Friends, we of The Steampunk World’s Fair believe that Halloween is eternal. So before we move on to the winter, we thought we’d give you just a bit more on how All Hallow’s Eve and Steampunk intertwine. This piece is brought to us by Professor Adam Smasher of the incredible Steampunk band “The Eternal Frontier“!
Halloween & Steampunk, A Perfect Smasher-Upper?
How about we start with everyone’s favorite, horror movie, the original, “Frankenstein”? For decades of Halloweens, the Frankenstein monster has been one of the top costume picks of all time. While, the Frankenstein monster himself is perceived as being more Goth than Steampunk. Thanks perhaps, in no small part to the character parallel of Herman Munster and the contributions of his immediate family…
What about that STEAM-a-licious lab where the original Frankenstein monster was assembled? Not to mention that Mad Scientist/ re-animator extraordinaire, Dr. Frankenstein himself!!! These examples rate unequivocally as visions Steampunk!!!
Therefore, the Steampunk-Halloween Smasher-Upper has been in place at least since the movie’s release on November of 1931!
But there’s more…
How about that long standing comment that, “Steampunk is what happened when Goths discovered Brown”? Well… In the case of Frankenstein, if you look at it through the movie camera’s lens, Steampunk gave birth to Goth!
Blasphemy you say?
But it makes for good conversation nonetheless.
Not everyone knows, the original, “Dracula”, movie was also released in 1931, before Frankenstein, on February 14th., VALENTINE’S DAY!!!
Now isn’t THAT Romantic?
Indubitably, no one is more Goth than Dracula himself.
Even the film recognized as the earliest known example of a horror movie, features a character considered to be a vampire. He doesn’t bite necks and drink blood. However, he does metamorphosize from Bat to human form and back again. This first ever horror movie, “Le Manoir du Diable”, which means, “The Manor of the Devil”, was released in 1896 and is the handiwork of the Iconic French filmmaker Georges Méliès.
Thusly, the probability is high, this offering is also the first Goth movie ever made. So, what was the first Steampunk movie ever made?
Some would argue it was director Fritz Lang’s January 10th.1927 release, “Metropolis”. However, on October 4th. 1902, the Legendary Georges Méliès released, “A Trip to the Moon”, which simply oozes with Steampunk sensibilities!
Side note, a very Steampunk homage to Georges Méliès, “Hugo”, was released by director Martin Scorsese on November 23rd. 2011.
So, with respect to having all of these, first example, movie dates in one place. It may seem clear to some that Goth, clearly came first in film. Or did it? Who knows, for what period of time, Méliès had either of those scripts in mind or perhaps sitting on his desk? Who really knows why one script was completed and made into a film first? Well, perhaps only Mr. Méliès would have been able to tell us that and perhaps the answer might surprise us. It was a mere six years between those two movies, it’s not uncommon for writers to be working on multiple ideas simultaneously. Perhaps the latter idea got completed first, while the earlier was on hold or was causing writer’s block? No matter what, I think it’s now safe to say, be you a Goth, Steampunk or another Fantastic alternate reality persuasion. Halloween IS your platform! So get your costume, NO, WAIT, strike that…
Get your alternate reality attire on and strut, stroll or limp to the Halloween Ball, where you are welcome, one and all!!!
– Professor Adam Smasher, November 2017