Monday, November 23, 2009

The Wizard of Oz Steampunk Style - V of V

For my last foray into steampunk Wizard of Oz entries (at least for now) there's a Wizard of Oz 2007 TV mini-series done with a steampunk aesthetic you may have missed: Tin Man, from the then-Sci-Fi-now-Sy-Fy Channel. It won a primetime Emmy and nine other awards (as well as seventeen other nominations) yet it does have mixed reviews.This article HERE gives a good overview. Here's an excerpt, explaining the story:

Sci Fi’s Tin Man is a sumptuous, modern take on a classic that has us rethinking our ban on remakes. Zooey Deschanel stars as DG (recall Dorothy’s last name is Gale), a wide-eyed Kansas girl whose trip to Oz isn’t courtesy of an ill-fated attempt to run away, but rather a leap into the swirling cone of a tornado to escape the evil, leather-clad militaristic forces who’ve invaded her family’s home. These troops, we learn, are Azkadellia’s, née Wicked Witch’s, minions, who obey the evil sorceress’s every command.

Of course, the tornado carries DG to Oz, only here it’s “the O.Z.,” as in “Outer Zone,” and she isn’t greeted by the mayor of Munchkinland; she’s surrounded by diminutive warriors angrily pointing spears at her and speaking in clumsy rhymes... DG teams up with Glitch (Alan Cummings), a lobotomized former genius with a zipper that keeps his head closed; Wyatt Cain (Neal McDonough), a torture victim DG and Glitch discover inside an ancient metal diving suit; and Raw (Raoul Trujillo), a psychic but petrified anthropomorphic feline. No singing, no dancing.

I saw some of it when it was on and found things that definitely appealed and some things that really didn't. I would like to see it all one day. It's an interesting mix and an unusual take but worth at least reading up on if you like The Wizard of Oz and are interested in a grown-up approach (if you think Return to Oz was dark, this is much darker and not meant for children).I've read it was inspired by ZoomQuilt and ZoomQuilt 2 - a collaborative art/optical illusions that wowed the web a few years ago (note: both take a while to load but do work. Also, the second is kinda dark...). It turns out Sy-Fy do indeed have a flash animation site that's a collaborative artist work called Infinite Oz, which you can see HERE (it takes a while to load but is completely worth the wait). This one is beautifully done. Worth looking at, even if you don't like the idea of the film (see below for some screen examples).It's available on DVD HERE in a two-disc special edition with lots of behind-the-scenes extras.


  1. ooo, a zippered head! i did miss this the first time around. i'll have to check it out for sure. thanks.

  2. I really wanted to love Tin Man, but ultimately found it awful. I won't give the story away, but I had serious issues with both the characters themselves and with the actors portraying them. The character writing often felt grating and painful, and the performances mostly felt poor. Alan Cummings was a shining exception, as was Richard Dreyfus (all ten minutes or so of him). The concept was quite fun, but the script desperately needed to go back for a major overhaul.