Artists are often associated with one specific genre, even though the most creative people dabble in numerous styles. This is evident in music, literature, video games, and especially in film.
The hallmark of a truly creative person is their variety. Even with this in mind, some works can really feel out of the blue. As proof of this, the 10 movies presented below were made by the last person in the world you’d expect to make them. Most are pretty good, but there are certainly a few that some consider duds.
Still, one can never completely lambast somebody for trying something different or going outside of their comfort zone. At the end of the day, they made a movie, and that’s something most people on the planet will never even come close to accomplishing.
10 The Straight Story – David Lynch
Uneasiness permeates every second of a David Lynch movie. The closest one that comes to a sweet and sentimental tale is The Elephant Man, which handles Joseph Merrick’s tale with unexpected tenderness. This entry is not about that historical drama, though, and is instead focusing on a lesser-known Disney film, The Straight Story. That’s right, David Lynch directed a Disney movie.
The Straight Story is based on a true event involving a man traveling across the country on a lawnmower to visit his ailing brother. Along the way, he imparts his wisdom upon several people he encounters. Fans won’t find heinous criminals or unexplainable happenings here, this one really is for the whole family.
9 Hugo – Martin Scorsese
Scorsese’s most renowned films either follow organized crime or social outcasts as the world pushes them to the brink, with the occasional biopic and historical drama sprinkled here and there.
They all have one thing in common though — they are not for kids. Its child-friendly nature and reliance on 3D is what makes Hugo stand out from the rest of his catalog. As a two for one bonus, Sacha Baron Cohen also has a role as a train station inspector, a far cry from his raunchy shock comedies.
8 The House With A Clock In Its Walls – Eli Roth
Hostel, Cabin Fever, and The Green Inferno all take a strong stomach to endure. Each of these films features tons of blood, some torture, and the occasional uncomfortable comedic beat. The House With a Clock In Its Walls is a horror movie, but also a nice adventure for the whole family. It also has more star power than Eli Roth’s other films, with Jack Black and Cate Blanchett starring.
7 Jack – Francis Ford Coppola
Jack stars Robin Williams as a small child who grows at an accelerated rate. Critics panned it upon release, unanimously agreeing that it did not live up to the director’s prior work. Those prior films include such classics like The Godfather and Apocalypse Now. It’s certainly a weird turn for the filmmaker to do, but one must never forget Coppola’s eccentricities. After all, he did get his start working with Roger Corman.
6 Hairspray – John Waters
John Waters is Baltimore’s hometown hero. The artist used his native city as a backdrop for many of his films, most of which were X-rated.
Then there is Hairspray, a drama revolving around a 1960s television dance show and racial segregation. Some of Waters’ DNA still seeps through on the camera, but it’s certainly a far cry from Divine eating K-9 feces.
5 Happy Feet – George Miller
Mad Max and its sequels are two of the greatest car chase films ever made. The sequel, in particular, is renowned for its stunning climax, featuring stunts few people in their right mind would ever attempt. In between Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and Fury Road, he directed Babe: Pig in the City and the two Happy Feet films, decidedly not violent affairs. Like his post-apocalyptic film, though, they are all visually striking.
4 Ghost – Jerry Zucker
The second Naked Gun‘s trailer announces “from the brother of the director of Ghost.” It is a great joke, but the narrator wasn’t lying. Jerry Zucker, known for his slapstick comedies like Kentucky Fried Movie, Airplane!, and Top Secret, directed the romantic drama starring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore. Audiences won’t find the unrelenting humor and wordplay of his prior works here, Ghost is a serious film all the way.
3 Spy Kids – Robert Rodriguez
Not only did Robert Rodriguez direct these child-friendly adventures, but Danny Trejo also appears in them as a character named Machete. It is probably not the exact same character from the two grind house-inspired action films, but the connection is there none the less.
The director, known for action romps like Desperado and Sin City, has a family, so it makes sense that he’d want to make something they could watch as children.
2 Elvis – John Carpenter
Everyone loves Elvis, even directors known for churning out several of the scariest films of the past 50 years. John Carpenter’s legendary titles like The Thing, Halloween, and Assault on Precinct 13 have transcended their genre and are regarded as simply great films. On top of that, his action-adventure capers like Escape From New York and They Live are truly one of a kind experiences. One film that doesn’t fit into either of those categories is the 1979 television film, Elvis, starring Kurt Russell as the legend. It was the first of many collaborations between the two.
1 Alien 3 – David Fincher
David Fincher probably doesn’t want people knowing this, but he directed Alien 3. To be fair, it is not his fault the movie turned out the way it did, but his name is in the credits none the less.
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Fortunately, he quickly gained a stellar reputation with films like Seven and Fight Club. People will say the Assembly Cut of Alien 3 is better, but it’s not. They simply added more footage and it does little to improve the film’s overall quality.