''Cowboys & Aliens'' (now on DVD) got us thinking about other movies that mixed things up — with better results
Blazing Saddles (1974)
Director/co-writer/star Mel Brooks’ farcical and flatulent take on the Western works doubly well thanks to the meticulous way he captures the operatic vibe of a genuine Western.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
Dammit, Janet! A kinky cocktail of horror flick and rock musical, the definitive midnight-madness movie boasts a terrific cast and timeless tunes (”Time Warp”).
This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
Director Rob Reiner’s lampoon of the rock documentary is hilarious and achingly realistic in its depiction of fictional Brit rockers who encounter nothing but misfortune (spontaneously combusting drummers!) on tour.
Co-written by real-life sci-fi nerd Dan Aykroyd, the comedy-fantasy blockbuster about a ragtag team of specter hunters succeeds by taking matters very seriously — and very stupidly. That’s right, ludicrous yet strangely disturbing giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, we’re talking about you.
Evil Dead II (1987)
Bruce Campbell fights woodland-dwelling ghouls in a sequel that combines horror with slapstick reminiscent of director Sam Raimi’s beloved Three Stooges. (A 25th-anniversary Blu-ray edition is available now.)
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
The Quentin Tarantino-penned, Robert Rodriguez-directed, George Clooney-starring actionfest is a dizzying mix of crime drama, vampire movie, and Salma Hayek snake-dancer flick.
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Simon Pegg’s titular hero tries to win back his girlfriend while battling the undead in this fresh, funny fusion of zombie film and British rom-com. Yep, it’s basically Bridget Jones’s Diary of the Dead.