A few summers ago, vs was all the rage: Jason vs Freddy, Aliens vs Predator, Jason vs Aliens, Freddy vs Aliens, Jason and Freddy vs Aliens vs Jason #2, Kramer vs Kramer vs Jason, Jason vs Board of Education, Jason2 + 2(Jason) + 3 Men and a Little Lady vs (Aliens – Predators)(Aliens + Predators)*, and so on.
And as we all know, Hollywood loves recombinative movie making. Producers make the big bucks by coming up with explanations for projects like “It’s just like Die Hard, but in an assisted living facility!” or “Sergio Leonie meets Meet the Parents” or “It’s some random crappy D-list comedy meets a movie with Tyler Perry’s name in front of it.”
It may come as some surprise to learn that medieval illustrators also loved recombinative productions. Thus, witness the Tyler Perry’s Good, Bad, and Ugly Ways to Die Most Hardest** of 1471:
It’s a snail and a rabbit play-jousting piggyback on two monkeys. The image may be found in the British Library’s MS Harley 4379, the Harley Froissart. It doesn’t get more one-thing-plus-another-thing-and-then-another-thing-being than this.***
Oh yes, and I must thank my mysterious sources deep within the British Library for this one. Mysterious sources, you know who you are.
*The difference of two squares: Aliens2 – Predators2
**In theaters this fall. Starring Robert Deniro as a sad shell of the actor he once was!
***Unless the snail is (as I suspect) strapped into a rocketpack. In that case, it does get more of that long hyphenated made up adjective. Like 100 times more.