A step in the Reich direction
Reviewer's rating: 6/10
Star wars … Julia Dietze and Udo Kier take a giant leap for Nazi kind.
- Action/Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi
- Running time
- 92 min
- Timo Vuorensola
- Julia Dietze, Udo Kier, Peta Sergeant
- OFLC rating
AT SOME point this century, it was deemed acceptable, indeed appropriate, for Europe - even Germany - to poke fun at the Nazis. From their extreme regalia and lampoon-inviting mannerisms to their thirst for power during World War II, Nazis would seem the perfect fodder for a spoof that sends up world domination from outer space. In recent years we've had Nazi zombies (with 2009's Dead Snow). Now, lunar Nazis.
In Iron Sky - a partially crowd-sourced co-production between Finland, Germany and Australia that premiered at this year's Berlin Film Festival - the Third Reich is now based on the moon - yes, the moon - living off a secret energy source called Helium-3.
Calling ''Heil Hitler!'' in the direction of weary party leader General Kortzfleisch (played by veteran Kier), a naive, attractive blonde named Renate Richter (German star Dietze) extols the virtues of peace and understanding to her pupils, blissfully unaware of the party's plans to invade Earth, 60-odd years after being defeated by the Allies in 1945.
For a film with a modest budget of $10 million, the production values are extraordinary. (The Nazi lunar base is especially spectacular.) Visually, this feature directorial debut for Finnish black-metal singer Timo Vuorensola barely lets up, with giant Zeppelins hurtling through space dispensing armies of Nazis down to Earth.
Vuorensola's cast are uniformly excellent, clearly relishing the chance to spoof a taboo subject. It's a hoot to have the likes of Kier in the mix. All appear to be having a ball.
Sadly, for all its chutzpah, matters begin to go awry once the Nazi army descends on Earth, where the focus begins to wane. There's some great Earth-related gags - a Sarah Palin-esque US president in power, an inept United Nations blaming India for its newfound woes - but the Nazis lose their sense of comedic power when the two worlds collide. It's almost as if the writers ran out of steam before the final draft.
Despite these issues, Iron Sky delivers its send-ups very well. Nazis aside, Australia's Peta Sergeant - best known for TV's Satisfaction - positively glistens as the over-zealous PR type, Vivian Wagner: a ravenous career girl whose appetite for success blinds her judgment. And it's a nice touch to have Gotz Otto, of 2004's Downfall, in the mix as well.
The film is great fun, then, if lacking a certain clarity in its ultimate execution.
Rated M, 92 minutes, opens Thursday
Stars Julia Dietze, Udo Kier, Peta Sergeant