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Nazi comedy unexpected hit at Berlinale

The Local · 12 Feb 2012, 09:56

Published: 12 Feb 2012 09:56 GMT+01:00

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"Iron Sky", a B-movie spoof drawing the crowds at the 11-day event in the German capital, imagines that Hitler's surviving henchmen set up a lunar colony after the fall of the regime in 1945, biding their time to strike back. The photo shows the cast of the film, which premiered at the festival, known as the Berlinale.

The opportunity comes in 2018 when a US astronaut exploring the dark side of the moon comes face to face with a Nazi soldier clad in a black uniform and a breathing mask.

Behind him, a secret military base shaped like a swastika looms into view, prompting giggles from the packed audience.

The intergalactic farce produced mainly in Finland pits the would-be Fourth Reich against an America led by a Sarah Palin double, who is seen incessantly jogging in the Oval Office.

"This basically came from a stupid joke dreamed up after a trip to the sauna," said director Timo Vuorensola, who generated much of the financing for the film among fans online.

"But we couldn't get the idea out of our heads and we got more and more ambitious as we worked on the story."

The film-makers see themselves as part of a long line of eccentric cinematic dreamers such as Ed Wood, the 1950s cross-dressing kitsch impresario immortalised by Johnny Depp in a 1994 movie of the same name by Tim Burton.

Just over 90 minutes long, the film screening in the festival's Panorama sidebar section shows the black astronaut's skin being bleached white by a Nazi mad scientist, SS officer Klaus Adler, who dreams of becoming the next Fuehrer.

The space Nazis use airships shaped like Zeppelin dirigibles and a giant craft called "Twilight of the Gods" to launch a batty Blitzkrieg, while an Earth-based coalition of the willing deploys a navy cruiser called the USS George W. Bush.

The cast includes a host of camp regulars including Germany's go-to psychopath, Udo Kier.

The special effects are little to speak of compared to the film's Hollywood antecedents but the 7.5-million-euro ($9.9-million) movie is long on imagination.

Beyond the high concept, the film has also attracted attention for its innovative financing model: donations on the Internet, which ended up covering the total budget from supporters around the globe.

Story continues below…

Its producers say "Iron Sky" is one of the first films to successfully use "crowd sourcing" to generate cash, and are also launching a series of prequel comics, video games and licenced merchandise.

The Berlinale, the first major European festival of the year, runs to February 19.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:30 February 12, 2012 by Nemesis
The link to the website of the film Iron Sky is at http://www.ironsky.net/

Watch the trailor. It is funny.

Also if you are a scifi fan check out there previous film called Starwreck.

Iron Sky goes on general release in the cinemas on 4th April.
12:00 February 12, 2012 by wood artist
I recall fondly the reaction from Berliners when Mel Brook's musical The Producers appeared in town, featuring a gay Hitler and almost every other possible joke at the expense of the Nazis. Some reviewer at that time observed "We need to laugh at the Nazis. We MUST laugh at the Nazis."

To me, this is just more of the same. In much of the world, the Nazi regime is the "best possible villain" and we've seen it used over and over again...such as in the Indiana Jones movies. There's no judgement about Germany today, or even about Germans. It's just pure fun...and should be taken that way.

This movie, especially when the American President is also clearly a parody, sounds like a "must see" and I'm glad the hear the Berliners are enjoying it. Personally, I can't wait until April.

12:00 February 12, 2012 by gorongoza
"Just over 90 minutes long, the film screening in the festival's Panorama sidebar section shows the black astronaut's skin being bleached white by a Nazi mad scientist, SS officer Klaus Adler, who dreams of becoming the next Fuehrer."

Rubbish !

Typical film directors who have no better ideas to entertain their audiences.

What have black colour to do with Nazis? Why can't you focus on the millions of white / pink coloured people who died in Europe as a result of the Nazis?
13:38 February 12, 2012 by boopsie
Laughing with the Nazis, how original, how funny! What a comedy those years were! And now nazis from the moon - what a trip! Next, The Red Sky, about the invasion of Stalin and the communists from the moon. What a howler that would be! And how about the Golden Sky in which Ron Hubbard and the Scientologists invade... oh wait, they're already here.
14:50 February 12, 2012 by Englishted

There were black people in Europe when the Nazis took power most were musicians ,but there treatment has been the subject of some books and reports .

May I suggest you google to find out more.
14:31 February 13, 2012 by Zobirdie
HAving seen it, I have to say I was brutally disappointed. Somewhere along the line it went from having the coolest premise for an indie flick in a long time (I have been following this film's progress for almost 4 years) to turning into what really felt like an anti american political satire. And no.. I am not american. But it actually got wince-worthy as the movie progressed. Its like they decided they couldnt make the political movie they wanted, so they dressed it up with moon Nazis so people would be interested and excited. This is not the spiffy, dieselpunk sci-fi aktiony movie it appears to be.
16:55 February 14, 2012 by Nemesis
@ Zobirdie,

I have seen a few negative reviews from people who claim to have seen Iron Sky.

Interestingly, the number of people who have stated that Iron Sky was a bad premiere appear to be non Germans and they are more numerous in number than there was tickets for the premiere in Berlin.

So I would like to ask, did you actually see the film Iron Sky at the Berlinale premier?
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