Growing up I watched Army of Darkness on repeat. What was your favorite movie of the series?
P.s. I dressed as you (Ash) for Halloween this year. A whole 5 people knew who I was but those 5 people fucking LOVED it.
Um, okay. Well first of all, female Ash’s are hot. Torn shirts and chainsaws and shotguns and chicks.. I don’t know.. something about it really gets me going, so let’s get some Ash cosplay out there. Guys, stay home. Let the ladies take over for a while.
My favorite of the 3 movies was probably Evil Dead 2. We had a little.. enough experience, enough of a budget, and we were left alone enough to do our thing. It was the easiest production, too.
Hey Bruce! How many times did you actually injure yourself while filming the Evil Dead Movies?
The Evil Dead movies were lots of injuries but I only went to hospital once. During “Army of Darkness,” I was flipping a stunt guy down some stairs and the breast plate of my costume dug into my chin and after the take we’re like, "You're bleeding!” and I'm like, "Oh really?" And I look down - my breast plate was covered with blood.
So they took me, in full Ash costume, in makeup -- I already had 8 cuts on my face, they were from other parts of the movie-- and I got in the emergency room and the doctor they got goes, "...Which one is it?" I'm like, "Can't you tell?"
So they stitched me up and the nice thing is, I just showed back up on set with a new cut. You couldn't even tell. If this was a soap opera it would have been a bad situation. Because it was Army of Darkness no one seemed to care, so we just kept shooting.
Felicia Day wrote in the intro of her book that she isn't sure how to describe how she is famous, but only to a select group of people. Do you find this is true for you that some people have no idea who you are, where as others are exceedingly excited to meet you?
Is it difficult vacillating between the two?
Given the sheer volume of movies and TV shows that we have, do you think we're moving away from mega-celebrities and more into a realm of niche-celebrity?
Well, because there's 100 million t.v. channels out there right now, there's only six people watching each channel, so I'm not real surprised. When there were three channels, he had 20 million people watching each channel. I sort of just take it as it goes. I didn't get in this to be famous, I got in it to be an actor, and whatever happens, happens.
Look, most people walk right past me on the street, and then one guy will stop and wet himself, but that's pretty rare. But I'm grateful for those people, because they force the Ash Bruce's Evil Dead to happen. Those mega-fans will not shut up about no matter what you say. So, you did it.
does playing Ash now feel any different from when you first started playing him?
Yes, Ash feels very different now, because now I know how to act. The very first Ash, I couldn’t act my way out of a wet paper bag, so I’m actually very glad to go back and fix Ash now like George Lucas fixed his movies.
I’m going to do the same thing. I’m going to go back there and we’re going to create an Ash that can speak in full sentences now, so I’m looking forward to that.
Do you ever wear the Tommy Bahama shirt my friends and I gave you on Halloween, 2008, at the My Name is Bruce screening in New York? (You exchanged it with us for the one you were wearing.)
Yes, I’m wearing it now under this outfit.
How often do you stare at your reflection and tell yourself "hail to the king, baby"?
Kind person, I don’t do that ever, but I appreciate the fact that you think I’m that stupid.
Hey Bruce! If you could have been in any other movie(or T.V. show) that you weren't already in, which would it be and what character would you have played?
I’ll be honest with you. I never play that “What if” game. Mostly fans like to play that “What if” game. Actors are way too practical - Like Marty Scorcese… he’s never going to bust my door down. I’ve made peace with that.
Bobby Deniro, I’m probably never going to work with the guy. I’m down with that. I live in the world of reality, even though I make my living out of fantasy.
Hello Bruce! It'd be real funny if you made some soup and then someone said "Hey look, it's Campbell's soup!"
Has anyone ever done that?
How big a laugh did it get?
Should I make a joke like this if I ever meet you in person?
Your question has failed. The question is very clever, but it has accomplished nothing. If I was actually a Campbell from the Campbell soup company, I wouldn't be here right now. I would be a millionaire with my own island.
How much fun was it playing Reagan in Fargo?
Playing Reagan in Fargo was great. My buddy, John Cameron, who produces the show - we’re high school buddies. We go all the way back and my kids grew up in the Reagan era during my formative years, so John and I would imitate him mercilessly because he was a very “imitatible” president. His mannerisms, the way he spoke and everything – and you know, look, every actor wants to do a couple of things in life. Like, I’ve played Elvis. Now I’ve done Ronald Reagan. I’ve played a cowboy.
Those are some of the bucket list things that actors do because they want to play certain iconic roles. The one thing I had to do was take it seriously: a) because it’s Fargo; they win Emmy’s and b) because there would be Ronald Reagan fans that would chase me down and beat me with sticks if I made him look like a jerk, or a moron, or whatever. The trick is to humanize the man.
Would you ever star in a Burn Notice spin-off, based on Chuck Finley?
There's a lotta hypotheticals out there. Sure, yes. It's the easiest answer - yes. Would it ever happen? Probably not. Because old TV shows age like fish, let's not forget.
Now granted, maybe 5 years from now when Ash vs. Evil Dead has run its course, we'll revisit Chuck Finley. Never say never.
How many Tommy Bahama shirts did you get to keep during Burn Notice's run?
EDIT: My top comment is about Chuck Finley and was answered by Mr. Campbell himself
HAIL TO THE KING BABY!!
I think I kept about a dozen shirts. I kept the best ones that I liked the most.
The only problem with actually wearing those shirts from the actual show is you'll be sitting there and someone will go by and go (pauses) … it's too much of a connection. They'll make that connection. They'll point that finger at you, it's like you're wearing a target. The end of a lot of shoots, everyone gets a crew jacket. Army of Darkness crew.
I can't wear those things. It makes me a beacon, a target, so I have a closet full of crew jackets that I can't wear.
Given the amount and quality of CGI would you like to see a remake of the whole evil dead franchise done (Either with or without your good self in it) or do you think the original series should be left as is?
Yes and no. You know we did a remake a few years ago, because the fans wouldn't shut up about it. We thought, “Okay, we'll give you guys a remake. We'll try that, a new cast, new director.” And they accepted it and they did well around the world. But fans were more like, “Close, but no cigar. We want Sam, we want Ash.”
You know, after a while you get tired after fighting city hall, so we thought, “Okay, let's do it.” Sam's in between his big movies, I finished up Burn Notice, so let's give the people what they want, and thankfully they respond.
I enjoyed the humor in your books. Have plans for another, sir?
I do have plans to a sequel for If Chins Could Kill because it's been 15 years now since the first book came out, so there's a lot more ridiculous stories to go with it.
Both books, If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor and my second novel, Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way, are out as e-books now. So, if you're tired of looking at old, black and white photographs, get your e-0book. There's lovely new color images for you to see.
Was it tiring carrying the chainsaw around for all those scenes, or did they make a special prop one that was far lighter? I've got a bet going on this, and you could help me win five bucks.
I hope you win your bet. The answer is that we do have multiple chainsaws.
We have functional ones. We have what I call Mr. Wrigley; where you can do fight scenes and you won't hurt anybody, because it's more of a plastic chainsaw. But yeah...it builds up the right arm a little bit, and the reason why I cut my right hand off in the movie is because I'm left handed. So, I wanted to be left with my left hand, because if I cut off my left hand then my right hand would be left.
Do you ever get lonely enough to talk to the Necronomicon?
No, but I get lonely enough to go on Reddit. That's pretty lonely - two can play that game, buddy.
What would be the first thing you did if you actually had a chainsaw for a hand?
The first thing I would do? Cut a cord of wood 'cause winter's comin'.
Second thing? I'd hire myself out as just, like, a tree trimmer kinda guy. You know - hang with one hand, cut with the other. I'd be pretty good at that eventually...
Edit: Transcriber here. It should be cord, not quart. Thanks! (TIL a cord of wood is a thing.)
Any chance of a Bubba Hotep 2? That movie was awesome!
The script for Bubba Ho-tep was a very unique script and the reason there has not been a sequel is because we have not been able to come up with a script that is as good as the first one. And I know now after having some experience that your script is like your blueprint for your building and if your blueprint is pointed in a funny direction, that’s the way your building is gonna go.
So if you have a script that is subpar, it’s gonna be a subpar movie and none of us wanted to do that with Bubba because a lot of people really dig it. So, at the end of the day, too, it’s also okay to not make a sequel.
We’ve all gone a little sequel-crazy, a little remake-crazy, myself included. It’s okay for original ideas to get made and made once. That’s what they used to do. It’s gotten a little chronic now.
Hey Bruce! I've grown up watching you on film and television, I have always wondered which was more fun to make? Movies or television?
Excellent question. For me, TV's a little more fun. Movies can tell a bigger, better, richer story, but television moves at the pace I want it to move.
There's no crappin' around on television. You show up, say your lines, have your lunch - get outta there. Features can be excruciatingly, painfully slow.
Bruce, first I want to thank you for keeping the B movie alive. Your work in movies like My Name is Bruce and Bubba Ho Tep is amazing, not to mention The Evil Dead series (the second one is one of my favourite movies of all time). Ash vs the Evil Dead has already GREATLY exceeded my expectations. Everything you do is gold.
My question to you is... I didn't think that far ahead, shit. Uhhh... Did you grow up watching those classic B movies such as
The Taming of the Shrew The Killer Shrews? If so, which was your favourite?
I did not watch B-movies as a kid. I did not watch horror movies as a kid. I did not read horror comics as a kid. I read a comic called Sad Sack which was about a loser, a private in the army, who was mostly peeling potatoes.
Sam Raimi, however, actually read Spider-Man. Those comics, to me, I couldn’t relate to them because I couldn’t really relate to a superhero; which is why I’m hoping people will relate to the character Ash. He has no superpowers. He is not a CIA, FBI, Navy Seal…He’s YOU.
How did Lucy Lawless get into the project?
Lucy Lawless got into the project because we got on our knees and we begged her to get into the project. That's how that happened. When I knew we were going to New Zealand and working on this show, I told Rob Tapert, the producer, I said, "Rob, at dinner tonight ask your wife if she will be in the show." So, fortunately she had just finished working on Salem and we were lucky enough to get her partially through our season. Hopefully Season 2 - she's gonna be kickin' some ass.
Thanks for doing this AMA. My question is, what is your perfect 5-course meal?
Spanky, the reason why Americans are so fat is because they eat five-course meals. Stick with two courses: salad and a light protein. A piece of meat the size of your fist, no bigger. That's even too big. Like a deck of cards.
People eat these Fred Flintstone steaks. They have these giant plates, at restaurants right now, that are the width of your shoulders and they have to fill those plates with too much food. It's a bit of a travesty.
Bruce - loved you in the Evil Dead, Burn Notice, and so many other productions!
My question is out of all the roles you've been in, which one was closest to exhibiting your real personality?
Hopefully not Ash, because he's kind of a moron. I'll take Brisco, The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. He was the closest I've ever played to actually being a real hero. Like, not that flawed - He was smart and capable, so that would be me on my absolute best day. Ash would be me on my worst day.
Bruce, what's your most embarrassing audition story?
I’ve gotten two or three roles from auditioning. I’m a very poor “auditioner” - I try to avoid them like the plague. But as far as audition stories, I did get The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. by auditioning five times. Five different times. And it started - one of the scenes called for them to enact a fight scene and when you first go in to read for a role, you’re just in the office of the casting director. It’s about 6 feet by 6 feet and I’m like, “Well, how are we supposed to do a fight scene now?” I don’t really get that. BUT, I thought “Okay, I’ll just do a trick from Evil Dead 2, where I flip myself.”
So, I grabbed the back of my collar and I flipped myself in the guy’s office and the guy was like “OH MY GOD” so every time I came back for the second audition, the third audition, as you move up the ladder, the guy kept going “You gonna do the flip? You gonna do the flip?” I’m like, “Give me the part and I’ll do the flip. How many times do I have to do this dumb flip?” So, I guess that was the most memorable casting situation.
There’s plenty of really bad ones. Sometimes you’re auditioning for a love scene, and we had a casting director who is very ancient, and she chain-smoked cigarettes and she (changes voice to smokers voice) talked like that. And so you would do a love scene and she would go “I love you, I really, really love you.” I mean, how are you supposed to act across from that? That’s where you have to be a really good actor!
If the age of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Kickstarters, etc. let's assume for a moment you could bring back Brisco County Jr.
Would you have an interest, and how would you envision it?
We're back to hypotheticals again. You know, honestly I didn't think we would ever do another Evil Dead movie, so I guess I shouldn't make fun of the fact that people still wanted more Brisco.
I would like to take Brisco and do a series of TD movies, you know "Brisco Rides Again" and just tell some fun two hour stories without a whole commitment to do a series, because those are expensive and maybe sometimes you can come back and capitalize on the familiarity that people have on the project, but just do a smaller piece. I'd like to do more like that.
Greetings Mr. Campbell:
I was just wondering, does Ash still have Linda's necklace?
That necklace was one of the crappiest pieces of jewelry I think I have ever seen in my life. Sam picked it out. He was so excited when he got it because the shape of it was a little magnifying glass with a chain around it that would go around her neck. We bought it at Cory’s Jewel Box in Michigan for this thing and I’m like “Sam, that’s the ugliest piece of jewelry I’ve ever seen,” and he was like, “Shut up, it’s going to be in the movie.”
He wanted, when the morning sun came in through the window as Ash is struggling mightily to defeat these Evil Dead, he was gonna take the sunlight and refract it through Linda’s magnifying glass necklace and burn the book of the dead. For whatever reason, that schtick didn’t work so we didn’t use it, so we were just stuck with an ugly necklace. So no, I don’t have it, because I would have destroyed it with a hammer.
Bruce, if you had a step by step guide to 'get chicks', what would be in it?
To get chicks? Don't use a pick-up line. Don't use any pick-up lines. However, there was one pick up line from Army of Darkness that I know for a fact worked. A guy translated, "Give me some sugar, baby," from Army of Darkness into Mandarin Chinese, because he was working in China. He went into a bar in Beijing and used that on a woman and got laid. So, I know there's some power in those pick-up lines, if they're really, really good ones. But for the most part, if you role-play or play a game, you're gonna get nowhere fast. You gotta be who you are from the “go get,”
What ever happened to the damned Oldsmobile?
Well that damned Oldsmobile is still in Ash vs. Evil Dead. The actual, actual, actual, real Oldsmobile - we put it on a boat and we shipped it to New Zealand, where we filmed. That is Sam’s personal car that I rode in when I was in high school. And I know he’s got them all numbered. He has four of them, but there’s only one that’s the original.
As someone who is not familiar with you. Which part of your work should I watch first?
Depends on what you like. I’ve learned that people only know me based on what they watch. Ironically I’m more typecast by you, the fans, than I am within my own industry. Within my own industry I’ve played thieves and cowboys and NAVY Seals. I’ve been in a French movie for God’s sake. So I feel like I can move about the building within my industry more than you will let me, because you, the fan, will go “Oh he’s that Evil Dead guy!”…Yes, if all you watch is Evil Dead, but there were plenty of people who watched The Adventures of Briscoe County Jr. that wouldn’t go near Evil Dead. They just like westerns and vice versa.
So, it used to annoy me that people had a perception of me, but I realized later that it was really just based on what they watched. There were a bunch of people who watched Burn Notice who go, “Oh, that old guy did those weird movies, a long time ago.” They didn’t know until they saw “Burn Notice”.
What's your favorite thing about living in Oregon?
First of all, what's the deal with all these numbers by the way? 83? Why would 82 other people want Bamm? Nice try, man.
My favorite thing about living in Oregon is that no one really knows what Oregon is. If you say you're from Arizona people go, "Oh! You're crazy, you carry guns around all the time." Or, you say you're from Texas, they get an image of who you are. Or California, you know, they're all a bunch of flakes and nuts.
When you say Oregon, the only thing they can do is they either go, "Oh, it rains a lot out there, doesn't it?" And when they say that I go, "Yes. Everyday. You would hate it. You should stay away from Oregon." Or they go, "Well, that seems like a really nice place!" And I'm like, "Yep! It is." So, I like livin' there, because no one can peg ya. No one can figure out who they think you are.
I saw you years ago star in a stage play of "Shane" in Xenia, Ohio.
How did that play come about, and how did you become involved in it?
I met you afterward and you were incredibly nice, so thank you for that. And thank you for doing an AMA. I'm so excited about the new Evil Dead movie! I'm a big fan of your work!
I think I got the Shane thing because of Brisco, because I had done a western. And I think somebody at this theater, it was called the Blue Jacket, it was an outdoor theater in Xenia. Really cool theater. It’s an outdoor theater where it’s in the woods and the play has woods around it and they use the woods. So, they interrupted their normal play, which was a sort of Cowboys and Indians, really. These guys were riding bareback. They did fistfights. So, the actors in this show could already do this stuff.
When we did Shame the western, what was really cool about it by being in this outdoor setting, as you sat in theater and looked out into the woods, there’s a trail that went out for about a quarter of a mile away from the stage and at the very beginning of the play, Shame comes riding into town. And if this was a regular play, he’d only be going about 20-feet. But in this case, I can ride into town for like ten minutes at the very beginning of it and it really added to the authenticity.
When the bad guys showed up, they showed up at a stagecoach with four horses and these guys could really do all this great western stuff. They could do the fist fights so we had a bar room brawl and stuff like that. It was a very fun experience, but very tiring, which makes me realize why I don’t do much theater. You can’t call cut.
Can you tell us about the process of filming Running Time? I LOVE that movie. How long did it take, how many actual takes, was any of it ad-libbed? Etc... I was dubious of it, as it came free with my Necronomicon TED dvd, but upon watching was stunned at how good it was.
Running Time is a lost little gem. It's one of my favorite things I've ever done. I had just finished McHale's Navy and I was ready to do something that I felt was a little more substantial. McHale's Navy was down in Mexico, working for 11 weeks, basically eating cotton candy. It was that type of a movie, you know, very light-hearted, silly, sort of movie.
So a friend of mine had this idea: Alfred Hitchcock had made a movie called Rope. It was all done in one shot, supposedly. It was a bunch of hidden cuts that they put together. So my friend, Josh Becker, wanted to do an ambitious version of that; where it's a crime thriller that he wanted to do in almost real-time. And so, we devised the same method of trying to do a series of long takes (10-minute takes), that you would cut together with a hidden cut on either end. And, it worked! Because there was one reviewer that we blew their mind. They couldn't grasp how you could pull off making an entire 90-minute movie without stopping.
We had to change attire, there's a sex scene, we're going down alleys, I get shot... I mean, so much stuff happens, but it all seemed like it was in one take. The reviewer was astounded. He was like, "What if you were changing that tire and something went wrong? What if you forgot a line of dialogue?"
So, thankfully we fooled that particular person, but it was tricky in that whenever we rehearsed a 10-minute shot (now, a 10 minute shot in a movie, that's a long shot), the director said, "Nobody calls cut, except for me. Actor, if you blow a line you better keep going because, Mr Sound Man, if you hear an airplane, you keep going. I'm the only one who's gonna call cut!"
We couldn't get it. We would rehearse, and rehearse, but never quite get it. We thought, “To hell with it, let's just start shooting.” Everyone's sphincter gets a little tighter and you start to really focus up. So we got it, we shot it in ten days. We shot in in order and I compared how much footage we got in a day with a friend of mine, who was the first A.D. on Men in Black, the original one. We talked to each other at the end of the day, he was in New York, I was in LA and I go, "John (John Cameron, he's now the producer of Fargo) - What'd you get today?"
He says, "We got about 1/8th of a page." And he goes, "How much did you get?"
"Uh, we got 10 pages today. And how long did it take to get your eighth of a page?"
How long for our ten pages? We were done by lunch, because every day we would set up essentially one shot. Once you got that shot - that was all that was planned for that day! What was nice about it, as an actor, was that you really got a sense of progression. You knew each day where you had left off. I thought it was a really cool little movie. I hope more people will check it out, Running Time.
I'm one of the 12 fans of "Jack of All Trades". Hi, how are ya?
My real question is: what other historical figures (if you know) were you going to skewer? And what would have been the dream casting of them?
(Verne Troyer as Napoleon was one of the best things ever on TV, by the way.)
Well, with Jack of All Trades we only went one season - so we could only do so much. But we had Jefferson, we had Napoleon. I would have had Ben Franklin. I would have had them all. I would have had them all come through at some point and just have them all played by people you knew. But Vern Troyer as Napoleon was great. It’s just… try and sword fight with that guy. It’s just not your normal sword fight.
What have been your favorite horror movies that have come out recently?
I am not up on my current horror. We just sort of do the horror that we do, because sometimes what I think can happen is if you get too familiar with everything else that’s out there - you can try to chase a trend.
We don’t want to be like Walking Dead. Walking Dead is Walking Dead. They got it nailed. People love it. They’ll be around forever. So, we just want to be us and I think if I had horror influences, they would have been more from 20 years ago when we were really studying what horror was: the great John Carpenter, Toby Hooper, the guys who made the early 70’s horror movies…
Would you host an episode of The Price is Right?
Well, I’m sort of entering the “game show phase” of my career. I hosted a show called Last Fan Standing for ConTV. We did 10 episodes. So, I got my Wink Martindale on. I would host one day. I’m hoping to host a show, actually.
Edit: Transcriber here. Changed weak to Wink.
Mr. Campbell, LOVE your work! A few questions please:
(1) Did anyone actually get scared filming the first Evil Dead due to it's subject matter and filming location?
(2) What do you think of the Evil Dead remake?
(3) Did you guys know what you had when the film was done? Scared the hell out of me as a kid.
(4) What do you think of the Moody Blues?
(5) Is being a celebrity difficult?
(6) Favorite food?
Did anyone actually get scared filming the first Evil Dead due to it's subject matter and filming location?
We got scared shooting the first Evil Dead when people snuck in while we were away and stole all of our power tools, because this cabin was in the middle of nowhere in rural Tennessee in 1979. The good news is right next to the sabre saw that they took and the drill and the hammers was a $20,000 Aeroflex camera that they had no need for. These people live in rural Tennessee, they walked right past the $20,000 camera and took the $70 drill. And they walked right past the $5,000 recording device and took a bag of nails.
So we got off easy, but it was a little creepy when people were sneaking around there when we weren't there, so we decided to post somebody after we were done filming. Someone would huddle up by the fireplace and sleep by the fireplace and stay there.
So, one night it was Sam Raimi’s job. He's sleeping. My job: I was bringing groceries down to the cabin at like, I don't know, 8:00 in the morning. I was walking down this long road, it was almost a half a mile road to get to this cabin, and this was really in the middle of nowhere, and I see a guy coming up the road with a full beard. Like a full Duck Dynasty guy, and he's got shotguns across his chest, he had a shotgun larger than my entire body, he's carrying this and he's coming from the cabin. So, in my mind I'm going, “Sam's dead,” and I'm going to be next. It's just going to be a serial killer who's gonna wipe us all out.”
So what do you do? Do you freak out and run away or do you keep walking and see what happens. So, we just kept walking toward each other, and I thought, “Well, what if I don't engage the guy?” So we got closer, and I looked at him and I went, "Morning," and he went "Morning," and we just passed each other on the road and didn't say another word. And Sam was not killed. The guy was out hunting. But who knew?
What do you think of the Evil Dead remake?
What do I think of it? I produced it. So I like it. A lot. I hope you do too.
Did you guys know what you had when the film was done? Scared the hell out of me as a kid.
Well, with Evil Dead, nobody knows anything until they know what they know. We had a very difficult time trying to finish the movie. Period. So it wasn't like, “Wow! This movie is going to be really successful!” It took two years to complete it. We kept running out of money. So to us it was really just a struggle to complete it.
For me, when the first Evil Dead came to my local showcase cinema in Pontiac, Michigan in whatever 1981 or 2, and showed in my theatre where I would watch the Poseidon Adventure as a kid, that's when we made it in my mind. Because it was a very difficult thing to envision that you would one day make a movie that would show in your actual movie theatre.
It was one thing to make an amateur thing that would show in your parent's basement; that's a whole different story, but this makes it real. And so I didn't care what happened. I didn't care what the box office was or if we ever made another movie, because I was like, “We did it!”
What do you think of the Moody Blues?
Moody Blues. I think are a very good atmospheric band, and you might as well listen with really good headphones, because they were really into mixing.
Is being a celebrity difficult?
Well, the word celebrity I think is way overused. To you I'm a celebrity, but to me I'm not a celebrity. To me, someone who is a celebrity is like a Kardashian. Where you go to the airport and you're surrounded by people, you're tormented by people, you're hounded by people and you like it. I moved to rural Oregon for a reason. I don't want people going through my trash, because where I live they'll shoot you. So I kind of like that. My neighbors don't care that I'm an actor.
A week after I moved into my place in Oregon, a rancher from across the street drove up my driveway in his old beat-up Lincoln Continental, and he goes, "I understand you used to be a cowboy in a t.v. show?" I said "yes, sir." He goes, "Well, why don't you come on down here on Saturday? We're going to run a hundred head of cattle up the road, do you want to help?" I was like, “This is a test.” So I said, "You got an extra horse?" He says, "Yeah, I got a horse." I said, “I'll be there!” So at 8:00 on a Saturday, I showed up with a dumb Hawaiian shirt and a floppy western hat and we herded 100 cattle up the road. I met all my neighbors in one day.
Favorite food is tough. If I ask you that, I think you'd have a hard time answering that. Favorite food, like one favorite food? I have like a dozen favorite foods. One of them I'll just say: watermelon. It's like the perfect fruit, as long as you get a fresh watermelon. And a good bison steak. And I go for bison. I call it the mighty bison, because bison, somewhere in their DNA, they are trained not to pull up the grass by the roots when they feed on the range. They clip it. Cows, unfortunately, are a little too dumb and they just pull up the grass by the roots and it wrecks the range.
So, in order to preserve the mighty bison, I eat bison to create a dollar value and therefore, they will keep bison around. ‘Cause if it has no dollar value, if it is just a great American icon, they won't care - it will become genetically mutated. And so, I kill the bison just to let it live. How's that for a twist of logic?
Are you still into mojitos after all Burn Notice?
I was never into Mojito’s. I’m not into Mojito’s now. They’re very labor-intensive and too sweet.
I don’t drink beer either, and so in our little bottles was basically water, which is why we used either a dark green bottle or a dark brown bottle so you didn’t see that it was just water, ‘cause this is the modern era. Actors are not encouraged to drink on set anymore. This is the old days when they used to do that sort of stuff, so we fake it now.
How do you feel about the impact and legacy that Ash and Evil Dead left on the horror genre?
How did you feel about Cabin in the Woods take on the genre?
What do you think needs to happen to improve the quality of horror movies we have received in the past few years? Besides a few stand outs, horror (especially American horror) seem to stick to the same ideas.
Thanks Bruce, huge fan!
How do you feel about the impact and legacy that Ash and Evil Dead left on the horror genre?
I just wanna be included with them. I wouldn't dare say we're better than Walking Dead, or they're better than us, or whatever. These are our blood brothers, so I would never attack any other show -- TV show or movie, that's in the horror genre. We need all the help we can get, so I would just like to be listed along with the movies that are still remembered by people. That's it.
How did you feel about Cabin in the Woods take on the genre?
I never saw Cabin in the Woods, believe it or not, because I live in the world of fiction. I create reality. So, what's on my playlist is like current events. That's what gets me excited. I don't need to binge watch, because when I watch a TV show I watch the actors hitting their marks. I can hear them blowing their lines a little bit, so it takes a lot for me to really get into watching fiction, because I feel like I'm going to work.
What do you think needs to happen to improve the quality of horror movies we have received in the past few years?
Well I would just like to see torture porn go away, because it's just lazy filmmaking. And it's disturbing. You know, I've done a lot of horror movies, but I don't know that it's something that's gonna warp your children forever.
We had the first premier for Evil Dead in Redford, Michigan. It's this giant old theatre that mostly showed family movies and we opened it up to the public. This old lady came in, she had to have been 80 years old, and she came into the theatre and we were like, “Does she know what she's about to see?” How would she know?
After the movie played we heard that she wanted to talk to us. And so myself and Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert were like, “Oh we're gonna get it now! And she came up to us and she goes, "Young man! Just want you to know I was having a terrible day. A terrible day! And I came in and your movie was so much fun, I feel great!" She basically skipped outta there. We're like, wow, that was awesome. Because we thought we were gonna be lectured about how psychologically horrible our movie was or damaging or anything like that...
And so, I don't have a problem with horror that isn't out to hurt you as a viewer. I actually think that horror can be done as artfully as any movie out there. I read a review once of Evil Dead where they talked about Ash cutting his girlfriend's head off with a shovel. The way that it was done, though, was so artfully done that they considered it artistic. And I first, I thought, “That's weird.”
I never thought of a decapitation as being artful – but, yes, you can have art within the horror genre.