Short Film Review: Nickel Children (2010)

nickle children Short Film Review: Nickel Children (2010)

For those not familiar with Steampunk, it is generally considered to be a sci-fi genre having its roots in the steam-powered technology of the late 19th century. The most easily identifiable features of Steampunk include brass, pully-type mechanisms, a lot of leather and goggles, and cannister type objects which might facilitate steam power. Calling Steampunk science fiction might seem to be a contradiction since sci-fi usually takes place in the future but the genre actually has more of a fantasy angle as it can really take place in any era. While it is steadily gaining popularity, Steampunk is still a sub-culture at this point, with mainstream society not completely embracing it as of yet.

Van Helsing 4 Short Film Review: Nickel Children (2010)

The motif has, however, been utilized here and there over the years for films like Dune, Van Helsing, Hellboy and Sky Captain: World of Tomorrow. A reality show called Steampunk’d debuted in August of 2015 which featured engineering and costuming aficionados competing against each other to create scenes of steampunkesque whimsy.

Ahh Today is the day Premiere episode of Steampunkd on GSN starts TONIGHT 10pm. Lmk what you think o Short Film Review: Nickel Children (2010)

The first two Bioshock games were set in a fictional underwater city called Rapture that was heavily ensconced in steampunk decor. The music and clothing of the characters have more of a World War, 1930s-1940s feel although the first game takes place around 1961.

bioshock Short Film Review: Nickel Children (2010)

Steampunk is also a genre of music, believe it or not. One group in particular out of California called Steam Powered Giraffe is not only entertaining to watch but their music is quite interesting. Click on the image below to check out their video called “Honeybee.”

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There is also the type of Steampunk which is influenced by the Wild West. If you’ve read the Lady Mechanika comic book by Joe Benitez, you might be familiar with the look and feel of this design aesthetic. 

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The short Nickel Children also emerges from this same sub-genre. While Nickel Children has more Steampunk costume elements than any gadgets or tech (aside from the steam-powered gimp near the end), the film has many other awesome features which set it apart from other short films.

The cinematography is quite engaging, with seamless editing and camera angles that make sense in the context of the action. The sound and visual effects also work together well to add to the ambiance as does the soundtrack. The storyline is haunting as it follows a young boy who witnesses his parents’ murder and is sold to a boy fighting ring.

With all the human trafficking today, how scary is it that while technology has advanced so far, other things haven’t changed so much in over 200 years? Of course, the interesting thing about Steampunk is that it so easily translates between past, present and future that the film could also easily be set in a post-apocalyptic future.

Nickel Children was written by Kevin Eslinger, and stars Easton McCuiston, Amanda Bailey, and Jeremy Snowden. You can watch the whole film by clicking the image below:

0 Short Film Review: Nickel Children (2010)
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