Cowboys and Engines Kickstarter

Steampunk has been around for decades in prose and comics and crappy cosplay, but has there ever been an actual steampunk movie?

What usually gets marketed as steampunk, especially in the movies, is stuff that references the aesthetic without creating a world in which any of the tech makes sense. There’s no alternate history, there’s just anomalous engineering with lots of gears and brass fittings and tweed and brown leather. Sepiatone Junkyard Gothic.

Most of this is enjoyable enough, like the Downey/Law Holmes franchise, but it doesn’t satisfy. Because like most fun things, steampunk is basically a fetish, and fetishes are meant to be immersive. If you like this sort of thing, you don’t want a western with steampunk elements, you want a Steampunk Western.

And lucky for you, there’s a bunch of folks on Kickstarter trying to get an actual Steampunk Western off the ground. It’s called Cowboys and Engines, and it has a plot and zeppelins and a load of nifty concept art. It also has a few venerable science fiction veterans attached, and rockets. To Mars.

The element of the story that I suspect will garner the most media attention if this does gain momentum is the involvement of long-peckered Voice of a Generation James Deen as a producer. Some pains are taken to assure us that this is not an adult film, but there are plenty of Deen-themed pledge premiums, including a Date with Deen at the $2,000 level. And you have to pledge more than $10 or he won’t spit on you.

So, will this be the steampunk cowboy version of Iron Sky, or a SyFy Channel-worthy camp disaster? We’ll never know if they don’t get some cash. And wouldn’t you love to see one steampunk movie with a minimum of terrible British accents? I’d buy that for a dollar.

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