In the last moments of World War II, a secret Nazi space program evaded destruction by fleeing to the dark side of the Moon. During 70 years of utter secrecy, the Nazis construct a gigantic space fortress with a massive armada of flying saucers. Soon, this unstoppable attack fleet will swarm towards Earth, heralding the triumphant return of the Fourth Reich.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Irresistibly offbeat, the basic concept for Iron Sky is genius, perhaps something Quentin Tarantino might have tackled. Casting the Nazis - not neo Nazis, but leftover Nazis from 1945 - as the evil aliens in a sci-fi movie has the kind of chutzpah that drives high profile genre films.
So far so good, and the film's digital effects are superb, with a striking, giant swastika shaped fortress as their HQ on the dark side of the Moon. The screenplay has lots of fun with a Sarah Palin-like US President (Stephanie Paul) whose Oval Office features a much used treadmill, and a Yes We Can campaign spoof (adapted for a female candidate), as well as lots of anti-American swagger and aggression quips. The Albert Einstein-like scientist is a little tired as a spoof, but Albert is a brand, after all.
Finland gats one joke at its expense and Australia gets a vanilla mention, while the Nazis take care of Germany as a butt for satire. The performances are a bit of a muddle, but that's perhaps because the tone of the film touches several bases, never quite sure whether to go completely over the top or try and keep some element of drama. It would have been better if director Timo Vuorensola had squeezed every drop of high camp out of the screenplay and given the film over entirely to wicked black pleasure. He could have added musical numbers and shocking lyrics, too.
As it is, the film is entertaining but confused and confusing, and because it is such a weird idea it can't expect to ba taken seriously - hence the lack of a compelling element or character.
On the other hand, it delivers some wonderful images and marvellous production design.
Review by Louise Keller:
On some level, it's hard not to be seduced by this futuristic, high concept spoof about Nazis invading Earth from the dark side of the moon and whose colourful characters include a megalomaniacal Fuhrer of the Fourth Reich, an albino-ised negro spaceman, a Sarah-Palinesque US President and her highly sexed campaign manager who spits out expletives as if they were lipstick irritants. The film is bold, brave and over-the-top with its fearless, irreverence and political satire. The idea alone is enough to fuel take-off and prompt inner-chuckling, although Finnish cult director Timo Vuoresola's wildly ambitious creation stops short of the madness nirvana it promises when ideas fizzle towards the end.
It all begins in 2018, when US spacemen are sent to the moon as part of the President's re-election campaign; the slogan is 'Yes She Can'. Lo and behold, swastika-wearing Germans take James Washington (Christopher Kirby) into their military compound (also shaped like a swastika), swoop on his smart phone and let a nutty professor-type inject him with liquids that turn the handsome brother into an albino with straight white hair, pale face and a very strange look. Washington has a flicker of chemistry with petite, blond schoolteacher Renate Richter (Julia Dietze), who has been chosen as his future bride by the tall, Fuhrer apparent Klaus Adler (Goetz Otto) due to their 97% genetic match.
Meanwhile on Earth, Stephanie Paul, bearing more than a passing resemblance to Sarah Palin, spends most of her time on the treadmill in her presidential office, surrounded by polar bear and wolf installations. The moon campaign is the brainchild of her campaign manager Vivian Wagner (Peta Sergeant, scene stealer) whose sexual urges become uncontrollable when the handsome Adler arrives by spacecraft and she pounces on him like a cat on heat, her red lipstick smudged over his receptive lips.
Performances are all wonderful and most importantly, Vuoresola keeps the tone at just the right pitch. The special effects are terrific and I love the stylised grey look of the Nazi Moon fortress, where the red of the swastika armband jumps out as a flash of absurdity. The whole film is nicely peppered by little throwaways - the Australian spaceship Dundee 01, reference to Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator and North Korea's UN representative (on behalf of his Beloved Leader) claiming responsibility for the spaceship invasion. The co-production marriage of Finland, Germany and Australia is as interesting as the film itself and the closing credits clearly showcase the seamless blending of the talents from each of the countries involved.
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IRON SKY (M)
CAST: Julia Dietze, Udo Kier, Peta Sergeant, Götz Otto, Christopher Kirby, Stephanie Paul, Monika Gossman
PRODUCER: Oliver Damian, Tero Kaukomaa, Samuli Torssonen
DIRECTOR: Timo Vuorensola
SCRIPT: Michael Kalesniko (original concept Jarmo Puskala; original story Johanna Sinisalo)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Mika Orasmaa
EDITOR: Suresh Ayyar
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Ulrika von Vegesack
RUNNING TIME: 93 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Hoyts
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: May 10, 2012
RIVERSIDE SNEAK PEEK PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 4 consecutive Tuesdays - March 10, 17, 24, 31, 2015 - at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.