BRUCE Gets Mugwumped!
The stupidity (Bruce spends much of the film thinking the monster scenario an elaborate birthday gift), the callousness (a too-inquisitive fan in a wheelchair gets kicked out of shot, the squeal of a vehicular collision sounding as Bruce departs) and the cowardice (when confronted with the reality of the monster Bruce immediately runs away, leaving the local population behind to fend for itself), all are core traits of Ash. On arrival in Gold Lick, the local fanfare gets spoiled as Bruce harangues them, cantankerously complaining and poking fun at the yokel alterity each presumes. Coarse words said against the mayor prompts young Jeff into admonishing Bruce, alerting him that it is the mayor his words are being directed at, to which Bruce hilariously replies,
“I don’t give a shit if he’s the king of kiss my ass!”
It’s genius of this stature that impels one to soar to the highest echelons of highfalutin praise in describing Bruce. Impossible to resist, the tendency gets realised too easily. Especially when Ash-style hysterics get rolled out so often. The twofold sense of awe and expectation expressed by the local crowd harkens back to the similar reaction of the medieval peasantry in Army of Darkness. There’s even a Sheila for Bruce to fawn over.
A history of cinema lives in My Name is Bruce. The obvious send-up of Bruce’s career is there, lovingly arranged on jazzy tendrils of hilarity. But there’s also an array of other allusions and inclusions. Making an appearance as Bruce’s ex-wife is Ellen Sandweiss who played Cheryl in the first Evil Dead (remember the amorous tree?). Dan Hicks, who in a former life was Jake in Evil Dead 2, plays a citizen of Gold Lick, and Timothy Patrick Quill, who was the blacksmith in Army of Darkness, plays his lover. Catchphrases from the past feature heavily, notably used to humorous effect such as when Jeff attempts to seduce a zesty nubile with the words “give me some sugar, baby.” Casual references to obscure films like Assault on Dome 4 also contribute to the creation of this marvellous bric-a-brac Bruce Campbell landscape.