Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Timo Vuorensola|
|Edited by||Suresh Ayyar|
(approx. US$10 million)
Iron Sky is a 2012 Finnish-Australian-German comic science fiction action film directed by Timo Vuorensola and written by Johanna Sinisalo and Michael Kalesniko. It tells the story of a group of Nazi Germans who, having been defeated in 1945, fled to the Moon where they built a space fleet to return in 2018 and conquer Earth.
Iron Sky comes from the creators of Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning and was produced by Tero Kaukomaa of Blind Spot Pictures and Energia Productions, co-produced by New Holland Pictures and 27 Films, and co-financed by numerous individual supporters; Samuli Torssonen was responsible for the computer-generated imagery. It was theatrically released throughout Europe in April 2012. A director's cut of the film with 20 additional minutes was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 11 March 2014.
A video game adaptation titled Iron Sky: Invasion was released in October 2012. A sequel, titled Iron Sky: The Coming Race, is currently being crowdfunded through Indiegogo and is slated for a 2016 release.
The film opens in 2018 with an American manned landing mission to the Moon. The lander carries two astronauts, one of them an African American male model, James Washington, specifically chosen to aid the U.S. President in her re-election (various "Black to the Moon" word-play posters are seen in the film, extolling the new Moon landing).
Upon landing on the far side of the Moon they encounter Nazis hidden there since 1945 (self-styled the "Fourth Reich" in dialogue), by whom Washington is taken captive and the other astronaut killed. Nazi scientist Doktor Richter investigates Washington and obtains his smartphone, which he later recognizes as having computing power that outstrips all that possessed by the Fourth Reich, enabling its use as a control unit of their space battleship Götterdämmerung. When he strives to demonstrate the completion of his Wunderwaffe to the current Führer, Wolfgang Kortzfleisch, the phone's battery is exhausted. Unable to re-energize it, Nazi commander Klaus Adler, chosen for genetic reasons to mate with Earth specialist Renate Richter (Doktor Richter's daughter), embarks in a flying saucer spacecraft to collect more such computers on Earth. He takes with him Washington, who has been "Aryanized" by Doktor Richter using an "albinism serum". Upon landing in New York, they discover that Renate has stowed away with them. They are introduced to the President by her assistant, Vivian Wagner, whereafter they direct her re-election campaign using Nazi-style propaganda. At the time, Renate is unaware of Adler's ambition to become the next Führer and rule the world. After three months, Kortzfleisch lands on Earth and confronts Adler, but is killed by Adler and Vivian. Adler declares himself the new Führer before returning to orbit in Kortzfleisch's flying saucer, deserting Vivian and taking her tablet computer. Concurrently, Renate is persuaded by the now-homeless Washington that Adler intends global genocide. Shortly afterwards, the Moon Nazis launch a mass invasion of the Earth centered at New York City where they destroy the Statue of Liberty and occupy most of New York.
The United Nations assembles to discuss the extraterrestrial Nazi threat, and the President appoints Vivian as commander of the secretly militarised spacecraft USS George W. Bush, which carries nuclear and directed-energy weapons; only to discover that most of the other nations have similarly equipped their spacecraft. They dispatch them against the Nazi fleet, which consists of the Götterdämmerung, giant Zeppelin-like craft called Siegfrieds, and countless smaller craft. Adler, commanding the Götterdämmerung, destroys parts of the Moon to expose Earth. Renate and Washington travel in Adler's flying saucer to the Götterdämmerung, where Washington attempts to disable the engines while Renate seeks Adler. Meanwhile, the international space fleet damage the Nazis' Moon base and approach the Götterdämmerung. During the battle, Washington disconnects Vivian's tablet that is now controlling the Götterdämmerung, while Renate kills Adler. The U.S. President congratulates Vivian from the UN session; whereupon Vivian discloses the presence of large tanks of helium-3 on the Moon, of which the President immediately assumes sole claim on grounds that its possession ensures a millennium-long supply of energy. This enrages the other UN members, who involve themselves in a brawl while their remaining spaceships destroy each other.
Renate reunites with Washington, who has reverted his genetics back to normal. They kiss before a confused group of Nazi civilians whom Renate assures, "[they] have a lotta work cut out for [them]." The final moments of the film show the Earth, apparently during an international nuclear war. At the very end of the credits, the planet Mars is revealed with an artificial satellite of undetermined origin in orbit.
Most of the names in the movie have a symbolic and often ironic meaning. The plot is referring to several motifs that originate in post-war Esoteric Nazism, such as the symbol of the Black Sun or Nazi UFOs.
- Julia Dietze as Renate Richter
- Götz Otto as Klaus Adler
- Christopher Kirby as James Washington
- Tilo Prückner as Doktor Richter
- Udo Kier as Mondführer Wolfgang Kortzfleisch
- Peta Sergeant as Vivian Wagner
- Stephanie Paul as the President of the United States (a parody of Sarah Palin)
Production began in early 2006, and the production team took their teaser trailer of the film to the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, seeking co-financiers. The team signed a co-production agreement with Oliver Damian's 27 Films Productions. Iron Sky is one of a new wave of productions, including Artemis Eternal, The Cosmonaut, A Swarm of Angels, and RiP!: A Remix Manifesto, produced in collaboration with an on-line community of film enthusiasts, creating participatory cinema. At Wreck-a-Movie, a collaborative film-making web site, the producers invited everyone interested to contribute ideas and resources to the project.
On 11 February 2009, it was announced that the film would star German actress Julia Dietze, while the Slovenian industrial music group Laibach would be recording the soundtrack. Appropriately enough for a film about Nazism, the orchestral soundtrack incorporates leitmotifs from the operatic cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen and other operas by Richard Wagner, a composer whose music was favoured by the Nazi leaders. The national anthem of the Nazis from the Moon ("Kameraden, wir kehren Heim!") has the tune of "Die Wacht am Rhein". During the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, Iron Sky signed a co-production agreement with the Australian production company New Holland Pictures, which brought Cathy Overett and Mark Overett as co-producers of the film.
Iron Sky was video-recorded in Red camera format. Cinematography began in November 2010 in Frankfurt for location shooting, and after that in January 2011 in Australia for studio shooting. Settings in Frankfurt were Weseler Werft (Weseler Shipyard) and Taunusstraße (Taunus Street). On 6 February 2011, the cinematography of Iron Sky concluded; it then entered a ten-week post-production process.
Iron Sky premiered on 11 February 2012 at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival, in the Panorama Special section. It was released in Finland on 4 April and in Germany on 5 April, running in major cinemas.
In the UK, there was some controversy regarding the decision of the distributor, Revolver Entertainment, to release the film for only one day, causing the film makers to issue a public condemnation of their UK distributor, and accusing Revolver of misleading them. Following high demand from the film's online fanbase, Revolver revised its decision and Iron Sky's UK cinema release was extended.
Critical reception of Iron Sky was mixed to negative. The film has a 36% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 36 reviews. William Goss of Film.com gave the film a D+, saying it "feels more and more like a lost Austin Powers sequel that already feels exceedingly dated in its humor". Jeff Shannon of The Seattle Times gave the film two out of four stars, describing it as "Great idea, lousy execution." Leslie Felperin of Variety described Iron Sky as being "...neither good enough to rep a proper breakout hit nor bad enough that it might attain cult status; it’s just kind of lame." The film was awarded the 2012 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts AACTA Award for Best Visual Effects.
On 5 October 2011, Blind Spot released a digital comic prequel to the film, titled Iron Sky: Bad Moon Rising, written by the writer of Alan Wake, Mikko Rautalahti, and fully illustrated by comic artist Gerry Kissell, creator of IDW Publishing's Code Word: Geronimo. IDW Publishing printed these comics in a softcover graphic novel collection in March 2013.
On 19 August 2012, TopWare Interactive announced Iron Sky: Invasion, an official video game adaptation and expansion of the film, to be developed by Reality Pump Studios. The game was described as an advanced space flight simulator game, with elements of the strategy and RPG genres.
In 2012, Revision Games published Iron Sky: The Board Game, a board game based on the film designed by Juha Salmijärvi. It is a strategy board game, where two opposing teams The Reich and The UWC struggle for domination over three continents of Earth. Each player is in charge of one continent and cooperation within each team is mandatory for success.
On 20 May 2012, Kaukomaa announced that there are plans for a prequel and a sequel but refused to disclose details. In May 2013, Vuorensola announced that Iron Sky will have a sequel titled Iron Sky: The Coming Race. He also mentioned that unlike the first film, this installment will be completely funded by fans via Indiegogo, with an estimated budget of US$15 million. A promo video will be shot for the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and the final draft of the script is scheduled to be published by the end of 2014. Filming is expected to begin in 2015. In July 2013, Vuorensola revealed Croatia as one of the proposed shooting locations. In February 2014, Dalan Musson signed in to write the screenplay. The Finnish Film Foundation and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg have come on board to finance the US$13 million project.
- Space Nazis
- Rocket Ship Galileo, Robert A. Heinlein's 1947 novel in which Nazis establish a secret base on the Moon.
- The Iron Dream, a similarly titled novel by Norman Spinrad also concerning Nazism.
- Nazis at the Center of the Earth, a mockbuster of Iron Sky by The Asylum.
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