The Finnish space-satire was hitting trash movie fan hearts even before movie was taken. Let´s make a time travel. It is 1990 when a young group of movie nerds somewhere in Finland start creating a Star Wars parody. The mother of one nerd provides a room in her house for the project. Shootings start with a video-cam and an ancient green screen. The fighting effects are generated later on the computer in the kitchen of visual-effects-tinkerer Samuli Torssonen. Samuli and his comrade Timo Vuorensola already let the slowly growing internet community take part in their project; they allow them to comment on it and to bring in own ideas. When the group finally uploads Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning in 2005, it reaches millions of views.
One year later director Timo Vourensola sits in the sauna with a friend and talks about a new story: after the end of WWII , Nazis flew to the dark side of the moon to settle down. In the year 2018 they wanna come back to conquer the Earth. There could be a “Meteor-Blitzkrieg” and a Nazi spaceship called “Götterdämmerung”. Udo Kier should be in that movie and the Slovenian industrial band Laibach- who like to perform in uniforms-could compose the score. What a trash! Six years later Iron Sky has its world premiere on the Berlinale 2012 in Berlin. The crazy idea turned into a 7,5 million Euro production. One tenth was contributed by the internet community. And even though being an independent production Iron Sky got more attention than a lot of blockbusters.
What a success. Iron Sky already has a strong influence in seminars about viral marketing, crowd sourcing and crowd financing. A future audience helped pushing, designing and financing the movie. And Iron Sky shows again that you can make bucks with Nazis in pop culture. It is a product of a change in media, digitalization, and the potentiality of social media. Maybe this all helped convincing conventional subsidy to support this movie that sounded a lot like a “Naziploitation”. Maybe Quention Tarantino´s Inglourious Basterds (2009) also helped to pave the way for more utopist or dystopist interpretations of the Third Reich. You can certainly say “Chapeau!” for Timo Vuorensola´s stamina to finish this movie. BUT- is this a funny movie?
Well, in my case I can only say, after years of waiting, I was disappointed a lot… “Moonnazis”- this word immediately triggers associations in your mind. Like a perfect Grindhouse trailer. But as full-length feature it runs out of steam. Iron Sky offers you perfectly animated space fights, a fondly designed swastika shaped moon base, “Reichsflugscheiben” (Nazi UFOs) and Nazi space suits. The technique is up to date, but the story is weirdly vintage and the humor is surprisingly gentle. While the Nazis in the movie are more or less comic characters (with only one main connection to their NS history- the Hitler salute) in steam punk fascist design with world-domination-image-neurosis, the US of A with a Sarah Palin lookalike female president and her evil genius PR assistant (longing for WWIII to ensure re-election) appear more like an arch-villain than the “Moonnazis”. In an Obama era this couple seems a bit outdated…
To be acid-tongued Iron Sky lacks a connection to the present or to the real NS history. Maybe it just simply lacks of subversive diabolicalness. Instead the movie is full with references and quotes which makes it funny somehow but only because you already laughed about the originals…
A priori the Finish-German-Australian co production lost during the long time period a lot of the anarchistic humor of the original idea. Iron Sky is professionalized to death- consensus jokes and an aesthetic appeal for the whole galaxy. This might rock the box office but definitely not the trash movie fans. Milky way mainstream… And in a world that is getting more and more extreme maybe a wrong message to the wrong people.