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4.2 out of 5 stars
Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way
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79 of 81 people found the following review helpful
Actor Bruce Campbell decided to try his hand at fiction for his second book, but even then, he couldn't help from letting the "real world" (such as it is) intrude. The book is about Campbell, himself, getting cast in a major role (the kind that gets "best supporting actor" Oscars) in a new Richard Gere/Renee Zellweger romantic comedy. But Campbell's B-movie roots pervade and begin to "infect" the set... but is it really his fault?

This is a weird little book. Most of the story concerns Campbell travelling the country, meeting with one bizarre "expert" after another to research his role as Foyl, the all-knowing relationship guru doorman. As the book progresses, though, a clear villain emerges and Campbell finds himself -- again -- battling the forces of evil. The only real problem with the book is that the villain's motivation, and the major conflict, are introduced rather late in the story, along with a couple of fairly important characters who should have been brought in earlier.

However, as complaints go, that's not a big one. The book isn't intended to be a literary masterpiece -- it's a fun little satire that pokes fun at the Hollywood system from someone who's a small fish in that pond, but a big fish in the outside world of cult cinema. Campbell is a clever, witty guy and he turns out a clever, witty book, and that's what I really wanted out of this.
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2006
Bruce Campbell is the kind of guy you either love or hate, so I won't waste your time. If you already hate him, avoid this book like a B-Movie plague, for the book is cut from the same material.

(pause)

OK. Now that we have lost the anti-Campbell faction let's take a look at "Make Love* the Bruce Campbell way". This novel is a hoot. It is totally silly. From the cover, one should understand that the entire book is tongue-in-cheek. In it we see Bruce preparing for and acting in a movie flop called "Let's Make Love!" In the process, he joins a Southern Gentlemen's Club, fights (and looses) a duel, teaches Richard Gere how to pick up women, and while disguised as someone else, agrees to produce a movie with Jack Nicholson. There is mystery and plenty of action toward the end with a rather surprising ending.

He flashes back on his incredible body of work, especially the Army of Darkness and Evil Dead movies. Bruce is self-deprecating and seems to welcome and enjoy his role in life as a successful "B" movie star. The book is funny, light and witty. It has plenty of illustrations and photos.

It is the kind of book one would expect from Bruce Campbell.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
This is a great new book from Bruce "Don't Call Me Ash" Campbell, star of the Evil Dead films. This is quite different from his first title, "If Chins Could Kill, Confessions of a 'B' Movie Actor." Campbell's great sense of humor lifts this title above the average Hollywood trash. Plus, he played Ash, so ya gota love him.

While "Chins" was autobiographical, "Make Love" picks up where his first tome left off - present, day real life. "Make Love" starts in real life, but quickly takes a hilarious, fictional detour through the life of an "A" movie actor. It reads very much like the first book. It is in the first person, but nothing in MLTBCW actually happened. Bruce gets a part in a move with Richard (A**BAG) Gere and Rene Zellweger (sp?). He makes all sorts of very funny faux pas while researching the role (including an old-fashioned southern duel of all things). All the great comedy is there, and Campbell flashes back to many of his other films and TV shows, all within a fictional context.

A must read for any BC fan, especially if you liked "Chins." Campbell's Hollywood insight and humorous situations (and funny photos and graphics) make this a page-turner from start to finish.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2007
I'm a casual fan of Bruce Campbell, meaning I'll see Bubba Ho-tep or Evil Dead II to watch his performance but draw the line at Mindwarp. I had high hopes for this book after If Chins Could Kill, Campbell's fun, optimistic memoirs reflecting on his B-movie life, which is actually on my top ten list of all time (and yes, I have read more than ten books). I also liked Man With a Screaming Brain, which Campbell wrote; in its own twisted Z-grade way, it was a fine example of good storytelling. I hesitate to say that I was disappointed, but I'm afraid I can't hold his first novel in the same esteem as the other two.

The premise, just to get us started, is simple: Bruce, by chance, is cast as the third lead in a big-budget mainstream comedy, opposite Richard Gere and Renee Zellwegger, and helmed by Mike Nicols (best known as director of The Graduate). This is, of course, a dream role; as Mike explains, "This is the kind of role the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor was created for." The rest of the book follows Bruce as he, determined not to blow his one shot at an A-list rating, travels from one zany location to the next, meeting a variety of experts to nail down various aspects of his charcter, Floyd, the sagacious doorman. Meanwhile, as filming progresses, Campbell's creative input gives birth to a "B-movie virus", the side effects of which include gratuitous fight scenes, revealing costumes on the leading lady, and stilted dialogue.

The main flaw of the novel is that it never quite decides what it's trying to be. With the plot, Campbell could have made a smart Hollywood satire in the vein of The Player or even Sunset Boulevard, but in the book's final stage that element is only half-conceived. Overlapping this is a rant/essay format, wherein Bruce grinds the plot to a halt to pontificate on the craft of acting or the role of communication in a relationship. This works in the loose, disjointed form of autobiography, since it's basically a series of loosely connected stories, but when one is trying to craft a single coherent storyline, it really disperses the focus. Another layer is that of the cheesy B-movie, which interjects itself from time to time in the most (intentionally) ridiculous ways, such as a random carchase, a stint undercover in disguise, and a grand finale shootout. If Bruce had singled out one of these approaches to drive the plot, he probably could have gotten away with using the others to give the book tone. By trying to give equal screen time, as it were, to all of them, he doesn't really cover any one in a satisfactory manner.

The other problem is that Bruce doesn't really make the transition from film to prose in the most graceful manner. Being funny in a movie or in a conversation is leagues away from being funny in a book. The dialogue and slapstick might have worked extraordinarily well onscreen, but aren't that effective transcribed, verbatim, into printed form. Bruce probably should have read Mark Twain, Douglas Adams, or even Christopher Moore to learn more about what sort of humor works in a novel and what doesn't.

The best part of Make Love is probably the "graphic sarcasm" by Craig "Kif" Sanborn, which basically consists of funny pictures with sardonic captions reflecting whatever is going on in the story at that moment. Sad to say, I got more laughs out of these than in the text itself.

I suppose I'm probably going to get bombarded with "not helpfuls" by defensive Campbell fans who can believe the man can do no wrong. I have a lot of respect for Bruce; I think he's one of the most talented and hardworking men in his field, and as a writer he at least has potential, if only he takes the time and care to develop it. I just think this one needed a few rewrites, that's all.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 2, 2006
I love Bruce Campbell, no matter how horrible some of his movies are--he needs to keep making them. Or--books just like them, which is pretty much what this is. Its a B movie, in book format. Its a very fun read, great beach type, breezy page turner. I read the bulk of it in one day, the horrible photoshop renderings that are scattered on the pages keeping me very amused.

He has been cast in a potential Oscar nod role in "Let's Make Love" with Richard Gere and Renee Zellwegger, Bruce wants very badly to move up in the acting world out of his Bolivian shooting schedule and need to do so many stunts. However, as the book/shooting of the 'film' continue his enthusiasim for the project seems to snowball everyone else around him into a B movie frenzie (this is all part of a pretty amusing part of the plot--but I shall say no more). Not only does the film turn into a B movie, but so does Bruce's life it appears, a car chase, a fist fight, many run ins with the law. All in all he keeps the narrative rolling, I was never bored while reading this. Only had a few problems with how it was edited ( a few of the graphics--actually tied in with the actual text and were misplaced by a few lines causing me to stumble a bit as I read, and a few typos that had me raising the old eyebrow)

Essentially if you enjoy his movies, you will probably enjoy this book, if you like campy sort of silly fun this is a great book for you. Please don't read it expecting a book you can impress Harvard with though, this is not a dusty tome, treat it like the book it is and toss it in your duffle bag or beach bag and take it with you and enjoy it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2005
I thought Bruce Campbell's autobiography was funny, extremely well written, and a fantastic read. Then I read Make Love the Bruce Campbell way, and found it even better than the bio. The books aren't part of a series- one is an informative, and fun bio and one is an amazing, entertaining piece of fiction.

Let me put a picture in your head: Campbell and Richard Gere in a New York apartment, decked out in Gere's serene style, which is getting trashed because the 2 actors are just about fighting to the death, in the name of practicing their lines and improving the script. The entire book is like that- you can visualize all the funny, crazy, weird things happening. More than a few times i could be found laughing out loud while reading it (note to anyone who might try- bad idea to read it in the library- could get you into trouble)

Even though i don't like relationship movies- if this were ever made into a real movie (which it won't) i would run out and see it. Bruce Campbell gets better and better with every new project he does (writing, acting, directing, you name it), and i whole-heartedly think the B-movie actor virus he talks about is a figment of the imagination.

so, in short (yeah right- this is pretty long)- GO AND READ THIS BOOK IF YOU HAVE ANY SENSE OF HUMOR AT ALL!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2005
I am not a Bruce Campbell fanboy, honestly its funny to see him in movies that are already good (spiderman) but i dont go out of my way to see him in anything (alien apocalypse). I WAS however, fortunate enough to have been lent his first book "If Chins Could Kill", thus making me buy this, his most recent novel. I admit im a sap and actually thought this book was based on actual events right up until i started to question mike nichols actually having a "Shemp"-bot built. but honestly, knowing that it was all fiction didnt detract from it being F***ing hilarious none the less!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I spent the first few chapters of this book totally buying it, and then I spent the rest laughing so hard I could barely breathe. At first, I sighed over the invented movie central to the book's plot; now I'm sighing in the hope that *this book* could be made into a movie! It's a B-movie in book form, and I was in heaven. The last few chapters, especially, had me howling, filled with chases, fight scenes, and unbelievable but hysterical action.

Thanks, Bruce. That's the best laugh I've had in a long time. More, please?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon July 9, 2005
Let's start with what this book isn't: It isn't really a sequel to his autobiography, If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor. It isn't really a memoir.

It isn't really an "autobiographical novel". Campbell is the lead character in the story and some of the stuff in the book could have actually happened. It ain't literature, but WHAT IT IS: is a fun, fast, read with MAD-like graphics throughout the book. "Make Love" is the story of Campbell's series unfortunate events in preparing for an A-list film with Richard Gere and Renée Zellweger, while gradually turning the production into a B movie.

Campbell has a great storytelling voice, sort of the poor-man's Mark Twain, who never let the truth get in the way of a good story. Campbells depiction of "real" stars is insanely funny, but begs the question: what do these A-list stars think of the book?(he makes no apologies or acknowledgments, save the flap copy) The novel tells of his chance to break out of the genre films as he becomes the voice of everyman and the guy's guy on the set.

For fans of Campbell, best known for the cult-favs Evil Dead / Xena / Brisco County Jr./ etc, this is a must read.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
What a hilarious way to explain the shadyness of Hollywood but through a book that tells it as if it could have actually happened. I guess too many people wanted the total truth and still don't understand this man's genius. Hope I never end up as an extra on a B movie and become bitter like many of the other so called actors in Hollywood. Bruce gives you the secrets to surviving in the land of plastic by giving you the in's and out's of the business in a hilarious yet somewhat alien-abducting manner. I guess you have to be an alien in order to become a big star. Read this book, and understand the legend that is Bruce.
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