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Five Horror Director Cameos You Probably Never Noticed

Many directors are fond of appearing in their own work in some capacity or another. Given there are plenty of people who aren’t entirely familiar with what their favorite directors look like, it’s easy to miss them when they appear onscreen. Even those who might be familiar with the various horror filmmakers could easily have overlooked their appearance in their own movies. Whatever the reason, here are director cameos you probably never noticed.

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Alfred Hitchcock in Psycho

Alfred Hitchcock threw himself into most of his movies. While he offered an onscreen introduction for Psycho, he also appears in the film itself, in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it-cameo. He can be seen in the storefront window outside Marion Crane’s place of employment as she elects to make off with the cash.

Alfred Hitchcock in Psycho John Carpenter in Halloween

John Carpenter has appeared in some of his features enough times to have to use the name Rip Haight for his acting roles. His most noteworthy appearance being in Body Bags as the host. He also appears in The Fog and has an an even quicker cameo in Village of the Damned. But most people do not realize that Carpenter also had a role in his most famous film, Halloween. He appears on the phone as Annie’s boyfriend, Paul, who she is about to go see until her run in with Michael Myers.

Annie on the phone in HalloweenJohn Landis in An American Werewolf in London

John Landis starred in his first feature, Shlock! as the titular monstrous ape. He was trained as a stuntman, which is why when he made An American Werewolf in London his director cameo was actually a demanding stunt that saw him thrown through a window. It’s a quick but impressive cameo given the sheer amount of work that went into the film’s Piccadilly Circus climax.

John Landis in American Werewolf in LondonWes Craven in Shocker

Most people notice late director Wes Craven’s blatant cameo in Scream, wearing the full Freddy Krueger costume and playing a janitor named Fred. Most fans are also aware that he appeared in John Carpenter’s Body Bags, along with Sam Raimi, Tobe Hooper, and Roger Corman. However, it’s his role as the neighbor in Shocker that most frequently goes unnoticed. He appears for only a second, unlike his roles in Scream and Body Bags, but still manages to take at least a bite of scenery. A Nightmare on Elm Street’s Heather Langenkamp also makes a brief appearance as a victim.

Wes Craven's ShockerLucio Fulci in City of the Living Dead

Lucio Fulci goes the extra mile in City of the Living Dead by appearing in a role that most other directors would have hired an actor for. He pops up as a doctor that the protagonists go to, the leads consult with him and he has a few fairly heavy bits of dialogue. Obviously it’s not a question of whether or not he knows the dialogue and the context, given that he is the director and these are things he would know. But he doesn’t give a terrible performance, probably given that he likely picked a role that stuck close to his own personality. He also had a minor appearance in  Zombie.

Italian director Lucio Fulci

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Written by Nat Brehmer
In addition to contributing to Wicked Horror, Nathaniel Brehmer has also written for Horror Bid, HorrorDomain, Dread Central, Bloody Disgusting, We Got This Covered, and more. He has also had fiction published in Sanitarium Magazine, Hello Horror, Bloodbond and more. He currently lives in Florida with his wife and his black cat, Poe.
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