Iron Sky

Last night I went to a showing of the Finnish Nazis-on-the-Moon SF extravaganza Iron Sky with some friends from my writing workshop:  Steve Popkes, Sarah Smith, and Heather Albano, along with Heather's husband Richard and couple of work friends of Steve's.

It was fairly entertaining, if you are generous, which I, out with my friends after a few beers, was inclined to be.  I grew up on Hogan's Heroes, so simultaneously obsessed and comical Nazis are part of my background. Nice special effects, a sexy serious Nazi in a tight skirt, a black astronaut turned white and blond through an albinism serum intended to heal his ethnic defect, and a Sarah Palinesque US President keep things interesting.

Don't look for narrative logic, however. Lots of irrelevance about the #2 Nazi wanting to take over from the #1 Nazi, and a wag-the-dog-like use of the Nazis by a President running for reelection (in 2014--since that's not particularly funny, I can only assume that's a genuine mistake made by people with a vocabulary with too many double vowels).

And its satire doesn't go very deep.  Once the black astronaut is turned Caucasian, aside from a predictable encounter with a black gang, it doesn't really go anywhere.  Europeans think pointing out that the US has complex racial relations is enough to qualify as satire. Saying "Hey, it's President Sarah Palin!" only gets you so far too. The actors are just OK, and use the camp positioning as an excuse for not working too hard.  This is particularly true of the Christopher Kirby, who plays the black astronaut.  Udo Kier does do a nice job as the world-weary Fuhrer Kortzfleisch.

So, it kind of wanted to be Dr. Strangelove in space, but fell far short of that.  Just laziness and coddling by the fan base, I suspect. SF fans like predictable jokes that reinforce their prejudices.  After 200+ years, Europeans are still appalled by and frightened of the United States, but they think the target is so big that they don't have to aim very accurately. Not true, you Euroweenies!  This whole thing could have been a lot better with a less self-indulgent approach to being funny.

So, lower your expectations, and you can have an OK time.  Watch for an entertaining speech from the North Korean representative to the UN.  A lot of beer helps.