[This story contains spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.]
For fans of the original Evil Dead films, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness had a wonderful payoff appearance many hoped was coming.
Some cameos in the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe film have been the worst kept secrets ever — and Bruce Campbell was right at the top. It almost would have been a crime for director Sam Raimi not to include his oldest pal, with whom he started his filmmaking career.
Campbell starred in Raimi’s The Evil Dead (1981), Evil Dead II (1987) and Army of Darkness (1992). Not to mention that Campbell had delightful cameos in Darkman and in all three of Raimi’s Spider-Man films. So, it was a safe bet that fans would see him in Multiverse of Madness.
However, the exact nature of how Campbell would be popping in was unclear. In the Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, the iconic actor first played a slick wrestling announcer, then a pushy theater usher and finally, a befuddled French maître d’. All three were classic. But, none of those comes close to the cameo Raimi and Campbell cooked up for Multiverse of Madness.
After Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) arrive at Earth-838, they run into a street food vendor, who accuses Chavez of stealing before he starts berating Strange. Campbell’s vendor then goes to squirt Strange with mustard in disgust, which is when the Master of the Mystic Arts takes control over the condiment-wielding hand. After dousing himself in mustard, the vendor’s hand slaps himself around and bangs his own head into the cart.
The moment is hilarious on its own, but acute Raimi-Campbell fans know exactly what just unfolded. In Evil Dead II, Ash Williams’ (Campbell) hand becomes possessed. And during that time, it begins to beat him up, much the same way the vendor’s hand slaps him around in Multiverse of Madness. Of course, in Evil Dead II, Ash finally cuts the possessed hand off with a chainsaw, blood spraying all over his face, which is likely where the vendor’s mustard came into play. Multiverse of Madness didn’t go there.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now playing in theaters.