Film review: Iron Sky (2012), directed by Timo Vuorensola
When we saw the trailer for Iron Sky, the Squeeze and I had the same reaction: “WE HAVE GOT TO SEE THIS!!” I mean, moon Nazis! There is only one of two ways a film like this can go: either it will be, in the Internet vernacular, an epic fail or an epic win. It’s an independent film by a group of Finns about Nazis on the moon. Sounds like it could potentially be dreadful, but we were both happily surprised – this dieselpunk extravaganza actually rather good!
It’s 2018 and in a bid to win votes in the upcoming re-election, the President of the USA (Stephanie Paul) has sent out another lunar mission – which includes a black guy! (They make a big deal out of his skin colour, it’s part of the PR thing.) One of the two astronauts that skip around on the lunar surface finds something … and gets shot. The black astronaut, James Washington (Christopher Kirby), is taken prisoner.
By Nazis. On the moon.
The Nazis had a a secret space programme, you see, and in 1945, a group of them sort of emigrated to the moon and set up a big, swastika-shaped moonbase there, biding their time. The leader, Kortzfleisch (Udo Kier) is the “Mondführer” (Moon Führer) and his (far) right hand man Klaus Adler (Götz Otto) is hoping to one day take his place. Sooner rather than later, of course.
The Nazis are both aghast and curious about Washington’s skin colour, and when they discover his smartphone, which is of course vastly more powerful than the huge databanks on the moon, they realise they have the tool to launch the weapon they’ve spent the last 40 years building – the warship Götterdämmerung. The phone runs out of power, and they could do with a few more, so Adler takes Washington back to Earth to get some more.
Having snuck on board is Adler’s fiancée, the naive English teacher Renate Richter (Julia Dietze), and in no time at all, the two moon Nazis end up being dragged into the President’s vast PR machine. Two strong, healthy characters is just what her re-election campaign needs!
Also starring Peta Sergeant as Vivian Wagner, Tilo Prückner as Doktor Richter, and Michael Cullen as the Secretary of Defence.
It could be such an awful film, but in fact, it comes out with heads held high. It’s funny, and it pokes fun at absolutely everyone. The President is never named, which is a clever way to not get sued, considering she’s obviously meant to be Sarah Palin. Renate is a lovely girl, but she’s under the misguided belief that the Nazis are a peaceful bunch of people … which is in stark contrast with her loony father and her power-hungry fiancé.
Iron Sky also makes a few nods at other films – we both burst out laughing when we realised they were doing a parody of the Downfall meme. Yes, Iron Sky is a comedy, and yes, it’s funny. The graphics, which you might think would look a bit naff considering the nature of the film (independent and 10% of it was crowdsourced and all the contributors are listed in the end credits), but they’re as good as any Hollywood production. This is not some low-budget piece of crap from Syfy (who are very hit and miss, to say the least) – it’s a good film. It’s silly, certainly, but it rips politicians and their PR people a new one, along with neo-Nazis, actual Nazis, world leaders and mindless followers.
The only sad thing is that Nazis make terribly good film baddies. Indiana Jones 4? Communists, didn’t work. Old school Indiana Jones? Nazis, great films. I’m a bit torn about the subject, because on the one hand, laughter is a great way of saying “IN YOUR FACE, HITLER!” and on the other hand they were really no laughing matter. Everything’s better with Nazis? No, the world definitely isn’t, and those trains it’s said they made go on time? They were full of people carted off to be slaughtered. But Nazis do make great film baddies, sad as it is.
4.5 out of 5 albino shots.