Iron Sky (Director’s Cut)

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

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 U.S. President appoints Vivian as commander of the secretly militarized 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 pigmentation 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.


The past few years have brought about a trend of mashing up genres and being experimental with storyline, at least on the independent level. Iron Sky is a film that keeps this tradition going and has apparently become a cult favorite, but what is so great about this picture? Is it overhyped? Let’s find out, shall we?

What is this about?

In 1945, the Nazis secretly retreated to the far side of the Moon. When a new space shuttle mission threatens to expose them, they put the finishing touches on their diabolical plot to invade Earth.

What did I like?

That’s where they went. Credit where credit is due. There have been countless films that have spouted theories on where the Nazis disappeared to after their defeat in World War II, but fleeing to the dark side of the moon and starting a new civilization there might just be my favorite. Someone actually had to have a creative bone in their body in order to come up with that one!

Satire. There is a strong sense of satire in this film as the US is portrayed as a bit trigger happy and ready to destroy any and everything without asking questions. Sometimes I wonder if that is satire or truth, especially these days. A scene involving the UN tries to show North Korea as a threat, but ultimately they come off as too small and weak to do anything. Personally, I enjoy little jabs like this, they make for great levity in a film that desperately needed it.

Nailin’ Palin. The president during all this is a version of Sarah Palin (Lord help us all!). I’ll give it to the actress that plays her, Stephanie Paul, she has just enough Palin for audiences to recognize that she’s spoofing her, while also keeping the character a bit more of her own. She’s still no Tina Fey, though. HA!

What didn’t I like?

Whiteface. I am not a fan of faking another race, such as blackface from back in the 20-40s. This goes for putting a black man in white makeup, as well. I need to preface this by saying I always crack up at Eddie Murphy as the Jewish guy in the barbershop in Coming to America, so there is a way this can be done correctly. However, whoever did this makeup job on Christopher Kirby made him look…well, he reminded me of Ron Perlman, for some reason. I don’t have an issue with the storyline leading up to that point, but surely they could have done something else to make the guy white that lightly dust him with makeup, right?

Lighten up. Films of this nature are starting to get on my nerves? Why? Well, let’s take Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, for example. Source material aside, the premise for that film seems like the kind of thing that should be a fun romp, but instead we get this almost super serious film that I think suffered because of that reason. This film follows suit. There is no reason for a film about space Nazis and Sarah Palin as president to be serious, now is there? I feel as if this film needed to crack some more jokes and have some fun with the material.

Helium-3. In the opening scene, we get a glimpse at a factory that is containing Helium-3, but what is Helium-3? Obviously, it is important since it sends the world into war at film’s end and an astronaut was killed for finding said factory, but we never really learn what it is or why it is so important.

Iron Sky should have been a better film in my book. Everything is here for this to register as a great picture, space, guns, beautiful women, an original story, satire, etc., but it just lost something in the execution. Having said that, I feel as if this is a picture that warrants multiple viewings to really form an opinion, so if you ask me if I recommend it my answer is no, based on a single viewing, but possibly could be yes after watching a couple of more times.

3 out of 5 stars

side note: this is the director’s cut, which is apparently 20 minutes longer and used more visual effects. I don’t think this makes much of a difference, but then again look how different Superman II (The Richard Donner Cut) is from the theatrical version.


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