The Cult Class Collection

Iron Sky (2012)

Starring: Julia Dietze, Otto Götz, Christopher Kirby, Vivian Wagner, Udo Kier, Stephanie Paul

Directed by: Timo Vuorensola

Rating: 1 2 and a half

The Nazi base on the dark side of the moon in Iron Sky

Another day, another silly movie set in space. Is the idea of fugitive Nazis colonising the moon any more implausible than a billion dollar mission to meet our alien ancestors? Possibly, but it certainly cost a whole lot less to make that idea celluloid reality.

When black astronaut James Washington (Christopher Kirby) lands on the moon in 2018, he finds a whole lot more than he bargained for. Since fleeing earth after losing the Second World War, the Fourth Reich (under the command of Udo Kier – who else?) has been busy recreating the 1940s in a swastika-shaped iron bunker on the dark side of the moon, breeding and indoctrinating children with propaganda, building enormous, Acme-style computers and preparing an invading force of giant, steampunky Zeppelins.

Klaus Adler (Otto Götz and Renate (Julia Dietze) in Iron Sky

Dyed white (yes, really) and stuffed into a Wehrmacht uniform, Washington is despatched back to earth with power crazy future Fuhrer Klaus Adler (Götz Otto) and his wife-to-be, the winsome, blonde, idealistic Renate (Julia Dietze).

Yup, the film is utterly daft from beginning to end, revelling in Mel Brookesian bad taste and horny student humour, with effects so cheap and cheerful they make the paper plates in Plan 9 From Outer Space look positively, er, space age.

Like so many recent low budget cult concept movies (Blood Car, Puppet Monster Massacre and Colin, to name but a few) Iron Sky is a fun idea, but it would have been a lot more fun if it had lopped an hour and 20 minutes off its running time. It starts off inventively enough, but once the protagonists reach earth and the whole film descends into a Lego space battle, I kinda lost interest: with evil Nazis on one side and power-crazed Republicans on the other, it’s hard to care much about the outcome.

Many of the jokes feel out of date already (another riff on Hitler’s bunker rant? really?) and some of the satire falls rather flat – does anyone still seriously believe Sarah Palin can become President? But at least there’s an attempt to raise some political questions; it may not be Prometheus, but even this exuberantly daft B-movie takes itself a little seriously, sending up the greedy, squabbling duplicity of the nations of the world (although not as well as the ‘International Day’ episode of Peppa Pig did) as it draws to a surprisingly low key conclusion.

It’s heartening that filmmakers are still able to make this kind of unfetteredly silly low budget fodder – and to get it distributed, albeit very briefly. I’m just not sure I want to spend much more time watching it…

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