No other film genre is quite as reverent of its past as horror. Directors will often reference movies they love in dialogue, and, in some cases, they’ll bring in big-name actors they’ve worked with previously to make a cameo. Some horror movie cameos are small and hard to notice unless you know what you’re looking for, while others are in your face.
These cameos from horror films are all pretty wild, whether they’re male models playing angels or massive rock stars being taken out by hair metal demons. Each of them shows the power that an unexpected cameo can have in a horror film.
- Photo: Warner Bros.
Gremlins 2 isn't a traditional horror movie; it's not even a traditional sequel, but Joe Dante's anarchic follow-up to his scary children's film has wonderful casting (including Grandpa Munster as an action hero) and a cameo that's legitimately jarring.
In the middle of the movie, the film literally breaks down thanks to those pesky gremlins - and who shows up to get things back on track? Hulk Hogan himself. Alternatively, on home video, John Wayne takes over for Hogan.Did you spot this?
- Photo: Dimension
Scream 3 had a lot of problems during production, and while it's not one of the scariest films ever made, it does have a ton of cameos. Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith appear as Jay and Silent Bob in a film within the film, but it's Carrie Fisher who has the most bonkers scene in the movie.
When Gale Weathers and Jennifer Jolie try to get information on Sydney's mother, they run into a sassy secretary named Bianca played by Carrie Fisher. Throughout the scene, she talks about how she was almost cast in Star Wars, but Fisher slept with George Lucas. The cameo is a big wink at the audience, but Fisher makes it work.Did you spot this?
- Photo: New Line Cinema
Johnny Depp made his film debut in Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street as Glen, the boy doomed to be turned into a fountain of bed blood. Unless you've watched the entire Nightmare series, you may not know that he pops up in Freddy's Dead, the sixth film in the series.
Director Rachel Talalay was fresh off producing the John Waters film Cry-Baby, starring Depp, and she asked him if he'd pop by for a brief scene. Depp appears under a pseudonym in the credits, but it's clearly him in the riff on a "this is your brain on drugs" commercial that Breckin Meyer watches while getting high.Did you spot this?
- Photo: Dimension
Halloween has always been indebted to Psycho, not only with its casting of Jamie Lee Curtis, but also with its sparse setting and use of tension over gore. So it makes sense that Halloween H20 would bring in Janet Leigh, the star of Psycho and Curtis's real-life mother, for the series' return to form.
Leigh's part is a little more than a cameo, as she plays a secretary named Norma who mostly shares the screen with Curtis. Leigh isn't the only reference to Psycho in the film; her character also drives the same 1957 Ford Sedan - complete with the same license plate - that she has in the Hitchcock classic.Did you spot this?