Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bruce Campbell Week Part Two: Man with the Screaming Brain (Comic)

Today, we discuss the great Bruce Campbell as a comic book writer.

In 1986, Bruce Campbell was a man with a dream.

His dream was to make a corny, 1950s style science fiction flick.  And in 2005, that dream became a reality.  (Yes, it took 19 years.)  Man with the Screaming Brain was born.

The Man with the Screaming Brain is talked about a little in If Chins Could Kill, though I've never been entirely sure why this was the story that Campbell lobbied for for years.  Not that it's bad.  It's exactly what you're expecting from a campy scifi-picture show movie.  I just think it's an interesting insight on Bruce Campbell that this is the story that he felt called to share with the world.  My kind of guy.

He felt so called to share this story with the world that, in addition to the movie, there is a comic book version released by Dark Horse comics.

I read the comic book before I watched the movie.  Campbell says of the comic:
"I'm calling the comic a 'director's cut,' mainly because it doesn't cost you more to set the scene at the edge of a cool cliff, or at night like it does in the movies.  The comic is closer to what the original intent was - dark and noir-like."

The Plot: Campbell plays William Cole, who travels with his unsatisfied wife Jackie to Bulgaria to oversee some business interests there.  They meet former KGB-turned cab driver Yegor and when they run afoul of the murderess gypsy Tatoya, she kills all three of them.  Luckily, Bulgaria's friendly neighborhood mad scientists are there to place part of Yegor's brain in place of the damaged part of Cole's brain, and Jackie is placed in the body of a robot.  The two halves of the brain work together to get their revenge.

I'm a huge MST3K fan, so all I could think about as I read this story was of the movie The Atomic Brain, where there's a man with a dog brain, a woman with a cat brain, a girl with a dead brain (zombie), and an old woman's brain in a cat.  I like these mad scientists who don't believe in waste, no brains or usable body parts left behind.

Because of that, I feel the story accomplishes everything it set out to do; it feels just like a cheesy 1950s scifi movie.  The comic is a fun read, though I think you just have to pair it with a watching of the movie, because it's Bruce Campbell's delivery and facial expressions that really sell it, though the comic does have an awesome look to it.

I give it 4 misplaced-brains out of 5!

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