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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    B-movie legend rolls into The Loft

    The king of camp is coming to Tucson. B-movie icon Bruce Campbell will be at The Loft Cinema on Tuesday to promote the paperback release of his novel, “”Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way.””

    Driving across the Nevada desert on his way to another book signing, Campbell reflected on the freedom writing provides.

    “”Writing a novel is one of the most liberating things you could do,”” Campbell said. “”With movies there are too many cooks involved. Whenever you spend that much money, there are more people involved to make sure things are going great.””

    Writing is a chance for the actor to work independently.

    “”It’s all me. I do some research and write about towns I’ve been to before,”” he said. “”I research enough to talk about it, but mostly I’m making it up.””

    The novel blends fictionalized accounts of Campbell’s adventures in Hollywood with the imaginative escapades you would expect from someone who’s starred in movies like “”Tornado!”” and “”Bubba Ho-tep.””

    “”I know my way around,”” Campbell said of the Hollywood back lots that appear in his book.

    Like the title of one of his short-lived television series, Campbell has become somewhat of a “”jack of all trades”” in the entertainment industry. Writing, producing and directing are all part of his repertoire, not to mention lending his voice to everything from video games to cartoons.

    “”I like to do a little of this, a little of that. I would like to write more, but I can’t afford it yet,”” he said. “”Writing a book, you don’t get paid until six months later. You make more money as an actor.””

    Writing must have its perks. This is Campbell’s second bestseller. His first, the autobiography “”If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor,”” has sold over eight printings.

    Anyone who’s ever been to a late-night showing of “”Evil Dead”” knows how rabid Campbell’s fans can be. After making the horror movie and comic-book convention rounds, how can one expect zealous movie fans to act at something like a book signing?

    “”They want what they want,”” Campbell said. “”It all blends together, you can’t help it. They’ve got to be more sensitive to the fact that it’s a book signing. Some people will suffer through buying a book to get a DVD signed.””

    That kind of fan base should feel right at home at Campbell’s Tucson stop, The Loft Cinema. Known for its support of all things independent, The Loft will not only be hosting the book signing and Q-and-A, but afterward it will be screening one of Campbell’s best flicks, “”Bubba Ho-tep.””

    “”I really wanted to bring Bruce in. I’m a big fan,”” said Jeff Yanc, program director at The Loft. Having premiered “”Bubba Ho-tep”” at the Loft, the theater had connections with the director, who helped to get in touch with Campbell, Yanc said.

    Being the only independent cinema in Tucson helps attract the right kind of attention. “”We’re on the radar of a lot of directors and actors,”” Yanc said. “”They support independent cinema.””

    The Loft has played host to other big names in Hollywood before. Everyone from trailer-trash hero John Waters to Academy Award winner Philip Seymour Hoffman has stopped by over the years.

    “”A lot of our contacts are through knowing someone who knows someone,”” Yanc said. “”It’s a good job to be a movie fan in.””

    Casey Dewey, an assistant manager at The Loft, agrees.

    “”To get to actually meet and talk to directors and actors adds a real human element,”” Dewey said. “”John Waters was one of the nicest, most down to earth celebrities I’ve ever met.”” Meeting the filmmakers showed him anyone with enough drive can pick up a camera and start filming, he said.

    One would expect someone who’s been making movies for more than 20 years to be tired of the business. In his case, Campbell has decided to channel his knowledge into trying something new. Just last year, Campbell finished his directorial debut, “”The Man With the Screaming Brain,”” which he also wrote.

    “”On a low-budget set, I’m just as experienced as anybody else, so I might as well do it myself. I like directing my own stuff.””

    Having worked on both dirt-cheap sets and summer blockbusters and everything in between, Campbell still has a soft spot for the little guys.

    “”I like the speed and creative aspect of the low-budget thing,”” he said. Money is tight, so people have to get creative, he said. “”People who are more excited about movies work on low-budget movies. You get higher quality with a big budget, but the excitement isn’t the same.””

    Then again, Hollywood isn’t all bad.

    “”They pay more,”” he said.

    Fans will be able to see Bruce Campbell at The Loft on Tuesday starting at 6 p.m. with doors opening at 5 p.m. Don’t bother to bring your “”Army of Darkness”” poster if you’re not going to buy a book though, Campbell will only be signing other memorabilia if you have purchased a copy of “”Make Love,”” which will be available on site.

    After the signing, there will be a Q-and-A followed by a screening of “”Bubba Ho-tep,”” a movie about Elvis and JFK living in a retirement home fighting off a soul-sucking mummy. Tickets are $8. Limited quantities are still available at The Loft, so hurry up and grab one before you miss the grooviest book signing in the Old Pueblo.

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