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Bruce Campbell: King of the Bs

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Not content to restrict his sly deadpan talents to the horror genre that jump-started his career, actor Bruce Campbell has spent two decades cementing his position as the A-lister of B-movies, the go-to-guy for straight-faced performances in cult media.

 

 

Besides handily dispensing zombies in Sam Raimi's Evil Dead trilogy, Campbell has been a Maniac Cop (twice!), an Old West lawyer (TV's The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.), and Autolycus, the thief from long ago in Hercules and Xena: Warrior Princess. He's copped roles in arthouse flicks (The Hudsucker Proxy) and mega-blockbusters (Spider-Man). Two years ago, he stunned fan boys and critics with his poignant portrayal of a broken-down Elvis Presley in Bubba Ho-Tep -- albeit a King who eventually had to bust heads on a soul-sucking mummy.

 

Tipping his hat to the great tradition of entertainment hacks, Campbell has already penned a memoir (If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B-Movie Actor) even as he aims his prodigious jaw line toward two new projects. On Thu., June 23, Campbell will be in Pittsburgh promoting his new book, a novel intriguingly titled Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way, set amid the chaos of a Mike Nichols film set, and to present a sneak preview of his directorial debut at the Oaks.

 

The Man with the Screaming Brain, which Campbell also produced and co-wrote, stars the actor in the sort of role beloved by late-night filmhounds: Campbell is a businessman who through the intervention of a mad scientist finds himself sharing a brain with a former Bulgarian government agent. Each has been killed by the same woman, and they make the best of a bad situation by seeking revenge ... together. On his Web site, Campbell sums up the sci-fi comedy thusly: "It's The Out-of-Towners with a brain transplant."

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