Reviewed by GREG KING
Director: Timo Vuoensola
Stars: Julia Dietze, Gotz Otto, Stephanie Paul, Peta Segeant, Christopher Kirby, Udo Kier.
Nazis on the moon?
If that title sounds like something out of the 50s, that’s because this wonderfully offbeat sci-fi film from Finland comes across as an homage of those B-grade films from the era. In this ambitious and clever sci-fi parody we get Nazis, nutty scientists, and an ambitious female President.
The year is 2018. Since 1945 a colony of Nazis have been hiding out on the dark side of the moon. Fanatic Nazi scientists, led by the megalomaniacal Moon Fuhrer Kortzfleisch (Udo Kier), have been working on a 60-year project to build the Battleship Götterdammerung and retake planet Earth. When two astronauts land on the moon they get their opportunity. One of the astronauts is killed by Nazi stormtroopers, while Afro-American astronaut Washington (Chris Kirby) is captured and interrogated. Washington claims the mission is just a publicity stunt for the President of the United States, who is seeking re-election.
Meanwhile back on Earth, the female President, a Sarah Palin look alike (played by Stephanie Paul) is preparing for the upcoming election campaign. The ruthless Klaus Adler (Gotz Otto) and the idealistic Renate Richter (Julia Dietze), travel to Earth to prepare the invasion, and get caught up in the campaign, thanks to the President’s ruthless political adviser Vivian Wagner (Peta Sergeant).
Iron Sky is the first feature film for Finnish cult director Timo Vuoensola, the lead singer in metal band Alymysto. The clever script was written by Michael Kalesniko (Private Parts, etc), and is based on an original idea from Jarmo Puskala, a regular collaborator with Vuoensola on his cult Star Trek spoof Star Wreck. Iron Sky was largely funded by contributions and donations from fans from all over the world, an interesting way to raise the seven million Euro budget for the film. It has taken six years for the film to reach screens.
The film boasts some visually impressive CGI digital effects sequences – there were some 890 CGI shots for the film. A Finnish, German and Australian co-production, Iron Sky was largely shot in studios on Queensland’s Gold Coast. The production design is impressive, especially the Swastika shaped Nazi fortress on the moon. In keeping with the deliberately low rent vibe of the material, the props and sets for the Nazi’s moon base feel cheap. The moon sequences have been shot in stylised grey by cinematographer Mika Orasmaa (Rare Exports, etc).
There are some nice performances from the cast, who throw themselves into the silly material with abandon.
There are plenty of politically incorrect moments peppered throughout the film, such as when a mad scientist injects Washington with albino formula to turn him white. Unfortunately, Vuoensola cannot sustain the energy and freshness of the material for the film’s duration. The tone is also uneven, veering between high camp, action and over-the-top political satire.