Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Timo Vuorensola|
|Produced by||Tero Kaukomaa
|Screenplay by||Michael Kalesniko
|Story by||Johanna Sinisalo
Jarmo Puskala (concept)
|Editing by||Suresh Ayyar|
New Holland Pictures
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Finland (Finland)
Polyband (Germany) E One Entertainment
|Running time||93 minutes|
Iron Sky is a 2012 Finnish-German-Australian comic science fiction action film directed by Timo Vuorensola and written by Johanna Sinisalo and Michael Kalesniko. It tells the story of Nazi Germans who, after being 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 makers 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.
On 20 May 2012, Kaukomaa announced that there are plans for a prequel and a sequel but refused to disclose details. The video game adaptation Iron Sky: Invasion was released in October 2012. A sequel titled Iron Sky: The Coming Race is in the works.
The film opens in 2018 with an American manned landing mission to the Moon. The lander carries two astronauts, one of them an Afro-American male model, James Washington, specifically chosen to aid the President of the United States 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 mobile telephone, of which he later recognizes that its computing power outstrips all that possessed by the 'Fourth Reich', enabling its use as a control unit of space battleship Götterdämmerung. When he strives to demonstrate the completion of his Wunderwaffe to the current Führer, Wolfgang Kortzfleisch, the telephone's battery is exhausted. Unable to reënergize 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, taking with him Washington, earlier given a Caucasoid complexion by Richter. Upon landing they find that Renate has traveled with them in secret. They are introduced to the President of the United States by her assistant Vivian Wagner (played by Peta Sergeant); whereafter they direct her re-election campaign. At the time, Richter 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. Concurrently, Renate Richter is persuaded by the now homeless Washington that Adler intends genocide.
The United Nations assembles to discuss the extraterrestrial Nazi threat, and the American President appoints Vivian Wagner (deserted by Adler) as commander of the spacecraft U.S.S. George W. Bush, carries nuclear and directed-energy weapons; only to discover that most of the other nations have similarly equipped their spacecraft, which they despatch against the Nazi fleet. Adler, commanding the Götterdämmerung, destroys parts of the Moon to expose Earth. Richter and Washington travel in Adler's flying saucer to the Götterdämmerung, where Washington attempts to disable the engines while Richter seeks Adler. Meanwhile, the international space fleet damage the Nazis' base and approach the Götterdämmerung itself. During the battle, Washington disconnects the tablet-computer installed to control the Götterdämmerung while Richter overcomes Adler.
The U.S. President congratulates Wagner from the U.N. session; whereupon Wagner discloses that presence of large tanks of helium-3 on the Moon, of which the U.S. president immediately assumes sole claim on grounds that its possession ensures a millennium-long supply of energy. This enrages another U.N. member (cameo appearance by Claus Wilcke), who incites all U.N. members to a fistfight. This in turn provokes the spacecraft of various nations to destroy each other.
Richter re-unites with Washington (who has regained his natural skin) in the damaged base, before a group of refugees whom Richter 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.
- 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)
- Claus Wilcke as the Russian representative.
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 filmed in Red camera format. Filming 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 filming of Iron Sky concluded; it then entered a 10-week post-production process.
The film 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 mostly 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." 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." 
On 5 October 2011, Blind Spot Pictures 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.
On 19 August 2012, TopWare Interactive announced an Iron Sky: Invasion, an official video game adaptation and expansion of Iron Sky, 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 May 2013, Timo 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, 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.
See also 
- 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.
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