It’s been said that it’s good to be king. Film and television star Bruce Campbell will demonstrate just how good Saturday when SF Sketchfest presents “Hail to the King, Baby” at the Castro Theatre.
The combination screening, onstage interview and meet-and-greet schmoozefest is the next in a long line of fan events for Campbell, spurred by the long-standing cult success of the film franchise that includes “The Evil Dead” (1981), “Evil Dead II” (1987) and — to be screened at the event — “Army of Darkness” (1992).
He knows the drill.
“I know every question that’s coming,” he says. “I’ve heard it since 1988 when I did my first convention. No matter how hard they try, they can’t have something that — unless it’s shockingly personal or offensive — we’ve not heard before.”
That’s not to say he phones it in. “It’s just as challenging to come up with a different spin to the answer. Someone says, ‘What’s your favorite movie?’ We’ll do a random poll of what movies did I make that people want their money back for, and it’s amazing. They’ll shout every movie I’ve ever made.”
Probably not every movie, but he has made quite an unapologetic niche for himself in the horror and sci-fi genre.
He’s also maintained a long-term dating relationship with series television, headlining “The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.” and “Jack of All Trades,” and making extended guest appearances on “Ellen” and the “Xena” and “Hercules” franchises.
Of the range of his career, he jokes that “it sort of meanders like the Mississippi.”
His high-profile gig of the moment is playing Sam Axe on the USA Network series “Burn Notice” opposite Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar and TV icon Sharon Gless. The show has just been picked up for a seventh season and Campbell takes comfort and confidence in the show’s foundation, built on years of work.
“We’ve done these characters for so long that when a [new] director gives us a note we’ll give him a funny look. It’s like, ‘Did you just give me a note?’ We know these characters so well.”
Campbell also knows his fans very well. “I’ve learned now that if they call you ‘the “Evil Dead” guy’ that’s really because they don’t watch anything else. Then there are ‘Brisco County Jr.’ fans who have no intention of watching ‘Evil Dead.’ It’s been fun to watch people see the old guy in ‘Burn Notice’ used to do these weird movies way back.”