Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Top 10 Steampunk Movies!

Hello again friends, crewmates, and humble passengers on the Anomaly Obscura Engine! I am so terribly sorry I haven't brought anything to share with you all for the last few days. I know, my voracious little pretties are always hungry for more and your most undeserving captain has left you starving for several days now, what a devious rapscallion he must be!

Alas, I am here now just returned from my latest adventure through the æthyr and behold, time and space have come with me just for all of you! Yes, that is correct. I, Captain Renquist von Reik, have returned from this last daring trip through the æthyr with the whole of time and space to share.

...ok, maybe not the whole of time and space.

...ok, ok, maybe not even a significant portion of it.

...ok, ok, ok, so let it never be said the good captain does not indulge in a bit of exaggeration, but only for the sake of building your excitement to a boiling crescendo before unveiling...

The Top 10 Steampunk Movies ever made!

as rated by votes at IMDB.

Without further ado, the list:

1. Sleepy Hollow (1999)Sleepy Hollow

After the head of a Hessian horseman is stolen, the horseman returns from hell to take the heads of the people of Sleepy Hallow until its own is returned. Constable Ichabod Crane is called in to investigate three murders. Through his investigation he learns of the legend of the Headless Horseman, but he doesn't believe that the stories are true - until the horseman takes off the head of one of the elders right in front of his very eyes. Now he must race to find out the origins of the horseman in order to send him back to his grave for good. But the question remains...if the head was stolen once, how safe is it?

2. Spirited Away (2001)
Spirited Away
Chihiro and her family are on their way to their new house in the suburbs when her father decides to take a shortcut along a lonely-looking dirt road. After getting out of the car and walking along a path for a while, they discover an open-air restaurant filled with food but with no workers or customers present. Mom and Dad don't hesitate to sit down and dig in, but Chihiro senses danger and refuses. As night falls, she is terrified to see the area fill with faceless spirits, but when she runs to find her parents, she discovers that they have been turned into pigs. She is found by a mysterious boy named Haku, who promises to help her. He gets her a job working in a nearby building, which turns out to be a bathhouse for the thousands of Japan's gods and spirits. Though the work is hard and the people strange, she does as well as she can. Her parents, however, are still waiting in the hotel's stockyard...

3. Brazil (1985)
Sam Lowry is a harried technocrat in a futuristic society that is needlessly convoluted and inefficient. He dreams of a life where he can fly away from technology and overpowering bureaucracy, and spend eternity with the woman of his dreams. While trying to rectify the wrongful arrest of one Harry Buttle, Lowry meets the woman he is always chasing in his dreams, Jill Layton. Meanwhile, the bureaucracy has fingered him responsible for a rash of terrorist bombings, and both Sam and Jill's lives are put in danger.

4. Hellboy (2004)
In the final days of World War II, the Nazis attempt to use black magic to aid their dying cause. The Allies raid the camp where the ceremony is taking place, but not before a demon - Hellboy - has already been conjured. Joining the Allied forces, Hellboy eventually grows to adulthood, serving the cause of good rather than evil.

5. Van Helsing (2004)
Van Helsing (Widescreen Edition)
Van Helsing is in the world to rid all evil, even if not everyone agrees with him. The Vatican send the monster hunter and his ally, Carl to Transylvania. They have been sent to this land to stop the powerful Count Dracula. Whilst, here they join forces with a Gypsy Princess called Anna Valerious, who is determined to end an ancient curse on her family, by destroying the vampire. They just don't know how!

6. Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (2008)
Hellboy II: The Golden Army [Blu-ray]
In this continuation to the adventure of the demon superhero, an evil elf breaks an ancient pact between humans and creatures, as he declares war against humanity. He is on a mission to release The Golden Army, a deadly group of fighting machines that can destroy the human race. As Hell on Earth is ready to erupt, Hellboy and his crew set out to defeat the evil prince before The Golden Army can destroy humanity's existence.

7. Army of Darkness (1992)
Army of Darkness (Screwhead Edition)
In this sequel to the Evil Dead films, a discount-store employee ("Name's Ash. Housewares.") is time-warped to a medieval castle beset by monstrous forces. Initially mistaken for an enemy, he is soon revealed as the prophecised savior who can quest for the Necronomicon, a book which can dispel the evil. Unfortunately, he screws up the magic words while collecting the tome, and releases an army of skeletons, led by his own Deadite counterpart. What follows is a thrilling, yet tongue-in-cheek battle between Ash's 20th Century tactics and the minions of darkness.

8. Wild Wild West (1999)
Wild Wild West
Jim West is a guns-a-blazing former Civil War hero. Artemus Gordon is an inventive U.S. Marshal who excels in disguise. When the United States is threatened by psychotic Confederate Arliss Loveless, President Ulysses Grant teams the duo up to bring him to justice. On a hazard-packed train journey from Washington D.C. to Utah, West and Gordon must combine their skills to best Loveless and his diabolical machines.

9. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Widescreen Edition)
Renowned adventurer Allan Quatermain leads a team of extraordinary figures with legendary powers to battle the technological terror of a madman known as "The Fantom." This "League" comprises seafarer/inventor Captain Nemo, vampiress Mina Harker, an invisible man named Rodney Skinner, American secret service agent Tom Sawyer, the ageless and invincible Dorian Gray, and the dangerous split personality of Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde.

10. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (Widescreen Special Collector's Edition)
In 1939, an intrepid reporter in New York City makes a connection between the story she's covering-- of famous scientists suddenly disappearing around the world, and a recent attack on the city by giant robots. Determined to find the solution to these happenings, she seeks the help of her ex-boyfriend, the captain of a mercenary legion of pilots. The two are investigating the case when the robots attack the city again, though in a stroke of luck, Sky Captain's right hand man is able to locate their source. They then set off on an adventure in search of the evil mastermind behind these schemes, who is bent on creating a utopia and destroying the current world.

I can say with some amount of certainty that some kind gentles out there will disagree with this list, or scream in righteous indignation about the lack of a particular movie on the list. Please do remember that the good captain did not create this list. The list is based on voting at IMDB. With this in mind, please vent your frustrations in the confabulations where I will promptly ignore it.

Now back to the gears you trundling coggies!


Adam said...

The movies on the list I consider steampunk:

3 Brazil (1985)
4 Hellboy (2004)
5 Van Helsing (2004)
6 Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
8 Wild Wild West (1999)
9 The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
10 Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)

Renquist Von Reik said...

This humble captain agrees with you, Adam! Not all of those movies strike me as steampunk either. Most notably Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow which I'd say is much more dieselpunk I feel. Sleepy Hollow? Yes, the goggles, the goggles, but nothing else really stood out as steampunk.

Army of Darkness, dieselpunk...

Spirited Away had some steampunk elements but overall it didn't feel steampunk, it's hard to put an elegant finger on exactly although I did enjoy the movie quite a bit regardless.

I suppose you cannot expect the tens of thousands of IMDB users who voted to really understand what steampunk is, but at least they have rather good taste in films!

Katerina said...

This site caught my eye. : )

Although not a movie, this short-lived television show was very cool: The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne. I remember watching it here in Canada a while back, and now I'm trying to find a copy of the series (it's kinda hard to find). User LORYDANNESHELBY on youtube has posted a few episodes. Check it out!

Renquist Von Reik said...

I've watched the episodes on YouTube and thought they were wonderful!

Unfortunately a little investigation seems to reveal that the series is not available for sale anywhere, at least here in the US.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised City of Lost Children isn't on your list.

Renquist Von Reik said...

If it was truly my list be sure The City of Lost Children would have a place in it, Lord Anonymous, but this was generated by the IMDB (internet movie database) and I thought it would be an interesting topic but for the record, I don't agree with many of the movies there!

Blake said...

there are a couple that come to mind that didn't seem to make the list:

Fritz Lang's "Metropolis"- not just the feel, but the dystopian-ness of the environment.

"Things to Come"- This 1936 film is based on HG Wells stories about a future world- one very steampunky.

bagman3650 said...

I'm surprised Lemony Snicket's a series of unfortunate events isn't on the list. It has everything that defines steampunk.

Renquist Von Reik said...

I rather enjoyed Lemony Snicket much to my own surprise and agree, quite steamy that one. Metropolis would most certainly be on my list as well. I've loved that movie for as long as my admittedly exaggerated and distorted memories go back!

Chris R. said...

Um, the one that should top all of the lists is:

"The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello"

Most beautiful steampunk film ever!

Anonymous said...

I believe Miyazaki's Castle in the Sky is very steampunk, with goggles and air pirates and much more!

Anonymous said...

We also cannot forget the unabashedly steampunk, The Golden Compass. With the fashion, chrome, and cogs, you cannot deny it's legitimacy!

Anonymous said...

OH! So, deffinately "Treasure Planet"!!! It's got it all: Flying ships, victorian Fashion, GOGGLES, crazy guns, and everything else you could ask for!
Also, "Tin Man". Though not well know, it definately comes to mind when I think steam punk. It's a re-telling of The Wizard of OZ. Very SciFi. Very Good.

Match of Jericho said...

Many of tehse aren't good films, nor is The Golden Compass. But a good film that also has many steampunk elements is The Prestige!

Matt McLaughlin said...

If I was to list a Miyazaki movie it would NausicaA, which has many more steampunk elements than Spirited Away.

The Bard said...

When I think Miyazaki and Steampunk, I think Howl's Moving Castle. I mean, Airships, a walking steam-powered Castle run by a fire demon...

Mutazoia said...

Steam Boy any body? Or Vidoq

Anonymous said...

One that should be in the list: "Atlantis:the lost Empire" by Disney.

other suitable ones:

The Neverending story (has some elements)
The Labyrinth
Return to Oz

Anonymous said...

Here i am again because i´ve found a interesting list ^_^!


I hope that helps in your research captain ^_^.

Renquist Von Reik said...

My oh my, most honorable Anonymous! That list of steampunk works is actually quite delightful. What a wonderful surprise so my thanks to you, ghost of the æthyr!

Reading back over the comments it seems by dear crew has quite a good collection of steampunk movies here, better than the IMDB I'd wager. Perhaps it's about time for an updated steampunk movie list as chosen by the Anomaly Obscura Engine's most literate and civil crew members!

The Sneezing Lobster said...

I was a fan of Steampunk before I ever heard the term! Here's a movie I think belongs on the list: "Mysterious Island." It has a trans-Pacific hot air balloon flight, Captain Nemo, the Nautilus submarine, and my personal favorite: scuba gear made from giant sea shells!

Anonymous said...

Two movies i feel should be on the list are 9 and steamboy for sure

Renquist Von Reik said...

Steam Boy, for good reason I think, seems to be quite a popular omission. Having seen it my good self I couldn't agree more.

9 was entertaining and while beautiful I was a bit disappointed, I suppose I was hoping for more steam and less stitch. I shall reserve judgement for the time being regarding 9's worthiness to be on the list.

I'll be revisiting this list very shortly, after all it is nearly the two year anniversary of this most conversation provoking topic. Remain calibrated in the weeks ahead!

Anonymous said...

Sucker Punch! (my fav)
Sherlock Holmes
The Prestige
Mutant Chronicles
9 (2009) Shane Acker
Time After Time
The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
The Time Machine (old and new)
Treasure Planet
Tank Girl
TV Shows
Doctor Who (Believe it or not)
Riese (even though it's a series)

Anonymous said...

Amen to Anonymous' last comment. Definately Sanctuary, The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello and 9.

Dustin said...

As of yet, no one has mentioned:

Perfect Creature
The Gene Generation

Anonymous said...

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome comes to mind.

ArgilArt said...

A potential for the list is coming soon...

"1884" by Terry Gilliam



The trailers look good and if it's anything like other Gilliam films it will be well worth watching for.

Anonymous said...

what about howl's moving castle?

Renquist Von Reik said...

By George, 1884 looks bloody brilliant! Terry Gilliam is certainly one of my favorite directors, but I'm prone to fits of fancy myself.

Speaking of Terry Gilliam, I tip my hat to dear Anonymous who mentioned The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, one of my all time favorites :)

Anonymous said...

I think "Micmacs" has some steampunk elements

Audrey said...

don't forget Stardust

Meddy said...

Mutant chronicles is one of BEST steam-punk genre movies ever made :)

D7ana said...

What about Firefly?