Warhammer 40K: The Warp & Chaos In Five Films
If you thought space was scary you’ve never been to the warp. Get ready to add some nightmare fuel to your Warp Engines with these 5 pieces of Pop Culture.
Trying to describe the Warp or Chaos to a friend who doesn’t play 40k can be tough. Furthermore, visualizing the horrors of the warp can be difficult to do. That’s why we’ve picked a few movies that we think do a pretty good job of giving folks a frame of reference. It’s not that these movies are 1:1 replicas of the Warp or Chaos, but rather they capture the theme or have elements that really, REALLY do a good job of communicating those things visually or through storytelling. With that in mind, here is our list of 5 movies that we think help to represent the Warp, Warp Travel, Chaos as a concept, or followers of Chaos.
Travelling Through the Warp ‘Normally’ – Babylon 5
Yes, Babylon 5 was also a TV show but they had a few movies. And yes, the graphics do look dated now, but at the time they were a great representation of what travel through the warp was like. Time dilation, using beacons as reference points, and even “the shadows in the warp” that could overtake a ship that might wander too far off course. Babylon 5 is still probably as close to seeing what ‘safe’ Warp Travel is like in the 40k universe. Now let’s talk about what it looks like when things go wrong…
I don’t think it’s possible to talk about the Warp or Chaos without this movie coming up. Well copyrights aside, intentional or not, this movie is pretty much nails what it’s like to travel through the warp without your Gellar field activated. Short answer: DON’T! Otherwise get ready to see some stuff. Kinda like our next movie…
Personally, I was just going to with the first one, but our resident Horror Movie aficionado recommended the sequel and for good reason. This one in particular deals a lot more with the creepy Slaanesh-like Cenobites and the ‘fun’ happenings on their side of existence. Hey, maybe don’t open portals to dimensions you’re not from next time folks? But I guess if you’re into getting flayed alive then go for it.
This movie does certainly nail what it’s like to run into horrors you had no idea existed on the otherside of reality. Plus it’s got crazy cultists who open doors to things that they have no business opening. Sounds pretty Chaos to us! That’s why it’s on our lists. Now, speaking of Follower of Chaos…
Highlander – The Kurgan
Look – if you ever wanted to know what a Champion of Chaos is probably like just watch The Highlander and observe The Kurgan! He’s not only immortal, but he’s pretty much the epitome of a Chaos Champion. If he worshiped a specific Chaos God or even Chaos Undivided, that is. He doesn’t and he’s pretty much a jerk in the entire movie, but that’s kind of his shtick. If you want to get ‘inspired’ for a Chaos Lord, watch this movie. Or just watch it and enjoy it cause it’s rad.
Chronicles of Riddick – The Necromongers
The sequel to Pitch Black, this movie introduced an entire ‘race’ of people who believed in the phrase “You keep what you kill” and while they might not have been as gore-fueled as other followers of Chaos, they certainly had the look down. While they were on their galactic killing spree, they still had a sense of order in the chaos they caused. This movie does a good job of at least highlighting what it’s probably like being a part of a Chaos Army. Oh and their catch phrase is pretty Grimdark when you think about it!
Bonus: From Beyond
This disturbing piece of body horror from 1986 showcases what it’s like to get exposed to the warp. The characters not only start to see things – disturbing things – but they also have to deal with the fallout of opening those dimensional doors. Again, I get that it’s “For Science” but maybe you need to have a better back-up plan here guys. If you’re looking for some disturbing, yet slightly campy, nightmare fuel for your chaos engine, check out From Beyond.
Bonus Bonus: Films By David Cronenberg
There are a LOT of them. But let’s just toss out Scanners, Videodrome, and The Fly for starters. If the visuals don’t scream Chaos, they touch on a lot of themes – mostly about body horror, mutations, and going through some things other might call ‘insanity’. Not all of his movies are Warp/Chaos related, but if you just need to get your fix, he’s your man.
What movies ‘inspire’ the idea of the Warp or Chaos to you? Let us know in the comments section!