Fantasy Casting Call

To have a movie made from a book is every author’s dream come true.  To have that movie garner rave reviews, receive prestigious awards, and make a heck-of-a-lot of money is heaven.

Every writer knows a good/great movie = a bestseller.

Those who enjoyed the movie may in turn seek out the original source material.  This is a win-win situation for the author.  Not only does he get to see his work on the big screen he also gets to sell many more copies.

With that in mind, I will indulge myself by picking the actors that I would enjoy seeing play my characters on the big screen.



A series of brutal murders lead Chicago Homicide Detective Karl Whaler on the strangest and most dangerous investigation of his career.

How could the death of a promising young man be related to a tragic event during the Vietnam War decades earlier? And why do a plumber, an electrician, a caretaker, a locksmith and a butcher meet secretly in a downtown room?



Karl Whaler (Detective)

I would love for Brendan Gleeson to play him.  Gleeson was excellent in the movie In Bruges.  Whaler is quiet, soft-spoken, and shy, this would fit Gleeson perfectly.  Plus, Gleeson has Whaler’s body-type.


Michael Lantern (Plumber)

When I was writing the book years ago I actually had Clint Eastwood in mind but he would be too old now—the character in the book is in his early fifties.  Lantern is a man of few words and he is very reserved.  I think Liam Neeson would capture who he is.


Barry Tarkovsky (Butcher)

This one, without a doubt, should be played by Alfred Molina.  I actually had Molina in mind while writing the book.  I loved Molina in the movie The Man Who Knew Too Little with Bill Murray.  Tarkovsky is physically strong but has a soft heart.


Vince Crouch (Electrician)

This part should be played by Chris Cooper.  Crouch is angry, hot-headed, and stubborn.  Cooper looks like he is filled with p*ss and vineger, perfect for playing Crouch.






Sam Patroni (Locksmith)

I think George Clooney should be Patroni.  Patroni is handsome, charming and funny.  Even at his age Patroni is capable of attracting beautiful women. Clooney has no problem in that category.



Al Shorley (Caretaker)

I think Kevin Spacey would be the right person to play Shorley.  Shorley is introverted, quiet, and physically weak.  I loved Spacey in the movie The Usual Suspects.





For further indulgence I would love for Ridley Scott (American Gangster, Body of Lies) to direct it.  Ridley Scott is one of the finest directors around.  I’m a huge fan of his and have seen all his movies.


Like many authors I have spent a great deal of time thinking about the movie version.  Who knows, maybe one day that dream may turn into reality.

Book-to-Film

Along with being a writer I’m also a huge movie fan.  Most of my blogs in one way or another have some connection to movies.  So I figured why not write about book-to-film adaptations.

Now, there are hundreds, heck, thousands of books that have been turned into films.  In most cases the books were better than the movies.  I have always wondered why that is.  Books have the capacity to evoke emotion, make us feel like we are right in the action, and even scare the daylights out of us.  So they would easily translate into movies, right? Wrong.

There are many factors at play.  When an author writes a book it is solely his/her vision.  They are, in essence, the actors, the directors, the scriptwriters; they are everything they need to be to tell a story.  What they are not are producers, this title will be placed on the publishers.  On the other hand, in a movie there are actual actors, a director, one or several scriptwriters, and producers.  What happens is that when a book is adapted an author’s story is then passed through several people: the scriptwriters, the actors, the director, and even the producers.  That one person’s vision gets filtered through that many people and becomes something else entirely.

There are also other reasons why a great novel turns into a terrible movie: the scriptwriters may not understand the novel, the actors may not be suited for the parts, the director may be inept, and the producers may only be concerned with the budget.  This process can be very frustrating for the authors.  For this reason authors rarely are hired to write the screenplay of their works.

Writing a book is like giving birth, it’s a long and painful process, but in the end the results are often beautiful.  So to go back and change your ‘baby’ is something that most cannot do.  It is better to write your book and then let someone else make their movie.

There is a great quote from Ernest Hemingway about Hollywood: “Let me tell you about writing for films. You finish your book. Now, you know where the California state line is? Well, you drive right up to that line, take your manuscript and pitch it across. No, on second thought, don’t pitch it across. First. Let them toss the money over. Then you throw it over, pick up the money, and get the hell out of there.”

There are many books I’ve enjoyed reading but loathed the movie versions. My favourite author, Michael Crichton, his books never turned into good or great movies.  While the movies based on his books were successful (see Jurassic Park) they never came close to what the books were.  Whenever I read a Crichton book I always felt like I was watching a movie in my head, but unfortunately, what was written on the page never converted well onto the screen (see Congo, Timeline, Rising Sun).

Below are five titles (in no particular order) that I have enjoyed both the novels and their respective movies.

DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?/BLADE RUNNER

Deckard, a blade runner, has to track down an d terminate 4 replicants who hijacked a ship in space and have returned to earth seeking their maker. (courtesy of IMDB)




SILENCE OF THE LAMBS

A young FBI cadet must confide in an incarcerated and manipulative killer to receive his help on catching another serial killer who skins his victims. (courtesy of IMDB)




THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER

In 1984, the USSR’s best submarine captain in their newest sub violates orders and heads for the USA. Is he trying to defect, or to start a war? (courtesy of IMDB)




THE GODFATHER

The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son. (courtesy of IMDB)




FIGHT CLUB

An office employee and a soap salesman build a global organization to help vent male aggression. (courtesy of IMDB)


LOTR & the Troll

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a fan of fantasy books.  I just don’t understand them.  I do have great respect and admiration for those who write them, though.  It takes great skills and imagination to create entire planets and characters that are not from our world.

But like millions I do know about the Lord of the Rings books by J. R. R. Tolkien.

But let me go back a bit.  The year was 2001 and it was the year the LOTR – Fellowship of the Ring movie was going to be released in theatres.

For the release of FOTR there was going to be an exhibit of the costumes and props from the movie at Casa Loma (a castle-like-house built in the early 19th century) in Toronto.

It was also the year I turned 23 (not a big milestone, I’ll admit) and it was on my birthday that my brother decided to take me to the exhibit.

My brother, his friend, and I took the subway on a Sunday morning to Casa Loma.  We were all excited. My brother and his friend were more so than I was.  They were both huge LOTR fans while I, being a history enthusiast, was happy just to see the castle.

We slowly made our way through the castle.  The props, sets, costumes, etc from the movie were scattered throughout the building.  We saw Bilbo Baggin’s home, the ring, the hobbit costumes, Gandalf’s hat, Legolas’s bow, and many more items that to name them would take too much space.

As we moved along I wanted to stop and admire the structure and history of Casa Loma but my brother advised me that we would do that after we had seen the LOTR exhibits.  This way we would have the rest of the day to do so.

The final exhibit was at the far end of the building, dubbed the stables, where, well, the horses used to be kept.

We moved through a narrow tunnel and made it to the end.  From there two short stairs zigzagged up.  We went up and began admiring the various props.  My brother’s friend began taking photos, which we had been doing throughout.  The camera belonged to my brother’s co-worker and it was an expensive model at that time.

Halfway through we were approached by a short, heavyset, miserable looking security guard who advised us not to take photos.  My brother and his friend protested that everyone else was taking photos too.  Why wasn’t he stopping them? But he wouldn’t listen and told us not to.

Seeing the injustice, my brother and his friend decided to continue on.  My brother and I were the lookout while my brother’s friend took the photos.  We made all effort to keep an eye on the security guard but it wouldn’t be. He caught us again.  My brother and his friend protested like before.  But he warned us, sternly.  If he caught us taking photos again he would confiscate our camera.

I said to my brother that we had seen the exhibit, and had taken enough photos so we should listen to the security guard. But my brother and his friend wanted to do no such thing.  They felt the security guard was picking on them because they looked like students.  They felt ‘the troll’ was out to get them.  They forged ahead.

I wanted no part of it.  Remember, it was my birthday and I didn’t want any trouble.  My brother told me to wait downstairs, which I did.

Half an hour went by and no sign of either my brother or his friend.  I went back up the two sets of stairs and found them.  They had taken all the photos and still had the camera!  Now we could go and see Casa Loma, I thought.  But no.  My brother and his friend had other plans.

I begged them not to but they wouldn’t budge.

Again I went downstairs and waited for them.  I found a chair and sat facing the stairs.

Not five minutes had gone by when, from the second floor, my brother’s friend leaped over the railings and bounced to the first set of stairs.  He quickly disappeared down the narrow tunnel.

I jumped up, startled. My brother came rushing down the stairs and said, “Run!”

We bolted through the tunnel, pushing and shoving passed visitors.

We exited the entrance of Casa Loma, not before hearing another security guard’s radio crackle.

When we were a good distance away I finally asked what had happened.

After taking all the photos, my brother and his friend decided to take a photo of ‘the troll’.  They watched and followed him until he went and sat down on a chair in the corner.  That’s when my brother’s friend jumped in front him, aimed the camera and snapped his photo.

Naturally, the security guard went after them.

Outside, my brother and his friend celebrated.  They climbed the walls of Casa Loma and posed while I took their photo.  They had defeated the evil troll and were victorious.

I, on the other hand, did not celebrate. I never got the chance to see the castle like I had wanted to.

I still have the photos from that day when I turned 23; of the shields, swords, axes, etc from the movie.  I also have the photo taken by my brother’s friend, before he leaped from the second floor balcony.

The photo only shows the feet of the security guard.

Apparently, when my brother’s friend jumped in front of the security guard and pressed the button the camera did not work.  By the time the camera flashed the security guard was up already.

Yes, I may not have seen Casa Loma entirely but I have seen the boots of ‘the troll’ of Casa Loma.


Why writers love serial killers

What is it about serial killers that we find so fascinating? Could it be that it is horrifying enough that someone would kill another human being, and then do it again, and again, and again? Could it also be that when they do commit these heinous crimes they get away with it—repeatedly?

This makes us question those who are bestowed with the responsibility to stop them: the police. Had they caught the killer the first time they wouldn’t become a serial…anything. The pressure is on them to solve the case quickly before there are any more innocent victims, which there almost always are.

The question that should be asked is why do writers of novels prefer serial killers? I can’t speak for every writer out there (that would be impossible) but I may have some answers.

In general, characters are difficult to create so if you have one character whom you can use to do those evil deeds over and over again then it makes your job that much easier. You can use his or her crimes to fill more pages (an entire novel, in fact).

Writing is an escape—an escape to become someone else. Now what would be more thrilling and utterly scary then to imagine yourself becoming a serial killer. To get into the mindset of someone who kills without remorse and does it so well, can be a challenge, but all writers (of fiction) know it is not real but something conjured up in the back of their minds. They know no real persons were harmed in the making of this book.

This knowledge allows them the freedom to transform into something vile, hideous and utterly despicable. They are able to tap into a dark part of their soul, one that should (and hopefully never does) become real.

There have been many serial killers: the Son of Sam, the Zodiac Killer, the Yorkshire Ripper, the Monster of Florence, and so on. Books have been written about them, and in some cases, with movies following after.

The most popular fictional serial killer would have to be Dr. Hannibal ‘the Cannibal’ Lecter by author Thomas Harris. Here is a meek doctor who not only kills but eats his victims as well. The character has been so popular that four books have been written (so far) with him in them, with subsequent movies made, of which The Silence of the Lambs went on to win several Academy Awards.

But not all serial killers are evil or just plain bad. Jeff Lindsay’s likeable serial killer Dexter Morgan is a blood splatter expert for the Miami Police Department, who happens to kill those who he deems have escaped justice. Yes, he is a psychopath but one with a moral code. The character has been in five books (and counting) and has been turned into a hugely popular television series.


Whoever said serial killers couldn’t be lucrative?

The Good, the Bad, and the Writer

If you type “How to write” in Google you will get almost 600 million results. If you narrow it to “How to write a book” the results go down to 194 million. Now if you narrow further to, say, “How to write a bestselling book” it goes down to 462,000 results. (These numbers are surely to increase in the future)

What’s so interesting is after narrowing it down there are still half a million sites that purport to teach you how to write that bestseller.

I find this both fascinating and depressing. Fascinating because there are so many individuals and companies out there who are in the business of teaching other writers how to write that book that’ll make the writer rich and famous. Depressing because there are so many writers who believe that if they read these ‘secrets’ they’ll achieve that fame and fortune. Now what these writers don’t understand is if these people did know how to write that bestseller they would be writing them instead of talking about how to write them.

There may be a book with the title “How to write a book that sells a million copies” and that writer of this book may have actually sold a million copies, but you wanna guess to who? Those would-be writers who want to write a book that sells a million copies.

Yes, there are those that have gotten lucky. They wrote that one book that caught fire and sold a gazillion copies, but this is rare. You have a better chance of winning the lottery.

My high school economics teacher always used to say: there is no such thing as a free lunch. Someone is paying for what you got for free, and they want something back in return. The advice you think you are getting for a small price (perhaps the cover price of the book) so that you can achieve that literary stardom, well, let me tell you, if they really knew they wouldn’t tell you and not for that price.

Now, I’m not a bestselling author, far from it, but if you look at the New York Times Bestseller list or any other list you won’t find those writers with books on how to write bestselling books. Instead, they are plugging away—day in and day out, in sickness and in health, in good times and bad—on their craft. Their only objective is to tell a good story.

Hopefully the really good ones achieve mass success but really bad ones have achieved it too. There is no one way of achieving it. I have read great books by unknown writers and really bad books by famous writers. You can call it luck or you can call it something else.

I am not going to give any advice—I wouldn’t know where to begin. I do know, though, that writing is hard—it is almost always a labour of love. But there is nothing more satisfying than finally finishing something that you have spent countless days, months, even years working on. If there is one thing I can leave with it would be this: writers write, plain and simple.

This reminds me of a scene from the movie, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Tuco Ramirez (The Ugly) is taking a bubble bath when a One Armed Man enters the room and aims his gun at him.

The One Armed Man says, “I’ve been looking for you for 8 months. Whenever I should have had a gun in my right hand, I thought of you. Now I find you in exactly the position that suits me. I had lots of time to learn to shoot with my left.”

Tuco kills him with the gun he has hidden in the foam.

Tuco then gets up and says, “When you have to shoot, shoot, don’t talk.”

I say, “If you’re going to write, write, don’t read about it.”

Jason Bourne vs. James Bond

It’s interesting to see the debate of who would win if Jason Bourne ever met James Bond.

These two literary constructions would be fascinating if ever they were on the same page. Mind you, as far as what they are in on the actual page, by Robert Ludlum (Bourne) and Ian Fleming (Bond) they are entirely different on the big screen. I will not focus on the literary creations but on the ones on the silver screen. I think this would be more fun.

Descriptions:


Jason Bourne: Rugged, gritty, and unrefined. Habitually monogamous. Casually dressed. Relies heavily on intelligence and quick-thinking.





James Bond: Suave, debonair, and sophisticated. A habitual womanizer. Impeccably dressed. Relies heavily on his charm and fancy gadgets.




Who am I?

Bourne suffers from amnesia and he spends the trilogy (Bourne Identity, Supremacy and Ultimatum) piecing together his history. Along the way we learn his real name (I won’t mention it for those who haven’t watched the trilogy yet—what are you waiting for people?).

Bond…James Bond

Bond doesn’t have the same problem as Bourne. Or maybe he does and in order to remember his name he repeats it. What’s interesting is he’s a spy with no need of introductions but he still does it, twice!

Stylistic differences

Bourne blows up things only when it is absolutely necessary, whereas Bond will detonate a building because, well, he’s James Bond, and he can.

Bourne will avoid killing someone, instead will either knock them out, shoot them in the leg, or just break a bone or two (but nothing fatal), whereas, Bond will shoot to kill, his favourite: the hard-working employees of the super-villains (those poor souls who show up with machine guns but never once manage to hit Bond).

Bourne will do anything to avoid bringing any attention to him. He wants to be left alone. In Bourne Supremacy he hid in Goa, India and preferred a good run on the beach. Bond on the other hand wants to be the center of attention, everything he does says ‘I’m James Bond and you’re not.’

The big question is who would win if they were to go head to head? If I were a betting man I would say Jason Bourne, hands down. Here would be the scenario.

Bond enters the room, dressed in a tuxedo, and announces he is James Bond, twice.

He gets himself a drink, Martini, shaken not stirred.

He spots a beautiful woman and charms her.

As he’s heading back to his room, unknown to him, a man has broken into the building through a window on another floor. He procures a ball point pen, which he’ll easily be able to pass through security (if the building had one).

As an inebriated Bond gets to his bedroom door a man swiftly moves past him, and with the ball point pen, stabs him in the thigh and neck, and disappears, perhaps, scaling down the outside wall of the building.

With his major arteries severed Bond is rendered incapacitated.

Now this may seem like a diss to James Bond, but believe me, it is not, James Bond is the epitome of longevity—a character who has endured decades of change. Now why is that? The simple answer is: James Bond is a male fantasy. The common man wants to be James Bond. He dresses well, he beds beautiful women, he kills with no repercussions, and he has all the fancy toys anyone could ever want.

Who do I prefer? I will have to say Jason Bourne. Bourne feels real, there is something relatable about him. He could be a spy in today’s fast-paced, complex and paranoid world. He would survive any situation thrown at him.

So James Bond can have all the clothes, women, and toys, I would not be envy of him, Jason Bourne doesn’t need them and he manages quite fine. Well, maybe there is one thing I wouldn’t mind having. James Bond’s,

Aston Martin

Titanic & the Stubborn Popcorn

I have always been a fan of movies and have seen my share of them in theatres. Obviously, popcorns and drinks are a must when it comes to the movie-theatre-experience. But one event changed all that.

It was during the movie Titanic. I went, somewhat eagerly, to see what all the hoopla was about. This was early 1998 and Titanic had just won a whole slew of Oscars.

I buy myself a small size drink – small because I didn’t want to get up and run to the bathroom during the movie and a medium size box of popcorn.

I am there early, about ten to fifteen minutes before the start, just so that I can get a good seat. I watch as the theatre slowly begins to fill. People move up the aisles, glancing first at the screen then at the seat they are going to sit in. Some may not think this, but choosing a seat is the most important and difficult part of the movie going experience. Choose the wrong one and you’ll be regretting it for the entire movie. So arriving early is crucial.

During this time the sweet aroma of the popcorns bombard my senses. I take one, then two, and then three and before you know it I am enjoying them even before the movie begins. The commercials come up, then the expected trailers and then finally the main attraction.

By this time my box is half empty and my drink nearly finished. I gulp the last drops as the opening credits roll.

The movie is slow but I don’t mind, I know that it picks up as the ship is supposed to break in half and then sink (thank you, Internet Movie Data Base).

Then something unexpected happens. A piece of popcorn gets stuck in the back of my throat. I reach for the drink and realize its empty. I try to conjure up some spit. Nothing. My mouth is dry. The popcorn had sucked up all the saliva. Now this tiny piece has become a big problem. It’s irritating and agitating my throat.

I try to cough, or make a gurgling noise, but realize this is not the right time. Up on the screen Rose (Kate Winslet) has decided to jump off the ship and Jack (Leonardo Di Caprio) is persuading her not too. Let me say, this is probably the quietest scene in the entire movie. There is no background music, no special effects, no loud anything. It consists only of dialogue between the two actors and the slow (far away) sound of frigid water splashing.

I’m sure this scene is not that long but when you have an intruder that you cannot get out with your tongue stuck in the back of your mouth, this seems like an eternity.

I plead to the screen. Jack, let her jump. Let her make some noise. It’s only water. Once I get this popcorn out I’ll save her.

But that would not be. He would not let her jump.

So I decide to get up, apologize for stepping on people’s toes, and make my way to the bathroom.

Just as I’m about to do this I feel this wetness underneath my tongue. Oh, sweet dribble. I quickly suck in and wash the culprit down. I can’t explain the relief I felt. It was as if I was the king of the world.

Then I proceed to enjoy the rest of the movie, which I found a bit too long and a bit too long. And of course, I do so without eating any more popcorn.

Moral of the story: No popcorns unless Jack is willing to shove Rose overboard.

Soundtracks (Part 2)

Seven Years in Tibet by John Williams

Track(s): Seven Years in Tibet, Regaining a Son

This soundtrack started my love for the movie score. The cellos by Yo-Yo Ma are both beautiful and sad. Listening to the track, Seven Years, puts you in a dream like state of enchantment. Both Western and Eastern sounds are blended together gorgeously.



Last Samurai by Hans Zimmer

Track(s): A Way of Life, Spectres in the Fog, Idyll’s Hands


A delicate and emotional soundtrack, that infuses Eastern sounds with Western beats. The middle of track Idyll’s Hands is so forceful that it leaves you feeling empowered.


 


Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon by Tan Dun and Yo-Yo Ma

Track(s): The Eternal Vow


The track Eternal Vow is a deeply moving and haunting track of unrequited love. The cellos by Ma are mesmerizing, leaving the listener heart broken and yearning for more.




Lawrence of Arabia by Maurice Jarre

Tracks(s): Overtures, Main Titles,
On to Akaba/the Beach at Night


My praise of this movie is evident in my first blog, so why wouldn’t I love the soundtrack as well. Overture immediately starts of with massive drums and moves to cymbals and trumpets, then followed by a hypnotic Arabian melody.



Jurassic Park by John Williams

Tracks(s): Theme from Jurassic Park,
Welcome to Jurassic Park, and End Credits


It is a light and entertaining soundtrack of a highly successful movie that was based on a book. What more inspiration do you need for a writer?

Soundtracks (Part 1)

Music plays a big role in writing, at least it does for me. It helps set the mood and spurs the muse into action. I tried writing with the radio playing in the background but the DJs kept interrupting my thoughts. I tried playing CDs but found the lyrics distracting. Then I tried playing movie soundtracks and found that this not only inspired my writing but also helped me stay in the ‘writing zone’.

(I’m not a music writer so my comments are not indented to be a professional review but merely my take on these wonderful soundtracks)

The following soundtracks, including some of my favorite tracks, were instrumental in writing my first novel, R.A.C.E.


Gladiator by Hans Zimmer

Track(s): The Battle, Elysium, The Might of Rome, Honor Him, and Now We are Free


What can I say about this soundtrack? It has everything. From the pounding and inspiring track, The Battle, to the peaceful and soulful track, Elysium, containing the melodic voice of Lisa Gerrard. This soundtrack is grand and personal.



Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers by Howard Shore

Tracks(s): Evenstar, Forth Eorlingas, Riders of Rohan, Samwise the Brave


Enya sings in Evenstar and being a fan of hers I was thoroughly enchanted by the track. The track, Riders of Rohan, is both majestic and has a feel of urgency. The rest of the soundtrack reminds you of a world that is not ours, but is magical and far, far away.


Road to Perdition by Thomas Newman

Track(s): Road to Chicago, Road to Perdition


The soundtrack is propelled by the sound of the piano and violin. It evokes the atmosphere and feel of the 1930s. The track, Road to Perdition, is heart wrenching and powerful.




Braveheart by James Horner

Tracks(s): The Love of a Princess, Freedom/the Execution/Bannockburn, End Credits


The scores are mixed with bagpipes, flutes, and drums. The soundtrack goes from powerful to reflective. It has an incredible choir chorus that is both sad and empowering.



Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark by John Williams

Track(s): The Raiders March

The Raiders March track is distinct and universally recognized by an Indy fan. For those who have never heard of it, it has drums, cymbals, trumpets; the entire London Pop Orchestra, the same orchestra that did Star Wars. When The Raiders March starts up a chill of excitement goes up my spine. What more can I say?

Groovy

People ask me who my favorite actor is and depending on which movie I’d seen at the time, I would spew out names like Leonardo Di Caprio, Robert De Niro, Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks…etc. But in reality there is one actor that whenever I see him in a movie (and most of the time he’s playing a very, very, very minor role) a huge smile crosses my face.

The actor I’m speaking of is Bruce Campbell.ArmyOfDarkness(A)

For those who are not familiar with the name he is of the Evil Dead trilogy fame. He starred in Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, and the Army of Darkness as Ashley ‘Ash’ J. Williams.

I remember watching the first two movies as a kid and being scared out of my wits. I had nightmares for a very long time. You could say it was because of Evil Dead that I stopped watching horror movies and to this day will avoid them like the plague.

There was this one scene from Evil Dead II that I replayed in my mind over and over again as a kid. It was a cool scene. Through the course of the movie Ash is beaten, punished, and tortured in every way by the demons haunting the cabin he is in. After a demon possesses his right hand Ash has no choice but cut-it off. Angry and pissed, Ash goes into the tool shed where he replaces his right hand with a chainsaw. He saws of the front of the shotgun (to make it more lethal), twirls it around and puts it in his back holster. Now armed and ready to do battle with the demons, he raises one eyebrow and says, “Groovy.” (No matter what happens to him, he’s still cool and hip to let it slide and get on with it)

Many years later, when I was in my teens Bruce Campbell starred in a short series called, Brisco County Jr., a western where Brisco (played by Bruce Campbell) is a bounty hunter who goes after the gang that killed his father. It lasted only one season about 27 episodes but at that time I couldn’t wait each week to watch it. There was something about the show… it was fun! It had a horse named Comet that had an attitude. Even now I still remember that show fondly.

Many years ago when the Internet was just beginning to catch on, my brother, who happened to have an e-mail address at the time, found Bruce Campbell’s e-mail. Excited, he and I sat down and wrote a long, glowing letter to him. We were like school kids drooling at the prospect of finally getting a chance to connect with our hero. We wrote in the end that we hoped he would get better roles in the future. Once we were done, we decided to save it and come back later and re-fix. This letter had to be perfect the last thing we wanted was to say something inappropriate to him. The next day we received an e-mail—it was from Bruce Campbell!!! (How did the e-mail go through? We thought we had only saved it?) He thanked us for writing to him and at the end wrote that he was proud of the roles he had done. We were devastated…was Bruce Campbell (aka Ash, aka Brisco County Jr.) offended by what we said?

I guess what most people are still wondering is what is it about Bruce Campbell that puts him ahead of some of the heavy weights in Hollywood, in my opinion? The simple answer is…Bruce Campbell looks like he is having fun. I can’t describe what that means, except that he’s someone you wouldn’t mind hanging around with because you know it’ll be fun.

So that brings me back to my story, do I think Bruce Campbell was offended by our comment? No, I don’t think soAnd somehow if I ever met him and told him of the story, I bet he’d say, with his one eyebrow raised, “Groovy.”