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SXSW Review: Iron Sky

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Well, here’s a history lesson you didn’t learn during that bullshit Social Studies class in elementary school: In 1945, a top secret Nazi space program escaped Allied forces by setting up shop on the Dark Side of the Moon.

That’s the premise of “Iron Sky,” directed by Timo Vuorensola. Steampunk Space Nazis construct a gigantic Swastika-shaped Moon fortress and sweet ass flying saucers and interstellar zeppelins, waiting for the perfect time to invade Earth and eradicate the sub-humans inhabiting it.

Meanwhile, it’s the year 2018. A facsimile of Sarah Palin (Stephanie Paul) is the President of the United States and the whole world has gone to shit – with one exception, we’re going back to the Moon – and this time we’re sending a black man.

 

James Washington (Christopher Kirby) is the first black man to go into space (complete with black space suit), but he gets more than he bargained for when he stumbles across the Nazi colony and they vaporize his token white astronaut companion.

The Moon Führer (Udo Kier) is skeptical of Washington’s claims that the mission is just a publicity stunt and considers the negro astronaut a scout for an imminent attack by Earth forces. Obviously the Fourth Reich must act swiftly!

Two Nazi officers, the ruthless Klaus Adler (Götz Otto) and idealistic Renate Richter (Julia Dietze), travel to Earth to prepare the invasion as an armada of Nazi UFOs prepare for attack.

In the spirit of grindhouse exploitation films, “Iron Sky” feels right at home with movies like “Black Dynamite” and “Planet Terror.” With a budget of only $10 million (most of which was crowd funded), “Iron Sky” features some impressive special effects that could compete with blockbusters like “Transformers.”

 

Is it a great film? No. Is it ridiculously entertaining? Hell yes. If you’re expecting “Schindler’s List” in space you might have another thing coming, but if you want to see sweet-ass steampunk space Nazis, this is the movie for you.

I only wish they would have gone further – there’s a lot of potential in the concept that didn’t feel entirely realized. It seems like the filmmakers were forced to be restrained because of the obvious social issues related to the Nazis, World War II and the Holocaust, but “Iron Sky” could have really benefited from crossing more boundaries and going even more over-the-top.

Check out the trailer below:

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