Almost every successful person working in Hollywood sticks to his or her thing that they like. You would never see, say, David Fincher doing slapstick gross-out comedy, or Michael Bay directing a Jane Austen-type movie (unless, maybe, if the Little Women were also fighter pilots).
But sometimes these folks, with their well-defined comfort zones, lend a hand to movies so bizarrely out-of-character for them it's like they only did it to say, "There, I can do other stuff too. Happy?"
#8. It's Pat Was Co-Written by Quentin Tarantino
Based on a Saturday Night Live sketch where the audience couldn't tell whether the obnoxious character Pat was a man or a woman, the comedy movie It's Pat tells the story of ... the exact same joke. For 77 minutes. Oh, and It's Pat is now considered one of the worst movies of all time, universally panned by critics and moviegoers alike. By which we mean like 70 people tops, seeing as it was only ever shown in three cities.
"What hath SNL wrought?"
But it was made by ...
Quentin Tarantino. No, really. He co-wrote it.
The guy who made Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill has an ego so massive that according to science, it should have long ago collapsed on itself like a neutron star. But one thing's for sure: All of Tarantino's movies are violent and bloody, and if Uma Thurman is in any of them, something horrible is going to happen to her.
Remember when I had you overdose on heroin, then get stabbed
in the heart, shotgunned, coma-raped and buried alive? Memories ...
For mysterious reasons that will forever remain lost to history, Tarantino never demanded official credit for co-writing It's Pat, which he did in the first place because he was friends with the character's creator, Julia Sweeney. This pretty much makes Tarantino the greatest friend in the history of ever. The extent of our friendship involves maybe lending our friends $20 if they put their firstborn as collateral. Tarantino, on the other hand, is the type of friend who helps you write a movie where a sexually ambiguous Julia Sweeney romances an even sexually ambiguer Dave Foley.
#7. Three Men and a Baby was Directed by Leonard Nimoy
A comedy about three bachelors -- portrayed by Magnum, Mahoney and Malone -- suddenly having to take care of Malone's illegitimate child and, of course, deciding to keep it by the end of the movie. They also come across heroin dealers at one point, because this was your typical "1980s shenanigans" type of film.
We hear smack is great on teething.
But it was made by ...
Leonard Nimoy, aka Spock. With all due respect to the man whose acting career has spanned 60 years, Nimoy is and always will be Star Trek's Spock, the pointy-eared space Buddhist and object of frankly a disturbing amount of homoerotic fanfiction. Three Men and a Baby was directed by none other than Nimoy right after he came off shooting his Star Trek IV, which we can't imagine being a smooth transition.
Originally titled Anthropological Studies of Earth's Single Males Faced With Forced Fatherhood.
Before you start worrying that we no longer can tell reality from fiction, it's not like we think Nimoy really is the calculating, emotionless Spock. We know it, because the man admitted himself that the role has greatly influenced his character and personality over the years. But now, in light of that, we don't know what to think about the fact that Three Men and a Baby was the highest-grossing production of '87 and the most successful remake of a French film in movie history.
#6. Music of the Heart Was Directed by Wes Craven
Premiering in 1999, this Oxygen Channel-esque dramatic biopic tells the story of a professional violinist (Meryl Streep) teaching music to a group of underprivileged Harlem kids, giving them a gift they could never imagine. If that last part sounded cheesier than the whole state of Wisconsin, don't blame us: That's the film's tagline. Music of the Heart achieves its trifecta of inspirational movie cliche when Streep and her students must organize a fundraising concert to save their music program, and the phrase "Play from the heart" is uttered without a shred of irony.
As expected, the poster is virtually indistinguishable
from a pamphlet for feminine hygiene product.
But it was made by ...
Wes Craven, creator of some of the most iconic horror films in history. Most notably, Wes Craven is the dark, twisted mind behind A Nightmare on Elm Street, a story about a sadistic dream demon who murders a bunch of teenagers because their parents burned him alive. So ... not exactly a bundle of kittens and sunshine.
Although really, it depends on how you combine the kittens and the sunshine.
To this day, Music of the Heart remains Wes Craven's only full-length non-horror/thriller movie, and nobody knows why. In 1999, Craven was still riding high on the success of the Scream films, so even if he was fighting a crippling addiction to albino rhino blood, it couldn't have been about the money. Roger Ebert suggested that with this film, Craven tried to break out of the "horror guy" typecast and start doing other stuff, which totally explains why he later went straight back to horror and never left. Only, you know, not.
#5. Ghost Was Directed by Jerry Zucker, aka the Naked Gun Guy
Ghost is the movie where Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore have steaming ghost sex over a lump of wet clay. Swayze is a banker, learns something he shouldn't have, gets murdered and comes back in spirit form to protect his wife from the people who killed him.
Why hello, every banker ever, who isn't Patrick Swayze.
A lot of the film is dedicated to themes like coping with the loss of your loved ones and eternal damnation, as two characters are dragged to hell at the end of the movie.
Damn you, pre-CGI era cartoon demon hands!
But it was made by ...
Jerry Zucker -- who is famous for being one of the Zs in ZAZ (Zucker, Abrahams, Zucker), a trio of filmmakers responsible for every major slapstick comedy in the 80s and 90s. Zucker's credits in particular include directing Airplane! (which launched Leslie Nielsen's comedy career and the misconception that quoting a funny movie makes you funny) as well as writing all of the Naked Gun films. The man has spent his entire career making us laugh at other people's suffering.
Ghost wasn't Zucker's only "serious" movie. In 1995 he also directed First Knight, a story of the struggle between love and loyalty set in medieval Europe, sandwiched between Naked Gun 33 1/3 and Rat Race like fine caviar between two slices of Wonder Bread. But what makes Ghost stand out is how insanely successful it was. The movie is mostly remembered today through parodies, but what we tend to forget is that Jerry Zucker's Ghost has made more money than all of his other films combined.