Alien Apocalypse & Man with the Screaming Brain turn 15

Bruce Campbell (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
Bruce Campbell (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images) /

Alien Apocalypse and Man with the Screaming Brain turn 15 this year. For fans of Bruce Campbell and B movies, these two flicks are just what the doctor ordered to chase away the quarantine blues.

Alien Apocalypse and Man with the Screaming Brain are two films from what I like to call the “Golden Age of the Sci-Fi Channel.” You know, back when the network actually spelled their name correctly.

These highly entertaining popcorn flicks star none other than the King of B movies himself, Bruce Campbell. If you are a fan of the actor, do yourself a favor and make it a point to watch these productions.

Alien Apocalypse (2005)

Both films aired on the network 15 years ago with Alien Apocalypse becoming the highest rated movie in the history of the Sci-Fi Channel. Directed by Campbell’s childhood friend, Josh Becker, and co-starring Renee O’Connor from Xena: Warrior Princess, this feature definitely pays homage to Franklin J. Schaffner’s, Planet of the Apes.

Astronauts, Dr. Ivan Hood (Campbell), Kelly (O’Connor) and Chuck (Michael Cory Davis) have returned to earth after having been in space for four decades. Only to find that the human race has been enslaved and forced to live underground by an alien race of gigantic insects.

Desperate times call for desperate measures and Ivan devises a plan to escape. Aided by his colleague and new lover, Kelly, the two train their fellow workers to be warriors for the inevitable uprising against the termite overlords.

Campbell’s character is like William Wallace (Braveheart) in this sci-fi picture. With Becker at the helm, Alien Apocalypse also harkens back to the Super-8 films that the duo did when they were growing up in Detroit.

If you want to see Bruce playing the hero and kicking alien butt, check out this fun film.

Man with the Screaming Brain (2005)

Man with the Screaming Brain was written and directed by Bruce Campbell. It took the actor 19 years to make this film.

Originally, the movie was set in East Los Angeles. However, the powers that be chose Bulgaria for their new location because it was more cost-effective to shoot there. So, Bruce had to rewrite his entire script to accommodate the change.

Fans of mad scientist productions from the 1950’s are going to love this effort. It is a tale of a wealthy industrialist named William Cole (Campbell) who goes to Bulgaria to complete a subway system.

Along the way, he attracts the interest of Dr. Ivanov (played with relish by the esteemed Stacy Keach) who wants to solicit funds from Cole so that he can continue his brain transplant experiments. Of course, Ivanov’s rather dimwitted assistant and partner in crime, Pavel is played by none other than Campbell’s constant cohort and co-star, Ted Raimi.

In the middle of all this chaos, an exotically beautiful albeit psychotic woman named Tatoya (Tamara Gorski) enters into the mix. Cole becomes attracted to her opening up a can of worms that leads to him being clubbed over the head and killed by her.

For William, the nightmare is just beginning because he ends up becoming a human test subject for Ivanov’s brain transplant. I don’t want to give the ending away but suffice it to say, if you enjoyed Bruce’s antics in Evil Dead 2, you will definitely like the physicality that he displays in Man with the Screaming Brain.

If you like Bruce Campbell and want to add Alien Apocalypse and Man with the Screaming Brain to your DVD collection, both films are available for purchase at Amazon. 

Have you seen Alien Apocalypse or Man with the Screaming Brain? Let us know in the comments.