It’s Friday! So Big Sister and I have this tradition. When the family units start getting a little too crazy making, and climbing that clock tower with a high powered rifle starts sounding just a little too appealing, we get together, and run away from home. We grab something to eat, do a little window shopping, ram my wheelchair into unsuspecting doors (don’t think revenge isn’t coming, Sis! mwa ha ha!)…. It’s a thing that saves our sanity and the lives of our loved ones.
Normally we do this on weekends because duh! But this time we did it on a Thursday evening in order to participate in something we’ve been doing for the last year: attending a Rifftrax Live Simulcast. That’s where the guys who brought you Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax pick a movie, and riff it live in front of a theater audience; they simulcast this to theaters all over the country so you don’t have to schlep up to Minnesota to get some fun riffing action. The last one we attended was the Halloween riff of the original Night of the Living Dead (one of my personal favorite movies) and much fun was had. Last night, they did a riff of Sharknado. I know, right? I was actually a little worried about this one; I had not seen the flick, but had heard that it was in a whole ‘nother universe of bad. And oh, my God, it was; I feel mentally violated by the awfulness of it. And the Rifftrax guys outdid themselves; muchly muchness of fun was had. Big Sis went hoarse from laughing, and I still have sore stomach muscles this morning.
What does this have to do with Dieselpunk, Steampunk and New Pulp? Not a blessed thing. But fun was had and I had to share. If you want to attend a Rifftrax Live Simulcast, check out the webpage of Fathom Events. Their next Simulcast is supposed to be in August, and they’ll be riffing on the 1998 Godzilla movie, the one with Matthew Broderick. Big Sis and I will probably be going to see that one, too, ‘cuz it’s a thing.
Okay, annoying personal stuff out of the way, let’s see what pulpy fun can be found on Teh Interwebz. Specifically Adventures in YouTubing. I stumbled across these videos and just knew they had to be shared. So without further ado…..
Reign of Death:
This is a cute little short film (about five and a half minutes) on YouTube. It’s Dieselpunk, about a confrontation between a hardboiled “detective” and a robot. Interestingly enough, it stars Noel Clarke, who played Mickey on the reincarnated Doctor Who. It’s got a lovely film noir feel to it, and the CGI on the robot is wonderfully rendered, looks very realistic. I dug the poetic justice ending.
Grrrr. Okay, Word Press is giving me grief about embedding a video. So you’ll have just have to follow the link here.
Having fun yet? Then let’s move on to this….
The Chronicles of Professor Elemental:
Gosh, I don’t know quite what to make of this little video. I THINK it’s steampunk… sorta…. kinda…. but not really. It’s also a musical. Sorta. Damn it, it defies explanation. You just have to take a look at it and tell me; if I’m wrong, I’m wrong. But for the moment, I’m going to call it quasi-Steampunk.
Imagine that somebody crossbred Alan Quartermaine with Inspector Clousseau, and planted that child in our own normal modern world. Only he had brain damage. And had been hitting pharmaceutical-grade acid. And he sang show tunes. And you ran him through the plot of The Da Vinci Code, only without the quasi-historical and quasi-religious allusions and a writer who apparently exists on Thorazine, Red Bull, and Monty Python reruns.
Professor Elemental is a professional adventurer. He is contacted by the Museum of Historical Antiquities and asked to help them recover a stolen artifact, The Golden Frog. The Frog’s companion piece, the Needle of Destiny, was stolen from another museum three days before. If these two artifacts are united at a certain day and time, a curse will be activated. From there, things get complicated. And silly. Very very silly.
I liked it. But then again, I’m a weird person. Check it out, tell me what you think. Click here.
The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello:
(also known as The Mysterious Geographical Explorations of Jasper Morello)
This short film was nominated for both an Oscar and a BAFTA award, and won the Grand Prix award at the Annecy Animation Festival, plus accolades in Canada, Australia, and every other place you can think of. And I can see why: it’s rich and gorgeous.
Explorations is gothic steampunk, done in a style called “silhouette animation.” Essentially it’s a shadow play. The story is set in the city of Gothia, and the hero is Jasper Morello, a royal navigator. The plot involves reanimated corpses, destruction of the city, floating castles, a plague, redemption… It’s a busy, busy twenty six minutes. And really really gorgeous. Check it out here.
And it looks like that’s all I’ve got for today. Hopefully by Monday, WordPress or my computer (whichever is at fault) will have removed the head-sized tumor growing in its butt and I’ll be able to embed video again. Until then, I have no big plans for the weekend; I promised an old friend I’d come with him to check out the creepy old house he inherited from the uncle that nobody liked to talk about. Sounds pretty dull, huh? So I’ll see you on Monday, and between now and then, don’t forget to share, comment, tweet, and send along your recommendations for Fun Friday!