It’s something you would miss unless you were looking, or hadn’t seen Evil Dead II, but those of us that did and were watching carefully no doubt saw it and got a had a nice chuckle because of the cameo that Bruce Campbell had in the Doctor Strange sequel. Leading up to the release of the sequel there were many questions about who was going to show up, how many cameos there were going to be, and what each one was going to mean. Well, for those that know the connection between Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell this would have been rather interesting and funny to see since many of us obviously noticed this callback to one of the funniest and possibly one of the goriest horror movies of its time, Evil Dead II. There is a bit of a spoiler to come with this revelation since it’s not something that was seen in any of the trailers, but it’s worth telling people just in case they missed it while being enchanted by the magic and the special effects of the movie.
When America Chavez and Doctor Strange from Earth 616 arrive on Earth 838, Chavez disappears for a moment to find something to eat as she’s busy lecturing Strange on traveling through dimensions. When she picks up a dish that’s bound to be seen on the internet at some point, pizza balls, she tries to explain that everything is free in this universe, only to be contradicted by none other than an irate vendor who just happens to be Bruce Campbell. Well, the actor is Campbell anyway, but the funny part comes when the vendor not only confronts Chavez but threatens to squirt mustard in Strange’s eyes, a threat that the sorcerer isn’t about to take lightly as he works his magic quickly and efficiently.
This leaves the poor vendor with a face full of mustard and a hand that suddenly doesn’t obey his commands any longer as it starts to beat the living hell out of the vendor as Chavez and Strange walk away. To many fans, that’s bound to be funny enough, but to Raimi and Campbell fans it’s a special nod to one of the iconic moments in Evil Dead II when Ash realizes that his hand has been infected after he was bitten by his girlfriend’s demon-infested head. As his hand turns against him it starts to poke, tear and beat the crap out of him for a while before trying to reach for a knife after Ash has been incapacitated. Eventually, Ash defies all reason and logic as he saws his own hand off with a chainsaw, turning his face red with splattered crimson fluid as he does. Thankfully the MCU wasn’t prepared to go there, or this movie would have gotten a lot darker than any other. It already did that when it showed a zombified Doctor Strange, so there was no need to go any further. But it does leave one to wonder how Disney is going to make Deadpool 3 work since the general feeling is that a lot of fans love it when the merc with a mouth gets down and dirty with the flying heads and crimson spray.
This isn’t the first time that Campbell has shown up in a Marvel movie since he did end up appearing in Raimi’s Spider-Man movies in one capacity or another. Quite a few directors have favorite actors that they enjoy working with on multiple projects, but with Bruce, it feels as though it appears as though a cameo is enough since that apparently does the trick. It’s fair to say that if he was a major player in the movie that he would likely end up being kind of an overwhelming presence that might not take over, but would definitely steal the show a time or two since he’s been a great actor over the years, and it’s tough to think of him being anything other than great personality to have around from time to time. His appearance in the Doctor Strange sequel isn’t any stranger than his appearance in the Spider-Man movies, and the small nod to one of the movies that made him such a well-known name in Hollywood was all sorts of great since to the fans that have stuck around, it was easy to pick it out.
For those that might not have understood what was going on, it would pay to direct them to the Evil Dead movies, if only to give them a bit of understanding. To be honest, the Evil Dead movies were kinda dumb in their own way, but this was a part of why they were so great, they didn’t take themselves that seriously, and the retconning at the beginning of the second and third movies was fun since it made people think for a moment. But hats off to Campbell and Raimi, that was a fun scene.
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