Iron Sky: Space Nazis and a New Moviemaking Model
- Published on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 19:02
- Igor Hrenovac
After World War 2, most people thought the Nazis had fled to far off lands such as Argentina and Paraguay. Little did we know that in fact, the majority of them escaped to the dark side of the moon, where, much like H.G. Wells’ aliens, they have spent their time plotting and planning their invasion of Earth.
Of course it is more complicate than that. The American President of 2018 wants something spectacular to help her re-election, so she sends two astronauts, to the dark side of the moon. As far as anyone is concerned the moon is as dead and empty as before, but unknown to the world, this is where the space Nazis have been hiding out. They promptly capture one of the astronauts, played by Christopher Kirby and find his mobile phone. Top Nazi scientist, Dr. Richter realizes that the smartphone is the final piece of technology the Nazis need.
This supercomputer is then integrated into their Nazi spaceship (Gotterdammerung), but quickly runs out of power when Richter attempts to demonstrate its awesome powers to Wolfgang Kortzfleisch the Fuhrer and Klaus Adler, the Nazi commander. All realize it will be the perfect way to retake the motherland, destroy America and to get cheaper electric bills at the same time.
The movie really takes off when two scientists plus the astronaut go to Earth to find a new supercomputer and end up running the President’s re-election campaign while plotting to overthrow their Fuhrer, oh and take over the Earth. Maybe it is a bit too much for them to do, but they never lack for ambition. Kortzfleisch, working out Adler’s attempted coup, launches his own invasion of Earth. As is a text book example of movies of this ilk, it all ends in one mother of a space fight, one that reminds us of Serenity, but on a grander more kick-ass scale.
Iron Sky is remarkable for two reasons. Firstly, it is a concept movie that works. There are a great number of movies out there, mostly on DVD or old VHS videotapes, which are great concepts and cool movie posters. First, you have all those monster mash up movies inspired by the old Japanese Godzilla flicks like Godzilla vs. Mothra and so on, which has now morphed into flicks like Giant Shark vs. Monster Squid or whatever and movies like Piranha 3DD.
The trouble with these movies is that they often suck. The scripts are bad, the acting is dodgy, the sets wobbly and the special effects are just plain awful. They usually, however, turn a quick buck and get out of there. Now, Timo Vuorensola, the director and producer of Iron Sky has made over 50 films and knows his way around the industry. This has allowed them to produce a quality movie, which has been praised by film critics such as Radio 5 Live’s Mark Kermode.
Second and perhaps even more remarkable, is the way in which the movie was funded. The story is well-known now, but Timo and fellow producer, Tero Kaukomaa, who worked on the original idea with Jarmo Puskala, had a budget of zero dollars. This has not stopped directors before, the zombie flick, Colin was made for just $70 USD.
Iron Sky grew out of a project entitled Star Wreck, a Star Trek parody, which later spawned the movie In The Pirkinning and a series of video shorts. In order to get Iron Sky funded and developed, the Finnish team put together a trailer for the movie in 2006. This led to them seeking co-funders in 2008 and eventually, to the idea of crowd-investment.
Crowd investment differs from crowd funding in several ways. Firstly, it is almost impossible to do in America because of rules on who can invest money and who can’t, but secondly, whereas crowd-funders donate money or buy advance copies of books, dvds, cds and so on, crowd investors are also hoping to make a return on the movie. They also invest their time and energy on actually making the project. This lead to a number of investors making props, helping with script ideas, acting and so on. Without them Iron Sky would never have been made.
The movie does not have a wide release, but its limited movie theatre release will be followed up quickly by DVD and Blu-Ray releases allowing many people to see it. It mixes a fantastic concept with good action sequences, acting, a fantastic script and plenty of jokes. Definitely a must see movie for 2012. You can check the Iron Sky trailer.
Director: Timo Vuorensola
Screenplay: Michael Kalesniko and Timo Vuorensola
Story: Johanna Sinisalo and Jarmo Puskala
Producers: Tero Kaukomaa, Oliver Damian, Cathy Overett, Mark Overett and Samuli Torssonen.
Starring: Julia Dietz, Christopher Kirby, Gotz Otto, Peta Sergeant, Stephanie Paul and Udo Kier.