A chronological selection of Dieselpunk movies, with plot and emphasis on Dieselpunk and weird elements.
It happened here (UK 1965)Edit
Story: the population of the once pride Land of Albion struggles for survival under the iron rule of the Millenary Reich's occupation. As the death struggle with the Russian Bear is draining German resouces, the responsibility of mantaining a proper Fascist order falls more and more on the shoulders of Britons, such as the members of the British Waffen-SS and the BUF related organisations.
Diesel and weird elements: alternate WWII, propaganda newsreels.
Those magnificent men in their flying machines (UK 1965)Edit
As man struggles to get rid of the chains binding him to the soil, an air race is promoted to advert the new wonder of heavier than air flight. Before the man made inferno of the Great War, european nation confront themselves in a humourous competition of flying contraption and human ingenuity.
Diesel and weird elements: unlikely flying contraptions, national struggle.
Indiana Jones Series (USA 1981-2008)Edit
While it is not a Dieselpunk movie, it is not impossible to understand the “pulp” component of Dieselpunk without meeting the professor most Dieselpunks would like to learn Ancient History from. In his hunt for ancient relics, Indy will have to face Indian Thugs, Third Reich excavation teams, Soviet agents and parental tutoring. None of the objects of his search are inert pieces of history.
Diesel and weird elements: DAK equipement and shoulder mounted rocket launchers in 1936, artifacts of power, an odd looking flying wing plane.
Brazil (UK 1985)Edit
Nobody knows what happened tho the great ideal systems of the past but the world has become a bureaucratic Behemoth where the dreams of men sink in the grey morass of middle class life. Sam is a man without qualities; when his neighbour is brutally taken into custody by the police because of a bug in the system and he tries to rectify the error, he finds out how the red tape hides just more paper, stamps and bureaucracy. Overwhelmed by this pointless way of life, he decides to throw more and more spanners in the works of the system.
Diesel and weird elements: retrofuturistic technology, post-orwellian Leviathan state.
Cast a deadly spell (USA 1991)Edit
It's 1948 and the two-fisted detective Lovecraft has been assigned a task that sends thrills down the spine to everybody but him. Because in a world where magic works and mythical creatures walk almost unnoticed among men, only an hard boiled materialist has the stones to look for a missing copy of the dreaded Necronomicon.
Diesel and weird elements: Lovecraftian magic, tongue-in-cheek humour
The Shadow (USA 1994)Edit
As any Dieselpunk knows, Tibet holds many secret, untapped powers that only a disciplined but peaceful people can manage without threatening the well being of the World. Lamon Cranston is one of the few westerners allowed to wield such occult powers for the good of the US people. But an ancient threat, the Shiwan Kahn, has returned to life to challenge once again the Civilized World, matching ancient eastern brutality with new, technological ways of annihilating resistance. Only the Shadows knows how to deal with his occult powers.
Diesel and weird elements: psychic phenomena, hidden Tibet, megalopolis.
Richard III (UK 1995)EditStory: the Wars of the Roses that ravaged England during the 1920es are finally over and a period of peace is established under the rule of the new King, Edward IV. Richard of Glouchester, the most brilliant of his military leaders, a gifted mind in a crippled body, is not the kind of man who can enjoy the idle pleasures of civilian life. His plot to become the Lord Protector and supreme Guide, however, are ready to take their course. Is the country ready for the totalitarian rule of the greatest villain of all times?
Diesel and weird elements: 1930s technology, Totalitarianism, England ruled by an Oberstgruppenführer.
Mother Night (USA 1996)Edit
Story: H. W. Campbell, an American reporter, with a fascination for German culture and people, is asked by US government to become the speaker of a new propaganda broadcast, officially promoting National Socialist values to US people but secretly communicating secret coded messages from a spy behind the scenes. When the war is over, Campbell character is the most hated man in America, hunted down by Russian spies, Israeli agents and American veterans.
Diesel and weird elements: WWII spy story, the Black Führer of Harlem
Dark City (USA 1998)Edit
Story: a man with no memory wakes up and finds himself on a crime scene. Fearing to be framed for murder, he rushes out only to find himself in a city of eternal night, roughly modeled after the early '50es USA. In his quest to find his identity he's hunted down, not only by an introspecting detective, but also by the "others" and perhaps by the city itself, which appears to be alive.
Diesel and weird elements: '40 and '50 visuals and technology, Noir atmosphere, sprawling city.
the Mummy (1999) Edit
An English librarian called Evelyn Carnahan becomes interested in starting an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Hamunaptra. She gains the help of Rick O'Connell, after saving him from his death. What Evelyn, her brother Jonathan and Rick are unaware of is that another group of explorers are interested in the same dig. Unfortunately for everyone, this group ends up unleashing a curse which been laid on the dead High Priest Imhotep. Now 'The Mummy' is awake and it's going to take a lot more than guns to send him back from where he came from. Written by Film_Fan via IMDB.
Diesel & Wierd elements: 1930's & 40's visuals, weaponery and technology.Serial supernatural adventure atmoshpere.
The Mummy Returns (2001)Edit
Many years ago, in Ancient Egypt, the Scorpion Kind led a menacing army, but when he sold his soul to Anubis, he was erased from history. Now he is only a myth...or is he? Rick and Evelyn O'Connell is still discovering new artifacts, along with their 8 year old son Alex. They discover the Bracelet of Anubis. But someone else is after the bracelet. High Priest Imhotep has been brought back from the dead once again and wants the bracelet, to control the Scorpian King's army. That's not the only problem. Imhotep now has Alex and with the bracelet attached to him, doesn't have long to live. Written by Film_Fan via IMDB
Diesel & Weird elements: 1930's & 40's visuals, weaponery and technology. Serial supernatural adventure atmoshpere.
Deathwatch (UK 2002) Edit
Story: in 1917 a group of grizzled British Tommies occupy a German trench in unknown territory. As they start exploring what's left of the enemy, they find more and more clues that something wicked happened to the Huns. The horrors that wiped out the German line are still lurking, ready to unleash the horrors of war upon their new prey.
Diesel and weird elements: living dead, demonic barbed wire, mustard gas phantoms and a crazed veteran with a spiked mace, a revolver-mounted bayonet and a waistcoat made of enemy scalps.
Hellboy (USA 2004)Edit
Hellboy isn't your average hero. Hell. He isn't even your average superhero. Brought forth by the Nazis during a sacred ritual towards the end of World War II. Our hero was summoned by accident when the evil monk of Russian history/folklore, Grigori Rasputin was meddling with forces that lead to his undoing. With the twisted and evil monster trapped for another sixty years when things don't go as planned (US soldiers heroically intervened). Hellboy is raised by Prof. Trevor "Broom" Bruttenholm, an expert in the occult. Our demonic hero is initiated in to the Bureau of paranormal research were he joins the amphibious, kind hearted, and clever fellow "Freak", Abe Sapien. When Rasputin returns once again with the aid of his minions the maniacal, undead assassin Kroenen and the monk's faithful lover Ilsa. Hellboy must unwillingly pair up with John Myers, an idealistic, naive new agent of the Bureau. Not only that but the big hunk of an evil basher becomes entangled in a love triangle with the pyro-telekinetic love of his life Liz and his new comrade. Fighting evil couldn't prove more difficult or out there. Written byrobert-filmfan(firstname.lastname@example.org) via IMDB
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (USA 2004)Edit
Sky Cap is Dieselpunk and Dieselpunk is Sky Cap. A bold statement and obviously an hyperbole, but many see it as the purest expression of the Dieselpunk genre, even if the original project predates the word dieselpunk itself. Also, it started as a personal DIY project before catching the attention of Hollywood.
Diesel and weird elements: Hyper-Curtiss P 40, riveted box-like robots, pulp hero, futuristic 1939, flying aircraft carriers, tesla coils, rayguns.
The original short film:
Lorelei I-507 (Japan 2005)Edit
Story: as the end of World War Two draws near and Japan stubbornly refuses to surrender, Truman takes one of the toughest decisions of his life and deploys his new atomic devices. After Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been laid waste by man made suns, a third atomic weapon is being readied to detone on Tokyo. The only hope for saving the Land of the Kami lies in a new, German developed submarine, a motley crew of disillusioned Nipponic sailors and a very unusual sensor array.
Diesel and weird elements: wunderwaffe submarine, psychic phenomena, alternate WWII.
Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)Edit
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. Written by ctfabian via IMDB
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor(2008)Edit
Centuries ago, the evil Emperor Han was cursed by the sorceress Zi Yuan who transformed him and his army into mummies. In 1946, the explorer Rick O'Connell and his wife Evelyn O'Connell are invited by the British government to take a relic, the diamond "The Eye of Shangri-La" to China. The ancient stone is capable of resurrecting the Emperor Han and of pointing the way to Shangri-La and the eternal pool of life. When the couple reaches China, they meet their son Alex O'Connell, who has discovered the tomb of Han, and Evelyn's brother Jonathan Carnahan. The O'Connells are betrayed by their friend Prof. Roger Wilson, who is associated with General Yang. Yang wants to serve Emperor Han, so he resurrects the mummy and they head for Shangri-La. The guardian of Han's tomb (and Zi's daughter) Lin tells them that the only ways to destroy Han is to prevent him from reaching Shangri-La or by stabbing his heart with a cursed dagger.Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil via IMDB
Diesel & Weird elements: 1940's visuals, weaponery and technology. Serial supernatural adventure atmoshpere.
9 (USA 2009)Edit
In a world destroyed in a war between man and machine, a hand-stitched doll with the number 9 written on its back comes to life. The world he has awakened in is frightening, but he quickly learns that he is not alone and that there are others like him, also with a single digit written on their back. The first one he encounters is 2 who tells him something of what happened to the world. 2 is also thrilled with the disk 9 is carrying, one with three unique symbols on the front. 9 soon learns that the disk and some of the other dolls who are prepared to die for the good of humankind may be the last hope for man's salvation.Written by garykmcd via IMDB.
Captain America: The First Avenger (USA 2011)Edit
Story: Steve Rogers, a young American boy eager to join the fight to define the future of the post WWII world, is completely unfit for military service while possessig a spirit and courage rivalling with the heroes of epic antiquity. When a new program of artificial body empowerment is developed, he is chosen to become the first of the heroes who will represent the best values of America on the battlefield. But another artificially empowered individual exists, and is leading a new force to be reckoned with. The Hydra soldier has no place for God on his uniform.
Diesel and weird elements: retrofuturistc technology, a Tribelflügel, alternate WWII.
Sucker Punch (USA 2011)Edit
A young girl (Baby Doll) is locked away in a mental asylum by her abusive stepfather where she will undergo a lobotomy in five days' time. Faced with unimaginable odds, she retreats to a fantastical world in her imagination where she and four other female inmates at the asylum, plot to escape the facility. The lines between reality and fantasy blur as Baby Doll and her four companions, as well as a mysterious guide, fight to retrieve the five items they need that will allow them to break free from their captors before it's too late...Written by Anonymous via IMDB
Iron Sky (Finland 2012)Edit
An upcoming Dieselpunk movie, it features most of the Dieselpunk heart of darkness, but in a humourous manner. The Third Reich succeeded in sending a group of colonizers on the dark side of the Moon to prepare themselves to take back what rightfully belongs to the Master Race: Earth.
Diesel and weird elements: Fourth Reich from the Moon.
There's plenty more. I hope they will be added in the future.