Iron Sky: Yes, There Are Nazis on the Moon

Nazis on the moon? What could possibly go wrong? The premise to this Finnish sci-fi spoof is golden: Hitler sent a rocket to colonize the dark side of the moon in 1945; now in 2018, the Nazis are plotting to conquer Earth—but only if they can get their giant super-weapon to work. The necessary computer power is provided by the smartphone of a kidnapped American astronaut, and the retrograde technology supplies most of the laughs in Iron Sky. The Nazi moon base, conveniently shaped as a swastika, is powered by giant pistons and gears; spaceships look like Zeppelins (wrong war, but why quibble?); and the movie's overall production design is cribbed from the blueprints of Metropolis. However, what dates the comedy isn't the Fourth Reich revivalism (led by Udo Kier) but the political shenanigans on Earth: An unnamed American president is plainly modeled on Sarah Palin, right down to the eyeglasses, then given a Dubya-style Texas twang to her accent. Bellicose, dimwitted, and domineering, she almost makes the Nazis seem sympathetic. (And indeed there is an Aryan schoolteacher, played by Julia Dietze, who joins forces with the black astronaut, American actor Christopher Kirby.) This president naturally hopes to use World War III to help earn a second term; and if she can grab all the "Helium 3" the Nazis have stockpiled on the moon, so much the better. International squabbling in a UN-like chamber is plainly modeled on Dr. Strangelove; the only problem is the absence of a screenwriter like Terry Southern. The already broad comic tone veers toward camp, and each new movie reference bears unfavorably on the one you're watching.

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