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Movies and cinematic experiences that feel or look like Malifaux

Linus Mcmold

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Do you have any favourite cinematic experiences which make you think of Malifaux?

This is a long post and I've bolded the links to my reccomendations...

I've just rewatched a movie I've seen three years ago and it made me think of which movies I remember when I'm reading Malifaux stories or seeing its artwork.

These movies are all of quite different genres, but they all share a certain feeling of surrealism.
They also share some of my favourite directors (Jean Pierre-Jenuet, Alejanro Jodorowsky and Takashi Miike) and all are visually enticing. Most of the movies aren't in English language and some are definitely not safe for work and have mature audiences ratings.

The movie that looks the most  and even feels like Malifaux is The City of Lost Children.
I don't know if I should introduce it much since it's a cult classic. Set in a dystopian out of time steampunk world, a silent hero and a little girl (a heroine) are on a quest to save the dreaming children. This movie is even suitable for children even if it's a bit dark looking.
Also another movie from the same director is a postapocalyptic movie set somewhere in the past: Delicatessen. A movie about street performer who starts living in an apartment building after he lost his monkey and some strange things start happening (I don't want to spoil much). It's also not very brutal (and it could have been considering its title) and has some adventurous scenes. Both movies have broken down buildings in them and are set in vast old urban settings, very much like Malifaux.

I've just watched The Last Circus again. It's a very violent and a quite sexual flick and later in the movie it becomes quite a bit crazy and it nearly becomes a horror film. Atmosphere is set in the past and even if it's mostly set in seventies it feels out of time and reality. The movie has an artistic meld of beauty and ugliness. It also contains Penguins (lol auto-corrected c-l-o-w-n-s), so I wouldn't reccomend it to everyone... it's definitely not for children. The scenes of battle on the beginning and near the end of the movie resemble weird scenes and locations that might as well be situated somewhere in Malifaux.
For the most part the story itself reminds me of a lot of background stories I've read for Malifaux.

This is a weirdest one I'm mentioning and don't let the low budget looks decieve you, it's a great movie and an awesomely weird western: El Topo. It's a weird spiritual quest for excellence, undertaken by a gunslinger, which takes him on a trip through desert and he finds himself in awkward situation after he's reached his goal (again I don't want to spoil the movie too much).
It's a movie about human corruption and I would reccomend it only for mature viewers... yes there is violence and weird scenes, but it has a bit of a hidden meaning in it, so it's not for people wanting action of a western or even gore. It's not trying to be smart and you'll need to relax into the movie to experience it beyond weirdness (it tries to toy with the watchers emotions). The movie seems dated but it's before its time in some aspects.

This movie is a much easier watching, because it's an action/adventure set in the time of French Revolution:
Brotherhood of the Wolf. It seems like a werewolf story (which it isn't), it has an indian in it, martial arts, Monica Belluci and weird cults. The secret society and its conflict reminds me of Malifaux and maybe most of Lucius because of the french costumes and deranged aristocracy. There is also a poacher society which screams Wyrd and I don't want to spoil anything. This should be a fairly popular action flick...

Next two are somewhat similar because they have a colonial theme set in familiar outlandish settings of Africa and Orient.
Ok, both are happening on real locations, but the stuff that happens seems outlandish and it has its own mythology.
First one is The Ghost and the Darkness, set in Africa near a railroad building site where strange animal related murders have been happening. I'm mostly not a fan of Michael Douglas, but this is one of the two movies with him that I loved.
Second one is The Bird People in China, set in deep wilderness of China filled with jade deposits. There are no weird bird people in the movie (I'm sorry), but that doesn't mean that the movie hasn't got its wonders. This is by far the tamest of the movies I've mentioned here, but it shows how modern civilization can change a  traditional lifestyle and rewrite its mythologies in a bizzarely poetic way.

Lastly I'll post a link to a short animated film on youtube called Backwater Gospel.

I've seen it posted on A Wyrd Place on Facebook, so I'm reposting it here


There is another cartoon I've seen as a kid, but I can't remember its name... I'll post a link to an article about it when I find it.


Dead Man is one of my favourite movies, but I want to rewatch it before reccomending it for Malifaux like atmosphere.
I just don't want to reccomend it just because it's a great movie and the reason I love Jim Jarmusch's style.

I just remembered that I want to rewatch the movie Vidocq with Gerard Depardeiu. I can't remember much about it.
I drifted away while watching it the last time. It had some intense visuals and I remember that it had some light-fantastic elements set in Victorian age, but that's it.

Also a question from me: is there a more Malifauxy' movie visually/thematically similar to Gangs of New York or Moulin Rogue? I can't remember if I've seen or heard of anything similar... Sin City is not it.

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I thought Gallowwalker was pretty Malifaux-esque...it's just a bad movie...

Oh yes. That's the only reason I watched it ... but I even forgot I watched it. Anyone who wants to check the trailer is enough, save yourselves some time and don't watch the movie (unless you're an insomniac like me - at least you will sleap easy during the watch).

passion.jpg <o> powerful.jpg

Oho, but you just helped me remember another ok Malifauxesqe movie: The Warrior's Way

It's a an action packed film with ninjas, Wild West bandits, it happens in a shanty desert town and you don't have to think too much while watching it. The trailer itself screams Malifaux and that it's a fun movie.

There is also Geoffrey Rush in it, but that doesn't necesserily have to mean something for the most of the people.

I just love that actor...


Thematically similar to The Warrior's Way is Sukiyaki Western Django. I just rewatch it so I could pass fair judgement on it.

I wasn't in a such a good mood when I watched it the first time and I couldn't get into it.

It's a an attempt to make a spagetthi western like movie with a full japanese cast, some Asian themes and even the japanese actors are speaking bad english. Unfortunately you have to watch the movie with the subtitles since the actors struggle with pronouncing English. Also there is Quentin Tarantino speaking Japanese in the movie.

There is a couple of creepy scenes in the movie, but overall it is a revenge movie similar to Kill Bill in some aspects.



*actual line from the movie

So I rewatched the movie and I must say on the second watching that it is a genuine movie with memorable characters and scenes. The actors play it straight and the movie wasn't meant to be a parody of a spagetthi western as I previously tought, but the concept and the use of English language makes it so weird. Also there is some awesome action.

There might be a little bit of Japanese mumbo jumbo here and there (thematically), but the movie has a coherent story.

The movie happens in an alternate makebelive Japan which has cowboys, Indians and samurai (and like Malifaux it works).

The movie is a heck of weirdness and it confused me the first time I've watched it, but something made me see it again.

Like Bird People of China it's less brutal for a Takashi Mikee film, but still very brutal. Thumbs up.

Also, Quentin Tarantino is quite ok in this movie (since he tends to play himself in movies). I would guess he's a fan of Japanese stuff and they've let him act in this because the movie is kind of experimental and Mikee has a weird sense of humor.

Also, there is a guy that reminds me of Fuhatsu in the movie :D

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This thread made me think of two movies


League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, although it's not very good. Victorian setting and a similar approach to Malifaux in throwing at least a dozen different influences into a blender. Also Sidir Alchibal is a dead ringer for Captain Nemo.



Suckerpunch. During some of the fantasy sequences the heroines could pass easily as a hired swords crew. Plus the movie has samurais with gatling guns.

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League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comic book the movie was based on is much better than the movie, but it also has a much darker story.
Alan Moore (V for Vendetta, Watchmen) can't tell a positive story...

I think I'll have to reread it, because it depressed me quite a bit when I read it.

I can't find guts to watch Suckerpunch, it seem too cheesy for me to handle it. Maybe if I was drunk...

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Pretty much any decent movie starring Johnny Depp falls in this category.

  • From Hell
  • Sweeney Todd
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • Edward Scissorhands

There are a great many comicbooks that have a Malifaux as well

  • Atomic Robo
  • Hellboy
  • Pretty Deadly
  • East of West
  • Green Wake
  • 30 Days of Night
  • League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
  • Baltimore
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30 Days of Night don't seem that Malifauxy to me, but I've read only one issue...
I haven't read most of those comic books, but I agree on Hellboy and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

As for those Johnny Depp movies, all have something Malifauxy about them.
For the most part From Hell and Sleepy Hollow have an awesome atmosphere which suit the Breachside world well in my opinion.

More offtopic: You forgot two of the greatest movies with Johnny Dep: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Dead Man.
Fear and Loathing doesn't have anything to do with Malifaux even if it's trippy (pun intended) and Dead Man might since it has Western elements...

I'm not too big of a fan of Johnny Dep, but he really pulls it off in Fear and Loathing.

I've also edited my previous posts to add some movie posters and reccomend Sukiyaki Western Django.

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30 Days of Night don't seem that Malifauxy to me, but I've read only one issue...

I haven't read most of those comic books, but I agree on Hellboy and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

As for those Johnny Depp movies, all have something Malifauxy about them.

For the most part From Hell and Sleepy Hollow have an awesome atmosphere which suit the Breachside world well in my opinion.

I've also edited my previous posts to add some movie posters and reccomend Sukiyaki Western Django.


30 Days of Night I mention because a bunch of predatory vampires isolating a small town in the middle of nowhere, hunting the inhabitants down and feeding on them seems like what Nephilim do on a Saturday night when they're bored.


Baltimore is by Mike Mignola, who did Hellboy; It's a Lovecraftian/Steampunk/Vampire-hunter thing. 


Pretty Deadly and East of West are weird west; Pretty Deadly in particular is very Malifaux, and very awesome.  Both were nominated for Eisner awards this year.


Another good movie, if you're into anime, is the original animated video Read or Die, about a bibliophile with the power to control paper, fighting against a group of cloned historical figures wielding improbable steampunk weapons bent on destroying mankind.  There was also a television series, but it wasn't as good.


Another good anime is the series Baccano! which is set (mostly) in Prohibition era Manhattan.  I haven't seen enough to really go into detail, but it involves alchemy, eternal life, the Mafia, and a train full of doomed idiots.

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I've watched Read or Die, it's pretty similar to the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The protagonist actually feels like a Malifaux master should feel. I think there is an OVA out there (I know because I use one of the characters as my avatar on my home mini forum).

I haven't checked Baccano! yet... What about Full Metal Alchemist? It sounds steampunkish.
I haven't watched anime for a long time now (ok I did just recently watched Attack on Titan, but before that for a long period of time).
I'm more of a comic book person and I recently watch short animated movies and pointless youtube stuff.

I'm currently gearing up to watch full Samurai Jack over the next few days/weeks and it seems that it has a Malifaux like quality.
I remember that it was a more serious toon by Genndy Tartakovsky and it also seems very cool.

Anyway the first few movies I've mentioned would fall into a genuine movie category.
I do like popcorn/kung fu/horror/what did I just watch? movies too, just that I have a harder time remembering a lot of them after the 80' and 90'. Those fun lighthearted movies started to become boring and with repetitive stories and visuals in the recent past. Everything is either a overthetop, play-it-safe  blockbuster or a Gallowwalker/Asylum movie now. Well with some notable exceptions like Guardians of the Galaxy, or some that have fallen into obscurity like Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang or have been destroyed by sequels.
Ok, I've gone offtopic, it's easy to start me up about the movies. I'm glad that there are no full on movie hipsters on this forum who would destroy this thread pretty quickly.

-in before "challenge accepted"

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Haven't seen anyone mention Copper.  Good show with some Malifaux feel.  Once again, more of the city side of things.


I will agree with Penny Dreadful.  Lots of fun in that one.  Full Metal Alchemist works too.  I really like Warriors Way.


But, and Ratty got me into this one, there is always Bunraku.


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Hey Kalkris, I really loved your short movie list. The Maker is definitely my favourite.
I also have my own youtube list of animated movies that indeed complement Malifaux:

Alma - both cute and creepy Coloddiish cartoon


Madame Tutli-Putli - what crossing the Breach would look like

The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello - this is a bit of a longer animated movie and it has a Malifaux vibe except that everything is suspended in air
LINK (it won't embed video for some reason)

The Cat Piano - it has a beautiful out of time megalopolis atmosphere, except that all of the characters are anthopomorphic cats.
It's also narrated by Nick Cave, so it gets more awesome points from me.
LINK (won't embed video as well)

I've seen Penny Dreadful is quite praised, so I'll definitely check it out.
I really like the American Horror Story, but I'd say the third season called Coven is the only one that reminds me of Malifaux elements. It helped me get into Zoraida and it has a strong Voodoo/pagan atmosphere.

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