The Man With the Screaming Brain (**½)

Posted on July 7th, 2005 in Movie Reviews by EngineerBoy

So the CleverDonkey family got to meet the man, the myth, the legend, Mr. Bruce Campbell. Yes, Ash, the legendary ghoul ass-kicker of Evil Dead fame himself. Mr. Boomstick. Mr. Workshed. The Man.

It was our good fortune to attend his book signing here in Houston for his new tome Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way (which I have not yet read, so no spoilers here), which was also his film tour for his new movie The Man With the Screaming Brain, directed and co-written by BC himself. Mr. Campbell was nice enough to sign one item of your choice with the purchase of the book, so in the photos below you will see us getting two copies of the book signed, plus our now-even-more-treasured Bubba Ho-Tep poster.

Mr. Campbell was very personable when he signed our things, but we were in the first 60 signees. We came back several hours later for the film and talk and happened to pass by the signing area where he was still just as jovial and accommodating as he had been hours before. They even had staff standing by to use your own camera to take pictures. It was a very low-stress, exciting, and fun event.

After the signing Mr. Campbell spent 20-30 minutes talking to the crowd in the theater before the screening, and he was relaxed, engaging, witty, and apparently unrehearsed. He tolerated the fan-boy questions with aplomb and was quite entertaining.

The movie was better than I was expecting. The film was financed by the SciFi Channel and some German investment company and is playing in selected theaters as part of the book tour. The film will then air on the SciFi Channel and then shortly after be released on DVD. Not the most auspicious characteristics for a film, and usually those stats indicate that the film is complete crap that someone is trying to milk a few dollars more from.

Well, The Man With the Screaming Brain is certainly no Evil Dead II, but neither is it Alien Apocalypse (to pick two films at opposite ends of BC’s bell oeuvre). Screaming is an entertaining trifle, just funny enough and of just high-enough quality to allow you to relax and enjoy it. The acting is surprisingly good (for the most part), as is the casting.

The film was shot on location in Bulgaria, and they worked it into the plot and set the story in Bulgaria. I think this was because there was no way to make Bulgaria look like anywhere else but Bulgaria, so why not roll with it.

The story is…not really important here. What is important is that if you are a fan of Bruce Campbell you should see this film, preferably as part of his tour. Check his site to find out when it’s coming to a town near you. And buy his book and get it signed and get the chance to meet a certified B-movie star and all-around nice guy. Groovy.

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