13 Celebrity Cameos in Horror Films
Article By: Tyler Doupe
Celebrity cameos are always fun to spot. There is something especially amusing about getting to see a star pop up unexpectedly in a tiny role. Genre film is ripe with great examples of well-placed celebrity cameos. But for today’s purposes, we will be focusing exclusively on horror, so films like Clue were not up for consideration. Keep reading for 13 of the most memorable celebrity cameos in horror cinema. And be sure to let us know your favorites on our Facebook page.
1. Bill Murray in Zombieland
One of the most memorable celebrity cameos in recent history has to be Bill Murray, playing himself in Zombieland. The whole sequence in which he appears is absolutely off the rails crazy and exceptionally funny. It came as a total surprise to me the first time I saw the film, which made it even more amusing. Murray was the perfect choice for that role. Even his death is hysterical.
2. Hulk Hogan in Gremlins 2
One of the most entertaining scenes in Gremlins 2: The New Batch has to be Hulk Hogan’s cameo. The Hulkster pops up and lectures the Gremlins on exactly what people want when they go to see a movie: They want cold soda, hot popcorn, and no monsters in the projection booth. Then Hulk tears his shirt off. Because why wouldn’t he?
3. David Hasselhoff in Piranha 3DD
The Hoff plays a fictional version of himself in Piranha 3DD. He’s at a low point in his life and is appearing as the celebrity guest at the opening of a waterpark. It’s memorable for the sheer fact that he doesn’t take himself too seriously and isn’t afraid of the audience having a little fun at his expense. His utter lack of concern for the carnage transpiring around him is brilliant.
4. Sigourney Weaver in The Cabin in the Woods
Like much of the storyline of Cabin in the Woods, Sigourney Weaver’s cameo caught me entirely by surprise the first time I saw it. But she lends some serious genre cred to the picture and was a perfect choice for that role. What made it even better is that you can tell she’s having fun with the part. On a side note, Ms. Weaver was reportedly ecstatic at the prospect of getting to work with a werewolf and even went so far as to make sure he had someone to sit with at lunch.
5. Carrie Fisher in Scream 3
What’s so great about the late Carrie Fisher’s cameo in Scream 3 is that she’s playing a Carrie Fisher lookalike and says that the woman that got the part of Princess Leia in Star Wars slept with George Lucas. Fisher’s appearance in the film almost makes me forget how offended I am by Courtney Cox Arquette’s unfortunate bangs.
6. Richard Dreyfuss in Piranha 3D
In a tribute to his unforgettable turn in the killer shark classic Jaws, Richard Dreyfuss popped up as Matt Boyd in Piranha 3D. Although Dreyfuss doesn’t have a lot of screen time, he is the catalyst that sets the disastrous chain of events around which the film revolves in motion. His death scene is pretty epic and certainly does not hold back on the carnage.
7. James Caan in Santa’s Slay
It’s hard to pick just one cameo from this film to appear on the list. The opening scene (which has nothing to do with the rest of the film) features a somewhat star-studded cast, including (in addition to Caan) Rebecca Gayheart, Fran Drescher, and Chris Kattan. Like the entire film, the opening sequence is very tongue-in-cheek and ultra violent. Watching James Caan and several other recognizable names eviscerated is satisfying in the strangest way.
8. Janet Leigh in Halloween: H20
Janet Leigh’s cameo in Halloween: H20 is memorable for so many reasons. She is the original scream queen, dating all the way back to her epic appearance in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Making it all the more special is the fact that Janet Lee is Jamie Lee Curtis’s mother. Leigh’s appearance is also of particular importance because it was one of her very last onscreen appearances.
9. Bobby Brown in Ghostbusters 2
Bobby Brown has a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo in Ghostbusters II as a doorman looking for an extra proton pack for his kid. But he soon learns that a proton pack is not a toy. Bobby Brown’s appearance is especially memorable because he contributed the song ‘On Our Own’ to the film’s soundtrack. The music video for the track is a little slice of ‘80s Americana. If you don’t remember it, you can check it out for yourself, right here.
10. Simon Cowell in Scary Movie 3
Simon Cowell has built himself a reputation for being hard-nosed and nearly impossible to please. So, when he popped up in Scary Movie 3 as the judge of a rap battle, many audience members took a great deal of glee in seeing him shot at after making a snide remark. His willingness to make fun of himself likely even won a few people over.
11. Henry Winkler in Scream
It was interesting to see Henry Winkler playing an authority figure in the role of Principal Himbry after he spent years depicting something of an anti authority figure on Happy Days. Winkler managed to make a big impact in his brief appearance and his death remains one of my favorites in the film.
12. Gregory Peck in the Cape Fear remake
I love to see original cast members return for a cameo appearance in a remake. One of my favorite examples of that is Gregory Peck in the reimagining of Cape Fear. In the redux, Peck plays Max Cady’s new attorney. The character he’s playing here is much different than his turn in the original, and that shift worked exceptionally well.
13. Drew Barrymore in Scream
One of the most shocking celebrity cameos in recent memory is Drew Barrymore in Scream. She was easily the biggest star of the young cast and everyone just assumed that she would be the final girl. She was even featured prominently on the poster. How could she not be? Her death being one of the first in the film shocked moviegoers and let them know that anything could happen.