Without a doubt my favorite ‘The 4’ I ever created was ‘Movie Genre Busters’. The mixing of movie themes when done precisely can create a unique film experience that’s hard to label. Is it a comedy, horror, action or Sci-Fi film? Hence the name ‘Genre Buster’. The first list included Zombieland, Pineapple Express, Beetlejuice and the category of films namesake Ghostbusters. I always knew I would revisit this list for a sequel article that would hopefully be better than the lackluster Ghostbusters 2 and recently I received huge motivation to delve back into my favorite subject – so let’s get to the list and start with the film that inspired this list.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
I’m going against the grain here – I’m not a fan of letting such recent movies on this list. Time and multiple viewings with a growing appreciation for said films usually earn you a spot in ‘The 4’. In this instance, I don’t care if Guardians of the Galaxy just hit theaters. It deserves to be on this list and is probably the best example of Genre Buster since Ghostbusters. Guardians of the Galaxy is superhero movie, comedy and a Sci-Fi epic with a ton of heart mixed into a special movie experience for Marvel lovers and novices. More than anything Guardians of the Galaxy is a fantastic movie. For the love of Stan Lee, it has a tree and raccoon that happen to be the biggest stars of the movie. It will make you laugh, cry and remember what it’s like to see something so unique on the big screen that it’s hard to label. I’ll give you a label that works for Guardians of the Galaxy. The best Marvel movie ever.
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
One of Tim Burton’s eccentric characters finds his way on the list of greatest Genre Busters again. Burton proved he could pull off the feat of mixing themes two years earlier with Beetlejuice and pulled it off again with Edward Scissorhands and began his creative partnership with star Johnny Depp. Edward Scissorhands at it’s core is a fairy tale, but if you take a closer look. Edward Scissorhands is also another style of film. If you ignore the scissors on Edward’s hands, you realize the film is actually a teen film. A lonely outsider who longs to be with the girl of his dreams, but can’t because of circumstances. Mainly because he has scissors for hands, but the fact that you buy into that element of the story earns Edward Scissorhands a place on the list. Plus, for a guy who doesn’t cry in movies. Edward Scissorhands tested my rule with the snow at the end of the weird, but touching teen movie/fairy tale.
The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Is it a horror movie? A mystery thriller? Maybe Sci-Fi with a touch of the paranormal? Who knows, but The Cabin in the Woods is a wild ride that keeps you guessing. It sat in production limbo for over a year while studio honchos tried to figure out how to market the Joss Whedon written and Drew Goddard directed Genre Buster. Lucky for fans, The Cabin in the Woods was released and fans went nuts for it. The film explores every horror genre in the book and some fans may even say it is a Genre Buster in its own horror genre. The Cabin in the Woods also spoils the twist in many ways, but still keeps you guessing as to what is going on and where the manic story will take you next. Lastly, if you can find a way to work in a Merman joke, you get a spot on this list.
Galaxy Quest (1999)
Galaxy Quest is part satire, Sci-Fi and a hilarious character study that lampoons Sci-Fi junkie culture. Tim Allen plays a former TV Sci-Fi action star that spends his days half drunk and reliving the glory days at conventions across the country. Sound familiar Star Trek fans? Allen’s fake space commander Taggert is mistaken for the real thing by an alien race who believes the TV show Galaxy Quest was a documentary. The alien race enlist the TV star and the rest of the cast including Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman and the scene stealing Sam Rockwell as the red shirt wearing Guy to save their world. Galaxy Quest contains cool action scenes involving rock monsters and Gorn like baddies while still having fun with fish out of water story. The movie does a great job of balancing the Sci-Fi, laughs and spoofing convention life for the actors and the fans that love them.