who are we to argue – and would you really want to beg to differ with a man that has battled the hordes of hell on three separate occasions and won…? Exactly.
Okay Bruce, so – tell us why we need to see your new movie The Man with the Screaming Brain? What makes it unique and exciting?
Because it’s not the type of movie that you will see on an airplane! It’s an odd-ball story that will hopefully appeal to the Evil Dead crowd as well as new folks. It is a very dark tale of greed, betrayal and revenge in Bulgaria – all with a brain transplant!
What was you experience of directing the movie like?
Well I’ve directed numerous times before on the Hercules and Xena TV shows, so the process wasn’t a mystery to me – but it’s always challenging because my homework at the end of each day instantly doubled.
Bruce, it seems that you are always more at home with comedy – but what makes you laugh? Can you tell us about some of the movies, or scenarios on set or day to day life, that crack you up?
I try to find humour in everything – otherwise, why are we here… to suffer? I think not. To me, humour can be found in anything from the bathroom, to slapstick, to even Three Stooges type violence. Pain can be very funny.
Tell me a bit about shooting your film in Bulgaria – some of the stories from the country and were you ever recognized out there?
Well, it’s a country in transition from communism to capitalism, and the main reason we filmed there was because the average Bulgarian worker makes $110.00 a month. I enjoyed the experience from a sociological standpoint, but from a filmmaking point-of-view, shooting there was a pain in the ass. The workers were great, but the country had infrastructure problems that made every day activities unnecessarily complicated.
This is not the first project that you have directed – tell me about your previous directorial efforts and which ones you might urge your fans to seek them out…
I urge fans to do what they damn well please, but they can at least know that my goal is never to write beneath them, and that entertaining them is my number one priority.
You have a great cast for Man with the Screaming Brain, which includes Ted Raimi and Stacy Keach – can you tell me some stories about directing these guys?
I have always worked with Ted, as I’ve known him since he was nine years old so Ted is an indispensable part of what I do. Mr. Keach was a pleasure, mostly because he’s a seasoned pro. He was brought in on very short notice, and he was everything I hoped for in the part. When casting goes right, you don’t have much more to worry about.
You have a book, Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way – why should I buy this? Sell it to me!
You’re a pushy little son-of-a-B, aren’t you? You should buy the book because it has about 150 very entertaining graphics, and the paper quality is unusually high. Aside from that, you might enjoy the 72,000 words also included for no extra charge.
Judging from the pictures on your site, you are subjected to some serious makeup in Man with the Screaming Brain – what are the challenges of the makeup chair as a lot of actors seem to hate it…
The biggest beef is sleep deprivation, because of the extra hours tacked on to an already long work day in order to apply the makeup. The number 2 beef is the degrading effects from the chemicals applied to your face. During the filming of Bubba Ho-Tep, my face was in a constant state of shred.
Another film you recently completed is The Woods directed by Lucky McKee. I am a big fan of McKee’s May and am interested in this film – can you tell me a little about the plot to the film?
The film could just as well be called Creepy Evil Women, because it’s a 17 year old girl’s worst nightmare come true: being dropped off by your parents into a remote "reform" school, run by freaks. It’s a weird, cool flick.
Finally, then, if someone gave you a blank cheque to direct and act in any film – a completely original one, mind – what would it be and what would your role be?
It would be called City Limit, a drama about a developer that’s kidnapped by a group of eco extremists and held for ransom. It’s a good platform to explore to opposing ideologies. Send that cheque as soon as you can, alright?