Man with the Screaming Brain Reviews
If it weren't for Bruce Campbell, this movie would have blown.
Tougher than My Night With Maud.
Sexier than Lawrence of Arabia.
Funnier than 120 Days In Sodom.
Better acting than Big Daddy.
What's not to like?
Keach, and his dim-witted assistant, Pavel, played with great glee and uncapped energy by Ted Rami (who else?!), are deliriously off beat. The characters and the performances are so far out of the ball park, it is insane.
As for the chin himself, he is excellent. He gets the excesses and bastard attitude of pharmaceutical magnate William Cole rather well, with his typical blunt irony, shining through in thoroughly deadpan fashion. Once his brain, and the brain of former KGB, current cabbie Yegor get jammed together, he really owns the movie. Watching Bruce beat himself up, not be able to control his hand, or just hysterically running around will always amuse me, and here, that's what he does.
The movie tries so hard to attain B-movie status, with it's madcap insanity, and then spoof the movies it loves. To do so, this plays out, just like a 1950s sci-fi flick, thus, many of the jokes are in the unfolding, watching as the typical 50s tropes are brought to a head, and then magnified. From the constant brain swappings, to the massive forehead scar, to the whys behind Ivanov's work in secret, it's all there, it's all dead on, and it's all funny.
As a director, Campbell allows these things to play out nicely, knowing when to end a joke, and how far to take the shady dealings. He gets the tone right, using lots of exaggerated colors, and zany sound effects, as if vaudeville ran smack dab into a cheesy sci-fi, flick. While not as sure-handed as his sophomore effort, this debut is definitely strong and showcases his humor and sensibilities impeccably.