Iron Sky is unquestionably the best film about Moon-Nazis invading the earth I’ve ever seen. The truth is, if you’ve already heard about it, you’ll most likely love it too. However, this is one inter-stellar war it’s definitely best to leave the civilians at home for.
Iron Sky has been slouching around the internet waiting to be born for a long time; one of those superb fan made trailers that your nerdiest friend linked to, you watched, and then forgot about. I think I first came across the superb trailer online in about 2006, and I was the nerd who was send the link round to all and sundry.
Often, when these internet films do emerge from their chrysalis, they’re a huge disappointment, rather than the cult gem they deserve to be – Snakes on a Plane and Skyline are good examples of when the exuberance of the internet goes horribly wrong.
I’m pleased to report that Iron Sky is the ludicrous camp classic we’ve all been hoping for. It’s clearly been a labour of love for the joint Finnish/German/Australian production crew; one of the production staff at the premiere told me the budget (scraped together from a bewildering array of national film funds, the EU, corporate sponsorship & fan donations) was €10m – and every euro is up on screen.
The visuals are stunning; beautiful concept designs, like the huge space Zeppelins towing asteroids (for the meteorblitzkreig, of course) are fantastically realised, and dogfights between Nazi flying saucers and US fighter jets are thrilling, albeit brief.
The plot, such as it is (Moon Nazis plan an invasion of earth, and all that stands in their way is a very Palin-esque US President) moves along at a fair clip, and never drags or forgets that it’s there as a vehicle to provide rip-roaring spectacle and amusing, puerile gags.
The film is at its best when played as a black, dystopian satire. There are some superb, knowing nods at international politics (North Korea’s intervention at the UN is hilarious) and some lovely scenes of the twisted nature of Nazi life on the moon. The one let down in all of this is the quality of the acting, which is mostly bearable, but verges on porno-bad at times.
The truth is, Iron Sky is a film made for nerds, by nerds, with all the good and bad that entails. There are a huge number of clever pop-culture references – you could hear the laughter building in the cinema as one by one, people realised at one point they were subtly riffing on that scene from Downfall, but equally you could imagine the average popcorn audience finding the whole thing a baffling drag.
That said, Iron Sky is a clever, interesting, fun little B movie, and it deserves your nerd time far more than trash like Battleship or Dark Shadows – get together with your friends, get to a cinema this Wednesday, and buy a ticket. Just sit back, keep your expectations low, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Iron Sky is released for one night only in cinemas this Wednesday, and then is released on DVD and Blu-ray a week later.