Thursday, 24 May 2012

Iron Sky (2012)

A German-Finnish-Australian science fiction satire about Nazis on the moon invading earth and led by Udo Kier? Could any film live up to this kind of promise? We saw this last night in a packed, sold-out screening in Bristol and all I can say is yes - IRON SKY is marvellous - clever, funny, and packed with satirical and cultural references that caused cheers and clapping throughout its running time.
It’s 2018. In 1945 the Nazis escaped to the dark side of the moon, where they have been busy building their swastika-shaped moon base and planning a return to earth. Their equipment is, however, rather outdated.  Black male model James Washington (Christopher Kirby) is sent to the moon as a publicity stunt to help re-elect the current president of the United States (a Sarah Palin lookalike we never learn the name of). His capture results in the Nazis discovering that all they need to get their massive antiquated battle machine Gotterdammerung up and flying is an iPhone. Their leader, Wolfgang Kortzfleish (Udo Kier) sends his heir apparent Klaus Adler (Gotz Otto) and his schoolteacher girlfriend Renate (Julia Dietze) along with the newly albinised Washington to get more of the devices and to tell the US President that they will soon be at war with the master race.
To say any more would be to spoil a movie that keeps you guessing throughout as to what is going to happen next. The satirical angle is played very heavily indeed, with lots of barbed comments about America’s past war involvements, but the rest of the world doesn’t escape either. The whole film culminates in an epic space battle that looks as if it cost a fortune - in fact the special effects throughout are excellent. The music score, by the industrial band Laibach is one of the best I’ve heard all year - clever and witty in its thematic variations of well-known Wagnerian themes as well as providing rich and varied original tracks that augment the on-screen action perfectly. 
       In fact, overall IRON SKY really is a remarkable and splendid achievement, and in a summer which promises to be filled with bloated Hollywood remakes, sequels and prequels this film really does deserve to be seen. Shame on Revolver Entertainment, then, that they have apparently relegated it to one single night of cinema showings around the country before putting it out on DVD in a couple of days’ time. Still, at least it is getting a UK release. I'll be very interested indeed to see how it does in the US. If you’re a fan of sci-fi, comedy, moon Nazis, or Eurofun and don’t mind a few subtitles now and then (which will probably kill the US sales, thinking about it) IRON SKY is definitely worth looking up.

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