There’s nothing like a good cameo appearance, and we’ve seen a plethora of awesome ones over the years in the horror genre. Whether we’re talking Hulk Hogan leaping out of the wrestling ring and into Gremlins 2 or Bill Murray playing himself in Zombieland, a good cameo can be so much fun.
But we’re not here today to talk about actor cameos. Instead, we’re talking director cameos. More specifically, those moments where filmmakers moved from behind the camera to in front of it, inserting themselves into their own horror films. Below you’ll find 10 of our favorite examples!
Alfred Hitchcock – Psycho
Alfred Hitchcock is and will forever be the reigning king of the cameo – having cast himself in small blink-and-you’ll-miss-‘em moments in a whopping 39 of his 52 films. So often did the master of suspense appear in his own movies that his cameos become a signature of his films – a proverbial Easter egg hunt for the fans. The above shot is from Hitchcock’s cameo in Psycho, where he is briefly seen standing outside of the realtor’s office Marion Crane works at, just as she’s walking into the building. Loitering in his own movie… that’s the Hitch for ya!
Interesting to note: In tribute to Hitchcock’s penchant for cameos, the makers of Psycho 2 actually inserted his likeness into that film, which was made a few years after his death. See if you can spot him the next time you watch the movie!
George A. Romero – Dawn of the Dead
Much like Hitchcock, George Romero has played very small roles in the majority of his films, including Night of the Living Dead and The Crazies. He pulled double duty in Dawn of the Dead – first appearing as a TV reporter in the opening of the film (above) and then popping up for a split-second much later on, as a biker who is for whatever reason clad in a Santa suit. You’ll notice that Romero is wearing a plaid scarf in the above shot – given to him by his wife, Romero considered it his lucky scarf and wore it on the set of all of his films!
John Carpenter – The Fog
After voicing Annie’s boyfriend in Halloween (heard over the telephone), John Carpenter decided to try his hand at doing some real acting a couple years later in The Fog, playing Father Malone’s assistant, Bennett. Carpenter found himself incredibly nervous to be acting alongside a real actor like Hal Holbrook, and he admits to feeling that he did a terrible job in his brief scene in the beginning of the film. Nevertheless, Carpenter gave himself a much bigger role in Body Bags, and he’s arguably the best part of the entire anthology.