In addition to being known for catapulting comedian Jim Carrey to international fame, Ace Ventura also contains a cameo from a death metal band that is actually a sweet story. The 1990s was a decade well-known for incongruous cameos in comedy movies. However, it’s still jarring to see a band like Cannibal Corpse make a random appearance in a slapstick comedy like Ace Ventura. Ace tries to act casual, but in doing so, he becomes even more conspicuous amidst the raucous sounds of the band and their enraptured fans.
Many similar cameos in 1990s movies can often seem kitschy from a 21st-century perspective. They’re far too frequently an effort to capitalize on the success of a given star or band, whether or not it makes sense for them to appear. Fortunately, this isn’t true for Ace Ventura, with critic hate or without. The film as a whole doesn’t take itself very seriously, and its anything-goes approach to storytelling makes such a cameo seem more natural than it might have in a different kind of film. Death metal’s sound has also remained at least somewhat consistent over the decades, so the cameo doesn’t feel as dated as one might expect.
It remains unclear to what extent Jim Carrey is a fan of death metal, but according to Cannibal Corpse, he had expressed at least a measure of interest in their music. According to band bassist Adam Webster (via Metal Hammer), the actor recited lyrics to several of their songs and requested that they play “Hammer Smashed Face.” Carrey clearly knew enough about the band to impress them, and it’s quite evident why sequels to Jim Carrey’s movies don’t work without him.
In an interview with Loudwire, the band’s drummer, Paul Mazurkiewicz, said Carrey’s involvement in getting the band to appear went even further. He claims Carrey was key in ensuring that the studio accommodated Cannibal Corpse’s touring schedule so they could still appear in the movie. Throughout the years, Carrey has continued to demonstrate an affection for death metal. His involvement definitely helped expose the band to a group of people who might never have otherwise encountered them, and in their telling, the cameo helped earn them new fans.
Ventura entering the concert works because it expertly juxtaposes Ventura’s outlandish personality with the even more outsized style of the band and the attendees. Ventura is never one to be discouraged and at least tries to blend in with comedic effect. Everyone remains swept up in the music; Ventura finds himself somewhat at a loss in such an unusual environment. Ace Ventura hasn’t aged well, but the parts that have are scenes showcasing Carrey’s signature brand of elastic physical comedy.
Fortunately, the Cannibal Corpse cameo remains as funny as it was when Ace Ventura was released in 1994. The story of Carrey’s involvement in getting the band to appear makes the moment even more meaningful for both fans of the film and of Cannibal Corpse itself. Carrey would go on to become a comedy star for much of the 1990s, and Cannibal Corpse continues to be a signature voice in the world of death metal.
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