Welcome! You have found A Year In The Career. The podcast in which we chronicle the career of the actor, voice artist, producer, writer, sound editor, and director Bruce Campbell, one year at a time.
Hosted by Gareth Myles and Simon Appleton. Visit us online http://ayearinthecareer.com/
Follow us @yearcareer
Gareth is online at:
garethmyles.com and @garethmyles on Twitter
Simon is online at:
moviemoustache.com/ and @Movie_Moustache
What we are looking at this week:
Who is Bruce Campbell?
The Early Shorts – Get them here:
1981 – Bruce reads a book… things happen.
If you want to get in touch: email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
This Podcast is not endorsed or associated with Bruce Campbell in any way. Our opinions are our own.
Opening narration by Allan Gildea | http://www.allangildea.com/
[Music] since the 1970s the film industry has been contending with the chin now gareth myles and simon appleton examine each year in the career of bruce campbell swallow this hello and welcome to this a year in the career this is a podcast where we hope to chronicle the career of an actor voice artist producer writer sound editor and director that is known as bruce campbell each week we plan to take a look at his career right up to date looking at every film and television project that he’s been involved in watch it analyze it and see if his career is uh worth the alkalaid that we do hold it with joining me on this quest is simon appleton from moviemustache.com hello simon hello how are you today i’m good glad to be here looking forward to getting your teeth right into bruce campbell’s career yeah i certainly am is an actor i’m not so familiar with so it’d be an interesting new facet to look into well if you want to get in touch with me you can by going to garethmyles.com or at gareth myles on twitter as well that’s where i’m most active simon you’re online as well yes i am you can find my blog at uh moviemustache.com you can also find me on twitter at movie underscore mustache excellent well bruce campbell is uh is an actor who either have heard of them or you haven’t i i would say that the majority of people who have heard of them like him very much and have virtually no negative things to say about him so bruce is an actor who was born in royal oak michigan on the 22nd of june 1958. he’s currently 61 years old that that works out as i’m if he’s listening i i apologize for announcing your age but there you go um trust your mess should be about right yeah he’s a he’s quite a diverse guy to be honest whenever you have a look through his filmography you’ll see that um he’s first and foremost nectar that’s the spread and butter i would imagine but more recently he’s become a voice artist appearing in a lot of cartoons tv shows and animated films but he’s also produced movies throughout the years um some of which have been quite famous um some of which have i’ve just gone sort of direct to video and maybe just disappeared or sat on the indie circuit and uh and only really done some business during those years that they were being released on dvd and things he’s written a lot of projects and you would be surprised at some of the projects that his name is attached to and uh and in the early days he uh he actually worked as a sound editor and things on on various different independent films for colleagues and and other filmmakers aspiring filmmakers who were trying to get things off the ground then of course he made the transition across to uh director where he’s directed a number of episodes of fairly uh well-known tv shows uh bruce is of a scottish ancestry much like myself actually he’s part of the clown campbell of argyll and they would have been supporters of king robert the bruce that’s just possible where his name could have come from um i’m off with clan williamson who are in no relation to the clan campbell in any way possible uh one of bruce’s best known rules is ash jay williams in the evil dead franchise which spans four films three or four different video games and a three season tv show there’s even a stage musical as well um bruce is pretty much the only actor who has played ash throughout uh however there has been an actor who does the stage musical other roles that he is best known for are briscoe county junior from the short-lived one season tv show that is held in very high regard and i look forward to exploring that with the assignment is uh the adventures of briscoe county junior uh he’s also known for hercules and xeno where he had a recurring role as autolocus and directed some of those as well and i say most recently actually he was in a long-running tv show called burn notice where he plays uh sam axe that got his own spin-off movie as well he’s been attached to all kinds of different projects over the years including the spider-man trilogy dark man cloudy with a chance of meatballs congo cars 2 and um and escape from la the the terrible sequel to the the wonderful skid from new york um he started out his career in michigan uh goofing around to quote the word that he said he uses uh with the likes of sam remy scott spiegel and josh becker making a bunch of super 8 films and that’s what we’re going to look at in this particular episode of the podcast before we get into the meat and bones of his career in the next episode starting with the evil dead we will have a look at some of the early work and some of the notable shorts that he and josh sam and scott produced during the mid to late 70s before getting their their big go at hollywood and uh we we’ve spent some time doing that he does have an awful lot of uh peculiar little films attached to his filmography whenever you’re looking through it and um as we go along we’re going to be delving into different territories of of written books and audio books and there’s even stage plays that we can discuss uh if we manage to track down any information about it and so i want to make this as thorough an analysis of his career as you could possibly get out there and i hope that you the uh the the bruce campbell fan base that’s likely listening to this uh are on board with it and thoroughly enjoyed and if you have any information for us that you feel that we should include in in future shows or or just generally want to have your views aired then you can do by emailing us at gareth a year in thecareer.com and simon on simon at a year in thecareer.com and that’s quite a mouthful that one isn’t it it is yeah there’s a lot of assets going on no is it that’s just now there’s no that’s probably just me uh we’ll go with that it’s just me so uh simon your experience of bruce campbell uh tell me about it tell me your your story how do you know the man uh what what when did you first come across him i would i have very limited uh interaction with his uh his filmography in fact i think the first time i would have come across him was when sam raimi spider-man hit cinemas in 2002 and then had no idea who he was he appeared in spider-man 2 and i thought he was in the first spider-man and then being the astute man i am i also recognized he was in spider-man 3 as well and he was probably one of the best things about spider-man 3. which isn’t saying much but we will give him credit for it anyway so it has been an interesting idea for me to approach this because uh having been a fan of movies all my life this as i say a man i don’t know so much about so it’s been interesting to start exploring his career and seeing where he came from and where he’s what he’s gone on to be yeah yeah did you have any idea that um obviously now you’re a bit more familiar with his uh his career span and and those projects that he’s worked on did you have any any idea that it was so randomly varied i had some idea that it was quite uh quite very i didn’t realize quite to the extent that it is okay all right um yes it really is um and it’s it’s funny that he is i guess he’s he’s he’s a working man he’s got a family to support he’s got a home to run and things like that so he’s he’s willing to lend his hand to anything to be able to provide food for the family that he is supporting and that’s uh i think that’s the the crux of his career is that he’s always i remember a story he told about uh the tv show weird science that he made um which is a bit of a a bit of a forgettable sitcom based around the the classic movie and i think they made maybe two seasons of it but uh it wasn’t held in terribly high regard and bruce has one episode in which he is a i guess starring spot and uh when interviewed about it he said that he needed a new water heater in the house and the paycheck for that rule was the price of the new water heater so he he went and did that roll and i don’t think he could blame anyone for having to do that obviously the likes of uh the big hollywood stars who are demanding 20 million dollars a film can be very picky about what they do because they know their next paycheck will be affected million dollar wise by the next film but whenever you’re looking after your family you know you you have to take whatever comes along whenever you need to do it and and that’s i guess in some respects one of the reasons why a lot of his career does have a few misfires a few uh hooky movies but whenever you look at the scale of it and and the actual the the combination that it makes it makes for a very interesting and fun career because he himself rises above the material that he’s involved in and that is a testament to the the star power of bruce campbell and why he is so affectionately thought of by his his fans and masses out there he’s certainly not the first person to do it michael caine famously did uh jaws the revenge because it was several weeks in the caribbean and uh i think he bought his mother sorry it was his mother a house with the with the paycheck yeah i think it was uh have you do you like jaws four someone asked him if you like joss four and he said no but i like the house that are built i i guess that’s the the kind of thing and some careers um how are full of those sort of things i think the likes of say bruce campbell is best uh paralleled with someone like william shander and and garrett graham to another respect of of jobbing actors who uh contain a lot of potential but it’s somewhat untapped because they are denied that kind of wide audience and and have a more uh limited audience of uh of big love and i’m guessing that if tomorrow he was to have a a big a great movie released a lot of his fans might not see the charm in him anymore if he was to become that household name that everybody knew if he was to become bruce willis there would be quite a few fans that walk away because they they like to enjoy the enigma that is bruce campbell currently so um myself um i’ve been a fan of bruce campbell since i was maybe about 15 years old i had a friend who was really excited that army of darkness was coming out i’d never heard of it before i was aware of evil dead as a video nasty and but i’d never seen it he got very excited about army of darkness because his father ran a video library and had seen evil dead and he took me along to the cinema and i watched it and thought this was great fun and it was a very spirited action adventure comedy thing going on and i i really enjoyed it and i kind of forgot about it for a couple of years until congo came out and i was i saw the trailer for congo and i recognized his face in the trailer because he turned around and screams in the initial trailer and that’s your man from from that that horror film that i watched with with my friend so i went and tracked down that horror film and the rest of the the movies and i sat with a different friend and we watched the three of them three evil dead films back to back and we had the best time it was just so enjoyable so i had to go and track down everything that i could get with with this man in it because he was his performance in the three evil dead films was just so enjoyable i needed more and i i went and i found congo and i found maniac cop and started looking them up at the time you didn’t have the internet so information wasn’t readily available so i was going into bookshops to try and find those big hollywell film guides and things and the movie retrievers and chambers film facts i have them all sitting on the wall behind me looking to see if i could find more films that he was involved in and doing that beloved i i loved it as a child going into video shops and finding films on video that are for sale or you know buried treasure second-hand video shops car boot sales and finding a a pretty dirty or tatty copy of crime wave or moon trap or mind warp all of these films eventually tracking them down there was no satisfaction as finding a film and there was another there was other actors that i was doing this with the likes of ray lyoda or john cryer or kevin bacon and things and trying to find their films to have a a collection on video but bruce was the one i took to the extent and i realized that before i knew it i had a massive collection of his work admittedly he was in some of those films maybe for 20 seconds he does the cameo thing to a t there’s there’s no actor who has cameoed in more movies than bruce campbell it’s a safer movie hitchcock and i was one of the lucky people who at the time bruce was on online and you could email him he had i think it was bcact aol.com and he would reply to you with uh short snappy sarcastic uh answers to questions that you would send and it was at the time that you didn’t really question authenticity because we kind of knew it was him he would send you pictures he would he would he would answer questions and the there was a film he made called assault on doom 4 which was originally called chase i remember one day in a in a dodgy video library in belfast i found a copy of it a screener copy that was sent out to video libraries and magazines for them to review and i i sent them a message saying that i watched chase moran recently and he wrote back on hang on a second you’ve seen this before i have where did you see it i was like oh i’m in belfast it’s in the dodgy book shop at the back of one of our shopping centers he was like what so it was that kind of interaction that really endeared him as an actor to myself and i have a nicely personalized signed photograph having never met the man here he did actually send me a signed photograph of himself with hay gas written on it which is one of my pride and joys and whilst it’s not stuck up on the wall sitting in a pile of stuff over there on the other side was essentially tweeting before there was twitter he was yeah he was one of these pioneers i don’t know if it was a i reckon it was fan service before fan service became a thing um he was uh he was very thankful for his fans and and i think that was one of the things that made being a fan of bruce campbell so enjoyable because whilst he goes to conventions now and he entertains he’s almost like a stand-up comedian to his fans um and he just he takes the best out of them constantly through it and he does to himself and and everyone around him but he just has such a likable demeanor and i think that rubbed off on the fans so the fans became very respectful to each other if you go out and you say something about the avengers movies if you say that you don’t like a particular character publicly on twitter you will get a new end of hatred towards you for lovers of that character if you were to go out um years ago and say that you disliked something about bruce campbell’s career people would listen to you people would take on board what you were saying and they would offer informed and constructed arguments about why they think you might be wrong there was there was very little in the way of negativity when it came to being a fan and i’m dealing with this uh not dealing being part of this community that that bruce was actually almost moderating because he was able to clear up rumors and give people information about what he’s doing next rather than people speculating um and if something was bad that he was working on um he he kind of let you know it which was really it was an interesting thing for an actor to do and i i really think that when you look at his fanbase it’s one of the friendliest and most interesting bunches of people out there um admittedly it’s a bit weird that people would get chin saws tattooed on their cleavage but you know that that’s each to their own everyone has to do their thing and very little very few people say negative things about it uh so it’s it’s a lovely big community and i i would actually put that out to everyone who’s listening to this right now because uh they they would be part of that community and and i i wish to hear from you i i look forward to hearing from you in the future and if you want to have your two pence uh read out on on the podcast you can do by by giving us a a little bit of an email or a tweet or something like that to let us know that uh that you’re listening and you agree or disagree or want to just voice your opinions and it begins bruce’s career bruce’s career started off in the 1970s um i probably think it would would start further back than that i don’t want to do the man any dis justice because he has two biographies out there that are very much worth purchasing because it covers his his early career and how he went off to um summer stock theater and and perform plays and things like that it’s a cracking read or a cracking listen because i believe he’s record recorded uh audible books that you can listen through and and get an idea of his upbringing and and that sort of thing so we’re going to focus primarily on the work that he’s done that you can sit down and view in the in the comfort of your own home and i think probably the best place to start with is what i can gather might be his first performance on camera uh which would be opidious racks or opis racks oedipus rex oedipus racks we’ll go with that that sounds a bit more intelligent um this goes to no one’s ever accused me of that this was a film directed by and starring josh becker a name that will continually crop up throughout especially this podcast but in various podcasts down the line uh it starred bruce campbell and scott spiegel as well and whilst it could be called a a short film um it it really feels more along the lines of a family home video uh where they they film a special project on ancient greece that they’re performing live in in a small room it’s it’s a bit of a peculiar thing to call a short film but um it’s it’s a it’s a weird little thing but it’s nice to see a glimpse of him looking so young in 1972. did you get a chance to have a look at this one no i haven’t had a chance to have a look at that one well to be honest it’s it’s not really all that great it’s quite difficult to watch in its uh in its raw form tracking these things down is quite difficult there’s there’s a generation red generations old copies on youtube and things but i will give a shout out to the website super8shorts.com where you can purchase i believe maybe even directly from josh becker and scott spiegel and bill ward um copies of these films on dvd lovingly restored and i’ll put a link in the show notes to those films uh so that you can get it i i haven’t purchased it yet but uh it probably will be purchased before the end of the day actually and seeing them in top quality would be great and the next film that i managed to track down in in the bootleg avenue would be uh the case of the tabanga pearl uh which was quite a bizarre little film which uh basically revolves around a pearl that’s missing and the interactions between a private detective and um and various people uh looking for the pearl i didn’t get it particularly but i did appreciate seeing ellen sandwich who is in uh the evil dead uh sam remy scott spiegel and josh becker in the actual film i watched part of it um in my lack of sleep i want to revisit it and give it another tip but the only notes i made was the case of the topanga pearl odd that’s one word to say for it well it was it was made in 76 it was a good few years after and you can see how um how they’ve started actually setting up shots uh probably using props and and understanding um how actually uh to to to deliver a narrative to the audience and i think um it would be more interesting from that point of view uh to see how they have actually matured as filmmakers from one film to the next in four years the next film from 78 uh is is a particularly big one and i actually i really like this one i i’ve seen this number of years ago it’s called acting and reacting this stars bruce campbell and a bunch of the other familiar names uh scott spiegel ted raymie which is sam’s brother who will become a very recurring name you will hear on this podcast charlie campbell which was uh bruce’s father i will say i i very much enjoy this one as well uh i thought was very funny and even by today’s standards very relatable some of the things he was saying i i actually related to myself uh and also great mustache it’s a fantastic mustache it’s not quite porn star mustache but it’s no it’s not porn stuff but he pulls it off yes it’s nicely young bruce does a lot of uh slapstick comedy and um and there are funny lines throughout very obvious uh purell jokes uh throughout but it’s an interesting film to to sit and watch and it’s a novel idea and that i think that was the best thing to take away from it where you might might see some of these films being remade this one works really nicely as a little short film i couldn’t imagine this becoming um a feature film however i do think there might be connections between this and a later film which we will discuss called the nut house which i i have echoes of this film coming through although this is the superior version in every way um after that was holding it which was 1978 again this was one that i’d seen a long time ago and it was nice seeing it in a slightly better quality i i really like this film i think this is a proper lampoon um about a gentleman who needs to go to the toilet and ends up getting caught up in a a microfilm espionage plot whilst desperately needing to go to the toilet i thought it was incredibly funny um it again is packed full of silly jokes but it uses the likes of the soundtrack from the man with the golden gun perfectly throughout and it really helps prop up the limited budget and technical merits of the film because they’re they’re obviously shooting on super 8 and that’s a very difficult thing to work with but they they keep it all together and and it makes for a fairly interesting little comedy um that i i do recommend people track down did you get to have a get a chance to have a look at this simon i didn’t but uh listening to you describer is oddly relatable because uh i used to get involved in mental film projects when i was in school and uh we did one i know that springs to mind on uh drugs and uh being educated as to the the dangers of illegal narcotics and uh use i seem to remember the little film we made incorporated clips from an episode of south park and soundtracks from bond films i think we use the view to a view to a kill in the end but that sounds oddly relatable what i will say about all of the ones i have watched is that regardless of uh at what point in their career they were working you the one thing that does bleed through is their absolute love of film yes that makes sense that they would use things like the soundtrack from the men with the golden gun to assist in their production well yeah i think any budding filmmaker whenever they’re starting out and they they get access to cameras and things like that and start putting things together then they suddenly realize how difficult it is to actually score a film and and get music for a film and music can really be make or break so using big professionally produced music like something from a bond film really adds that extra level and helps gel it all together whereas sitting there with an organ um trying to hammer out some some kind of appropriate beat for a film just uh it just doesn’t work and the perfect example a good segue into the next one which was 1978 was its murder this was their big ambitious heavens gates production where they they tried to make a 1r whodunit a ridiculous over-the-top stooges influenced who done it with uh with a crazy combination of characters and plot twists uh with them it was directed by sam reamy at star sam raimi and his brother ted scott bruce campbell and cheryl gutterbridge another name that we will we will come across um throughout and tim quill who i didn’t actually realize was part of uh their troop back in the michigan mafia i think they called themselves the filmmakers mafia of michigan um because he was a quite a big role in the army of darkness in 92 but this film cost them something like uh that was a couple of thousand dollars to make whilst they were learning how to make films from from scratch i think the interesting part of this film was that they they toured places with it they they took it out to to sports halls and schools and things like that set it up and i tried to attract people to come in and watch it a bit like i i think of them as the blues brothers going around um tonight only in the the grand hotel ballroom we have and they play this film and they collect admissions on the way in people sit there for an hour watch their their comical nonsense and then leave you youtube circa 1978 well yeah that and and even if you were to go back further than that that’s what people did you know when uh they would have a an organist and a projector and they would tour around like the old west showing movies uh in the 1920s and 30s so you would have a movie coming to town and it’s almost like they were doing that with this film and i really like that idea um sam uh in an interview i discovered this was talking about how he had these giant speakers in the boot of his car and he would have to hook those all up and get the thing ready and make sure that it was working um as he brought in cables that were like garden hoses and things together to get everything working um to play this back to an audience and that’s another area of film production and uh release distribution i guess would be the best term for it and that they became experienced in and it’s dead now you couldn’t imagine that at all people have a usb stick possibly with a with a movie on it if they want to go to somewhere like this and and uh on a small projector you can you iphone might even have a projector built into it um and it’s it’s so easy to do whereas back there in 1978 they were trying to turn around at various venues selling this product that they’d made um and i i don’t think they ended up making a profit in the end but uh they were displaying their talent and uh good showcase yeah yeah i love the idea of what they were doing here the film itself is quite difficult to watch it’s quite funny because i’m including bruce campbell in the cast he’s a stand-in for the other actors who weren’t available for reshoots and things so you’ll have one shot it still counts absolutely does but you’ll have one shot where there’s a different actor and then the next shot will have bruce campbell standing in the background trying not to say anything or impersonating the person so it’s it’s kind of interesting to see from that again a common thing today the example that springs to mind was the simon pig film paul uh uh seth rogen who voiced the alien was actually on on the shoot for much of uh if any of it and it was one of the other the guys who played one of the agents i cannot feel like me remember his name who stood in for for the alien and all his lines they’re the same as of um oh bradley cooper yes um uh seth gunn i believe his name is his james’s brother plays one of the ravages he stands in for raccoon of a rocket on set so he was even though he wasn’t in the the last two avengers movies he technically was because he was the stand-in and provided all the lines on set right okay so yeah the legacy there almost absolutely yeah the whole background of movie making is fascinating and how things actually gel together um one thing that we take away from its murder was actually the one thing they learned about it the one thing that the audience most reacted to was a scare that happens midway through the movie they noticed everywhere they took this and every audience that watched it all jumped at that one scare and that triggered their move to horror because up until now they’d always tried doing three stooges comedy films but that’s what they’d grown up with that’s that was what they knew the best and they they they took this step over to heart they say that um you know comedy and horror are the two hardest things to do because you’ve got to engage and give an emotional a shocking emotional reaction uh to to something that people are watching and they got it in its murder it is worth watching for that that one jump scare that they have in the film but that led them to making another one another short in 1979 called clockwork which i don’t believe bruce campbell was in actually i haven’t seen it in quite some time but uh being him being in it when i watched it earlier yeah it could be one of those things because he did do an awful lot of uh directing and and camera work as well so um it could be connected to him through that way but that was one film that that took them in that direction they realized we can do horror and sam is actually pretty good at uh generating a bit of a scare so they took that forward and the metropolitan film group as they’re called decided to build this big film called within the woods and it was a big film to them and it is a big film to anyone who knows the legacy of the evil dead it was made in 1979 and they they went around investors and said this is a film that we can make and we would like to make a big feature film version of it and these are the scares that we can have in there and the gore and within the woods itself is is difficult to watch yes it it really is it it’s it’s max of amateur and low budget but it’s everything’s there um that you can see and it just needs that sort of that polish that that high production level to take it up a step with sam behind the camera on within the woods you can see everything that he is he’s capable of doing uh on a light diet budget kind of level did you watch within the woods i have not but though i am definitely looking forward to it now the one of the reasons why i wanted to do this whole thing was i have never actually watched uh the evil dead or any of those i’m not a big horror fan but i’m actually really looking forward to watching it now which is a strange thing to say for me as i said i’m not a big horror fan and so i will be watching within the woods first just so as i can see the parallels and and the the links the what they’ve learned from these previous projects uh and how that bleeds into the evil dead and other films that’ll be interesting to see your reaction to watching within the woods first then evil dead because i don’t think many people have ever done that um they will have sought out evil dead or within the woods because they love the whole trilogy so much uh it’s it’s like this little add-on bit or dvd extra that that you would get and i think it has been released on a couple of dvds over the years um but uh again supergateshorts.com uh has a big lush version of it on on dvd for anyone to enjoy it it is great fun it doesn’t really cover the plotline of evil dead particularly well but um and it it does get a bit muddy going through it but you can understand how they’re on a learning curve and uh and why evil dead turned out to be such a a big hit afterward because of everything that they learned so uh that i guess that brings us on to uh the next film which would actually be the blind waiter and if you were to look at things from a logical point of view um the blind waiter would probably come just after they’d started or during the shoot for evil dead and that makes it pretty interesting um they i believe they’d filmed it all and if you know anything about the the horrendous torture that they were all put through making evil dead from the signs of it from the likes of bruce campbell’s biography or the evil dead companion um i don’t understand why they continued to work in film not at all unless they were just as dumb as the three stages but thankfully they did and uh the the first zone they they worked on was the blind waiter which was a real a really stupid comedy um that is incredibly slapstick and that really just mimics the whole three stooges act again are you you watched this one didn’t you simon you want to take a lead on it yes yes it did um one thing i did notice and this will probably sound very ridiculous but i liked the opening and closing credits i thought the use of the little order uh the waiters notebook tabs i used to be a waiter on my saturdays right god help me um and the idea we never had the little uh clip spin wheel thing what the hell you call it but i just thought that the simplistic approach was a stroke of genius i don’t know why it struck me i just looked at it and thought that is a brilliant way of of doing the credits and an understanding of post-production and how you get these things in because a lot of the other previous ones had very old schools or 1950s era credits but this they went very simple and simply wrote all of the the credits or the directed by and produced and etc etc and like you say it is a three stooges uh style slapstick it’s a bit silly it’s a bit over the top but it will make you laugh and some of the the effects of the boiling water and some of the sound effects it just it did just make me laugh um and as you say if they had such a battle with making the evil dead it would definitely make sense that they’d want to do something light-hearted and fun and just let’s remember why we do this type project and it it it shows it’s sure they were having fun making this you hear about a lot of films where they are not so very well received and you often read in the reviews where it says i get the feeling they had more fun making this than we did watching it and i enjoyed watching it and i get the feeling they had a lot of fun making this one and it shows so i actually enjoyed it a lot yes yeah and and i think when what we walk away with um whilst um it’s not uh a beautifully polished comedy you get the the real feeling that there is so much talent here i mean that there’s one beautiful little shot where i think scott spiegel sam remy i think scott beagle plays a chef um sam remy and bruce campbell are in the kitchen bruce campbell walks into the kitchen opens the door and does a pratfall and i’ve got a funny feeling that wasn’t in the script in any way he just decided to do that and each of the characters is just full of so much lunacy and i think i did make a note actually that bruce campbell put it as it’s quite a funny little film 16 minutes of non-stop slapstick and verbal gags and it is uh it has nothing but gags every single shot is a setup for a gag or the payoff of a gag i think one of one of my favorite ones was when uh the two the couple are sitting at the table and the bloke’s already pissed off and he starts lighting up a cigarette and his his wife looks at him like no sort of nod stores and he just rips the no off the no smoking sign and she’s just like oh well and lights up herself i don’t know why that tickled me no it’s the simple things that are best um obviously whenever you’re making a a comedy not every gag is going to land and not every guy does land here but it’s uh i think it’s on the right side of of uh of winning gags so after that they moved on to a pretty big ambitious project again and this is one of my favorites um it’s called striker’s war this was made in 1980. it’s uh if you read about the film it it sounds ridiculous because initially uh the i think the i can’t remember the person’s name sheldon or something um josh becker approached uh one of his friends uh to write a film for him and he returned a script that was 185 pages long called bloodbath yeah and i suppose that they probably didn’t want to jump right back into doing horror films again because they just finished the evil dead and that had had taken up so much of their time and uh mental health and doing something with a bit more substance to it but striker’s war is an incredibly simple little film that is obviously maybe inspired by the late 70s thrillers of uh vietnam vets coming back uh damaged from the war and then having to reintegrate into society uh however in society they discover the likes of the sort of the charles manson-esque murderers that might be out there and when their paths collide uh the bloodbath that would ensue so uh bruce plays uh the lead character of uh i think it’s jack striker who was wounded in nam and comes back with a walking stick and a bullet in his leg and uh he’s he’s just drinking out in the woods uh his his father uh plays another character called otis uh who is a a daughter or a granddaughter who comes to visit him and the two instantly fall in love in a slightly comical scene of of uh let’s not have to develop this um let’s make a 40 minute film instead of 180 minute film uh which has a love affair that happens instantly i wish george lucas had done that with a tackle of clones oh it’s a low jab he could learn something whenever uh a murderous band of uh crazies come to town they kidnap a bunch of locals including the grand daughter of this friend and bruce campbell gets together with some of his or sorry striker gets together with some of his war buddies and they go out into the woods and hunt them down and there’s a a big shoot them up in the woods and they save the day essentially i don’t want to ruin it but um yeah yeah they uh the the a team ripped it off then yeah as did first no first blood was 79 wasn’t it the film came out in 82 but it was based on a book ah right okay then this is something similar to that if you like that kind of film then this is absolutely should be on your watch list it has everything that they became known for there is a little injection of comedy here and there which which is quite quite nicely put in it doesn’t it doesn’t feel out of place in any way um it has decent amounts of gore bruce’s role is a wee bit dull for bruce but uh he carries off quite well and and and looks the part sam raimi is the one that steals the show playing the ridiculously over the top leader of the crazy gang um and i think he played it so well that’s maybe one of the reasons why he played the same role in the remake of this which was called the shall not kill accept that came out in 87 88 maybe and uh all in you know for a 40-minute package this this has an awful lot to go for again they they they rip music from other films and throw it in there there’s patton and north by northwest and a couple of other well-known scores that you’re you’re sitting going what was that from again but that’s as far as i got with patna north by northwest um but there are others and it’s just remarkably simple it doesn’t it doesn’t bog down it it doesn’t have a lull or anything it is just constantly entertaining the one thing i would say is a bit disappointing is that uh the the the climactic battle between bruce and sam uh doesn’t really work quite as well because i think they must have missed out a bit where bruce does a bit of ass kicking because he gets his ass kicked and ends up getting saved by his his buddies again but um yeah did you get a chance to have a look at this one no this was another one unfortunately life got in the way yeah it’s it’s a really good fun film this um i i do recommend it and you can see them uh really coming together and making something and this was also an investment piece for them to take forward and try and get funding and i think four or five years later uh josh becker who directed this managed to get the funding for those shall not kill except however bruce campbell did not star in that version which is a bit of a shame so the next that might have been a studio stipulation not much because it happened to him with dark man and crime wave he got day he got bumped from leading in both those films with for liam neeson and the fella who starred in crime wave because they wanted a bigger star you know i’ve i’ve obviously pre-taken and that sort of thing i’ve i thought liam neeson was a bit oddly placed in dark man so i almost think bruce would have been more suited to that role yeah yeah he it would have been perfect for him um and i even for the sequels bruce appears in the last shot of dark man where he puts on the mask and disappears into the crowd and then they made two more movies and i thought well hey they’ll get bruce in for those two more movies but they didn’t they went and recast it because it would have been a nice idea had he walked off into the crowd with the bruce campbell mask on um yeah and b bruce in the next one but that didn’t happen instead in 1981 uh the guys moved on to toro toro toro um not the war epic this is a toro with two rs in it and this is directed by scott spiegel and josh becker and is remarkably simple uh it’s about a lawnmower that goes a bit nuts one of those self-driving lawn mowers and it takes off on the shenanigans that it causes around town i like this film it’s really simple um a bit like uh the blind waiter it’s it’s just uh sheer comedy throughout even manages to result in a custard pie fight because it’s a lot more obviously obviously yes did you get a watch of this one no no again and one i wanted to um it it’s interesting though reading about them and listening to you discuss them how towards the end they got into sort of uh back and forth they sort of delve into one like a horror and then go back to comedy and then they’d try the war film back to comedy and noticing the uh that the back and forth was quite interesting was the sort of dipping their toe in different ponds if you will yeah well it’s uh it is it’s a good one to watch it i think they generally sell around their their shorts were about six minutes long each and they’re they’re really easy to watch in stomach and because they’re they’re so light and fluffy is like watching uh donald duck cartoon or looney tunes or merry melodies or something like that and i i i love that they they carved out that little niche uh during the period of of honing their skills making these whereas you you see someone like um kevin smith who was making films um he i don’t believe he ever made the extent of movies that uh these guys made over the years and he just sort of he got kind of lucky with one of his early feature lengths uh whereas these guys actually sat down and plotted out all these things back in the days of making a super 8 film it was not easy to do uh going and cutting and pasting and things like that or cutting and pasting i can’t even use that terminology the very 21st century term now well yes um whereas now you have people who go on to youtube and they they upload their films and there there isn’t the creativity that you have here where they use practical effects to the nth degree you have custard pie fights you have costumes you have sets that they’ve gone and constructed for a six minute film that’s going to be seen by out there up in their minds at the time by very few people and i know that they were sort of packaging this together and showing it to investors and possibly playing them before the likes of its murder whenever they were uh touring around uh playing it at uh various venues but uh it was just a it was a perfect learning exercise and it goes to show that they were learning and producing quality efforts like this yeah so the next one i know you have seen and that’s cleveland smith bounty hunter which was made in 1982 after the release of evil dead what did you think of cleveland smith bounty hunter i loved it again it was brilliant at first i thought am i watching his audition tape for indiana jones here and quickly look at 1982 it’s a parody and it is a brilliant parody um he’s got the outfit right um what i i love is they obviously didn’t have access to great special effects so they played on it and just went silly with it and it just works so well and the the the parody of the different films i love the bit with the boulder and obviously you think oh it’s going it’s just a bit from raiders oh he’s gonna oh no got it and then just the shot of a little action figure stuck to a ball rolling around and around and around i was kicking myself watching that and it’s all in black and white and uh and the the way they combined the their dodgy but fun special effects and the actual live action stuff it was really well done i had a blast watching this one yes what was raymie as a nazi yes hilarious um and parts of it i think to do with more the the the tribesmen chasing him reminded me it looked like it would have been inspiration for the fights uh in ace ventura when nature calls when he’s in africa and he goes to meet the the other tribe and he gets in a fight with one of them and loses it it reminded me of that so i do wonder if that would possibly acted as inspiration for that yeah this is possible bruce and jim carrey do actually cross paths a couple of times as we will we will go into um i think when it comes to this film this is one that eluded me for a long time i remember having a picture of it and thought oh my word bruce campbell’s playing indiana jones uh and they did that so i had to track this down it wasn’t until youtube came along that that this actually presented itself there’s two different versions of this there’s one that has a large amount of stock footage that’s inserted maybe 10 or 10 or 20 minutes worth to to really help um create the vibe of what’s happening here and then there’s the version that we we watched through prior to recording this um that has that that’s more direct into the point uh obviously it’s probably one that’s been they couldn’t use the stock footage um for it to be re-released in some shape or form uh it has gerald gutter ridge again um and sam reamy and uh and a bunch of the the familiar names throughout but it is the the extent that they went to with creating uh stop-motion uh for one of the particular scenes that i think that comes through an army of darkness and evil dead too as as you will find because they do use quite a bit of uh vastly superior stop motion as well in in those two films we have just another collection of constant gags um for gag sake you know right from the the first couple of seconds where he he lights a match and the to to reveal the title of the film and then burns his fingers on the match and there there’s there’s a big gag at the end where he the the quest for the mcguffin that they’re looking for is a gag itself and it’s it’s worth sitting for because it’s it’s kind of clever and i i love to think that this was another investor film that they were looking for and they wanted to make a big budget lampoon of the indiana jones series because raiders was such a big hit the year previous to them making this but you know i i can’t imagine how a studio would ever go yes we want to do this here’s a million dollars to go and and make something um as somewhat incoherent as this because it it it is a wee bit incoherent as well but i think the planets aligned for this film the the film stock that they were shooting on the black and white film stock was damaged and that actually added to the authenticity of this being absolutely a 1930s 40s serial adventure uh that you would have seen in the cinema prior to uh one of the big films being released which is what raiders of the lost ark was going for as well but so yeah um that’s pretty much all the the actual shorts that we really need to be looking at um there are a vast amount more i think there’s about 65 or 70 in total um and they’re kind of they’re they’re little oddities that don’t quite fit with bruce’s filmography but they’re worth mentioning because you can see so much of his career being created from this he he has a a very relaxed and easy presence on screen he’s he’s quite you know moving from something like strikers to war to cleveland’s cleveland smith uh shows that he has a great amount of range at such an early time in his career you know bruce has he’s been critical of his performance in the original evil dead because he finds it very difficult he cringes watching that the whole way through but if you watch something like the striker’s war or cleveland smith he does give a big larger than life uh performance and maybe it’s because he knew or ate the pressure wasn’t on him to perform the goods as it was in the evil dead and you are always a bit worried about whenever you’re doing something with so much uh relying on you to to keep it from falling flat um you certainly wouldn’t be the first actor either to not like watching their own performances so and we it doesn’t matter if you’re an actor or a writer or or even a teacher everyone is critical of their own performance in whatever they do everyone is overly or most people are overly critical i’m sure most people often think of something in there and that they’ve done in the past and kicked themselves over why did i do that silly yeah yeah and i fully agree he um he has little moments that come through you can see them in the comedy of the comedies that he made and that that pop up in the likes of hercules and xeno which is a predominantly comical rule that he plays there a sort of comic relief to the more serious principle in in in those tv shows and this kind of practice uh shows that are not practiced this kind of uh the performance shows that he is totally natural at slipping from the sword tautting hero to a ridiculous buffoon very easily whilst also being able to uh capture a little bit of drama where necessary in the likes of striker’s war you plea plays a a drunk who’s trying to deal with some demons at the back of his head and and he does it rather well without any full professional training um he’s a natural on-screen and and that’s the kind of thing that that really attracts his fan base to him yes i will say another one that i did see was simply called radio snake commercial oh yes um i have no idea what he was trying to advertise apart from the fact that if i ever want to make an ever i know who to call because that was funny that was 30 seconds of us a ridiculousness but it was it worked really well and the other one i wanted to mention was called attack of the helping hand which was like when a product of classic i don’t think it’s much a thing in this country but in america they have uh little mascots for their products like oh make your own burgers and here’s their helping hand thing and uh this woman goes to make burgers and the helping hand gets shall we say a bit handsy and uh and sam raimi starts in it as the milkman which is rather odd but it was funny and ridiculous um but the production value of a glove trying to kill her in the end and trying to kill the milkman the way they did like when she’s trying to drown it and and you can see you can just make out that she’s there’s someone’s else’s arm in there she’s got her hands around their wrists and strongly like the threat but the the way they’ve shot it to try and hide that as best they can it was very good and obviously you know involves sam raimi and uh bruce was in the background he was filming this he wasn’t actually in it well knowingly anyway he might have been the hand uh noticing an obsession with hands yes uh between those two because i may not have seen the evil dead but i am aware of certain aspects of it so uh yes yeah this is a perfect example that particular film is a perfect example of a demonstration reel for uh the sequence in evil dead too which we will come to and that’s one of the most exciting parts of doing this kind of podcast is being able to talk about that sort of thing all right well that about brings us to the end of the our intro episode uh next week we plan to look at the evil dead and we are going to look at 1981 this was the big film that uh that really put them on the map and uh it was certainly helped by the likes of say stephen king who described it as the most verusiously original film of the year and uh i think this is the film that sort of uh conquered concreted them in history he showed them what they could do and uh and it was upward from them it wasn’t an easy upward they they had to fight against the hollywood machine in order to get everything that they managed to do over the years but uh 1981 was one of the most interesting years in bruce’s career and we’ll be back next week to talk over 1981 in the first episode of a year in the career i’d like to thank you all for listening if you want to get in touch you can by emailing me at gareth at a year in thecareer.com or simon at a year in the rear right there are you in the race jeremy or simon at a year in thecareer.com you can find me on garethmyles.com or at gareth myles on twitter and simon you can find me at moviemustache.com and at movie underscore mustache on twitter terrific and other than that um take care thanks for listening [Music] loosey-goosey scaryberry