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Iron Sky

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Mark Kermode | 11:05 UK time, Friday, 16 March 2012

For the last few years I've been following with interest the progress of Iron Sky, an independently financed Finnish movie about Nazis hiding back on the moon and invading the earth.

Iron Sky premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and now I've had a chance to see it. But is it any good?

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Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Aww I like Troma movies. Never seen Surf Nazis must Die though. Looking forward to seeing Iron Sky

  • Comment number 2.

    Was that Udo Keir I saw popping up in the trailer?

    Having seen the full trailer, I think it looks fun in a completely barking kind of way!

  • Comment number 3.

    Whilst I was always worried about whether this film could live up to its concept, I worry more about the fact that I live in a backwater independent cinema-less hamlet called Birmingham and thus may never get to see it on the big screen.

  • Comment number 4.

    Glad it turned out ok but since I'm in Belgium i don't know when it will come out here. I was worried about Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy when all the backlashing began in the United States and I was relieved to see it was a successs. Are there any other films you feared were going to be stinkers but they turned out to be better than expected?

  • Comment number 5.

    It sounded like he was going to say "reviewers hadn't live through the awfulness of World War 2" when he said: "reviewers hadn't lived though the awfulness of the Troma movies."

  • Comment number 6.

    addendum:

    There are no screenings, this week, of Carancho or Khodorkovsky within a 10 mile radius of my house, however there are approximately 150 screenings each of This Means War and John Carter of Paris!

  • Comment number 7.

    CANNOT WAIT for April 20th!

  • Comment number 8.

    The involvement of "Ubiquitous" Udo alone makes this worth checking out.

  • Comment number 9.

    Had a friend who worked briefly for Troma (not on the films but in their offices), she said they were chaos. She did end up looping some screams for one of the Toxic Avenger sequels.

    Mark of course has the dilemma of having the postmodern sensibility that tries to straddle an appreciation of the schlock genre, that tasty fast food of film making, mainstream hollywood, the five-a-day with some extra starch, and art house which is the masterchef michelin starred carefully carved radish and a peanut on a plate with a "fog of basil". The main problem is in the minds of the po faced critics who can see the value in Lars Von Trier's extreme use of office equipment in Antichrist, but don't have the same attitude to Peter Jackson's extreme use of garden machinery in Braindead.

    I seem to remember some fondness for the first Toxic Avenger, but that was very long ago, don't know how I'd enjoy it now. Another friend highly rated the more recent stage musical version, but, as far as I know, it hasn't made it to the UK. I am looking forward to Iron Sky, it may be the perfect antidote to my upcoming overdose of The Iron Lady (which I'll be showing in village halls for the old dears of Hampshire next month).

  • Comment number 10.

    The release date is an appropriate April 20th - Hitler's birthday!

  • Comment number 11.

    Just goes to show how important expectations are in your appreciation of a film.

  • Comment number 12.

    I would just like to point something out. The good Dr K has often said that he didn't particularly like Star Wars as science fiction goes, even if he could find some charm in the original trilogy, and one of the reasons for that was that it was made by someone that had no concept of the physical universe. Example: sound in space. Now about this movie, I have to point out that if a colonie of Nazies existed on the dark side of the moon for 70 years they would have become very different from us, to the point of not being able to live on Earth's surface. We know this because when astronauts rotate in their time on the ISS (seen in the trailer) and return to Earth they spend several weeks in recuperation due to the effects of being deprived of gravity. Aside from that, 70 years without sun would drastically change any creature from this planet we call home. So, since the movie appears not to touch those issues at all, isn't it a double standard??
    On the other hand the movie looks great for a sci-fi independent movie (which usually don't look that good), the idea is funny and am interested in seing it. So just to strech out my point: shouldn't we call this kind of movie (in which I include Star Wars), rather then science fiction, science fantasy?

  • Comment number 13.

    elkoolio01 @6
    I too wanted to see those films, fortunately 'Khodorkovsky is already available on DVD and Carancho will be availble from 28/5, i hope this is helpful to you.

    As for 'Ironsky' it cost a fraction of what 'John Carter' did and it would be intersting to see which one audiences prefer in terms of viewing pleasure.

  • Comment number 14.

    Alexandre Fanha @12

    A bit of pedantry (sorry).. there is gravity on the moon, approximately 1/6th that of Earth. Also, the "dark" side of the moon is not dark, it's just that it's always pointing away from us. The reason why we have eclipses of the sun is because the moon is in the way, therefore the "dark" side must be in full sunlight.

    I'm pleased to hear that, assuming Dr K's tolerance for "schlock" probably being quite low, this has turned out a lot better than the trailer made me think it would...

  • Comment number 15.

    Why is there Sarah Palin in the trailer...? :-D

  • Comment number 16.

    I REALLY hope it's better than a Troma movie Mark... But I'm not expecting much for when I do eventually see it.

  • Comment number 17.

    I've been following Iron Sky since '09 or so and yeah, I'm excited! It actually looks fairly funny and the effects are impressive too.
    With John Carter being so duff, I hope this sci-fi lives up to my expectations and with Nazis being the villains, perhaps Hollywood might pay attention to it? ;-D

  • Comment number 18.

    Haven't seen a good sci-fi comedy since ... Men in Black? Only the first one in '97, not the poor sequel.

  • Comment number 19.

    Saw the trailer for the third MIB and it looks bad.

  • Comment number 20.

    First heard about this film a few years back and thanks to this blog I've even had an inkiling of it at all. I am really intrigued at the whole concept of this film, Nazi's on the dark side of the moon! Very interesting and with Udo Kier making an appearence, it surely is a must see. From the trailer I can't help but feel a Strangelovian connotation.

  • Comment number 21.

    Sorry I forgot to add, does the IMDb poster for this film kind of resemble The Avengers poster.

  • Comment number 22.

    There are a couple of good Troma movies. Tromeo & Juliet is one, which is Troma studios take on the Shakespeare play, and narrated by Lemmy from Motorhead. The only other I can think of Chopper Chicks in Zombietown which was quite fun.

    As for Iron Sky, I can't wait to see it. Will be making an effort to watch it once it hits UK cinemas. Hopefully it will get a half-decent distribution deal and actually make it to a cinema within 100 miles of here.

  • Comment number 23.

    "Truchsess wrote:

    Why is there Sarah Palin in the trailer...? :-D"

    That's President Palin which goes to show you just how bonkers this film probably is... ;)

    Iron Sky is probably enjoyable rubbish from the looks of it which will still make it better than plenty of Hollywood fodder I've endured over the past few years. I'm already lobbying the manager of my local multiplex (who luckily is a movie geek with a love of scifi) to try and get Iron Sky at least one screen.

  • Comment number 24.

    This looks throw-away to me - shame, as a great concept's at its heart.

  • Comment number 25.

    somefellacalledlime @ 13

    Thanks for the information - and yes, ultimately I'll continue to P2P'ing all the films that I want to watch, and am willing to pay to see on the big screen, until the courts close down all the torrent sites. This because Birmingham AMC, VUE, Showcase, Empire, and Odeon would prefer to duplicate their limited and banal general release film schedules rather than tap a niche audience. NB: the mac and the "post 2004" Electric aren't much better.

  • Comment number 26.

    I am looking forward to seeing Iron Sky, hopefully it should be a good B movie

  • Comment number 27.

    There`s something really appealing about nasty Nazis on the big screen.Hopefully it will be as good as, or even better than, Dead Snow. EIN ! ZWEI ! DIE !! or as Churchill says `OH YES`

  • Comment number 28.

    I remember how bitterly disappointed I was in Jackboots on Whitehall (a film whos producers name-checked almost all my favourite cinematic and literary touchstones). But I am an optimist, and have hoped for good things of Iron Sky since it caught my eye a few years back!

    I first came across Iron Sky about the same time I saw the trailer for Worst Case Scenario http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYTYqaewAQ8 , which I have only now discovered never made it to completion. 'tis a great shame, but I am pleased to see Iron Sky, regardless of whether it proves to be any good, has at least been finished.

  • Comment number 29.

    I hope there will be a line or two dealing with The Moon Landing in '69.

    'Look commendant, I've found this flag planted in the ground on one of our recognisance treks to the Light-side. It is American.'

    'Yah, there were here briefly, my predeccessor told me. There was a plan to take Neil Armstrong....and...um... (gets a whisper in the ear) Buzz?....realy that was his name?. Sounds like a toy. We weren't ready to reveal ourselves back then so we just let them hop around for a bit and go away.'

  • Comment number 30.

    Moon Nazis, President Palin....

    Well, needless to say, Iron Sky looks like an interesting film. That's for sure.

    Hopefully, it will do well enough to warrant a sequel, which of course would have to be, "Joseph Stalin OF MARS!" Red scares from the red planet!

  • Comment number 31.

    Seems to have the same kind of sensibility that TROLL HUNTER had, which I liked. Nor does it appear to take itself too seriously, so I'm sure that will hold it in good stead.

  • Comment number 32.

    Great! Just great! I was also a little worried after reading some of the reviews after Berlin but you've now put me at ease. Cannot wait to see this! I enjoy my serious cinema as much as the next man but you just can't beat a bit of bonkers; seriously, cannot wait!

  • Comment number 33.

    Iron Sky or John Carter?
    It's no contest. Iron Sky looks like it might surprise, amuse (even if in a tongue in cheek kind of way), have satire (the Pailn look-a-like as the US President), social comment (the hero's black!) impress, (the special effects look great for a low budget si fi) and also has a little unpredictability thrown in for good measure.

    The teaser trailers over the past few years have been pretty spot on. It really does look as though its makers have had a clear vision as to what they've wanted and unswerving dedication to getting it made to their satisfaction.

    And it has a good reto 60's and 70's feel; what's not to like?

    Plus the nazis are back as villains, yay.
    Over the past few decades we've mainly have had villains as generic euro-terrorists/robbers (e.g. Die Hard) and since then over-relied on alien attacks and zombie armageddons.

    For various (obvious) reasons having the Taliban as villains is a little dicey nowadays; not least because 'the west' isn't looking that convincing in declaring a decisive victory over them.

    Defeating Hitler's nazis was 'the West's' last great uncontested victory, over a regime most can agree upon was pretty dreadful, and a victory that we can all celebrate.
    Iron Sky's retro nostalgia looks like it gives us an unabashed enemy and a couple of hours of fun.

    I don't know why Troma is being mentioned above; Iron Sky isn't a Troma production (Troma movies can be fun, but only once, and if young & drunk.
    After that watching paint drying is a more attractive option); nor has Iron Sky any connection with USA funding; if anything it seems to have tapped into the 'crowd sourcing' model of funding.

  • Comment number 34.

    Having first watch the good doctor discuss Iron Sky at Cannes in May 2008 here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/markkermode/2008/05/cannes_report_day_52_another_w.html I too have been watching the trailers and production developments.

    A little more than a year ago, I seriously considered investing in the film (from memory. the minimum investment was 10K euros). I wrote away for the details and received in incomprehensible packet (so much for my MBA). Mark's rule of thumb: film's box office takings needs to be double its cost (7.5M euros), so 15M euros to breakeven (excluding the merchandise, DVDs, streaming revenue). Anyway, I have a mental investment of 10K euros, after institutional investors are paid off (including profits, if any), I wonder if I would have made or lost money on my 10K. Given the obtuse financials, I may never know.

    I hope to enjoy Iron Sky from an entertainment perspective, but I'll also always wonder if I made a good financial decision by not investing.

    More investing info at: http://www.ironsky.net/site/support/finance/

    Anyone else a citizen investor in Iron Sky?

    Mark, if you make it to Denver on your current USA trip, let's do dinner @maclauchlan

  • Comment number 35.

    To me (and I've been telling my friends this for years since seeing Dr K's Canne blog about the film) this is potentially the GREATEST MOVIE EVER MADE!
    How can anyone not love the idea of Nazi's from the Moon?
    Nazi's.
    Moon.
    Reminds me of that other massively underrated film "Bitch Slap".

  • Comment number 36.

    You know you're getting cynical when you think "It looks like a great, independent film. Which means there'll be a severely crappy, big budget sequel. Possibly directed by Mc*GEE*."

  • Comment number 37.

    Looks like 'Mars Attacks' which was totally bonkers - but great fun.

  • Comment number 38.

    Finish a Finnish movie. Sorry for the lame joke. Speaking of which, that's what I thought this movie might have turned out to be. But now that I've seen more of it, it actually looks kind of interesting.

  • Comment number 39.

    If it's got Udo Keir, I'm up for it. Looks like a wonderful, tongue-in-cheek , OTT space-Nazi romp. Can't wait to see it.

  • Comment number 40.

    Well said #37, that was my first thought too, so can't wait to see it. I doubt it will reach my local multiplex, and Manchester's Cornerhouse is 50 miles away, so I'll probably wait for the disc release.

    Checked out one of MK's other recommendations - 'Once Upon A Time In Anatolia' - and once again it's proved to be a worthwhile watch. Reminds of his comments regarding the lack of character-depth in 'Safe House'. This Turkish offering is the exact opposite, with it's steady and thoughtful exploration of each character and the lives behind their attitude to events unfolding. Not easy watching the apple and the subtitles, Mark!

  • Comment number 41.

    We have actually been to the dark side of the moon to check haven't we? I mean, I'm not concerned but you know.

  • Comment number 42.

    Saying it's not as awful as the worst Troma movies is not high praise.

  • Comment number 43.

    Well, for all the hype, I am very much wishing for Iron Sky being good in the way that the original Tremors was good. It looks more like this will be so.

    Yes, I remember Troma, unfortunately ;0)

  • Comment number 44.

    just had maybe the shortest period of interest and excitement in a new project ever, after listening to the news this morning to hear that James Cameron (no sniggering!) is poised to dive down to the deepest depths of the ocean to film underwater footage of sealife and its environment, never before seen. All was going well until he made the fatal mistake of telling the interviewer that as well as striving to bring this footage back as well lit and well presented as possible, he was also going to make it 3D !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 45.

    These recent films from Scandinavia - Dead Snow, Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre (with Leatherface himself Gunnar Hansen!), Troll Hunter and now Iron Sky - are films I'd rather watch than a million John Carters!

  • Comment number 46.

    #44 - Sir Ridley Scott - in a Q&A session for the upcoming Prometheus - said over the weekend of (filmed-in) 3D "...it works like a sonofabitch". Please feel free to disagree with this most seasoned of photographers, though, by all means...

  • Comment number 47.

    I for one am very much looking forward to this movie and am so glad it is finally showing in the UK. A few weeks back there still wasn't a release date for the UK. I am German (have lived here in London for about 14 years now) and for us Germans it is rather difficult to allow ourselves to enjoy a spoof like that. I guess that might also be one of the reason for mixed the bag of critique in Berlin. People are still unsure about how to react to a film like that. I hope it is as good as the trailer suggests and if it is it surely will become a cult one.

  • Comment number 48.

    in response to matth stil (comment 46) - Sir Ridley Scott also said 'cast is everything' and then had Orlando Bloom as the star in Kingdom of heaven - nobody's perfect!

  • Comment number 49.

    @46

    Sir Ridley may be the most seasoned of photographers, but he's also a guy with a film to promote - a film that was shot in 3D. He's hardly going to say the technique was ineffectual and overhyped - the more 3D tickets he sells the easier it'll be to rake in the cash.

    If he's telling the truth then the film'll be even more mind blowing than it looks already, and we won't know if he's lying unless we buy two tickets and watch it in both 3D and 2D - he's a canny one that Scott.

  • Comment number 50.

    #46 - Re #44

    As a photographer myself, I will approach something one way, using one tool I like that I feel does the best job. Then there will be everyone else who may feel they know better. It matters not what you use, but how you use it. It used to be “what camera / lens / film etc do you use? This is like asking a plumber what spanner he uses or a joiner what saw he uses. The real subtext of all those questions was and is always: “Why can’t I do that?” Or more diplomatically: “How did you do that?” I could run out now and spend 3 grand on a guitar, but I do not know how to play it, but Jimi Hendrix could find one in bits and still make it sing. No-one really asked Jimi “what kind of guitar” he played. An artist will use tools and should never fixate on them, beyond aiding them to do their job easier. 100 chefs will follow the same recipe, using the same equipment, and get different results.

    However, I would take the same tone with the exclamation marks.
    “Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald.

  • Comment number 51.

    #48> Good. Good.

  • Comment number 52.

    3D. Take away the higher admission, remedy the exaggerated colour-loss and inconvenient glasses (it's coming), and what remains? An accepted format.
    Avatar, for example, certainly worked on a technical level. It's here to stay. Technology will insist on advancement, like it or not.

  • Comment number 53.

    My daughter in Boston wants to listen to the Dr on Friday. Can you tell me time and station?

  • Comment number 54.

    #53

    Go to the top of this page, click on Radio, look for Radio 5 Live, and the show is between 14:00 and 16:00 each Friday. I think the eastern seaboard is 5 hours behind the UK.

    Direct:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00lvdrj

    Most webpages have 'Listen' live at the top-right.
    I'm not sure this streams on a non-UK internet connection, but who knows....

    Podcast available later on Friday at:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/kermode

  • Comment number 55.

    Nazis went to the moon in 1945 and come back in 2018? I mean, seriously?
    Sorry but what a stupid idea. Maybe the film is better than what it's "mixed reviews" suggest but how anyone can think this is a premise for a good film is beyond me.

  • Comment number 56.

    I hope to enjoy this film, what with Nazi's becoming the new pantomime villains and hopefully nullified in the process. (Chaplin dug that.) I'm hoping for a measure of black humour which can only ever work if the film makers take their work seriously. (Good understated humour must be hard work for smart-alecks or else there'd be a glut of it). Film makers should take their work seriously. Critics shouldn't bore us by expecting "Great Art" all the time, judging thus and taking their own opinions too seriously. Sometimes it's good to see a film just for fun. We come in peace indeed...

  • Comment number 57.

    The new news this week - a one day only release of Iron Sky.

    Please Mark, please use your not insignificant influence to apply pressure to the imbeciles at Revolver who made this decision.

  • Comment number 58.

    Revolver giving Iron Sky a one day release only and screwing us on DVD & Blu Ray extras. Help Us Obi Mark Kermodi, You're Our Only Hope!

  • Comment number 59.

    I saw this last night and really enjoyed it, the film looks like it cost many times its budget and the story expands beyond the tag line. Ignore the critics this film was worth the wait and well worth seeing.

  • Comment number 60.

    I haven't seen this movie although I really want to! Being a history phd student I absolutely love tongue and cheek historical movies, unlike a lot of my uptight counterparts. I am genuinely sad that none of my local cinemas are screening this as me and a lot of my non-history affiliated friends reaaalllly want to see it!

  • Comment number 61.

    I took five friends to see it at the Exeter Picturehouse on Wednesday23rd and they all seemed to enjoy it. There's a lot of allegory here. There's not a major difference between the US as depicted in 2018 and the Nazis who suddenly reappear. Take your best mates, have a few beers and enjoy the ride. Considering the miniscule budget, I think it came out pretty well. Julia Dietze is my new object of desire!

  • Comment number 62.

    Saw this at a late showing on the one-day release so many of my fellow viewers were pretty well lubricated - just the audience you need for this kind of film. Some gags fell flat as a lunar maria but most worked and some were very good. Six laughs or more rule, passed with A*. The film is filled with good ideas, many of which could have made the basis of a film on their own so I, for one, was happy to pay my £6 and will fork out for the blu-ray too in the hope it keeps these guys working. Thirty times as clever as Avatar at 1/30 of the price. And no smurfs.

  • Comment number 63.

    Living in a backwater like Taunton there was never the remotest prospect of seeing this on the big screen unless I'd gone to Exeter mid week. Instead I've just watched this on sky store.

    I can't be the only one underwhelmed by this Shirley? Love the idea but not enough quotable lines for a film of this type and neither is it anything like camp or hammy enough. Maybes as the Good Doctor hinted this is a case of a film that those passionate about these kind of movies were never going to be blown away by.

    It gave me the odd titter but nothing more and I spent a lot of it hankering for something truly trashy and 80s or even somemat like Bubba Ho-Tep which I thoroughly enjoyed at the cine and on DVD.

  • Comment number 64.

    The special effects are excellent. The script could have done with tweaking. An extra fifteen minutes on the segment set on Earth would have made it flow better and expanded on the fish-out-of-water jokes. I imagine CGI is cheaper to film than real life. It's full of plot holes. Person A lives on Earth for three months and never finds out the Nazis were the bad guys ! Nice Downfall reference but the estate of Stanley Kubrick should sue.

  • Comment number 65.

    I loved it. Sure is has plot holes you can fly a zeppelin through but who cares? It certainly entertained me a helluva lot more than 90% of the recent output from Hollywood or the main commercial studios. I'll continue to put my ticket money towards flawed but entertaining films rather than the rancid and insipid offerings that dominate the charts.

  • Comment number 66.

    Maybe slightly flawed, but very funny (and I'm sure I missed a lot of the in-jokes - especially in the design of the spaceships … George W Bush, indeed!)

    I have recently seen Battleship, Avengers Assemble, and Iron Sky - the only one I want to see again doesn't come from Hollywood (which is presumably why the distributers have given it minimal screenings and even less publicity).

  • Comment number 67.

    Mark what is wrong with you? Iron Sky is by far.......the worst film I have ever seen. As a film enthsiast who goes to watch small local film premieres, short stories and from when I was a media student I have never watched anything like that before. Truly awful film with some half sexy ladies and decent space effects... Don't even get me started on the "killer" scene on the roof, I could do better with a camera phone and pc!

    Mark you need to watch this again as I think you must have been ill or something. Awful awful awful. Excellent plot full of let downs!!!

  • Comment number 68.

    I've just watched this on LoveFIlm instant. I knew nothing about the film - just saw it in the list and clicked it. Brilliant. Independence Day meets Mars Attacks and trips over Monty Python on its way.

 

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