The Man with the Screaming Brain/Alien Apocalypse (2 Discs) (Widescreen) product details page

The Man with the Screaming Brain/Alien Apocalypse (2 Discs) (Widescreen)

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For hardcore fans of Bruce Campbell, the mere image of the square-jawed anti-hero smacking himself in the face uncontrollably is probably more than enough to earn enthusiastic approval. For others, however, Man With the Screaming Brain may lose its momentum too frequently to illicit much real laughter. Campbell certainly knows the ins and outs of a campy, sci-fi parody, but as the writer/director/star, he may have been short on energy because despite his abilities, Man With the Screaming Brain just isn't nearly as audaciously over the top as it aims to be. There are certainly some funny ideas and clever scenes in this movie, but it could benefit from a little variety. Ted Raimi, for instance, is hilarious at first, playing an Eastern European scientist flunky who is so obsessed with hip-hop that he insists on drinking Red Bull instead of vodka and programs his robot to actually do "The Robot." Unfortunately, this shtick is tedious by his second appearance and embarrassing by his third--at which point Raimi appears to be all but completely tapped out for ideas. Man with the Screaming Brain also goes for long stretches where despite the plot being nothing but a flimsy construction to hang jokes on, no jokes will appear at all. What the movie needs is not just additional silliness but a much needed dose of dry humor, since any parody should be at least a little bit sarcastic. As a screen presence, Bruce Campbell is in rare form both with his physical comedy and the kitschy execution of his lines. He gives by far the funniest performance in the movie; the only trouble is that the audience has to sit through half the film before he gives it. When given the chance to riff, Campbell and even co-stars Raimi and Tamara Gorski are hilarious and inspired. Unfortunately, the script can't riff off itself. Cammila Albertson, All Movie Guide