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Old March 19 2013, 12:16 PM   #49
stj
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Re: Genre switching sequels?

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Another textbook example: "Cat People" is a moody supernatural horror movie. The sequel, "Curse of the Cat People" is a poetic fantasy about a child's vivid imagination. The movies share a few cast members and supporting characters, but there aren't even any cat people in "Curse," which isn't remotely a horror movie!

As I understand it, the studio demanded a sequel to "Cat People," which had been a big commercial success, but the producer, Val Lewton, wasn't interested in repeating himself, so he made this delicate, somewhat arty movie instead--under the studio-mandated title, "Curse of the Cat People."

(Both films are very good, btw, but completely different in tone and subject matter.)

Oh, a bit of trivia: "Curse" was, I believe, the directorial debut of Robert Wise, who went on to direct "The Day the Earth Stood Still," "The Haunting," "The Andromeda Strain," "The Sound of Music," "West Side Story," and, of course, the first "Star Trek" movie.
Beat me to the punch.

Christopher wrote: View Post
^No, they're definitely right about the Alien and Terminator franchises. I've seen those examples suggested on every other thread I've come across in searching for other suggestions. Yes, in both cases the original and its sequel were both science fiction, but they were in very different subgenres and styles.
Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Ah, but TOS tended to switch genres at will: cerebral sf ("City on the Edge of Forever"), war movie ("Balance of Terror"), pulp action-adventure ("Gamesters of Triskelion"), courtroom drama ("Court-Martial), heavy-handed political allegory ("And Let That Be Your Last Battlefield), morality plays ("Conscience of the King") and even the occasional farce: "Trouble with Tribbles," "I, Mudd," "A Piece of the Action," etc.

So, arguably, all the TOS movies resemble the show, depending on which episodes you're talking about!
Science fictiion isn't a genre in the sense that a romantic comedy or a spy thriller is. It's a "genre" in the same sense as poetry or nonfiction. That is, the term tells us something about how the story is written, not about it's narrative goal. You can say a horror story wants to scare you or a romance wants to satisfy you with achievement of true love. Or you can say that a story is a Regency novel a la Georgette Heyer or a war novel or a Western.

But the bare term "science fiction" only says there is something fantastic (i.e., doesn't exist now) that is noentheless supposed to be natural. If you insist on calling this information a definition of the genre, but dubbing the narrative genre "subgenre" just sows confusion I think.
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