Bruce Campbell: If you can do a horror movie, you can do anything


Bruce Campbell is featured on the upcoming Shudder podcast based on Eli Roth’s History of Horror. In the extended cut interview, the veteran actor discusses what makes a good chiller and why he feels horror filmmakers deserve respect.

Bruce Campbell is an esteemed personality within the horror genre. For almost four decades he embodied perhaps one of the most iconic final characters in film history, Ash Williams. What is impressive about the actor is that he has never forgotten his roots.

On Shudder’s upcoming new podcast, Eli Roth’s History of Horror, (which is based on the hit AMC docu-series), Campbell sat down for an extended interview discussing his tenets for making a compelling horror feature and why he feels horror filmmakers don’t get the respect they deserve.

What perfect timing for this particular sentiment, considering Sunday is the Academy Awards telecast.  And despite Jordan Peele’s impressive win for Get Out last year, only A Quiet Place garnered a nomination for Best Sound Editing. But then again, this isn’t surprising.

For whatever reason, Hollywood tends to turn up its nose and shun horror. It is almost as if they don’t want to acknowledge it as a part of the filmmaking world or that they are in some sense embarrassed by it.

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However, Bruce Campbell doesn’t shy away from the fact that he honed his craft making low budget genre pictures. He embraces it. For him, that was his proving ground. A degree from film school wasn’t necessary, he learned his craft on the job.

It was his experiences in that realm that helped to shape the performer that he would become. As well as make him a versatile artist that could easily move between comedy, drama, suspense and even animation with ease.

In his words, “If you can do a horror movie, you can do anything.” Which is a true statement. While most people are dismissive of the genre because they don’t think a film like Hereditary is of the caliber of A Star Is Born, they shouldn’t be so quick to judge.

A tremendous effort goes into crafting horror productions because you are tapping into people’s fears and their innermost psyches. This is what Alfred Hitchcock did with Psycho and what William Friedkin also did in The Exorcist.

It would be foolish to think that craftsmanship doesn’t come into play with most works of this type. Bruce Campbell has very specific views on this subject:

"“I feel good filmmakers combine the visceral and the mental. It’s not just them luring you in to scare you. To build suspense takes ability. It takes coordination between the camera, the actor and the director. A lot of it is timing and atmosphere.”"

When you look at the Evil Dead trilogy, his statements ring true. Each film was not a walk in the park, they were difficult to make but they have survived for over 40 years and are fan favorites. Why? Because Sam Raimi pushed the boundaries of what was possible.

Guerilla filmmaking at its finest hour and the payoff is the legacy and the loyalty of horror fans. Neither Raimi or Campbell shy away from their humble beginnings. They readily admit that they didn’t know what they were doing at first but they learned.

In Bruce’s words:

"“I am proud of what filmmakers accomplish with horror movies. They just don’t get the respect they deserve and yet they work harder than other genres.”"

Despite the fact that he has retired from playing Ash Williams and moved on to other ventures, he retains a certain fondness for his past. Even though he won’t be returning to the Evil Dead universe anytime soon, could we see Campbell in another genre movie?

"“I’d love to tell a simple horror story.  One person in a room just to see if it could be pulled off. It would be really creepy. Simple horror but sophisticated at the same time.”"

Hopefully, at some point this idea of his comes to fruition. It would be nice to see him do one more genre film for the road, so to speak.

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Bruce Campbell’s entire interview will be made available in the near future on Shudder so stay tuned.  Eli Roth’s History of Horror series is currently streaming on the network and also on iTunes. If you want to do a test run, the network offers a 7-day trial period. There is always the option to pay as you go with the $4.99 monthly rate or $49.99 annually if you so choose. This series is worth it.

Would you like to see Bruce Campbell do another horror movie? Let us know what you think in the comments section below. We want to hear from you.