Bruce Campbell Charms Columbus Underground
Listen up, you primitive screw heads. Bruce Campell — horror’s Shatner — graces us with his presence at Wizard World Ohio Comic Con this weekend. The event runs 10/31 to 11/2 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, (500 N. High St.) and features appearances by members of the Walking Dead cast as well as Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger), Sean Astin, other Hobbits, witches and more.
Sir Bruce took some time to talk with Columbus Underground geeks (for the second time!) about his visit to CBus.
Columbus Underground: You’re coming to Columbus this weekend.
Bruce Campbell: Halloween! It’ll be Halloween. Do you realize the importance of that in my line of work? That’s Christmas for what I do, and I choose to spend it in Columbus, Ohio.
CU: Has Halloween always been a big deal for you?
BC: I was a dedicated trick or treater, no question about it. I dressed as a woman two years in a row. A guy tried to feel me up, frankly, so I put an end to that. The tip for anyone who will be trick or treating: don’t trick or treat in your own neighborhood if it stinks. Bail. We went to the one next to us, it was brand new so you could clean up. And we’d take a pillow case, not a bag. A bag can rip.
CU: You’ve got a few of these coming up – you’re in Portland, in Reno, you have your own horror fest coming up in Chicago. You’re in demand. Do you pick and choose based on time of year?
BC: If it’s an amazing city like Columbus, I’m in. I enjoy interacting with fans, unlike William Shatner. The fun thing about these events – when I was a kid, I did not get to see any of my favorite heroes live and in person, like Shatner. I only got to meet him recently. But nowadays people can go to these events, and the way Wizard World does it, you’ve got your oldy moldies like your Burt Wards and Adam Wests, plus your Shatners, but then all the way up to the current TV shows like…
CU: Walking Dead?
BC: Oh, yeah, Walking Dead. Those guys are all over these things like a cheap suit. And they are so popular! Norman Reedus – he’s basically Elvis at these events. And the big hit now too is all these YouTube freaks who don’t really even have a job. They say four things into a camera and millions of people follow them. God bless that person – I wish I’d figured that out 30 years ago.
CU: What do you have planned?
BC: A good time is had by all. I torment the audience, we’ve got games, I give out dollar bills. I lavish love on my audience. I’m going to destroy the audience, wearing a very loud outfit.
CU: Is it principally Evil Dead fans, or what kind of group do you see?
BC: I’ve done my own market research and you know what? It’s a combo platter. It’s like 70% Evil Dead, and then you’ll get your Bubba Hoteps because that’s the same wheelhouse. And then you get your weirdo Xena Warrior Princess people, and then Burn Notice is creeping in. A lot of people first knew me from Burn Notice, then they go back. “Oh, it’s this old guy who used to make movies.”
I’ve met a couple of Ashes, and one kid didn’t like it. I was at a book signing. He threw the book on my desk. He goes, “Sign my book.” I go, “Well, and how’s your day? What’s your name?” He goes “Ash.” I’m like, “Yeah right, pal.” He goes, “It is. My parents named me after your stupid movie.”
So I signed his book “from one Ash to another.”
CU: Anybody who follows you on Twitter @groovybruce knows the rumor of an Evil Dead TV show. What are your comments on that?
BC: My comment is: those ain’t rumors, babycakes. We’re in the middle of talking to companies right now. There’s a huge amount of interest in resurrecting old, crabby Ash to get back into the service. Wake up from his trailer park home and go save the world again. It’s going to be a bumpy ride, let me tell you.
CU: Are you ever surprised by the inexhaustible popularity of the Evil Dead?
BC: It’s the only horror series really with somebody to root for. Most of the other horror series, it’s the bad guy – Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th – it’s those stinkin’ bad guys. And you can give only so much love to that.
And Ash is an idiot, and I think the average viewer can relate to that. He’s not a Navy Seal, you know? He’s not FBI. He’s not anything – he’s a trash talking idiot from S-Mart. He’s responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people in Army of Darkness – and we got a studio to finance that! That always cracks me up, that the star of the movie is such an idiot that he can’t remember three words, and a lot of innocent people died. And that’s what really appeals to me to do this again, and we’re twisting Sam Raimi’s arm to give it some street cred and direct the opener, make it the real deal.
Campbell appears Friday, 10/31 at 4pm for photos, 5:15 for autographs, and 7:45 for a Q&A. So do as Bruce says: “Get your weird on. Go to Wizard.”
For tickets and information, visit www.wizardworld.com.