An Evening of Bruce Campbell in Iowa City, Iowa (a review of sorts)
by Michael McCarty
Tuesday, September 5, 2017 7:00 pm
The Englert Theatre, Iowa City, Iowa
This long strange adventure began, when my friend Brian Kronfeld told me, “Me, Quinn (Hernandez) and Izzy (Sutton) are going to go up to Iowa City and see Bruce Campbell. Are you?”
I really didn’t know anything about this and said, “I really don’t know anything about this.”
Then Brian said, “I’ll send you a link….”
I didn’t think there was really a chance, that myself and my lovely wife Cindy could see Bruce Campbell. You see, The Prairie Lights Bookstore and The Englert Theatre did the same thing a couple of years ago, when Stephen King came up there. The Prairie Lights provided the audience members with a signed edition of the book that Mr. King wrote and the theatre was the place he’d appear for a lecture.
Stephen King sold the 700 seat Englert Theatre out very quickly.
So when I clicked on the link and found it wasn’t sold out. That is when myself and my wife, Cindy got excited. We purchased two tickets as fast as the internet would let us.
(The promo for If Chins Could Kill, Make Love The Bruce Campbell Way and Hail To The Chins author and horror icon Bruce Campbell).
It was a strange time for me in my life, it was just after leaving my job at Orkin for about a year and a half and starting a new job with Terminix which I was returning back to.
My wife and I went to Zombie Burger in Iowa City, Iowa … which wasn’t that far away from The Englert Theatre.
(Zombie Burger, Iowa City, Iowa – Photo by Michael McCarty)
Cindy & I really enjoyed Zombie Burger … the food was good and the restaurant is all decked out everything Zombie….
(Cindy McCarty at Zombie Burger – Photo by Michael McCarty)
(Horror author Michael McCarty with a killer milkshake – Photo by Cindy McCarty)
So after feasting on burgers and milkshakes we are fueled up to walk the few blocks over to The Englert Theatre to stand in line in the rain with 700 other Bruce Campbell fans.
After about 30 minutes, we finally get into The Englert Theatre, which is very lovely. This theater has been around since the Vaudeville days and reminds me a lot of The Capitol Theatre in Downtown Davenport, where of course, we picked up an autographed copy of the book Hail To The Chins.
Bruce Campbell goes on stage shortly after 7pm….. he dressed in a plaid jacket, bow tie and was wearing glasses. Hey, I can’t say anything, I dressed in similar outfits myself.
The audience is going, “Bruce, Bruce, Bruce…”
Bruce takes the microphone and says, “When you go ‘Bruce,’ it sounds like your booing.” (The audience laughter fills The Englert Theatre. Then Bruce adds, “I should leave now, it couldn’t get any better than this.”
Right from the get go, you see that Bruce has stand-up comedy timing. I feel it has always been inside of Bruce Campbell and this is why it makes him so popular with his movies and books. That is my two cents worth and you can keep the change….
(The gang’s all here: Cindy McCarty, Quinn Hernandez, Brian Kronfeld and Izzy Sutton — Photo by Michael McCarty)
He talks about the book and his other books he has written (If Chins Could Kill and Make Love The Bruce Campbell Way). He talked about the behind the scenes story and how it relates to a chapter in his new book and then he reads the chapter.
Everything he talked about was fascinating. One of the things I thought was cool: “Thank you for your purchase of ‘Hail To The Chins.’ The book just hit number 8 on the New York Times bestsellers list because of your support….”
After that, he answers questions from the audience…
I tried to write as much Q&A in my notebook in the dark … this is the best I could do. Sorry if I misquoted anyone if I don’t get everything 100% correct:
(The golden ticket to get to the sold out Bruce Campbell show in Iowa City)
AUDIENCE: “You’ve done some voice over work for video games. Do you have any interesting stories about that?”
BRUCE: “Any interesting stories about sitting in the studio with a microphone saying things like:
‘Go right, ahead.’
‘Go left, ahead.’
For four days.
Now is that exciting???? To some, maybe. For me, I just wanted to hang myself by the end of it.”
AUDIENCE: “Any tips for catching a chainsaw with one hand?”
BRUCE: “Yes, do less Mescaline.”
(Photo of Bruce Campbell by Michael McCarty)
AUDIENCE: “What was that orb all about in THE ADVENTURES OF BRISCO COUNTY, JR. The show never explained that.”
BRUCE: “We got canceled, we never had time.”
AUDIENCE: “After SPIDER-MAN, is there any Marvel film you’d like to do?”
BRUCE: “After naming SPIDER-MAN? Let’s review the films, sir:
In the first SPIDER-MAN movie, Peter Parker wants to enter the ring as ‘The Human Spider.’ As the Ring Master announcer I tell him, that name sucks and rename him Spider-Man. If the ring master wasn’t in that movie, this billion dollar franchise would be called ‘The Human Spider.’
In SPIDER-MAN 2, Peter Parker wants to see Mary Jane (Watson) because she’s in a play on Broadway.
(Imitating Peter Parker running: ‘I’m coming to see her after saving the world,’).
And I’m the snotty usher. I won’t let him in. Why? Because he’s late, it would spoil the illusion for the play.
Technically, I’m the only character that has defeated Spider-Man. (Loud round of applause).
In SPIDER-MAN 3, Peter Parker comes to me for help because I’m the Maitre D’. When does a super hero come to a mortal for help? Not very often.
Do I help him?
No – because he was such a D-Bag to me in the first two movies.
I hope that answers your question.”
AUDIENCE: “Is there any way to bring Ash into Jason or Freddy’s world?”
BRUCE: “No and No and No!!!
It was a creatively bankrupt idea anyway.”
AUDIENCE: “When is ASH VS. THE EVIL DEAD Season Three going to air?”
BRUCE: “When you get the memo, give me a call. Starz isn’t going to play it until February (2018). There are a lot of cogs. Starz was just purchased by Lionsgate. Starz is now a Lionsgate company. Our bosses have bosses. We’re in the middle of that dance. We all have to sing for our supper, sir. So we’re busy singing.
Season 3, I’d have to say, you will pick your jaw up off the ground after watching it.
To all the people out there who say, “Where’s Starz? Where can I get it at?” Download the free app, 30 day free trial. Watch the entire two seasons in about two and half hours. Then delete the app. I’m sorry if I couldn’t make it any easier or cheaper for you.”
After the Q&A, Bruce was signing the audience members books or movies (1 each). Cindy had Bruce sign IF CHINS COULD KILL and he said, “The predecessor,” with a wink.
I had the graphic novel that he co-wrote called THE MAN WITH THE SCREAMING BRAIN. Bruce said, “A literary classic.”
I gave Bruce autographed copies of my books: MODERN MYTHMAKERS: 35 INTERVIEWS WITH HORROR AND SCIENCE FICTION WRITERS AND FILMMAKERS and CONVERSATIONS WITH KRESKIN and said: “If you like these interviews, give me a call and I’d do an interview with you.” I never received a call back.
(My wife Cindy McCarty and Bruce Campbell … if you look carefully, on the floor is copies of my books: MODERN MYTHMAKERS: 35 INTERVIEWS WITH HORROR AND SCIENCE FICTION WRITERS AND FILMMAKERS by Michael McCarty and CONVERSATIONS WITH KRESKIN by The Amazing Kreskin and Michael McCarty
– Photo by Michael McCarty)
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