Iron Sky A Modern Day Comedy Cult Classic B-Movie

Courtesy:  Entertainment One

Courtesy: Entertainment One

Iron Sky is hilarious.  In fact it’s so terrible that one can’t help but laugh at this triple threat of a farce.  On the surface it’s obviously a sci-fi spoof.  On another, having it be about Nazis living on the moon coming to invade Earth makes it also a spoof of the war movie genre.  And having a Sarah Palin look-alike as the President makes it a political spoof, too.  Put all of these spoofs together into one pot and this movie is sure to become a modern day cult classic.  Despite what director Timo Vuorensola notes in the director’s commentary, the spoof of all three genres is there, even if it was meant first and foremost to be nothing but a war comedy.

Iron Sky comes across as one of those movies that were it made in the heyday of science fiction, would have been one of the movies featured on the former Syfy channel series, Mystery Science Theater 3000.  The very concept of generations of Nazis living on the moon, planning an eventual attack on Earth is absolutely laughable in itself.  But then again, the very concept isn’t meant to be taken seriously.  For that matter, nothing in this movie is meant to be taken seriously.  Even Vuorensola notes in the “Making of” featurette that the movie was completed in thirty-seven days and that it wasn’t even intended to be the next movie that he made.  The first movie he made was a spoof of the Star Trek franchise.  On a side note, audiences will laugh hysterically at the short clips of that film.  But having completed this movie in such a short time and making it just as hilarious as so many classic sci-fi movies puts it right up there with the likes of B-movie master Roger Corman.

The political spoof side of Iron Sky is just as hilarious as the sci-fi and war movie spoofs thrown into this laugh-a-minute mish-mash of a movie.  The very fact that those behind the cameras would have a Sarah Palin like figure as the leader of the free world is just as funny as the concept of Nazis living on the moon, planning an Earth invasion.  The concept of a figure such as Mrs. Palin leading the country isn’t so much what’s funny.  Rather, it’s the spoof of the former Presidential candidate that is funny.  The president here is a total caricature of Palin that’s completely over the top.  Even funnier is what Vuorensola notes in the director’s commentary about her.  He notes that Palin originally wasn’t even the person that was going to be spoofed.  Rather, he says that his original plan was to use a spoof of *surprise surprise* Jenna Bush.  That comment alone is worth its share of laughs.  The randomness of her as an original choice makes both that choice and the latter that much funnier.  Again, there’s more comedy added to this movie and more proof of the value of bonus features and commentary for a movie’s home release.

The Palin caricature in this movie makes for so many laughs.  Add in the absurdity of her interactions with the world’s other leaders, and viewers can’t help but laugh at the story’s political commentary.  One glance at the news on any network today shows that while what’s shown here is a spoof, there is at least some reality in the leaders’ over the top immaturity and fighting.  During the huge space flight scenes, audience even see the President’s campaign manager on the bridge of her ship with monitors in the background flashing the word, “Vote” interchanging with images of the President.  Sure, jokes of that style are common in political movies.  But that it was so subtle is what makes it so funny.  Even before that, there is another subtlety that audiences will love if they catch it.  As the attack on Earth begins, the President and company are watching the news of the attack.  The crawl on the bottom of the screen reads something to the effect of the FDA had determined that nearly everything causes cancer.  Again, it’s that subtlety that makes this joke so funny.  Here’s this message about people’s health safety begin run against news of an attack on Earth.  It makes for so many laughs for those who manage to catch it.  Of course, there is so much more that viewers will catch and enjoy from this way over the top triple threat of a spoof. And in catching all of the other jokes and subtleties will leave any viewer agreeing that this movie is bound to become a modern comedy cult classic, albeit an underrated one.  But it’s bound to be a cult classic nonetheless for those who are open minded enough to appreciate its total absurdity.

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D.O.A. Shows Even B-Flicks Can Be Fun

Courtesy: Mill Creek Entertainment

D.O.A. is one of the most underrated crime thrillers ever written.  This 1950 film, written by Russell Rouse and Clarence Greene is considered by some to be little more than a B-flick.  But in a weird way, it manages to keep its audience’s attention from beginning to end.  And in comparison to its 1988 re-make starring Dennis Quaid, is far better.  As with so many movies of that era, it didn’t rely on special effects, violence and sex.  It relied on good acting and storytelling.  And through that, it was a success.

The story behind D.O.A. is, as noted, simple.  CPA Frank Bigelow goes on a little vacation to San Francisco.  While there, he is poisoned one night by an unknown assailant while spending an evening at a bar.  As a result, he is left with very little time to live.  So he has to find out who poisoned him and why.  How and why this happens will keep viewers watching throughout the movie’s near ninety-minute run time.  The oddity of this movie is that in a strange way, one can’t help but make some slight comparisons to the likes of the 1998 Will Smith/Gene Hackman movie, Enemy of the State.  The story and action style are very similar.  Odds are, there likely is no link between the two, stylistically.  But it makes for an interesting discussion.  Both have that standard ordinary guy gets unwittingly wrapped up in a big conspiracy, with fast paced action results.  The only difference is the story.

Courtesy: Mill Creek Entertainment

D.O.A. sadly is not one of the most memorable crime thrillers ever written.  Sure it isn’t the top notch style movie that others have been over the years.  But audiences must remember that B-movies are classic in their own right, too.  Some of them are awful.  That’s a given.  But then some, like this movie, aren’t that bad, actually.  Any viewer who has any interest in the history of crime thrillers and dramas will easily find this movie a nice addition to their library.  And thanks to Mill Creek Entertainment’s brand new 100Greatest Mystery Classics side-by side double box set, it can be watched any time, along with loads of other classic B-flicks. 

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