"Man with the Screaming Brain" (2005, Bruce Campbell, SciFi Channel).
I just opened my "The Bruce Campbell Collection" boxset, so expect some raving reviews on the works of the B-Movie king!
I'm not sure what I expected from this comedy/sci-fi/horror, but "Man with the Screaming Brain" delivers everthing it says on the tin (or rather, the box...) and accomplishes it with the cheesey, awesome style I've come to expect from such quality productions.
The Basic Plot
William Cole (Bruce Campbell) is a rich business tycoon in the pharmaceutical industry. He and his wife Jackie (Antoinette Byron) arrive 'somewhere in Bulgaria', where most people seem to be Russian, for a conference. Bruce Campbell happily hams up his 'ugly American' capitalist character into an unlikeable jackass. And his wife is an equally unlikeable rich-bitch love cheat.
The mad scientist, Dr. Ivan Ivanov (Stacy Keach) and his assistant, Pavel (Ted Raimi) are working on a scientific solution to halt body rejection of transplanted organs. Raimi gives a hilarious performance and really clearly enjoys the role. Also, I watched this with a guy working on his PhD in Theoretical Physics and we had to pause a scene while he studied their blackboard so that we could confirm that yes, indeed, it was just a bunch of equations which together have no meaning! Note to self, avoid movies with equations when watching with scientists in future!
Cole rudely dismisses an invite to see the doctor's work. Too bad for him, huh?
Cole and Jackie take a taxi and wind up in Gypsie Town where they witness a fight and also spy the mysterious Gypsie beauty, Tatoya (Tamara Gorski).
Jackie quickly gets frisky with the taxi driver, Yegor (Vladimir Kolev), a character I also really enjoyed. Cole, in the meantime, tries his luck with Tatoya, but is instead robbed and then bludgeoned when he attempts to take back his belongings. Yegor witnesses the attack on Cole and confronts Tatoya (who is his ex-fiancée) only to be killed himself!
The doctor then takes this opportunity to demonstrate his research to Mr. Cole first hand by bringing him back to life!
Cole later awakens to find that he is in the doctor's very-convincing (yes, that was sarcasm) laboratory, and has been 'patched up' using some parts of Yegor's brain where his had been damaged. I enjoyed the cranial stitching, also very convincing (yes, more sarcasm!). Cole escapes the laboratory and discovers that he can hear Yegor speaking to him inside his head!
Jackie, in a fit of rage, attacks Tatoya for killing her husband, but is then also killed by that gypsie minx. Luckily, she's brought back as a robot in a yellow catsuit.
There's some more fighting, an unconvincing car chase, a tiny explosion and of course, no Bruce Campbell movie would be complete without the textbook Bruce vs Bruce scene!
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. If it were a rollercoaster, it's definitely the one where you ride on the caterpillar through the apple core; simple, pleasing and not at all scary!
Ted Raimi steals the show and I do enjoy his American-being-Bulgarian-being-Russian-being-American-rapping! Hilarious!