Admittedly, the premise of “Iron Sky” is silly as all Hell.
Back in 1945, the Nazis somehow established a base on the dark side of the moon. Without the rest of the world knowing.
Flash forward to the present. A team of American astronauts returning to the moon stumble on the base. The moon Nazis capture the African-America astronaut. The moon Nazis use the technological power of his cellphone to power their battle cruiser and prepare their attack on earth.
Unlike the intended silly and crappy film-making style of the “Sharknado” movies, the “Iron Sky” team, led by director Timo Vuorensola, treats their silly with a level of professionalism some studio films would envy. The CGI effects (of which there are plenty) look as good as a studio film — and better than most of “Jupiter Ascending.”
(For the record, I did like what the Wachowski siblings were trying to do with “Ascending,” but it didn’t work for a myriad of reasons.)
The acting is usually where the silly cheese factor will reign supreme, but the cast holds it down fairly well. Genre staple Udo Kier gives us the perfect ailing fuehrer. Julia Dietze is plucky as the Nazi “Earthologist” who soon realizes she knows nothing of the Earth and its potential, having been born on the moon. Even Götz Otto manages not to chew all the scenery as the wanna-be fuehrer sent to earth as a prelude to invasion.
Meanwhile, Christopher Kirby, Peta Sergeant, Stephanie Paul play up the Velveeta of their characters.
Kirby is the captured African-America astronaut, speaking in as much ebonics as he can before his Nazi tormentors. He’s driven insane when the Nazis bleach his skin, making him what they believe is the perfect Aryan. When he gets back to earth, Kirby’s character becomes a bum on the streets preaching about moon Nazis.
No one believes him, of course.
That is, until the moon Nazis invade. Then he teams with Dietze, who has a change of heart about Nazi psychology, to save the planet.
Sergeant and Paul play a over-sexed publicist for the president and a Sarah Palin-clone president respectively. They know they’re here for camp and play it to the hilt.
The production team behind “Iron Sky” produced the film through crowd-sourcing, with input given by the masses and focused by the production team. You’d never know that many hands were in the pot as the movie is a cohesive piece of entertainment. It even takes things beyond the norm of a mid-level budget, utilizing leitmotifs from Wagner in the soundtrack and tying historical Nazi events to the dreams of the moon Nazis.
And did I mention the space battles?
“Iron Sky” wouldn’t have been my first choice for a movie to see, but I was pleasantly surprised when it was over. A sequel, also crowd-sourced, is on the way for 2016. Catch the “Iron Sky: Director’s Cut” on Netflix. Let me know what you think, because I’m just thinking out loud.