The horror film community is a small place filled with some pretty cool people who like to get together. On a recent episode of Shock Waves, Don Coscarelli told a story about quite a few of the horror greats having dinner together, that’s the kind of people these masters of the genre are; they love being around each other. Sometimes, they’ll even pop up in each others movies. From time to time, the part is on the big side, like David Cronenberg in NIGHTBREED, but usually these are cameos.
And the directors aren’t the only ones to get in on the cameo fun. Writers, actors, and producers and other celebrities like to pop in too! How about we take a look at a few of the best horror movie cameos out there?
George Romero in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991)
Sticking to the back and missing his iconic thick rimmed glasses, you would be forgiven for not realizing that the FBI agent with the walkie at the end of this scene is the man who gave us some of the greatest horror movies of all time, but there’s George Romero facing the other side of the camera in the Academy Award winning film.
Patrick Ewing in THE EXORCIST III (1990)
In a movie that took way too long to get the respect it deserves, Patrick Ewing pops up in a dream sequence as an angel. He’s not the only cameo in the scene, either! Joining the NBA Hall of Famer in THE EXORCIST III is the 90’s heartthrob and bird killer Fabio!
Linda Blair in SCREAM (1996)
You can’t mention THE EXORCIST and not bring up Linda Blair’s super quick cameo in SCREAM, can you? I know I couldn’t! Blair pops up as a reporter, getting out a quick bit of dialogue before Deputy Dewey pushes her away.
Jsu Garcia aka Nick Corri in WES CRAVEN’S NEW NIGHTMARE (1994)
One of the first Freddy Krueger kills, Jsu Garcia made his mark on horror with a bed sheet in a jail cell. Wes Craven brought the actor back for his own return to the NIGHTMARE series, for a brief cameo at the funeral of Heather Langenkamp’s husband.
Ted Raimi in WISHMASTER (1997)
I guess Wes Craven really liked cameos in his movies. In WISHMASTER, he snuck in Ted Raimi as RObert Englund’s assistant who finds himself on the wrong end of a large box dropped from a crane.
Bruce Campbell in DARKMAN (1990)
Although it has happened a few times, it’s hard to imagine a Sam Raimi movie without Bruce Campbell. Fans watching DARKMAN for the first time were surely waiting for the Chin to show up, and as the minutes ticked on, worry set in. But then, just as all hope seemed lost, out came Bruce, just for a moment.
Sam Raimi in MANIAC COP 2 (1990)
All this Raimi talk, you know MANIAC COP 2 is going to show up. What may be the longest cameo here belongs to Sam himself as he plays a newscaster. Sam may be in the running for the most cameos in movies by a director that they didn’t direct. Someone could do a whole article on Sam Raimi cameos if they wanted. (DIBS!)
Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright in LAND OF THE DEAD (2005)
SHAUN OF THE DEAD revitalized zombie movies, and to show his appreciation for how much Pegg and Wright clearly loved his movies, George Romero had the duo zombied up so they could show up in his return to the genre. I’ve always thought Pegg looks like he could be the son of Bub from DAY OF THE DEAD.
Steven Spielberg in GREMLINS (1984)
Spielberg isn’t one to pop up in a movie, but he will do it from time to time. In GREMLINS he shows up as a tuxedo wearing, broken legged man wheeling around a convention in what looks like a hard to control sci-fi wheelchair.
Robert Duvall in INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1978)
On the commentary for the film, director Philip Kaufman explains that Duvall happened to be in San Francisco while they were filming and agreed to do the cameo. According to Kaufman, Duvall’s creepy priest is the first pod we see in the movie.
BONUS CAMEO! Vincent Price in ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN (1948)
I went back and forth on this one. Price doesn’t actually appear in the movie, so it isn’t technically a cameo, but his voice is so iconic that leaving it out felt wrong to me. Add in that he gets the last line in one of the greatest horror comedies of all time, and I would feel like a fool not including Price in some way. I’ll let the horror gods judge me when I’m dead.