Top Ten Film Cameo’s
Cameo appearances are often like a game of Where’s Wally (Waldo for you American folk), usually a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment giving a nod to a celebrity (either as themselves or acting a character), so brief they aren’t even included in the credits, though if you spot it then you already realise who they are, anyway. Directors love to run onto set in the background so film-buffs can squeal in joy, and actors love reminding you they exist in better films than anything they appeared in for the last 10 years. So, without further ado, in no particular order, the top ten really cool film cameo’s! This list contains spoilers for some of the many movies, you’ve been warned.
10) Bruce Campbell in the Spiderman Trilogy
Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell begun their respective careers together when making “The Evil Dead” trilogy, launching Bruce Campbell, the king of B-Movies, and Sam Raimi, a director who switches between being average or generally good. When Raimi got his first big deal, Spiderman, he made sure to call his best friend for a small part to acknowledge their beginnings… and it kicks ass.
9) Alfred Hitchcock is Everywhere
Couldn’t make a list without mention of this one! Directors like to remind audiences they exist sometimes, so they go and stand on set and pretend they can act for a couple of seconds. Nobody does this better than Alfred Hitchcock, a cinematic master, who decided he’d like to appear in 39 of his 52 films. As they kept coming, and he became more recognizable, he made it significantly harder to find, but he was almost always there. One of the harder to spot cameo’s is in Pyscho, which is taking this whole “Where’s Wally” thing to a whole new level of “Oh my god I’ve been here for two hours and I still haven’t seen you!”. If you still haven’t found him in Psycho, and I don’t blame you, here he is.
8) Totoro in Toy Story 3
Did you miss this one, because I definitely did the first time around (perhaps as I hadn’t seen My Neighbor Totoro when I first saw Toy Story 3), in the background of our lovely Pixar film is the plushy Totoro (who, true to form, is silent). John Lasseter’s little nod to Studio Gihbli is enough to make us squeal, and this is possibly the most un-intrusive cameo of all time, while most cameo’s make a point of being there, Totoro sits in the background just generally being cool. In fact, all he does is sit there being cool, but he does it well!
7) Christopher Walken in Pulp Fiction
Fact: Christopher Walken has the coolest speaking pattern ever, so what would be cooler than three minutes of Christopher Walken telling a story? Well, maybe if he narrated Starcraft 2, but we can’t have everything, can we. Anyway, Christopher Walken makes a cameo in Pulp Fiction (don’t worry, we expect you probably haven’t heard of it) and it continues to be awesome no matter how many times you see it. The most peculiar thing though? The boy sitting there listening to Walken has a blank, uninterested face. He must be deaf.
6) Nicolas Cage in Grindhouse
You either love Grindhouse, or you hate Grindhouse… Actually, no, you love Planet Terror and you hate Death Proof, or you’re wrong. Either way, the faux trailers between the two films were nothing short of amazing, Edgar Wright’s “Don’t” is hilarious, and Rodriguez’s “Machete” (popular enough to become a real film) is just insane fun, but nothing beats the fantastic moment when Nicholas Cage, out of nowhere, announces his presence in “Werewolf Women of the S.S.” (the faux trailer Rob Zombie made, presumably as his apology for the Halloween remake). I’ve attached yet another video, and as the name “Werewolf Women of the S.S.” would indicate, it’s not safe for work.
5) Bill Murray in Zombieland
This cameo could not have been any more awesome. If your a fan of Bill Murray or stupid, you’ll still enjoy this extended cameo that almost never happened. The Zombieland writers wrote nearly twenty different scenes for various famous actors to play themselves (ranging from amazing actors, like Mark Hamill, to The Rock), and every single one rejected said script. When they begun to get desperate, Woody Harrelson decided to contact Murray with a script of a small zombie appearance, but Murray said he wanted a more significant role, and who the hell would refuse that? Bill Murray proceeded to create the most memorable part of the entire film.
“Do you have any regrets? ” “Garfield, Maybe.” What more needs to be said?
4) Drew Barrymore in Scream
Lets be fair, its debatable if this classifies as a cameo, the scene runs for nearly 10 minutes, it’s a pretty even split of “It’s a cameo” and “it’s not a cameo” by opinion on the Internet, but we can run with it! In possibly the greatest opening to a horror film of all time, Drew Barrymore becomes the first helpless victim of Ghostface! That scene was intense, and unforgettable. To avoid sounding like a broken record and giving this scene more endless praise (which it already has from every film lover), instead we can discuss the finer things in life, like me! Alternatively, behind the scenes of the film, Wes Craven proves himself to be even crueler than Ghostface, it’s been noted that Craven told Barrymore true stories of animal cruelty in order to keep her looking upset and fearful on set. Craven has now announced plans to actually murder horror film actors for the first big Hollywood Snuff film.I was going to skip linking the video clip for this cameo since everybody should have seen it, but let’s be honest, it’s worth watching again.
3) Orson Welles in The Muppet Movie
It’s hard to pick the best Muppet cameo, considering the films are littered with them, it was a tight draw between Orson Welles and Jim Parsons, but Welles prestigious position as changing the film medium and being notably amazing, then playing the head of fictional ‘World Wide Studios’, takes the cake. In a film about working against all odds to become famous and get a movie, nobody but Welles, the classic film star, to ‘hand it over’, quite literally, as he says “Tracy, prepare the standard ‘rich and famous contract’ for Kermit the Frog and Co”. It’s hard not to adore this moment in film… unless you don’t have a heart. Let’s face it, you don’t.
Unfortunately, though, it’s impossible to find a good quality version of this scene on youtube, so I guess Jim Parsons wins for his cameo in The Muppets (2011)!
2) Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury
The Avengers is 2012’s hot super-hero film, or even this decade’s. As the second worst kept secret in film history, Samuel L Jackson appears in all the films leading up to The Avengers as the head of S.H.I.E.L.D, Nick Fury, recruiting every major member (excluding The Incredible Hulk). If you’ve somehow missed these cameo’s, there’s no better time to re-watch Iron Man, Thor and Captain America anyway, make sure to stick around for the post-credits scenes this time, though! Co-incidentally, this also made it on G-Funk’s “Top 10 Movies with Post-Credit scenes“, which I’m sure he won’t mind an opportunity to whore out a link for!
1) Stan Lee in Marvel and Mallrats
If you were reading this and didn’t expect this to pop up, then not only do I hate you, but it is your duty to look at the face on the right and then religiously watch every good Marvel film until you find it. The rest of the list may not be in order, but this surely takes the number one spot anyway! Every fan of the Marvel universe knows to spot out Stan Lee, the creator of many amazing comic-book hero’s including; Spider-man, X-Men, The Fantastic Four, Iron-Man, Thor, The Hulk. He helped create three-quarters of the upcoming Avengers crew, and he’s worked hard on Captain America, too. Seriously, Stan Lee is the asexual father of modern comic’s, there was nobody else. In fact, this list was originally going to be “The Top 10 Coolest Stan Lee Cameo’s”, but it was just too hard to pick 10. So here’s a video of the majority of them! Expect to hear me shouting “THERE HE IS” in the cinema while watching the upcoming Avengers movie, because that’s the game I’ll be playing.