Since the early days of film plenty of writers and filmmakers have been mixing together some of the most beloved genres together and hoping that cinematic magic will happen. The concoction has been correct a number of times and may prove to be so once again with the upcoming science fiction comedy The Watch.
Since we love a good mixture of comedy, adventure or what have you, we put together a top ten list of the best genre meshing movies out there. Go on, go ahead and take a good look at it. You might be happy (and surprised) over what you find.
10. “Romancing the Stone”
Michael Douglas in an action romantic comedy? Check. We’re referring of course to Romancing the Stone, a great gem (sorry) of a film that popped out in 1984. Man, talk about a nice year for genre-blending flicks. Romancing the Stone centers on a romance novelist (Kathleen Turner) who goes to South America in order to save her kidnapped sister. Once she arrives utter chaos ensues, along with a nice romantic story sandwiched in between the non-stop action. Some of us still swoon over how incredibly cool Michael Douglas was then.
9. “Mystery Men”
Let’s dip our hands into the underrated sector, bringing out the Mystery Men. This is a comedy that happens to be a superhero movie with a dash of drama. It has a stellar cast (including Ben Stiller, Geoffrey Rush, William H. Macy and Paul Reubens), a sweet story and costumes that some of us still want to wear one day. It may not be the first superhero movie that people think of when referring to said genre, but it still remains one of the better superhero flicks out there.
Diving back into the underrated pile once more, we dig up Stardust, which is a fantasy romantic comedy that didn’t get enough love when it was first released. It’s the story of a young man (Charlie Cox) who wishes to prove his love to a lady by catching a fallen star in the magical realm. It gets a wee bit more complicated when said fallen star is actually a maiden (Claire Danes). Then it gets even more complicated when it’s revealed that others want the maiden, but their intentions aren’t good. A wonderful story blossoms out of that including what easily is one of the best random roles that you’ll ever see Robert De Niro in. Hint: his pirate character likes to play a peculiar kind of dress-up.
7. “The Frighteners”
We’ll always have a soft spot in our hearts for Peter Jackson films, minus King Kong. Easily one of his most charming and thrilling movies is The Frighteners. The Michael J. Fox-starring film is definitely a supernatural horror movie first and foremost but has the thick layer of comedy and heart within. The characters are amusing and three dimensional, despite the fact that half of them are ghosts. If you haven’t seen this yet, do yourself a favor and watch it. Like right now.
6. “Little Shop of Horrors”
“Feed me!” Okay, so Audrey II is a little bit evil, but we love the mutant plant all the same. We’re referring to Little Shop of Horrors, the horror comedy musical that has won over the hearts of many throughout the years. It’s a sweet tale that just happens to have a bit of horror in it. The eighties seems to be sprinkled with plenty of genre meshing films, why can’t we pull it off so well nowadays?
5. “Shaun of the Dead”
Edgar Wright has always been one of the brightest and most versatile filmmakers out there. In the nineties he started dominating British television, directing a number of shows including Spaced (which you should watch). Then in 2004 he plopped onto the movie scene and brought unto us Shaun of the Dead, best described as a zombie romantic comedy. He hit it out of the park with that movie, not only introducing the world to the awesome comedic duo Nick Frost and Simon Pegg but cementing himself as one hell of a director to keep your eyes on.
Firefly was one of those shows that definitely was lightning in a bottle. Joss Whedon and company managed to create a perfect blend of comedy, action, drama within the backdrop of a science fiction show sprinkled with the ideals of the wild west. Even though “Firefly” was a short-lived television series, it garnered a big enough cult fan base to catapult the movie Serenity into existence. Ten years later and plenty of people are still dazzled by the genre mixed stories of Captain Malcolm Reynolds and his crew.
3. “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”
Fans of The Rocky Horror Picture Show have been doing the time warp in full-on drag ever since the film’s 1975 release. The movie originated on stage, but one day somebody thought of a brilliant idea to plastered this rock-n-roll, dark science fiction horror musical onto the big screen. Now there’s midnight screenings across the nation, heck the world, and a few of us can never disassociate Tim Curry with that outfit he wears. Come on, the man looked spectacular in fishnet stockings. This musical plunges us into the one of the strangest mixed up worlds we could ever see in cinema, and boy do we love it.
2. “Inglorious Basterds”/”To Be or Not To Be”
Can we dub Quentin Tarantino one of the kings of genre meshing? Because he is, especially with Inglourious Basterds. We already know that the master filmmaker can weave a good story, but blending together comedy with a war-torn backdrop? The only other one that pulled off this combination with ease is To Be or Not To Be, an Ernst Lubitsch comedy with a similar WWII setting. Both of these movies are prime examples of putting a respectable lighthearted touch on such a serious topic. Even though WWII was anything but funny, these films made it okay to laugh. That and “Inglourious Basterds” fulfills an ultimate fantasy at the end.
What hasn’t been said about Ghostbusters already since it’s release back in the summer of 1984? The Ivan Reitman movie was a thick combination of the supernatural and comedy without coming off as a spoof or a parody. And what a cast. Many have tried and failed to put together a wonderful comedic ensemble that’s even a little bit similar to who they gathered for this movie with Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis and more. This blending of genres has withstood the test of time and still remains a classic to this day. That and there’s still a good chunk of people at Comic-Con who walk around with proton packs. That’s proof enough.