Amazing Screw-on Head - Mike Mignola
This 20 minute pilot from the creative genius of Mike Mignola is one of my favorite animated features ever. The title explains a great deal about the hero, a sentient constuct (or perhaps sentience transported into a construct?) who can screw it's head into any number of construct bodies, from anthro to arachno-morphic combinations. He's as steampunk a hero as I've ever seen, with the exception of the heroine of Alchemy of Stone.
As my final post of scary steampunk for the month of October (Boneshaker is too good to skim-read - I'm reading it like I sip fine wine, so it will have to be a post-Halloween creepy steampunk entry), it contains as many monsters as Soulless and Perdido combined, with a Lovecraftian frog-god near the end to boot. No surprise, as Mignola loves his monsters. There are werewolves, vampires, zombies, relatives of Cthulu, and monkeys with machine guns. Gotta love a primate packing heat.
More than monsters abound: there is humor as well. David Hyde Pierce voicing the villanous Emperor Zombie gets all the best lines, but Paul Giamatti's camped up tribute to Adam West-style-heroic voice work rivals Pierce for peformances laced with irony. While the subject matter is ostensibly dark and violent, the tone of Amazing Screw-on Head is light-hearted, paying tribute to the whimsy of the original texts steampunk recycles. While it isn't an across-the-board part of the aesthetic, steampunk material is well-suited to a whimsical approach. Just consider that two of the creepy entries I've listed this month are comedies. Literary steampunk, at the very least, doesn't have to take itself too seriously, it would seem.
Consider the YouTube link my Halloween treat to you all who come by this All Hallows' Eve weekend - maybe I'll try to include a steampunk saint next year just to stay on holiday.