From the moment it was first announced Iron Sky, an ambitious $10 million budgeted Finnish film part-funded by internet donations, turned heads with it’s sublimely tacky concept: Nazis in space. In director Timo Vuorensola’s alternate history, the Nazis were not totally defeated in 1945. Instead they fled into space, building a secret base on the dark side of the moon, from which they plot their eventual return to Earth with a spaceship armada as part of operation Meteor Blitzkrieg. It’s a CGI-heavy, sci-fi Earth invasion flick complete with a swastika wearing army of stormtroopers lead by an evil, leather-clad “Moonfuhrer” and stars Udo Keir!
Based on this premise I thought the film would be, at best, a one look laugh (“haha! It’s a Nazi… in space!”) which might struggle to sustain itself over an hour and half long feature. I suspected it’d be the sort of thing where you’d be better off just watching the trailer. Yet I was delighted to discover that this is far from the case. It’s not just an alien invasion with Nazis – it’s an ancestor to the Mel Brooks genre spoof movies and even (in it’s own cheap, camp, determinedly silly way) the black, politically charged satire of Dr. Strangelove – though I’m in no way suggesting it’s as good as either.
Wisely, rather than producing a straight exploitation action movie, the makers of Iron Sky have presented a very broad comedy featuring some passable action. There are visual puns, gloriously over-designed Nazi spaceships and even autobahns on the surface of the moon. Every frame is full of jokes – some of them highly inspired and many of them less so (in fact some don’t work at all). But the gag-rate is so high that you’re bound to chuckle at least once every few minutes even if you don’t surrender yourself to it entirely.
Part of it’s success is that the Nazis are not really the central target of its satirical comedy ambitions. They are certainly lampooned, but being popular bad guys and the losing side in a near 70 year old war, the film is wise to pick juicier targets for its commentary. It’s ultimately far more of a critique of contemporary American politics and international relations than it is of anything else, using the Nazis to parallel some of the views and image conscious campaigning of the film’s obvious (and arguably already redundant) Sarah Palin surrogate President, as played by Stephanie Paul.
This isn’t subtle at all with the political satire is played every bit as broad as the gags which, for example, see a female Nazi’s uniform blown off by an open airlock or the black astronaut hero (Christopher Kirby) preposterously turned white by a Nazi scientist’s racial purity serum. But Iron Sky works because it revels in its silliness and has quite a few neat twists and turns up its sleeve, leading up to the best (and most disturbing) joke of all just before the credits roll.
You can watch the trailer for the movie below that has incredibly received over 5 million views in just six days!
Iron Sky is coming to theaters on April 4th, 2012 after it gets another run at the SXSW festival. Stealth Media Group are handling worldwide sales!