Hello! My name is Cait and I love movies!
(Time for you to answer in kind)
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then good! You now get to jump head-first into the joy that is Blank Check with Griffin and David! Blank Check is a podcast about movies- but not just any movies- it’s a podcast about directors!
No, wait, it’s not exactly about directors, but it IS about directors who make “Blank Check” films.
“Cait, you want us to listen to a whole podcast about the 1994 film Blank Check?!”
Fear not! That is not what I am suggesting you do! Per the podcast themselves:
Its a podcast about filmographies of directors who have massive success and are given a blank check to make whatever crazy passion projects they want. Sometimes those checks clear and sometimes they bounce (baby).
They’ve covered folks like The Wachowskis, John Singleton, Jonathan Demme, M. Night Shyamalan, Jane Campion, and NOW IT IS SAM RAIMI TIME!
We could barely have Sam Raimi talk without Bruce Campbell talk, so here we are! At the time of writing this review, the podcast has just covered Army of Darkness (or Bruce Campbell vs. Army of Darkness if you’re nasty). There is no way to talk early Raimi without talking Bruce Campbell, so the hosts have spent a LOT of time both worshipping the king of the B-Movie Actors AND referencing his own memoirs around making his way into film one bathtub full of blood-red Karo Syrup at a time.
Bruce’s first memoir, If Chins Could Kill, features a LOT in the first several Raimi episodes. He kept incredible diaries throughout his entire early life and friendship with Raimi, and his accounts of being a goofy kid on the outskirts of Detroit diving head-first into the wild world of film making are meticulous and hilarious.
I am lucky to have met Bruce Campbell back in 2005 when he was promoting Make Love! The Bruce Campbell Way. I was working in an indie bookstore and he was every bit the delight that you would hope he would be. Hilarious, charming, incredibly honest and an all-together pro. I was 18 and absolutely tripping over myself to host an event with this Big Name, and he made it easy. I have since read all of his books, and I continue to watch his work whenever something new pops up (or whenever I need to watch Army of Darkness for the umpteenth time).
Obviously, with all of the references to his own accounts of making the early Raimi films, it was time to dive back in to where it all began!
If Chins Could Kill was originally published in 2000, but was re-released in audio AND with new photos in 2010. In my opinion, it’s due for another revisit – this is a man who grew up in the 70s writing in the late 90s referring to “broads” and “strippers” at times, but even though his word choice is now (rightly) out of vogue his respect for the people that he talks about is apparent. Man oh man: has he run into some PEOPLE between his time on the Con circuit, his time hustling locals in Tennessee to fund movie shoots, building fake UFOs to terrify his suburban neighbors, and wheeling and dealing from the Hollywood backlot to the on-location shoots in New Zealand. He has great love for his friends, respect for his coworkers, and a general interest in the plight of every person that he comes across.
Does it help to be a fan of him in order to read this book? Perhaps- but if you are at all interested in how a bunch of kids with a Super 8 camera and a couple hundred bucks managed to smash their way into movie making, then you cannot afford to skip this one!
Hail to the King, baby