Friday, June 22, 2012

A Dieselpunk Surprise

So I recently rented Captain America: The First Avenger from Netflix. I did it knowing next to nothing about the movie and having little idea of what to expect. There are a couple of reasons for this. 1) I generally avoid all descriptions of movies I'm going to watch because they inevitably spoil things. 2) I was not initially the least bit interested in Captain America. It sounded cheesy and overly patriotic. I like superhero movies... sometimes. I didn't think I'd like this one. But then I saw that The Avengers is out, and I'm mostly a Joss Whedon fan (although after what happened to Wash I'm not as sure as I once was). So I watched Thor, which streams, and enjoyed it, particularly because of the Norse mythology since that's a core aspect of my WiP. And I thought, okay, if I'm going to see The Avengers, I'd better get up to speed on all the individual superheroes (The Incredible Hulk is next on the Netflix queue).

So Captain America arrived the day before yesterday and the hubby and I started watching it. Due to the nature of parenting a 7-month-old, we watch anything over 30 minutes in parts. Very quickly, however, I realized something fundamental about the movie that came as a surprise: it was set in the 40s. During World War II.

I know this was probably obvious to anyone who paid even the slightest attention to the movie when it came out; I had not. So I was immediately intrigued. Somehow overly patriotic heroes like Captain America are not nearly as grating in the context of World War II. And then I began to see it: the dieselpunk. Oh my goodness. The lovely, detailed, beautifully designed retro-futuristic dieselpunk.

This was awesome. Not only had I gotten a little boost of inspiration from Thor's Norse pantheon, but now I got to spend the better part of two hours admiring the machines, planes, costumes, sets, etc. of Captain America. Totally unexpected, and a real treat.

My only annoyance: what the heck was up with Red Skull's pin? It's a death's head (okay, that's appropriate for a Nazi) surrounded by tentacles. I'm not the only one seeing a Cthulhu reference here, but nothing comes of it. Empty Cthulhu references annoy me.


  1. I'm a big superhero fan, and especially Captain America, so I know what the pin is for. It's not a Cthulu reference. He's the leader of H.Y.D.R.A. and the pin is their emblem. What the acronym stands for, I have no idea, but that's what it is.

  2. Hi Varon,
    Thanks for commenting! I did actually know it was for HYDRA, but I thought the film-makers were trying to tie in Lovecraft somehow. It would have been that much more dieselpunk, and also that much more scary, I think. But looks like that's not what they had in mind after all. Anyway, I appreciate your input. :)