Wednesday, February 4, 2015

TenList Presents: 10 Great Unexpected Cameos!

More than usual - I want to throw in a SPOILER ALERT here - some of the cameos mentioned are surprises in their movie - so if you haven't seen the movie...

1. )  Boris Karloff in Transylvania Twist

In Jim Wynorski's excellent 1990 horror spoof Steve Altman - searching a spooky old castle - opens a door and finds himself face to face with...Boris Karloff?!?! Yes, more than twenty years after Mr. Karloff's passing, footage from 1963's The Terror is used to allow Altman a brief conversation with one of the greatest horror stars of all time.

This isn't the actual scene, but it is a shot of Boris Karloff in The Terror.

2.)  John Carradine in Jack-O
Continuing the "cameo from the grave" theme - John Carradine turns up briefly in this 1995 horror flick from director Steve Latshaw - using some previously unused footage shot before Mr. Carradine passed away in 1988.

3.)  The five guest stars in The List of Adrian Messenger

It's a cool mystery flick with a gimmick. As leads George C. Scott and Dana Wynter snoop around, they meet up with five heavily made up Big Star cameo actors - all of whom are listed on the poster along with their characters in portrait. I was debating whether or not to even name the actors since even that is a slight spoiler - but the movie's poster goes whole hog for the spoiler - so there you go. The movie is highly recommended - both as a solid mystery movie and as a gimmick flick!

4.)  Franco Nero in Django Unchained

I loved Quentin Tarantino's Spaghetti Western pastiche - and thought the moment when his Django - Jamie Foxx - meets up with the original 1966 Django - Franco Nero - was a movie moment made in heaven. Their dialogue exchange is also just wonderful - but I'll leave that for you to check out in the movie.

5.)  Gene Barry and Ann Robinson in War of the Worlds (2005)

Although it came out during Tom Cruise's "crazy" period - when he was jumping on couches and attempting to make us believe something by marrying young actresses I used to hang out with - I still watched this one on home video - and thought it was a solid version of the H.G. Wells story. My very favorite moment comes at the end of the movie - when Cruise and his kids finally make it to his in-laws' house - and when they come out it's Gene Barry and Ann Robinson - the stars of the 1953 War of the Worlds! Fifty two years later - both actors are still kicking and hale and hearty enough to cameo - another sterling movie moment.

Ann and Gene in 1953...

...and Gene and Ann in 2005.

6.)  Jack Carter in Satan’s Princess

In 1990 I sit down with the new Bert I. Gordon flick - the creator of Attack of the Puppet People, Village of the Giants, and Empire of the Ants was back with a new movie years after I assumed he'd retired - (and he's still around and working on new film projects twenty-five years on!) The movie didn't involve anyone or anything growing or shrinking - this was a demon attacking people movie - and it sure got off to some kind of start with a prologue set in the 12th century - with a monk who sets the movie's events in motion with a prophesy in the form of a painting he has just finished. And who plays the monk? None other than borscht belt comedian Jack Carter - a very familiar face from talk shows and sitcoms when I was a kid. So why was he cast as an Italian speaking monk in the beginning of this movie? No idea - but I sure did love it!

Jack Carter, 12th century monk?

7.)  Larry Hagman in Superman

As a part of Lex Luthor's (Gene Hackman) plot to sink California into the sea, Miss Teschmacher (Valerie Perrine) pretends to be injured from a car crash - stopping a military convoy on the road long enough to allow Otis (Ned Beatty) to alter the trajectory of the missiles they carry. While the voluptuous lady lays on the roadway in her fetching red dress, the military convoy commander walks up and turns out to be Larry Hagman of all people! He has some funny bits and dialogue, then disappears from the movie. I'd love to know why and how he was chosen for that role.

8.)  Kevin McCarthy in Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

Philip Kaufman's remake is actually very good and well worth watching. Particularly cool is the scene where the star of the original movie comes tearing in - still screaming about the alien invasion just as he did at the end of the 1956 version....

"They're here!" 1956

"They're here!" 1978

9.)  Judi Dench in Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides

I've only seen one Pirates movie, and for me that was all the Jack Sparrow I needed. But I love that they got Dame Judi to pop round for a quick cameo in one of the sequels.

10.)  Bob Hope in Spies Like Us

This comedy plays out like an 80's Hope/Crosby Road movie in a lot of ways, so it's awesome when the then-surviving member of that duo shows up for a fleeting moment...

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!


  1. You and Maynard have introduced so many films I've never heard of.
    I really must find Transylvania Twist, for the wonderful Boris Karloff.

    Thank you!

    1. You're very welcome! Thanks for the kind words!

  2. Great list, Craig! Some I'd be very familiar with, others I've not seen, and then others that I've seen but never spotted the cameo! I could swear I held that Transylvania Twist tape in my hand, back in the day... though I may be mixing it with the artwork from Saturday the 14th and Transylvania 6-5000. I must keep an eye out for it. LOVE the poster for 'The List of...', reminds me of the great one for 'The Beast Must Die', in that it advertises the gimmick...Can you believe I've seen the War of the Worlds remake several times and never spotted Gene or Ann in the finale?? I wasn't a fan of Django Unchained, but I did love the Nero moment... probably my favourite part of the film.

    1. Thank you John! I actually jotted this down during some slow periods at work - and then took a LOOONG time getting it together as this was the post that brought the "unable to add pictures" problem to light. I'm glad it eventually came out. Yes, I was surprised by the Adrian Messenger poster - but a good gimmick does need to be put out there! I'm sorry you didn't like Django Unchained - but at least we agree the two Djangos meeting was a sterling moment.

  3. I knew that guy from Jack-O looked familiar...still a terrible movie.

    1. Well...I'm kind of fond of it - and I'm still waiting to hear the commentary, where apparently producer Fred Olen Ray pokes fun at the movie so much eventually director Latshaw walks out of the recording session!