Hold on to your hats ladies and gents, we’re about to give you some sugar as we take a look at Bruce Campbell’s groovy cameos through the years.
Admittedly whether Bruce Campbell had a minor role or a cameo in some films in this list is debatable, but in our opinion the more Bruce Campbell the better.
Intruder (1989) – Officer Howard
Is this the first cameo? I guess it is. The 1989 slasher Intruder directed by Scott Spiegel (who also wrote Evil Dead II) has Bruce Campbell appear as Officer Howard who arrives on the scene at the end of the film. Fun fact, Sam Raimi and his brother Ted also both appear in the film.
Darkman (1990) – Final Shemp
The first cameo made by Bruce Campbell with long time friend and collaborator Sam Raimi came in Darkman. The story goes Raimi wanted Campbell to play the titular role of Peyton Westlake/Darkman, but the studio weren’t confident in him leading the film. So what happens? He ends up playing Westlake anyway to a certain extent in disguise, credited as Final Shemp. Now all we need is a Darkman reboot/revival and Campbell can return!
Eddie Presley (1992) – Asylum Attendant
What if I told you Bruce Campbell starred in not one, but two films about an Elvis impersonator? I’m not crazy. Years before his brilliant turn in Bubba Ho-Tep, Campbell had a cameo in the little known film Eddie Presley from B-movie director Jeff Burr (Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings, Puppet Master 4-5). If that piece of mind blowing trivia wasn’t enough for you, Quentin Tarantino has a cameo in the exact same scene!
Escape from L.A. (1996) – Surgeon General of Beverly Hills
Am I cheating with this inclusion? Yes, yes I am. The role of Surgeon General of Beverly Hills is more of a minor character as opposed to a cameo, but it’s so damn good it deserves to be here anyway. Snake Plissken’s foray into L.A. sees him captured by some shifty characters who want to use his body parts to ‘enhance’ the remaining residents of L.A with a bit of brutal surgery. The leader of this pack of glamour hungry nutters is played by none other than Mr. Campbell, with a dose of prosthetic work.
From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money (1999) – Barry
Remember that sequel to Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn? I don’t blame you. Playing the role of Barry, a character in a film within a film Campbell’s cameo occurs at the very start of the film. But why a cameo in From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money? Because it just so happens the film is directed by Scott Spiegel, who gave Campbell a cameo in Intruder.
The Majestic (2001) – Roland the Intrepid Explorer
Here is Mr. Campbell starring in Sand Pirates of the Sahara, playing the swashbuckling Roland the Intrepid Explorer. Sadly this is not an actual film but instead takes place within Frank Darabont’s The Majestic, continuing the trend of starring in films within films.
Spider-Man (2002) – Ring Announcer
So it began, the first of three Spider-Man cameos in Sam Raimi’s superhero trilogy. As happy as we were to see Bruce in the film it is clear Macho Man Randy Savage stole the show as Bonesaw McGraw in the same segment. Don’t forget though, if it weren’t for the ring announcer we would have spent an entire trilogy with a superhero known as “the human spider”.
Intolerable Cruelty (2003) – Soap Opera Actor on TV
You know, it’s not just Sam Raimi & Scott Spiegel who’ve gave Mr. Campbell the occasional cameo. The directing duo of Joel and Ethan Coen have also done their part in bringing Bruce to the big screen (they’ve known each other for a very very long time) In the rather rudimentary offering Intolerable Cruelty we can see Campbell rubbing shoulders with Billy Bob Thornton’s character on a TV screen in a bar.
The Ladykillers (2004) – Humane Society Worker
As I was saying, the Coen brothers have gave Bruce Campbell more than one cameo. For the second one he forms a piece of interesting trivia when talking about The Ladykillers, an otherwise shallow, lame, nearly career wrecking remake of a film. It’s just a shame Bruce’s cameos came in two of the Coen’s worst films.
Spider-Man 2 (2004)- Snooty Usher
Alas, the cameo credit that inspired the name of this very site from its humble beginnings on Blogger. In the second cameo in Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy Bruce Campbell stars as Snooty Usher, the very character who thwarts Peter Parker’s attempts to get in to the theatre to watch Mary Jane’s performance. He even gets him to tie his shoe and adjust his tie, which villain can claim to besting Parker like he did?
Spider-Man 3 (2006) – Maître d’
Finishing the trifecta of cameos in Spider-Man, Bruce Campbell plays the role of Maître d’ at the restaurant where Peter Parker plans to propose to Mary Jane. If you ever wanted to hear Bruce Campbell us a French accent, this is your opportunity.
Oz the Great and Powerful (2013) – Winkie Gate Keeper
Just because Sam Raimi departed the Spider-Man films doesn’t mean the cameos for ol’ Bruce stopped. After a quick foray back into the horror genre with Drag Me to Hell, Raimi directed the prequel Oz the Great and Powerful for Disney. With that return came Bruce Campbell as Winkie Gate Keeper. It’s not a blink and miss it cameo, but under layers of prosthetics you’d be forgiven for not recognising the mighty Bruce as he stands guard over the gate to the Emerald City.
Evil Dead (2013) – Ashley J. Williams
I never stick around till the end of the credits of most films, but after Evil Dead I stuck around with a friend and discussed the film and boy were we rewarded. After the credit roll the outline of Bruce Campbell’s face adorned the screen. Was it a teaser for Evil Dead 4? Nope, it was just a nice little nod to the fans who wanted to see Ash on the big screen once more uttering “Groovy”. It was still stupidly exciting nonetheless.
How many of the above cameos have you actually seen? Believe it or not there are more. Thou Shall Not Kill…Except (easily one of the most ridiculous titles ever) directed by Josh Becker has Bruce Campbell in the uncredited role of Video Newscaster. You also have the uncredited role of Raffle Winner to find in the obscure The Demolitionist. We’ve stopped short of including his roles in Congo, or The Hudsucker Proxy, we’ll save those for another time.