Genre-Blending: The Best and Worst Of

I’m probably not alone when I say I love a good hybrid game, book, or film. Rian Johnson’s film Brick was an eye-opener to neo-noir for me, and made me see the potential in how good smashing two genres together could be. But sometimes, it doesn’t work.

What examples stand out for y’all?


Well, it was the last movie I saw so that may be influencing my opinion, but I enjoyed Colossal. It pretty successfully sets up genre expectations and then crushes them in interesting ways. I went in thinking I had something of a handle on how the movie would go, but it really went places I would not have anticipated.

I feel like I had something else I wanted to mention, but it has slipped away. Oh well, Brick is really excellent and makes me excited for the Last Jedi.

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Rian Johnson’s Breaking Bad episodes are flawless. Which makes me think of how a lot of recent television shows seem to like to blend a lot of genre together and not really stick with one mood. It works most of the time but god last night’s Fargo episode may of been the worst things I have watched in…a long time.

As for movies I was quite surprised with Toni Erdmann. I read that it was a comedy which doesn’t necessarily mean it has to tell you jokes, but I found it funny for many reasons that go beyond timing and I’m sure many other people did too. Really was not what I was expecting. I imagine its the same feeling people get from playing a game like Inside. If it was made in the U.S. it would of opened with one of the last scenes of the film and ask the audience “How did we get in his wacky and obscene situation!”

Non-anglophone filmmakers are really patient in that way I think, The Handmaiden was another movie from last year that had been distinctly ‘Park Chan-wookian’ but couldn’t be put in any genre I can think of. Again it is the patience I think that makes these two movies stand out as good films that aren’t necessarily “remixed” or “blended”.

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The Handmaiden is a fantastic example, and I’m annoyed that it slipped my mind. What We Do in the Shadows is another one that took me completely by surprise, and I loved Watiti’s work on Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Horror-comedies like WWDITS, Shaun of the Dead and Housebound really make me want to work on one, for the sheer pleasure of being on a set like that.

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Edgar Wright is so fuckin smart. I was introduced to him by listening to a movie game show podcast that he was participating on and got every question right. I’m so glad people like him and Watiti are making movies you can tell they are doing something right.

A lock for worst would have to be Lou Reed and Metallixa’s Lulu.

Just… what the fuck were they even thinking…

Music is really the only thing that pops in my head when I think of blending genres. I don’t like that Lil Wayne Ribirth rock/rap album.

There’s also Brokencyde, the progenitors of Screamo-crunk AKA the worst music imaginable. It is aggressively shitty in a way that I can’t think of any other type of entertainment being. It’s worse than the worst reality tv, more cynical than the most soulless pop culture movie cash-in, more morally bankrupt than the most nihilistic and contemptuous video game. I would almost respect it were it not for the fact that listening to it is tantamount to staring into the abyss and seeing the futility of ones own mortalitity stare right back at you. Brokencyde is bad because it reminds you that the human race is a shitty, destructive swarm of locusts and that the universe will be better off the day a stray space rock catapults itself through our stratosphere and renders us nothing but an insignificant dustcloud under the boot of cosmos.