The mad scribblings of Jarmo Puskala (original concept), Johanna Sinisalo (original story) and Michael Kalesniko (screenplay) have been matched to the stylish vision of director Timo Vuorensola (Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning) to create the justifiably hyped film Iron Sky.

A German, Finnish and Australian collaboration, the low budget film asks the question, what would happen if the Nazis had created a secret lunar base on the dark side of the Moon following the Second World War, and are planning to return to Earth 70 years later to finish the job?

The film opens with the USA returning to the moon in 2018, part publicity stunt for the US President and to also (secretly) look for natural resources. But once on the surface, the astronauts stumble onto the Nazi’s hidden moon base.

In a post-modern reference, the Moon Nazi soldier’s outfits echo the storm troopers of Star Wars, who themselves were undoubtedly inspired by German World War II soldiers. WWII moon motorcycles with sidecars, and a Swastika shaped Nazi HQ also add to the silliness.

Concerned that the US astronauts are clearing the way for a major attack from Earth, the Nazi’s push forward their world domination plans. Regular Hollywood favourite Udo Kier (Melancholia, Manderlay) camps it up a bit as the current Nazi Fuhrer Wolfgang Kortzfleisch. Tilo Prückner (The Counterfeiters, NeverEnding Story) has fun as crazy genius Doktor Richter, who discovers a way to utilise the power of mobile phones and an iPad for the final attack. Second-in-command Klaus Adler (Götz Otto) and fiancé Renate Richter (Julia Dietze) lead the way with more than a touch of ‘Allo ‘Allo!’s Herr Flick and Helga. Captured black astronaut and newly converted Aryan, James Washington played by the likeable Christopher Kirby (Star Wars: Episode III, Matrix Revolutions), joins the crew as he’s needed to gain access to the US President.

Once on Earth, the unlikely trio find trouble as their expectations are seven decades out of date, and unfortunately some of the film’s stereotypes are too. This is where the movie loses momentum and direction, but thankfully the film does find its way back to the important business of fighting Nazis.

Stephanie Paul (Separation City, The Frequency of Claire) embodies a Sarah Palin-esque Madam President with gusto alongside sassy PR advisor Vivian Wagner played by the over the top Peta Sergeant (The Bet, George of the Jungle 2). Michael Cullen (Margot at the Wedding, Dead Man Walking) plays an exasperated Secretary of Defence, trying to temper his megalomaniac boss. Alongside a disturbingly trite United Nations of world leaders, the US President leads the world’s defence against an attack of space Zeppelins and flying saucers.

Iron Sky takes a swipe at Nazism, racism and feminism (‘What would one wear to fight the Nazis?’) but in the end it’s the USA that comes off worse. One imperial power has replaced another and a newer ideology replaces an older one.

An absurd film filled with clever homages from Dr Strangelove to Independence Day, Iron Sky is a crass, inappropriate and often hilarious tongue-in-cheek caper littered with memorable quotes. A cult classic is born.

Wood Street,
Full release 25.5.12

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