Imagining a Better Future by Re-imagining the Past

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Viktor/ Viktoria

1982 saw the release of the gender-bending movie Victor/ Victoria. Produced by Blake Edward, the plot was about a struggling female soprano finding work playing a male who performed as a female impersonator. However, the 1982 movie wasn’t the first filming of Victor/ Victoria. For that we need to go back to Germany in the tumultuous year of 1933.

Viktor und Viktoria was a German musical comedy released in December of 1933. It was written and directed by Reinhold Schünzel and produced by Alfred Zeisler. It starred Starring Renate Müller, Hermann Thimig, Hilde Hildebrand, and Anton Walbrook. Like the Blake Edward’s movie, the plot also involved a woman pretending to be a female impersonator.

At the same time that the German Viktor/ Viktoria was being filmed there was a French-language version being filmed titled George and Georgette starring Meg Lemonnier and a French cast. Later, in 1935 Michael Balcon produced an English language version titled First a Girl, which was directed by Victor Saville and starred Jessie Matthews and Sonnie Hale.

Over the years Viktor/ Viktoria was remade several more times. Not only was there Edward’s 1982 version but there was also the 1957 version of Victor and Victoria in West Germany. Later, in 1975 a remake titled My Girlfriend, the Transvestite was filmed in Argentina. The most recent incarnation appeared in 1995 when Edward’s version of Victor/Victoria was made into a Broadway musical.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Happy Holidays - 2018

To All of My Readers,
2018 was an amazing year and 2019 promises to be even better. I would like to wish all of my readers a safe and happy holiday season.

See you next year,
Boss Larry

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Dieselpunk Archie

Archie Comics was born in the Diesel Era. The initial Archie characters were created in 1941 by publisher John L. Goldwater and artist Bob Montana, in collaboration with writer Vic Bloom. They first appeared in Pep Comics #22 (cover-dated Dec. 1941). Starting with issue #114, the title was shortened to simply Archie.

In the last few years, Archie has started to take on several dieselpunk themes. One is found in the horror theme variant Afterlife with Archie and the other is Archie 1941.

Afterlife with Archie was published by Archie Comics beginning in 2013, depicting a zombie apocalypse that begins in the town of Riverdale in an alternative reality. The series takes a distinct dieselpunk theme when a Lovecraft element is introduced in Issue #8.

Archie 1941 is a five-issue miniseries that imagines how life in a United States on the verge of wartime would impact Archie’s pals and gals. The series was co-written by Mark Waid — writer on the regular Archie series, which goes on hiatus with July’s No. 32 — and Brian Augustyn, with art by Peter Krause. (Special thanks to John Pyka at The Dieselpunk Podcast Facebook page for bringing this to my attention.)

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Dieselpunk Entertainment

This is a great time to be a dieselpunk. It seems that the number of productions, big and small screen, grow all the time. Following are three that are either available now or will be soon.

The Man In the High Castle Season 3

Those with an Amazon Prime membership already know that the third season to the dieselpunk series The Man in The High Castle was uploaded October 5, 2018. The series The Man in the High Castle is loosely based on the dieselpunk novel of the same name by Philip K Dick. Starring Rufus Sewell (Dark City), Rupert Evans, Alexa Davalos, Luke Kleintank, DJ Qualls, Joel de la Fuente, and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa.

Season 4 of The Man in the High Castle was confirmed back in July of 2018.

The Crimes of Grindelwald

In this sequel to the dieselpunk movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the chase is on to thwart Grindelwald's plans of raising pure-blood wizards to rule over all non-magical beings. Directed by David Yates and screenplay by J. K Rolling. Starring Jude Law (Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow), Johnny Depp, Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, and Alison Sudol.

The Crimes of Grindelwald was released in the US on November 16, 2018

Mary Poppins Returns

In this sequel to the 1964 classic, the mysterious Mary Poppins returns to Depression-era London to visit Jane and her brother Michael, now a father of three, and helps them rediscover the joy they knew as children. It’s directed by Rob Marshall who also directed the dieselpunk classic Chicago. It stars Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury, Colin Firth and has a cameo by Dick Van Dyke.

Mary Poppins Returns will be released in the US on December 19th, 2018.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Great War 100th Anniversary

In the 11th month, on the 11th day, at the 11th hour, one of the worst catastrophes in world history ended: World War I. Also known as the Great War, World War 1 devastated Europe and redrew the political map over most of the globe.

The numbers alone hint at the devastation:
5,200 . . . . .US Casualties per sq. mile, Belleau Wood June 1918
58,000 . . . . Estimated British casualties, 1st day on the Somme
116,000 . . . . . . . . . . .American military killed, all causes
325,000 . . . . . . . . .Turkish military killed in the Great War
460,000 . . . . . . . . .Italian military killed in the Great War
529,808 . . . . . . . . British and Commonwealth military killed:
                                     neither identified nor found
584,996 . . . . . . . . British and Commonwealth military killed:
                                            identified and buried
1,200,000 . . . Austro-Hungarian military killed in the Great War
1,385,000 . . . . . . . . French military killed in the Great War
1,700,000 . . . . . . . .Russian military killed in the Great War
1,808,000 . . . . . . . . German military killed in the Great War
7,000,000 . . . Estimated combatants maimed for life, all nations
8,000,000 . . . Est. civilians killed in Great War: Non-influenza
8,300,000 . . . . . . .  Estimated combatants killed, all nations
19,536,000 . . . . . . .  Estimated wounded soldiers, all nations
21,500,000 . . . . Min. deaths in 1918 Spanish Influenza Pandemic
32,000,000 . Estimated artillery shells fired in Battle of Verdun
61,526,000 .  Soldiers mobilized by all belligerents in Great War
23,000,000,000 . Reparations demanded by Allied Powers in dollars
82,400,000,000 . .Direct Cost of war to belligerents-1913 dollars
(Source: Trenches on the Web: Special: The Great War in Numbers)

Because of the war, political boundaries of the world changed dramatically as well. This video at the Business Insider is a great illustration of those changes:

It’s true that an amazing period, the Diesel Era, arose out of this evil. However, this is not the time for that. This is a time to remember those lives devastated by the Great War.

Sunday, October 28, 2018


It seems like every year we have a new Nazi zombie movie released. For 2018, the Nazi zombie movie is Overlord.

According to the official release from Paramount Pictures,
"On the eve of D-Day during World War II, American paratroopers are caught behind enemy lines after their plane crashes on a mission to destroy a German Radio Tower in a small town outside of Normandy. After reaching their target, the paratroopers come to realize that besides fighting off Nazi soldiers, they also must face off against horrifying, bloody, and violent creatures that are a result of a secret Nazi experiment."

Kalyn Corrigan with IndieWire wrote that Overlord is surprisingly better than the average Nazi zombie movie,

“A subliminal commentary on the science of human behavior through a supernatural lens, “Overlord” manages to satisfy expectations of pure escapism even as it digs deeper, and it’s a welcome alternative to so many movies that don’t even try.”

(Note: Corrigan’s article is full of spoilers)

Overlord stars Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Jacob Anderson, Dominic Applewhite, Pilou Asbæk, Iain De Caestecker, John Magaro, Mathilde Ollivier and Bokeem Woodbine. It was directed by Julius Avery and written by Billy Ray and Mark L. Smith. An interesting detail is that the film was produced by J. J. Abrams (Star Trek (2009) and Star Wars: The Last Jedi), through his Bad Robot Productions banner.

The film has an approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes of 94% based on 16 reviews, with an average rating of 7.3/10. On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 63 out of 100, based on 6 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".

The scheduled US release date for Overlord is November 9, 2018.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Dieselpunk Halloween Art

“We belong dead.” - The Monster in Bride of Frankenstein

The Diesel Era of the 1920s - 40s saw the production of several fantastic Halloween themed cartoons. For example, there was Max Fleischer’s Snow White that had Cab Calloway singing St. James Infirmary in the guise of Koko the Clown. Not to forget Disney’s classic Silly Symphony performing The Skeleton Dance.

With Halloween being right around the corner, I wanted to showcase some cool dieselpunk art by Shawn Dickinson that's made in the same spirit (pun intended) as those great cartoons.