6 Essential Dieselpunk Movies

Hopping on the list bandwagon. There doesn’t seem to actually be that many people out there doing much of this stuff; it seems to be all Steampunk these days. So here’s my favourite movies in the setting of Steampunk’s grittier younger brother, Dieselpunk.

The Book of Eli – Post Apocalyptic Dystopia – check. Mafia lord ruling over the general populace – check. Ok, so the story is a bit simple, and the theme hits you over the head with a monkey wrench, but when they rolled that Gatling gun out of the back of the truck, the little girl that went to air shows with her dad that lives inside me went *squee!!!*

Waterworld – Post Apocalytic Dystopia- check. Mafia lord ruling over the general populace – check. Kind of a classic, despite the Kevin Kostner detractors. Complete with distopically rusty jetskis.

Final Fantasy Advent Children – Ok, granted, to really properly appreciate this movie, you have to have played the game, or you’d probably have no clue what’s up with the random girl in the pink dress. Or who the bad guys are at all, or why the main bad guy turns into a different guy in the end. But if you *have* played the game, you get to point at the screen and say “OMG, Bahamut’s doing Mega-flare!”

Indiana Jones – I’m my father’s daughter. I cut my teeth on these movies as soon as I was old enough to stay up long enough to watch the grown-up movie my dad would rent for after the cartoon movie. Indiana Jones is just awesome and requires no justification. Fourth movie notwithstanding. Though, I don’t have a problem with the Indiana Jones had a kid bit, especially since they got the old actress. After all, the third one brought in his father, and that was great. The monkey scene was a bit much though. But it’s got all the tech level of dieselpunk, and the dustiness, without having to be post apocalyptic.

Sucker Punch – Sureal sort of a movie – some people have tried to say that it’s about female empowerment, but it’s really not at all. People try to say that about any movie that has girls looking hot and carrying around assault rifles and katanas. It’s not about female empowerment at all, it’s about the tragedy of how women are sexualized and cast off and forced to sacrifice themselves for the sake of those around them when things get hard. How women are expected to be everything and how they can fight so hard, and get so little in return in the end, and they’re supposed to be satisfied with martyrdom. But there’s steam powered zombie nazis, and that was cool.

Tank Girl – Post Apocalytic Dystopia- check. Mafia lord ruling over the general populace – check. And come on. Girl with attitude + Tank = awesome. Not sure about the kangaroo guys, but we’ll run with it. But – tank? Come on, how can you go wrong? Re-watched this recently, and it’s way more over the top than I remember (I don’t remember the cabaret number at all!) Warning though, contains alcohol abuse. (They run out of ammo and have to load up cans of beer into the main gun.)

By the way, I’m classifying Sky Captain and the world of tomorrow as very much non-essential Dieselpunk, because, quite frankly, it sucked. I cannot describe my disappointment in that movie. The main character was set up to be this awesome guy that the world revolves and depends on, but I saw no compelling reason that should be so. And there was no plot. Unless you consider evil scientist out to destroy the world, a plot. Do you consider that a plot? I don’t. It’s a premise. Not a plot.

That one aside, anyone else have any movies I missed?