Three Approaches to Movie Mash-Ups

Mashups are fun, and these creators have mastered the art form.
Robert De Niro
United Artists
By  · Published on January 29th, 2019

One of the best — and perhaps most underappreciated — gifts the internet has bestowed upon the world of pop culture fandom is easy access to movie mashup videos. There are thousands of these gems out there, and the best ones open up our hearts and imaginations the same way movies can. If you’re the type of person who spends too much time wondering how unrelated movies could intersect with each other, mashup videos have you covered.

Like fan films, movie mashups serve as loving tributes to art that inspires their creators. The best ones, though, are genuinely inventive, entertaining, and thought-provoking and they sometimes tell an original story of their own (albeit one that’s decorated in familiar imagery). Furthermore, as goofy as some of these mashups are, they also showcase some impressive filmmaking ability.

Below I highlight three recent videos that range from the silly to the serious, as well as the in-between. Despite their stylistic differences, they each demonstrate quality artistry and represent mashups at their finest. Enjoy.

The Silly

Most mashup videos have a sense of humor. The formula is simple: take two or more movies that shouldn’t fit, toss them into a blender, and hope people laugh at the results. Sometimes these silly videos go to some bizarre and interesting places as well — Toy Story and Fight Club immediately spring to mind — and the internet is littered with these demented gems.

This recent video from Youtuber Aldo Jones is also a darkly comic delight that will make you look at the popular films featured here very differently. He’s taken the trailer for the biggest superhero blockbuster release of 2019, Avengers: Endgame, and turned it into a horror-thriller with additional footage borrowed from The Purge. You’ll laugh out loud, sure, but seeing Marvel’s key players having their space invaded by lunatics is a movie you’ll want to see afterward.

For more of Jones’ bizarre reimaginings of the MCU, I also recommend the video that gives Thanos his very own Shrek moment.

The Semi-Serious

A wonderful new video by Fabrice Mathieu is the sequel to The Blues Brothers that should have happened instead of the one we got. It’s also a much better Men In Black crossover film than the proposed Jump Street spinoff movie that almost was. What I’m saying is: in an ideal world, Men In Blues deserves to be a feature-length movie.

Mathieu’s video is a smorgasbord of random influences that he’s compiled for our entertainment. That said, he also accomplishes something that even some established big-budget filmmakers fail to do sometimes: create a captivating story. Men In Blues is engaging as a mini-action adventure tale in its own right, and for 11 minutes this assembly of unrelated clips and characters from various IPs complement each other well.

While this video is all fun and games, it’s a great example of a mashup that strives to engage the viewer with some semblance of a story. And it works as its own unique entity in its own way.

The Serious

Rocky and Raging Bull are rightfully regarded as two of the best boxing movies ever made. Naturally, movie fans would love to see Rocky Balboa and Jake LaMotta put their gloves back on for 12 rounds of cinematic fisticuffs against each other. Now, thanks to Antonio Maria Da Silva, we get to see that bout.

This is more than a mere mash-up of iconic boxing movies, though. This is artistry. We’ve covered da Silva’s excellent Hell’s Club series in the past because they deserve to be seen by everyone. His videos have transcended the mashup genre by using pre-existing properties to explore new ideas and themes. Da Silva’s editing is truly masterful, as you’ll see in the video we’ve selected here, but he really cares about telling a good story with real emotional depth. These characters might not be his original creations, but the way he uses them to bring his own vision to life is a worthy addition to their respective legacies.

Mashup videos mostly contain playful, satirical, and goofy elements. However, filmmakers like da Silva have shown that they can add an original and moving spin to proceedings, and be so much more than humorous remixes of other movies.

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Kieran is a Contributor to the website you're currently reading. He also loves the movie Varsity Blues.