Recent Dieselpunk films

Here's a listing of some "Dieselpunk" (either in nature or thematic content) films that have graced the silver screen as of recent or will be for anyone interested:

Iron Sky which I mentioned in the previous article I wrote in regards to dieselpunk an as I can see there is a topic posted here already... my views on this film are here and there - it looks a little too cartoony and most of the ideas taken from the ACTUAL secret Nazi space program seem to have been taken way out of context and distorted. There are many theories by Miguel Serrano who has studied a lot of the esoteric and hidden projects of the Nazi Regime, but I feel as though the filmmakers didn't really take any time to research it enough so it ends up being another Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (which also I wasn't too impressed by either). In any case it looks good, but I hope the CGI won't be over-used as I can't stand it.

City of Ember -
think Dark City and a mix of a post-apocalyptic version of M. Night's The Village... I actually enjoyed this somewhat, it has a lot of elements relating to the primitivism shown in a dieselpunk-infused community which relies wholly on electricity (and not the fancy type), from one generator. There are other elements provided which give off a very 'diesel' feel to the movie, however the story didn't make sense in certain parts and overall wasn't anything wholly original either. But worth a look for a laugh.

The Mutant Chronicles -
this was pretty good, in terms of the story - only like most action movies today, it suffered from the usual overuse of rapid-camera angles and incessant plot-holes due to continuous fight/action sequences. Overall it was also visually interesting and the idea was also somewhat original, even if it was adapted loosely from the table-top RPG.

I won't even list the noir-like films of The Spirit or even Max Payne as they both didn't really embody any of the true nature from the original material... I was sourly let down by both.

There are some other obscure projects which are very atomicpunk vis-a-vis dieselpunk for instance take this intriguing individual:

I shall keep my eyes peeled for anything else, but as of yet haven't seen much of a revival. It seems the days of taking inspiration from the past eras is dying out, from what I can tell there seems to a be a new trend now in cinema venturing further towards different cultures.

However in any case I will check out Iron Sky, but won't hold my breath.


  • edited January 2009
    I recently finished the book City of Ember is based off of. Brilliant book. It has a simplistic writing style which happens to match the context of the characters and relative knowledge of the citizens.

    I also happen to be an avid listener of Dr.Steel. Didn't really like that sort of music until I discovered him. Gimmicky artist, really, but he pulls it off well.

    I'm severely disappointed at the lack of Dieselpunk in general. So few artwork, films, or books...
  • Let's keep our hopes up, I say. Films as The Spirit and Max Payne may not be perfectly dieselpunk, but the combination of noir and pulp makes them very dark and interesting, and it shows that the movie audience is craving for this genre.

    On the other hand, a film as Australia, which really isn't dieselpunk of course, shows that that same movie audience also enjoys a tour back to a more realistic reimagination of the dieselpunk era. The genre has great potential and I expect we'll see more and more of it over the next few years, especially in film.

    For now, I am looking forward to Iron Sky. I don't mind much that the film may turn out a bit cartoon-esque and ridiculous. I see plenty of drama and seriousness in the trailer so I don't think that will come to dominate the atmosphere of the entire film.
  • *shrugs* I really liked Sky Captain, and at least I like the idea of Iron Sky, though I'd rather they just made it a serious movie rather than a comedy.

    I don't worry too much about new stuff in the Pulp genre though... There are the few stirling examples like Sky Captain, Rocketeer, some Studio Ghibli stuff and Raiders, but for the most part, my interest is in the Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror (and music, for that matter) actually produced in the 1920's, 30's and 40's.
  • Gotta' love jazz.

    Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles, Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra (Not as jazzy, but he's certainly a staple in the music industry).
  • Yep... I have some pretty good helpings of Satchmo and Ellington and some Cab Calloway, and Paul Robeson for the spirituals. I've also got a pile of big band and some classical recordings: the Dorseys, Benny Goodman, Paul Whiteman and Ferde Grofe, Glen Miller, Victor Salon and Concert Orchestras, Columbia Concert Orchestra, etc. I also have a bit of silent movie music (pianola rolls, theatre organ, etc.) and anthropological ethnic music recordings. Rounding it out is some French stuff like Maurice Chevalier and Edith Piaf, and some Western music like the Sons of the Pioneers and Roy Rogers. Actually, according to my iTunes I have exactly 364 songs listed under "Oldies".
  • Mmmmmm, jazz. Definitely a genre best enjoyed on a dark evening with a glass of one's favourite poison in hand. That reminds me, I have to take some friends to a Toronto jazz club one of these days. Some of the local artists are quite talented!
  • I'm horrified at New Orleans taking the dive like that. Great Jazz scene, and interesting history. The place was a key location in American Jazz history. Gah.

    So off topic. (I'm not sure if that's an issue here or not).
  • But on the bright side, Disney's next traditional animated film will take place in N'awlins in the 1920's ^_~
  • Oh yes, I remember you posting about it, but I can't recall the title, I'm afraid. Would you mind reminding us?
  • Mmmmmm, jazz. Definitely a genre best enjoyed on a dark evening with a glass of one's favourite poison in hand.
    I whole heartedly second that emotion!
  • Let me add great dieselpunk movie to this list:
    La Antena
  • I'm afraid I'm not familiar with it at all. Tell us about it!
  • Ah, yes, that's the one! Thanks for the link!
  • Greetings! Just got in on the Pan Am Clipper.

    (He removes his fedora and trenchcoat and hands it to the coatcheck gal. She's behind a counter, dammit -- can't see her wheels.)

    I offer my new indie film project, which is a love letter to classic sci-fi, classic films, and a "future that might have been."

    Look for a short trailer and more later this year!
  • I also offer a link to's section on the Astounding/Analog magazine covers of yore. No finer dieseltronic imagery will you find anywhere!
  • Great stuff! That cover collection of old issues of Astounding Stories is particularly wonderful!

    Also, welcome, of course, to the Smoking Lounge, sir! It seems you've come to the right place!
  • Just seen Mutant Chronicles: one to watch with the volume down and a record on. The story is pretty dumb to my mind, but the machines are beautiful, especially the steam-powered shuttle, which looks excellent. Unfortunately plot-wise it reminded me of Warhammer 40,000: lots of random carnage but pretty soulless, and nothing much to warm to.
  • I didn't even think it as good as WH40K - it's rambling, no depth to the story, and could have been set in WW1 for all it's futurism. Awful film!
  • I have a new title to add to your list: [url=””]9[/url].

    The trailer, care of YouTube.

    I don’t really know much about it right now, beyond the fact that it started life as a 10-minute CGI short directed by Shane Acker (and can be seen in its entirety [url=””]here[/url]), and that the full-length film is produced by Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov (the guy who did the Night/Day Watch movies.) Still, we’ve got little burlap sock people trying to save the world in a post-apoclyptic Western Front-type environment, so what’s not to love?
  • There's a topic about 9 floating around the forum somewhere as well, it looks like an awesome movie!
  • Ah, you're right. That's what I get for not visiting more often.
  • And another new one!
    Gangster Squad

    Should the iTunes site be a bitch, here's the trailer on youtube
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