Simply put, steampunk is a blend of retro and futuristic elements that are brought together to form a new genre that has gained quite a bit of ground over the years and has given rise to a few very interesting stories. While certain elements might only be visible here and there throughout the movie it’s still typically quite noticeable since in the time periods shown such things didn’t normally exist in the manner we see them on the screen. For instance, back in the early part of the 20th century the futuristic guns and other armament you might see in the movies didn’t exist except when it came to fantasy tales. One thing about steampunk though is that quite often it is an interesting look at a few of the older ideas that have been kicking around for a while and a new manner in which to use old themes that have proven to quite popular.
Here are five of the best steampunk movies.
5. Sucker Punch
Samurai’s wielding firearms? Young girls in short skirts being transported to war zones with all sorts of mythical creatures and warriors? This is definitely what some might describe as the stereotypical male fantasy, and they’d be right since it has just about every element in the movie that you can imagine that might appeal to the male mind. But that being said it’s also a movie that does exist on a deeper level if a person really wants to get into it and discover just what it’s all about. The whole thing is about a group of women being held in a mental institution and every fantastical scene has to do with moving one step closer to their freedom, which comes at a very heavy price.
4. Wild Wild West
Based on an old TV show this movie had high-tech written all over it and produced a cast that was a lot of fun to watch even if critics and a lot of fans didn’t really think it was that great after a while. Don’t let anyone fool you though, there were a lot of people that got in on the hype when the movie first came out since it was a lot of fun and did invite a lot styles, ideas, gadgets, and all-around attitude that just didn’t exist back in this time. Needless to say if it did the US might be a very different place, but all in all it was a great thrill ride from start to finish even if it got a little hokey now and again.
3. Van Helsing
The kindest thing to say about this is that it got mixed reviews even though a lot of people kind of turned up their noses at it. The idea of creating any comedy within the movie kind of fell flat and the decision to make the vampires capable of unhinging their jaws like a snake was, well, kind of creepy. But it seemed to work for this movie since quite honestly it did present a very disturbing visual given that it made them that much more dangerous. Also, the manner in which the werewolves changed from wolf to human was insane, not to mention nightmare-inducing since a few other movies would follow this same formula.
2. Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Atlantis has been a favorite legend and myth for a long time among scholars and fans of movies and it’s no wonder that it would enjoy a steampunk treatment along the way. It’s a little surprising that Disney went this route to be honest but it was appreciated, and this movie is by far one of its most underrated since it’s also one of its most powerful. When the lost city of Atlantis is discovered the one thing you can be sure of is that humans are going to want to find it, document it, and then find a way to exploit the ancient city for all its worth, as this seems to be the way of things in the movies.
Hugo is probably the most down to earth movie on this list since it has to do with a young boy, whose name is the title of the movie no less, that lives in a constant state of wonder but also lives in a clock tower at a train station and has to do whatever it takes to survive since he’s seen as more of a street urchin and constantly harassed by those that don’t understand him. When he makes a friend however that is willing to see what he has to offer Hugo begins to unravel a mystery that was set in motion when his father was still alive and manages to discover something truly wonderful by the end, and at the same time finds the sense home he was longing for.
Steampunk might sound like a hard and unforgiving genre but it does carry quite a bit of feeling to it.