From The Vault: Man With The Screaming BrainI know our From The Vault section is usually reserved for older films, but Man With The Screaming Brain is so bizarre, so obscure and so unashamedly alternative it’s pretty hard to put it anywhere else.

Co-written and directed by the cult icon himself, Bruce Campbell, Man With The Screaming Brain tells the story of William Cole – a wealthy CEO of a U.S. Drug company who travels to Bulgaria. A stereotypically repugnant American that is obsessed with the lack of capitalism in the former soviet state, along with his wife they hire taxi driver Yegor (Vladimir Kolev), who just happens to be a former KGB agent.

Meanwhile, scientists Dr Ivan Ivanov (played by Stacy Jeach) and his assistant, Pavel (Ted Raimi) are developing an anti-rejection drug that allows them to merge organs.

Through some convoluted plot, Yegor’s ex-fiance Tatoya ends up killing Cole by smacking him on the head with a metal pole and stabs and shoots Yegor. The scientists then take their bodies and save Cole by merging his brain with Yegor’s.

At first all appears to be fine, but then Cole starts to hear Yegor talking to him and eventually Yegor can control parts of Cole’s body, often during times when they are in disagreement.

As demonstrated in The Evil Dead films, Bruce Campbell is a natural when it comes to physical comedy and he is right at home here as the half possessed William Cole.

The slapstick comedy is played out to delightful effect in various scenes – the best of which sees Cole in restaurant trying to eat dinner and order a drink, with Yegor only disagreeing with everything he orders.

Originally conceived in the mid 80s, Man With The Screaming Brain was eventually funded by the sci-fi channel, so as a result the film does have that certain movie of the week quality to it.

And due to budgetary restraints, the location of the story was changed from East L.A. to Bulgaria, so the production team could take advantage of the former soviet states tax breaks.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s a completely bonkers film and couldn’t be any more leftfield if it tried.

While it may not be up there with Campbell’s finest moments such as Bubba Ho-Tep and Evil Dead 2, it is still worth certainly checking out, especially if you are a fan of the man’s work so far.

About The Author

Colin lives in south west London. Looks like a hobbit and has been watching films ever since he saw Return of the Jedi at the age of 3. You can follow Colin on Twitter @obicolkenobi.