Tag Archives: Best Movie Cameos

Deadly Movies Cameos: Frozen survivor Parker O’Neil (Emma Bell) in Hatchet 2 (2010)

Cameos are great, same universe character cameos are even better. Marvel have cornered the market in same universe character cameos; a trawl through almost any Marvel movie of the past decade will uncover cameos from other Marvel cannons. Hatchet and Frozen director Adam Green is a fan’s filmmaker, he knows how to deliver genre pleasing movies. It’s no surprise that his film’s are full of cameos, walk-on’s, small rolls, and significant rolls from some of horror and cult cinema’s most revered faces (Kane Hodder, Tony Todd, Robert Englund, Danielle Harris et al). But this particular cameo in Hatchet 2 (2010) is one of my favourites as Green goes down the ‘same universe’ route placing the events of his other 2010 movie, Frozen, into the Hatchet timeline.  Appearing on Reverend Zombie’s (Tony Todd’) TV, Parker O’Neil, the sole survivor of Frozen’s wolf onslaught, tells reporters “I’ll never go skiing again“. The cameo is made all the funnier by the news caption which reads “Settles lawsuit with Mount Holliston“, giving us a little insight into post-Frozen events. Great stuff from Green who made these two movies almost back-to-back and uses this as a loving link between the two. Plus it was likely an easy pay cheque for Emma Bell and her agent too. Everyone’s a winner!

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(Ass) Busting Makes Him Feel Good

Deadly Movies Cameos | Ron Jeremy in ‘Ghostbusters’ (1984)

Perhaps the greatest movie cameo pub trivia of all time? Probably. Porn legend of over 1,200 titles, Ron Jeremy, can indeed be spotted in the final cut of ‘Ghostbusters‘. If the comedy classic isn’t full of enough pop culture icons you can add the fat moustached man to the list. The cameo (ok not strictly a cameo as he was a background actor at the time) occurs around an hour into the movie after the EPA have shut down the containment facility. Along with his fellow onlookers, Jeremy and his lip-ferret can be seen standing left of screen behind a police barricade and in front of Ecto-1. ‘Man Behind Barricade‘ even has his own, albeit incomplete,  IMDB character bio page. So there you have it; It’s not like Ron needed even more man points, but he gets them for this.

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Time travelling with Spielbergo and Robby the Robot

Deadly Movies Cameos | Steven Spielberg and others in ‘Gremlins’ (1984)

The cameos, nods, winks, references, and self indulgent love-in’s that litter Gremlins (and other Spielberg produced and/re directed movies from the 80s) can become a real headache to piece together, and are worth further exploration in a Deadly Movies Connections article one day. This particular cameo is wonderful for its sheer self indulgence, yet it’s handled with huge pinches of salt by the filmmakers, as well as a displaying a great sense of timing. While Gremlins awaken in his attic, inventor, and Mogwai purchaser extraordinaire, Randall Peltzer calls home from a convention centre, allowing us to see his fellow entrepreneur’s going about their conference business. This gives filmmakers Dante and Spielberg the ideal narrative vehicle, and plot segway, to throw in as many in-jokes and cameos as possible in the space of 30 seconds.

Spielberg's Cameo in 'Gremlins': Spielberg in the foreground, Goldsmith in the stupid hat, and the Time Machine in the background (right)

So you get Senior Spielbergo ridding some kind of recumbent bike (sitting down bike to me and you) around in circles, movie score legend Jerry Goldsmith in a phone booth wearing a ridiculous hat, Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet (1956) being escorted across screen, and best of all, the Time Machine from The Time Machine (1960) can be seen revving its Victorian engine in background. Fabulous deft comic timing is at hand here, because when we cut back to the Peltzer house, and then again back to the convention centre, take a look as to where the Time Machine was – it’s now gone leaving nothing but bewildered delegates and a puff of smoke. Genius stuff. A sort sharp scene, filled with gags, taking place away from the action so as not to distract the viewer too much.

Enter Robby the Robot, and in the background the Time Machine has vanished

And if that’s not enough for you the in-jokes and cameos in Gremlins go on and on.., and on. Here’s a couple more: In school the students are watching ‘Hemo the Magnificent’ (1957), starring Marvin Miller, who also voiced the aforementioned Robby the Robot. Then there’s this little gem; sitting next to Billy at the bar, watching him sketch, is none other than Looney Tunes director Chuck Jones. As Billy gets up to leave the bar he says, “excuse me Mr Jones”. Throw that all in with further references to The Howling, E.T, Indiana Jones, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and It’s a Wonderful Life (and I’m sure I’ve left more out) and your Spielberg, Dante, Columbus, and Zemeckis nerd’o’meter starts blowing steam.

Chuck Jones (right) cameo in Gremlins

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Deadly Movies Cameos: John Hurt in ‘Spaceballs’ (1987)

“Oh No! Not Again”

Eight years after John Hurt depicted cinema’s greatest birth scene he returned to parody himself in Mel Brookes’ ‘Spaceballs‘ (1987). Complete with Ripley and Parker lookalikes Hurt replays the birth scene in the distinctly more Brookes surroundings of a space diner. Even though the alien is pretty cheapo-looking this cameo benefits from the deft touch of another parody, namely Chuck Jones’ seminal animated WB short ‘One Froggy Evening‘ (1955). Leaving the always fertile, warm gooeyness of John Hurt’s innards, the alien dons a straw-hat and cane to perform Froggy’s infamous ‘Hello Ma’Baby’ routine, complete with high kick. It’s a fairly hilarious moment, the kind of stupid nonsense you think about when drunk.., “Wouldn’t it be cool if John Hurts bastard alien child did the frog dance from that old Chuck Jones cartoon?”

 

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