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Hail To The King, Bruce Campbell

 June 22, 2016 at 7:24 AM PDT

[Music] [00:00:00] Beth Accomando: Welcome back to another edition of the KPBS CinemaJunkie, podcast, I’m Beth Accomando. [Music] [00:00:13] Today June 22nd is Bruce Campbell’s birthday and that’s cause for celebration. So, I’m calling this my “Hail to the King” episode in his honor, and I’ll be talking with him later in the podcast. I encourage everyone to celebrate by watching his movies, reading his books or catching up on the “Ash versus Evil Dead show. Whatever, just enjoy the day and don’t forget “Shop smart, Shop S-smart.” Let me begin by saying I love Bruce Campbell. As Ash in the Evil Dead film, he kicks ass. In person, in panels, he’s a riot. And, when given the chance as in Bubba Ho-Tep, he can deliver a performance that’s worthy of an Oscar. But sadly, Oscars too blind to recognize genre talent like his. But, that makes it all the more special for us as his fans. Simply put, Bruce Campbell is the man. Campbell has a devoted cult following of fans, and deservedly so, not only is he a talented actor, but he’s a consummate professional who knows how important his fan base is to his career. Yet he also knows how to tease and berate them in a manner that only makes them, I mean us, squeal with delight. Playing himself in They Call Me Bruce, he treats his fans with utter contempt. Bruce Campbell: “Let me ask you something, ever see Rawhide?” Speaker 2: “Yeah” Bruce Campbell: “You like it?” Speaker 2: “Yeah” Bruce Campbell: “Well then you better keep them doggies rolling.” Beth Accomando: I firmly believe that the only reason fox, made the Sam Axeprequel for their TV series “Burn Notice” was because Campbell who plays the character Sam Axe in the show, was such a hit at their Comic-con panels. Campbell worked those Comic-Con crowds like nobody’s business and overshadowed the show’sstars Jeffrey Donovan and Gabriel Anwar. Fans bombarded Campbell with questions and roared when he got up and tossed dollar bills at them. I think Fox execs were surprised to see the rapport Campbell had with the crowd and rewarded him and his fans with that prequel. But Campbell is beloved to his fans mostly because of his work on Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead films. As the character Ash, Campbell is allowed to fully exploit his manic skills. He proves that no one and I mean no one is better at fighting against himself or playing in scenes with his own alter ego. Bruce Campbell:“What are you?”“Me.”“Are you me?”“What are you, are you me? [Laughter] [00:02:38]“You sound like a jerk”“Why are you doing this?”“Do you want to know? Because the answer is easy. I’m bad Ash, and you’re good Ash, you’re a goody-little-two-shoes, goody-little-two-shoes, little-goody-two-shoes, little-goody-two-shoes [laughter] [00:02:55]”“I ain’t that good.” Beth Accomando: And, no one delivers one-liners like Bruce. Here’s a sampling of his wise-ass remarks in Army of Darkness as Ash finds himself sent back in time and fighting witches, demons, and the undead. Bruce Campbell: “Well hello Mr. Fancy pants I got news for you pal you ain’t leaving but two things right now Jack and shit, Jack left town. Alright you primitive screw heads listen up see this, this is my boomstick. It’s a 12 gauged double barrel Remington. S Marts top of the line, you can find this in the Sporting Goods Department. That’s right this sweet baby was made in Grand Rapids Michigan. Retails for about a hundred 995, it’s got a Walnut stock cobalt blue steel and a hair trigger.” Speaker 1: “It’s a trick, get an axe.” Speaker 2: “Yoh, she-bitch, let’s go. Bruce Campbell: Groovie” Beth Accomando: Campbell can also deliver the goods when asked to do a more fully rounded character as in Bubba Ho-Tep where he played an ageing Elvis trapped in a retirement home and fighting a mummy. Bruce Campbell: “I mean we’re investigating a sculling in the hall, trying to figure out who attacked you last night, and you bring me in here look at stick pictures on the shit house wall ma’am.” Beth Accomando: Campbell was brilliant as Elvis both funny and poignant. The fact that Campbell did not get an Oscar nomination and has not been given more roles is only proof that those in power in Hollywood are idiots. Campbell did have a great short-lived TV show on Fox in the 1990s called “The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.” but last year something amazing happened. Bruce Campbell: “Yeah, looking good, looking sweet.” Beth Accomando: Campbell and Randy brought “Ash” back in a Star’s series that kicked [indiscernible] [00:05:25] ass. The show was perfection and it’s been renewed with season two shooting in New Zealand. My interview with Campbell was between scenes during shooting and a PA kept sending me text messages with updates as to when he’d be available. Ash vs. Evil Dead revives Ash with a deprecating sense of humor and enough blood to put Macbeth to shame. Campbell returns to the role with vigor, humor, and the confidence of an actor who knows exactly who he’s playing. Season two is set to premiere in late September on Stars. Bruce Campbell: “Groovie.” Beth Accomando: Campbell also has a special place in my heart because he took the time to be nice to my son. Campbell was introducing Bubba Ho-Tep at the Canne and then the landmark La Jolla Village theaters was showing Evil Dead 2 at midnight. I got the chance to have my nine-year-old son meet Campbell. I explained to him that my son was having trouble with bullies at school and that he was a little worried about Evil Dead 2 being too scary. Campbell took my son aside and told him not to worry, Evil Dead 2 was perfect for him because it was splat stick, splat or gore and slapstick comedy. That completely reassured my son and turned him into a Bruce Campbell fan for life. I really appreciated how Campbell took the time to make my son feel special. So, in my book Campbell is a cool dude off screen, as well as a total badass on-screen. Campbell has also written the witty books, “If chins could kill,” and “Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way.” He’s directed films that make fun of himself as in “The Man With the Screaming Brain,” and “They Call Me Bruce.” And, his hockedproducts in ways that only he could get away with. Bruce Campbell: “If you have it, you don’t need it, if you need it, you don’t have it. If you have it, you need more of it, if you have more of it, you don’t need less of it, you need it to get it and you certainly need it to get more of it. But if you don’t already have any of it to begin with, you can’t get any of it to get started which means you really have no idea how to get it in the first place do you? You can share it, sure, or you can even stockpile it if you’d like, but you can’t fake it. Wanting it, needing it, wishing for it. The point is, if you’ve never had any of it, ever, people just seem to know.” [whistling] [00:07:48] Beth Accomando: He can also be heard in video games like Spider-Man. Bruce Campbell: “Okay now doing whatever a spider can doesn’t come without practice. Use this area to work on maneuvering in the air, holding down the web swing button will make you go faster but look you’re going to have a lot less control.” Beth Accomando: But, he wants to be clear he’s not a gamer he’s just an actor doing his job but that doesn’t stop fans from hounding him with questions about what his favorite video game is, or for gaming tips. I began my interview with Bruce Campbell by asking him if having a birthday prompted him to reflect on his career in any way. Bruce Campbell: Yes, that I’m too old to play Ash. That’s pretty much what I’ve surmised but the good news is the character is too old to be himself anyway, so it works out fine. Beth Accomando: Well, it doesn’t seem like the public thinks you’re too old by any means. Bruce Campbell: No, but I’m just saying physically, I just tore a hamstring and my knees are gone, it’s not like the old days. So, I think I’m going to crawl across the finish line for this season. It’s a very very busy season. Beth Accomando: No CGI to the rescue for this? Bruce Campbell: There’s probably plenty of CGI we’ve smoke and mirrors and my stuntman is the busiest manin Hollywood right now. But we’re going to get through it, that’s what I think about on my birthday, he ledtwo, 30 years ago. “Four years ago, in this quiet forest, in thiscozy cabin, something happened, something so frightening, something so deadly, something so evil. We prayed it wouldn’t happen again, from the Evil Dead. Comes, Evil Dead 2. Evil Dead 2, Dead by Dawn.” Speaker 1: “The original[indiscernible] [00:09:49] was 37 years ago.” Speaker 2: “No, sun will be up in an hour so, we can all get out of here together. You, me, Linda, Shelley. No, not Shelley she—we’ll all be going home together?Wouldn’t you like to be going home? Bet you’d like that, wouldn’t you?” Beth Accomando: Did you ever think that Ash would bethis defining role for you and that you’d be returning to him so many years later? Bruce Campbell: No, we didn’t think we’d finish the first movie, but my feeling is, if they want Ash until I retire, they’ll get him. “Sure I could have stayed in the past, I could have even been King, but in my own way I am King, Hail to the King baby.” Bruce Campbell: I’m ready to play him now, I’m ready to do this to the end, if that’s what is on my obits,I’m good with it now, because now’s the time to really make the character come into its own. Now that they have a TV show you can really expand the character, we’ve only had four and a half hours’ worth of Ash. Last season alone we had five new hours. “That my friends is how we do it. I would say it’s a gift from God, but that would be giving the man upstairs a little too much credit. This is all me baby.” In this season five, more hours. I think it’s a great opportunity to finally flesh out Ash and make him come full circle, so I’m enjoying it. Beth Accomando: What do you think has contributed to his longevity, what do you think is your key to success with him? Bruce Campbell: Well Ash is a horribly flawed person just like all the viewers. He doesn’t really have much more skill than the average punter watching. So, it’s not like you can’t relate tohim, I think a lot of people can relate to Ash. He’s a regular guy, he’s not CIA, Navy Seal, which to me is always a bore. This guy is the ultimate anti-hero. And so it’s really like a garage mechanic who rises up to save the world. Beth Accomando: Shakespeare gives his actors the soliloquies and Sam Raimi seems to give you kind of what I would call like a Looney Toons version of that where you get these scenes all by yourself. What’s the key to making these solo acting moments work so well? Bruce Campbell: You just got to go for it, there’s a big chunk of Evil Dead 2 which was Ash alone in the cabin. It’s probably 20 minutes of the movie, I remember Dino De Laurentiis the producer of the movie was like “you can’t have one guy in a cabin for a half hour, you can’t do it.”He was terrified and to me that’s the best part of the movie. “Who is laughing now?” It’s important to, if you are going to have a lead character, you got to leave them on their own, and see what they do under every kind of scenario. So, I like those, unless there’s a speech coming up and the trick is to make sure it’s an anti-speech. Because that’s the speech you think he’s going to get, that’s the key. Beth Accomando: What’s the key to making that work?You seem to be able to pull that off better than many actors or almost any actors and you really do manage to rivet us to the screen for those scenes? Bruce Campbell: Well that’s my job, I got to do that or I get fired right? It’s commitment. You got to go for it, and we have even the most crazy materials and some insane frequencies that would be a little spoilerish if I told you. But, we’re totally pushing the envelope. I hope people will just feel sorry for Ash more than anything, or sympathize with him, because he goes through so much to save the world. Beth Accomando: He definitely does. Are there roles that you would like to get but people don’t consider you for because of Ash and because of this cold status that you have? Bruce Campbell: Well I will actually never know who doesn’t hire me for what reason. You only know who does hire you, like I would never know if the script writer goes “no, I don’t want Campbell.” Like I would never know if that conversation ever took place. I kind of doubt it though, we were nominated for two Saturn awards and to me that’s my Emmy. If I get a Saturn award that’s killing it in the genre universe. So, I’m as excited about the Saturn award, or the Chain saw awards, as anything. Because, that’s the world in which I come, and those are my peers. I’ll be judged by my exploitation peers. So, I’m looking forward to it, that’s coming up on my birthday. Beth Accomando: Oh nice well you would seem to be a shoe-in for a chainsaw award. Bruce Campbell: I already got one;I got two of them now. Beth Accomando: Are they named after you? Bruce Campbell: I don’t know what started, I think we’re probably in part of the reason; there aren’t so many chainsaw movies. Beth Accomando: Do you a dream role, something that you would love to do that might be different than what your fans would expect? Bruce Campbell: I live in a world of realityeven though I make my living in fantasy. So, I never sit down and go “Gosh I’d love to do theater in the park, I’d love to do Shakespeare in the park.” I just don’t go there, I take what comes and what comes is usually pretty interesting. I mean I’ve done a French film, most people don’t even realise that. So, I’ve done a lot of stuff that people don’t even know that I’ve done because they don’t see it because they’re not looking for it. They’re only looking for horror. If you’re only looking for horror you won’t know that Idid a Cowboy series, or played the king of thieves in Hercules. Funny thing is I’m more type cast by fans than I am by the industry. Beth Accomando: That is interesting. I do remember Brisco County though and I’m sorry that show didn’t go on for longer. Bruce Campbell: Yeah, we were slightly out of time and we were kind of expensive and we started strong and then we started to fade. Fox was looking to make some money at that point, they were done growing. Beth Accomando: The fact that you aren’tcontemplating some kind ofdream role, you always seem to have beenin the interviews I’ve seen you in and I've seen you at Comic-Con a couple times too. That you seem really practical and very professional that you don't have these kind of elevated sense that some actors may have. Bruce Campbell: Well, Jeez I don’t know where that comes from. All I know is we’re another actor, I don’t know where that behavior comes from. I have a lot of respect for my craft, I don’t take much seriously in life but I actually take my work very seriously when I work. I don’t know, I feel that if you are a brick layer and you’ve worked for 30 years, you should have it figured out. I like working with younger actors, you can hopefully teach them some good habits. Because there’s a lot of younger actors who have really lousy habits. Hopefully we can improve that. Beth Accomando: So, with a role like Ash, what is the kind of preparation you do as an actor or do you just know him so well that you can just walk into that role at any point. Bruce Campbell: Ashis getting easier to do that. He’s an easier one to figure out and it’s easier for me to work with the directors about how to do something. I know how Ash would turn a phrase. This is what I found, at the beginning of TV shows actors speak like the writers write and by the end of the TV show writers write how the actor speaks. You got to find that happy moment when that happens. And because I know Ash so wellI can look at a piece of dialogue and go “well, he wouldn’t say this but he would say that,” and stuff like that. We usually just try to keep things simple for Ash. Beth Accomando: Do feel that you have some control? I mean when you did Brisco County, you probably didn’t have a whole lot of control over that series but do you feel on this one you’ve got a real say and that you can influence how it goes? Bruce Campbell: At Brisco if we wanted to change a single line we had to make a phone call and to me in my experience that’s baloney. We’re all part of the process all part of the team and I’ve always felt I want to be part of that process. A writer has to be pretty damn good for them to tell me you can’t change anything. And you got to be Paddy Chayefsky. I got that crap on the movie Congo where you couldn’t change the word on a dialogue of Congo. And, I’m like, this is a monkey in the jungles movie and you’re concerned about dialogue? I’ve been in that situation I bridle under it, I do not do well. I chaff in those scenarios and I avoid them. So, you talk about dreams roles, I think if Erin [indiscernible] [00:18:30] called me, said I got the best part for you in a brand new show, I think I would say no. Because, he’s another one of these guys “you ain’t changing my words, you’re not changing the cadence, I’m going to put a pause where I want you to pause and you’re going to be my little monkey. And, I’ve always fought that. So, now if I smell it coming, I just avoid it. So, I probably won’t work on any other TV show where there’s any restrictions on what comes out of my mouth. And if this is the last one that I get to do that the first and last, then atleast I can say I’ve done it. So, it’s all about creative freedom, we’re in a creative industry. We forget that, nobody gets to trump anybody else. Director doesn’t get to trump an actor, an actor doesn’t get to trump a writer. We’re all trying to make a given scene work. So, it’s not about protecting the writer’sprecious words. It’s about what does this scene need to work. And writers sitting in their little cubicles, they don’t always know what’s best. Writers haven’t even been on set, they write action scenes without executing them, and this is always a work in progress. I go back my buddy Sam Raimi, he writes these scripts and while you’re shooting in the middle of it take he’s throwing new lines at you. So, it seems words aren’t as precious to the guy who wrote them and stuff like talented film maker like Sam Raimi, but I’m not going to worry about any of that crap. We’re going to try and make the scene good. So, that’s my job, I don’t care who has the great idea but some scenes need good ideas. Beth Accomando: And do you feel have a good team on the Ash vs. Evil Dead? Bruce Campbell: We have a great team. The writers we’ve done some shifts but I think that’s like any show you got to figure out who has a good voice for it. So, we’ve made some changes in that department.But, these are also the crew members from Lord of the Rings, from Hercules, from Lina, Avatar, these people have massive experience. So, I’m really grateful and this show, the Evil Dead movies have always gotten pod shots taken about Cheesythis, cheesiest effects, lousy this or lousy that. We’ve finally muted everybody because the production values are actually quite good on this show, the photography is amazing, the art direction is so detailed it can compete with mad men how detailed we are on our given sets. So, it’s a great work environment where we havecreative freedom, Stars has been very good to us, because one of our big criteria of picking one of our suitors because there was more than one company interested in this as a series. Oneof the main questions was, what is the content restriction? And, what are our freedoms? How much will you give us how much rope, will you give us? So, they answered all the questions, they gave us a budget we were looking for. So, they’ve been agreat partner and we have zero content restrictions. And for the hard-core fans, first two Evil Dead movies were unrated. If we did another feature it would have to have an R-rating. And so, this TV show actually the only format where they can get an uncensored, unfiltered, just how they want it. Starsis turning out to be quite a good match, and we hope this is all worth it for them at the end. This is new territory, they’ve had shows that appeal to women and other groups. They haven’t really had a carnage and mayhem show. I think that’s what we represent, we’re like the bad boys of the network. Everybody else will want to see our show hopefully, because finally they appeal to people who like stuff that blows up, they like cars, they like trash talking, they like a little raunchy humor. They like a show with some teeth, this is a little bit of an edgy show and I love it for that. Beth Accomando: Well, I think where the fans really appreciate is that you do feel that there’s no compromise on your part. That you guys are getting to do the show you want to do. Bruce Campbell: We are and that’s huge for us, that’s everything. We don’t like working within a rating system either. I understand why rating systems are in place, to protect our little children’s eyes. But still, you’ve got to let people run in the creative industry. So far it’ s a great scenario, it’s the perfect combo platter for us to do this show. Beth Accomando: Do you have a favorite moment where you wanted to push the envelope and you were able to do it and something that just really summed up for you that feeling? Bruce Campbell: Well, the other day we had Ted Rainy back this season, and he’s reprising a character that I think I can’t mention but, we were back on set, he was playing this character, from 30 years agoand I’m still playing Ash and he was playing this character and we were joking about how far our careers have gone in 30 years. And, here we are same set, same outfit, same character but we’re still talking the same trash talk, and still making up lines. Ted is a font of adlibbing so, we just fell right back into it. As soon as I heard him speak like this character, I just burst out laughing, I’m like that’s the exact sound I heard 30 years ago. So we’ve had a lot of weird moments, on set. Beth Accomando: Well, I just went to a midnight screening of “Evil Dead” and the majority of the audience had not seen it. So, I think your creating this whole new generation of people, because of the TV show, that came out to actually see it on a big screen, which was kind of fun. Bruce Campbell: It is weird how that works because people are like what is this show?” And they find that show and they’re like “what? They did these weird movies years ago?” It can be fun for them to go back and check them out, and we hope that’s the case. Beth Accomando: Well, and it’s fun to see it with an audience where there are first timers and you’ve got people who are going “No, no, no, don’t do that.” [Laughter] [00:24:07] It happens. Bruce Campbell: Don’t open that door. Beth Accomando: Yes, after seeing it multiple times you know you look for your favorite parts and things like that, but you forget what it was like watching it for the first time and how it kind of like blows your mind. Bruce Campbell: After a while, we just watched the audience when we had early screenings of Evil Dead, and there was a couple that watched the movie from underneath the jacket, the jacket was covering them both and they were watching through the sleeve of the jacket. And, if anything was toohorrible they would close the end of the sleeve up so they couldn’t see it and then a hand would come out and open up the sleeve again and they would sort of roam the screen with their sleeve but close it off whenever it was too horrible, so, whatever you do to survive. A bunch of football players watched it and whenever they got scared they started punching each other, “I’m like you got scared,” “No I didn’t.” “Yes youdid, you were more scared than I was pussy.” So, they bring strange reactions for people. A guy was there with his way too young family, something horrible would happen and he would take them all the way to the back row and when something would happen he would gather them and run into the lobby, then the door would open and the father would peekback in, and he’d signal them it’s okay, you can come back in. And then they’d come back in and something horrible would happen, these people were in and out and in and out. Like why the hell did he bring those kids? But, he had to see it, I really loved the fact he’s like “even though I’m warping my children’s brains, I got to see this movie.” That’s the fan base that we have and that’s what we really appreciate from the show. Our fans are pretty crazy, they’ve tattooed. I’ve got lots of Ash tattoos on peoples’ body. Beth Accomando: You helped my son to be able to watch “Evil Dead 2,” he was in elementary school and you were out here for like, I think it was either Bubba Ho-Tep or “A man with the Screaming Brain,” and you stayed for the midnight show to kind of introduce it, and my son was a little hesitant and he got to talk to you and he said “don’t worry it’s splat stick.” Bruce Campbell: Splastick yes, smoke and mirrors, it’s all rubber and Caro syrup. Beth Accomando: That made it all okay, and he laughed so hard that it’s still one of his favorite films now. Bruce Campbell: The movie is really just ridiculous, there’s nothing in there that’s going to warp anybody. The first “Evil Dead” is a little more hard hitting, but an Army of Darkness a 12-year-old could watch that movie. Beth Accomando: Yes, and quite enjoyably. I wanted to just bring up Bubba Ho-Tep, which is a one of my favourite films of yours. I really feel you got robbed of--I think the genre awards are great but you should have gotten an Oscar nomination for that, that was so great. Bruce Campbell: Well, Bubba was a weird one. That one just snuck in there, my theory is if you stick around long enoughcool stuff comes down the pipes. With any of those movies, again I’m not looking for any award business, I just like the fact that it resonates with people. You do a lot of movies they come and they go and they just disappear and people go “eh.”Bubba came out when Passion of the Christ came out. So there was the Bubba Ho-Tepline and there was the Passion of the Christ line. And, it was just awesome to look at the two lines. And how different they were and that we could compete with essentially a Hollywood movie as far as the people who really wanted to see it. So, that’s all I’m ever there for, that people remember what you do and Bubba was one that I think stuck with people and they all were like “where’s the sequel, where’s the sequel.” I don’t think there’s ever going to be a sequel for that. Because, we couldn’t agree on the script for one, and for two why do you have to? I think it makes it even more special if that’s it, that’s the only Bubba Ho-Tep. Beth Accomando: It does make it more special but it doesn’t stop fans from wanting more. Bruce Campbell: I know I can’t blame them for that. Beth Accomando: Do you have any roles coming up outside of Ash. Bruce Campbell: Yes,when you make these little moviesand you never know if they’re going to be released, a skit or whatever. There’s one called “HighlyFunctional,” I’m sort of in a broken down phase in my career, where I playbroken down characters now. So, he’s a broken down country western singer who’s kidnapped by a kid with Asperger’s, so it’s a very bizarreroad trip movie. And, pretty much tailor made. When I read it I was like “wow, this guy is like so writing this for me.” So, it got held up because of some dumb reasons, I think they’re finally finishing it up. So hopefully thatthing will come out but this is so ambitious, this TV show that when I’m in the off season, I’m either promoting or not looking to do anything. I don’t need to jam myself wall to wall anymore. Beth Accomando: But if something tempting comes your way? Bruce Campbell: Yes, something tempting, sure. Like the movie “Highly Functional,” I had other stuff going on but I was like yeah I should do this one. So it’s whatever happens in the meantime. I don’t really scour the countryside for work when I’m not working, because I’m sick of working. Beth Accomando: The film. Sounds like paring you with an Asperger’s person would leave you carrying a lot of the dialogue as you’re well suited to. Bruce Campbell: Yeah, it’s a weird relationship, but that's what’s nice, if you play the low budget game you can do a lot more these weirdo little movies and the weirdo little movies are the cool ones because they don’t make compromises. Big Hollywood movies make lots of compromises, and they have lots of chefs in the kitchen making little tiny movies you don’t have to go through all those hoops you can just make your movie. And to me creatively that’s way better than these big blockbusters. They’re frankly not that imaginative. Theystick with a paradigm and they don’t really shift it. They can’t really injure your character, like Captain America he’s not going to rip a random fart during a scene but Ash might, and that to me makes all the difference. I’m getting paged here, hold on, they’re ready for me. Beth Accomando: Alright, thank you for squeezing the interview in and I appreciate it. Bruce Campbell: No, problem thanks for your time and stand by for season 2. It’s coming at you like a freight train sometime this fall but they won’t let me tell you the date, but I know it. But, it’s coming, and thanks for your time. Beth Accomando: All right, and happy birthday. Bruce Campbell: Thank you very much. [music] [00:30:27] Beth Accomando: That was Bruce Campbell talking to me from his trailer in New Zealand. I hope you’ll join me in wishing Mr. Campbell a very happy birthday and celebrate by enjoying some of his work from film, TV or books. Happy birthday Mr. Campbell, you’re theman. Please subscribe to Cinema Junkie on iTunes and leave me a review or comments. Till our next film fix I’m Beth Accomando your resident Cinema Junkie. [music] [00:31:00]

June 22 is Bruce Campbell's birthday. That's cause for celebration and I am calling this podcast Hail to the King, Bruce Campbell in his honor.

June 22 is Bruce Campbell's birthday. That's cause for celebration and I am calling this podcast Hail to the King, Bruce Campbell in his honor.

I encourage everyone to celebrate Bruce Campbell's birthday by watching his movies, reading his books, catching up on the "Ash vs Evil Dead" show. Whatever! Just enjoy the day! And don't forget: "shop smart, shop S-Mart!!!"

Let me begin by saying I love Bruce Campbell. As Ash in the "Evil Dead" films, he kicks ass. In person at panels, he's a riot. And when given the chance, as in "Bubba Ho-Tep," he can deliver a performance that's worthy of an Oscar. No wait, it's better than Oscar-worthy.

Campbell has a devoted cult following of fans, and deservedly so. Not only is he a talented actor but he's a consummate professional who knows how important his fan base is to his career, yet he also knows how to tease and berate them in a manner that only makes them (umm, I mean us) squeal with delight. Playing himself in "They Call me Bruce," he treats his fans with contempt.

But Campbell is beloved to fans mostly because of his work on Sam Raimi's "Evil Dead" films. And last year something amazing happened. Campbell and Raimi brought Ash back in a Starz series that kicked deadite ass.

The show was perfection and it has been renewed with season two shooting in New Zealand. My interview with Campbell was between scenes during shooting and a production assistant kept sending me text messages with updates as to when he would be available. Needless to say, he gave me a highly entertaining interview.

"Ash vs Evil Dead" is scheduled to return in the fall (when I recorded the podcast I thought the date was in late September but Starz says that has changed) and Campbell is set to appear at Comic-Con in July.