Bruce Campbell is a human cult classic. He's cartoonishly handsome, a leading man by any standard, yet so much stranger, funnier and altogether more delightful than that traffic-stopping chin would have you believe.
Here's why we're crushing on our most A-list B-movie star.
Over the course of Sam Raimi's (Bruce's buddy from high school drama class) joyously campy Evil Dead trilogy, Ash Williams transforms from a regular guy who just happens to have the misfortune of renting a cabin with the Book of the Dead inside — a risk we all take each and every time we use Airbnb — to a badass, boomstick-toting monster hunter. He even makes having a chainsaw stump for a hand look good.
After the original Evil Dead came out in 1978, Campbell reprised his role in Evil Dead II (1987) and Army of Darkness (1992), which, naturally, is set in medieval times.
If you haven't seen these comedy horror classics, get caught up now — a TV adaptation, Ash vs. Evil Dead, is coming later this year.
In 1993 through 1994, Bruce starred in The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., a one-season wonder sci-fi Western series on Fox. Not only was it steampunk before steampunk was steampunk, the show represented Bruce at peak adorableness. Unfortunately, there's nowhere you can stream Brisco online, an injustice that never fails to infuriate me. But if these GIFs can't convince you to invest in the DVD box set (it's only $15.99 on Amazon!), I don't know what will.
You might also recognize Bruce as Autolycus on Xena and Hercules, a mummy-battling elderly Elvis Presley in Bubba Ho-Tep, a 19th-century spy slash masked avenger in Jack of All Trades, or from his cameo appearances in Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy. Remember the usher who wouldn't let Peter into the theater to see MJ's play? That's our dude.
Campbell's acting résumé is full of weird, wonderful roles like these. He also wrote a memoir with the utterly perfect title If Chins Could Kill, and he's famously friendly with and available to his legion of loyal fans.
Simply put, this is a guy who just wants to have fun. That's why we have so much fun watching him.
More recently, Campbell brought his signature charm to Burn Notice as Sam Axe, the retired Navy SEAL with a fondness for Hawaiian shirts and lonely old ladies with money to burn. Starting tonight, he'll host Last Fan Standing, a geeky pop culture game show on ConTV. Groovier than ever.
Molly Fitzpatrick is senior editor of Fusion's Pop & Culture section. Her interests include movies about movies, TV shows about TV shows, and movies about TV shows, but not so much TV shows about movies.