It would be hard to describe the movie Iron Sky if the sentence “Nazis from the Moon invade Earth” didn’t exist because that is the movie and it does exactly what it says on the tin. Iron Sky is a 2012 comic science fiction action film with surprisingly high production values and a pretty good cast who all turn in a good performance. It’s a little sad then that such promise didn’t quite follow on to the script. The first 20 minutes of the film in no way prepare you for the sheer level of insane film homage, action and silliness that is going to follow so it is essential that you read the following advice for viewing:

When watching Iron Sky, continue past the first 20 minutes!

The film is set in 2018 and President Palin (??) has sent people back to the Moon to give her an increased chance of re-election. This is the most sensible that the film every is and it goes every which way from that. Many, many other films are referenced throughout this movie. I must be honest that while I was expecting Dr Strangelove and Star Wars shout-outs, the Downfall parody caught me slightly off guard. I have to go and watch the movie again because a lot of these came and went so quickly that I had a strange feeling of deja vu for a reasonable fraction of the film. I did replay some key scenes and laughed a fair bit at some of the sillier aspects.

Oh, and if you happen to be North Korean, don’t watch this film. They are a little insensitive towards you. I suppose the same is true if you happen to be a hyper-sensitive Moon Nazi leader (as played by everyone’s favourite vampire/old German stalwart Udo Kier). There are some pretty harsh political statements about the way that the world currently works – I suspect that the most conservative might find some parts of this offensive. I did like the gentle self-deprecating dig at the Finnish, towards the end. It was a very nice touch.

The lead actors have a lot of fun. Julia Dietze and Götz Otto devour their roles as Moon Nazis, Christopher Kirby almost manages to avoid snickering for his role as a moon-bound male model who is conveniently African-American and Stephanie Paul almost pulls off a convincing Palin. Peta Sargent has a lot of fun with her role as PR director and… well, I won’t spoil it but she has other roles and some astounding hair.

This film was partially fan-funded, after a teaser reel went to Cannes and secured some more traditional film funding. Some of the work inside the movie itself is crowd sourced, especially the animation and modelling, indicating the state of maturity outside of the traditional studio system. The funding and production is a Finnish/German/Australian production, along with the support of the developing participatory cinema community. There’s some talk of a prequel/sequel but I don’t really see the point. This starts and ends well – it’s hard to see what could be added.

Scriptwise, this is as B as it comes. Production values, acting and overall enjoyability move this up the scale. I’d happily watch this again. Don’t wait for this to hit the free-to-air. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out.

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