Prepare a Strong Drink to Mix with Painkillers: Another Bad Steampunk Movie Is Coming
Truly, has there ever been a genre so beleaguered by horrible writing and a lack of self-awareness as steampunk? The Little Train That Couldn’t seems to be the albino monstrosity in the attic of every sci-fi junkie who manages to get to a point where studios allow them carte blanche in their creative process. Then we, the viewers, are forced to endure yet another raucous Jules Verne thrill ride into pure mediocrity. Now a new cowabunga shit fiesta of a plot strapped to a rocketeer in a top hat looms on the horizon YET AGAIN.
Adherents to the cult of steampunk will often attempt to suggest that any dystopian future movie is a steampunk vehicle. This is done in an incoherent yet passionate attempt to improve the perception of a horrendous genre whose burial site should have been salted long ago. Not truly killable, the genre only slumbers for long periods. Have a gander at this roadmap of agonizing anachronism.
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Chronology of Disaster
Wild Wild West (1979/1999)
Such an awful plot device, they filmed it twice
The 1979 television series may very well be the cradle of civilization for this cretinous subgenre. Utilizing trope elements like brains in jars, strange copper-plated devices, and alien technology in numerous episodes is apparently what landed it within the category in an esteemed regard as the progenitor of steampunk.
Apparently the television series is credited with sparking the creation of a massive convention of oddly attired weirdos in Arizona each year:
The 1999 Film Reboot: Thanks For Another Will Smith Song
Just two years after Men In Black, Hollywood had determined we need cause to float a new Will Smith song over the airwaves relentlessly. Enter the cinematic reboot of Wild Wild West, a buddy “comedy” pregnant with terrible Southern accents and recurring jokes where magnets lead to crotch injury. What’s not to love? All of that.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
A sorry and needless adaptation of a truly extraordinary comic book series created by Alan Moore. Unfortunately, Hollywood had still not digested the fact that Victorian gentlemen procedural crime solving doesn’t translate to high octane global thriller. I’ve always maintained that it is only the bravest of producers who blithely assume that the expediency of adapting a runaway comic book hit is superior to something written for the screen.
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)
So bad that it was recently the subject of a How Did This Get Made episode, this movie is a grenade whose shrapnel is comprised entirely of plot problems. When you aren’t spending your time watching a small handful of actors superimposed over grainy green screened CGI of blurry robots, you’re treated to minute after minute of boring maps. The director’s vision for the film clearly involved fusing Arthur C. Clarke with the Travel Channel.
Perplexingly, it maintains a score of 71% freshness on Rotten Tomatoes, indicating that the fall of civilization has already commenced.
Mortal Engines (2018)
Peter Jackson, best known for alchemically converting the richness and depth of The Hobbit into hammered dog excrement, is now determined to cash in on a new series written by a greater man. The Lord of the Rings releases taught us that Jackson’s Weta Workshop is Disney’s gift shop for the nerd elite, as they produced exorbitantly priced reproductions from his films timed with the movies’ releases. Having set his sights on a new multipart series to print… whatever a dollar in New Zealand is, we’re in for something terrible.
Do we feel strongly about all of this? Clearly. And by all means, you should make up your own mind. We’ve included the trailer for you to check out below. If you’re still in the mood to read more about how consumerism is destroying any sense of culture or integrity we have left, read our article about the Nintendo Labo.