A Sci-Fi comedy
by the makers of Star Wreck note
about Moon Nazis invading Earth
in flying saucers
in the year 2018
. It premiered at the Berlinale Film Festival on February 11th, 2012, and released to theaters on April 4th.
: In the year 1945
, Nazi scientists under Hans Kemmler develop revolutionary anti-gravity technology
at a secret base
. While the technology offers an enormous advantage in many fields, it came too late to save the Axis cause. The last representatives of the Third Reich
construct saucer-shaped spaceships
using the anti-gravity technology and retreat to the dark side of the Moon. There, they establish a new base
, Schwarze Sonne
(Black Sun), and spend 70 years developing new technology and preparing for a full invasion of Earth.
Meanwhile on Earth, things have been going about as normally as you'd expect. After the apparent defeat of the Third Reich, there was the Cold War
, the Space Race
, various social upheavals, unpopular wars, technological revolutions, and economic rollercoasters. Now the United States
is set to re-elect a Sarah Palin
expy to a second term as President. In a publicity stunt, she decides to send a black man to the dark side of the Moon.Hilarity Ensues
A sequel has been announced, to be released in 2016. It features Nazis riding dinosaurs
inside the Hollow Earth
Iron Sky contains examples of:
- Affably Evil: The Nazis, in many cases. Sure they want to blow up the Earth, but they're also generally rather intelligent and polite, especially compared to the Earthling characters.
- All There in the Manual: How the Nazis got the Moon, for starters.
- Allohistorical Allusion:
- In one of the trailers the Nazis are shown landing on the Moon, unfurling a flag on a fixed flagpole, saluting the audience, and even draws similarities to the "Small Step For Man" line.
- The assault on Earth begins on 5:45 a.m., not unlike the German invasion of Poland that started World War II.
- When the UN sees the Nazi swastika, they at first suspect the India representative of doing something on the moon, since he is also wearing a swastika ring. However, he tries to explain that it was a good luck symbol, before the Nazis twisted and corrupted its meaning.
- America Saves the Day: Referenced. The American president claims that America always saves the day, and is therefore entitled to the Helium-3. Unfortunately this sparks World War 3.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: Vivian bases the President's re-election campaign speech on Renate's pro-Nazi propaganda.
- Apocalypse How: a Planetary Societal Disruption at the very least, shown as the nuclear warheads light up the Earth in the final shot, though in the stinger it's implied that someone could go start a new civilization on Mars.
- Artistic License – Astronomy: Towing asteroids into trajectories that would hit the Earth is possible. However, if these asteroids are tailing behind space zeppelins in Earth orbit, the asteroids would effectively be in Earth orbit too. To de-orbit them, their maneuvering engines would have to push them hard enough in the retrograde direction for their new perigee to intersect the Earth's surface, which requires about a hundred meters per second of delta-V. Either those tiny engines attached to the just-released asteroid in the movie were a LOT more powerful than they looked, or the producers thought that an object released above the Earth would automatically fall regardless of its current trajectory.
- No one said that the zeppelins, who have Antigravity technology, which is the premise of the whole film, were in earth orbit. Also Antigravity technology is so revolutionary because it removes rocketry from the picture, which in turn means hundreds of meters per second of delta-v isn't that impressive anymore.
- There is also no such thing as a 'dark side' of the moon (a lunar day lasts about 1 month with 2 weeks of daylight), but, since the moon is tidally locked to the Earth, there is a 'far side' of the moon, which always faces away from Earth. The moon base that's supposed to be on the dark side of the moon can be seen with both sunlight hitting it and the Earth in view.
- Klaus, when told that Earth is under the horizon, states that it was the full moon yesterday, which is supposed to mean that Earth is close to the horizon now. Earth does move a bit in the Moon's sky, but it's a bit more complex than mere moon phases.
- Artistic License – Biology: By the time the movie takes place, two or three generations of Nazis have been born and raised on the Moon. Despite this, none of the Nazis who travel to Earth have any problem with gravity six times stronger than what they're used to. This could be handwaved by their anti-gravity technology producing Earth-norm gravity within their fortresses, but one early scene shows our astronaut hero falling off a high railing inside the base, in slow motion that would be consistent with lunar gravity.
- Artistic License – Physics: When the Nazis blow up the lunar lander, Washington is knocked back by a shock wave, which can't exist in a vacuum.
- If you look really closely you can see Washington is knocked back by a piece of debris from the exploding lander.
- Awesome but Impractical: The Nazi flagship, the Götterdämmerung, is about the size of a small city and has guns that can destroy about 10% of the Moon with each shot. Although most of its workings appear to be mechanical, Nazi computer technology is stuck in the 40s and they can't get it off the ground without the processing power of a simple handheld smartphone or tablet. This falls in line with many real Nazi experimental weapons that were ridiculously oversized.
- Big Bad: Klaus Adler, who kills Kortzfleisch in the second act and assumes control of the Nazi attack fleet.
- The Big Board: The Nazis have some kind of operations room to plan their invasion, and we see Wolfgang Kortzfleisch playing with the models like plastic army men.
- Big Damn Heroes: During the space battle the U.S.S George W. Bush is finally starting to be overwhelmed by the Nazi ships and needs reinforcements, even though there should be none due to an international treaty that bans creation of armed spaceships. Cue an incoming armada of ships consisting of nearly every major nation in the world, all of which violated that treaty just like the US did. Except Finland.
- Possibly made all the funnier by the knowledge that Finnish broadcaster YLE was one of the film's (several) major financiers.
- Bilingual Bonus: Most of the Nazi dialogue is in German, albeit subtitled in English except when dealing with proper names and a few other things.
- Biting-the-Hand Humor: The film pokes fun at many countries, including Finland (the only country who didn't arm their ships) and Australia (whom the President was considering arbitrarily bombing). Two of the main sponsors of the film are from Finland and Australia, and one of the directors is himself Finnish.
- Black Comedy
- Bling of War:
- Klaus Adler ordering "a uniform fit for a Führer". Later we see him in a uniform trimmed with an excessive number of chains.
- Vivian Wagner's inexplicable feather-trimmed catsuit, which she wears on the bridge of the USS George W Bush. She seems to have been hired for the job almost exclusively because she'd look good doing it.
- Bound and Gagged: Vivian, though it doesn't stop her talking.
- Butt Monkey: The North Korean representative, who tries to take credit for the spaceships the Nazis use. Everyone in the room immediately dismisses it.
N. Korean Delegate: The spaceships are ours. Our Beloved Leader designed and built them himself.
Assembled Delegates: *laughter*
Secretary of State: Alright, North Korea, sit down.
- But What About the Astronauts?: The ending.
- Cassandra Truth: James tries to warn people on Earth about the moon Nazis, but obviously it doesn't sound very believable. Him looking like an established hobo by that point doesn't help spread his message either.
- Clothing Damage: Renate gives the audience some gratuitous fanservice when the airlock is opened.
- Colony Drop: The Nazi spaceships drag large chunks of the Moon to toss at the Earth.
- Combat Stilettos: Renate wears them in her Vivian Wagner-designed costume. She uses one of them to kill Klaus by ramming her heel into his forehead.
- Compensating for Something: The Götterdämmerung, as pointed out by Vivian.
Vivian: Klaus must have the smallest dick in the entire universe.
- Cool Starship: The Nazi spaceships look like Cool Airships.
- Stating the obvious but The Götterdämmerung. Looks like the aftermath of an explosion at a girder factory, but has destructive power equal to many sci-fi planet-killers.
- The Earth Fleet, especially U.S.S. George W. Bush probably outdo the Nazi ones, having a much more modern aesthetic (the Moon Nazis' are extremely Diesel Punk), evidently much more powerful weapons (not counting the Gotterdammerung's cannons), and being extremely varied. A few vessels of note are the I.S.S., a rebuilt Mir with a Wave Motion Gun, and The Tardis.
- Death by Sex: The guard assigned to kill Vivian fell for the old "one last blowjob" trick.
- Death by Woman Scorned: Klaus Adler, who made the mistake of scorning two women.
- Death Glare: Klaus gives a genuinely frightening one to Kortzfleisch when the latter begins the invasion. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Klaus kills him shortly afterwards.
- Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: The Götterdämmerung's cannon shells are made up of "metallic hydrogen". They're powerful enough to blow up large chunks of the Moon with a single volley. Metallic hydrogen actually exists as an experimental material, and could theoretically be weaponized if it could be made in significant quantities.
- Detonation Moon: About 10% of the Moon gets blown up.
- Diesel Punk: Having adapted separate from our own technological advancements, the grim, pistons-and-gears approach towards spaceship design, particularly the Götterdämmerung, gives this feel as a stark contrast to the more traditional approach to Twenty Minutes into the Future that Earth has grown with.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Okay, so Klaus Adler ended his affair with Vivian Wagner and went back to the moon. Her response involves a heavily armed spaceship and the complete destruction of the Nazi moonbase in order to kill Klaus. The Nazi invasion just happens to get in her way and helps her vent some of her anger.
- Downer Ending: Quite so. The Nazi invasion force is defeated, but the heroes (and the civilians on the Moon) are stuck in a nuked Moonbase. Not to mention every nation on Earth descends into a nuclear war, with the end credits rolling over a slow panning shot of the Earth tearing itself apart. However, the very last image in the film is that of a spaceship of unknown origin orbiting the planet Mars.
- Eagleland: The United States is a shallow, greedy bully that misses no opportunity to toot its own horn. It does, however, take the lead when it comes to defeating the Nazis. For the publicity, that is.
- Einstein Hair: Doktor Richter, complete with the mustache as well.
- Engineered Public Confession
- Evil Tower of Ominousness: Schwarze Sonne is a giant swastika.
- Evil vs. Evil: All of the world's countries are just bickering warmongers, while the Nazis are either cluelessly naive or... you know... legit Nazis.
- Fantastic Racism: Moon Führer Wolfgang Kortzfleisch sees all humans on Earth as sub-humans that must be eliminated from Earth.
- Fictional United Nations: United World Confederacy
- Five-Bad Band: At the beginning anyway...
- Flying Saucer: The staple transport of the Nazis, the Reichsflugscheibe, working something like a Space Tank in terms of armament.
- Fun with Subtitles: Long Title gags and spelling mistakes that get corrected on screen.
- Gas Mask Mooks: The Nazis are seen wearing these as they load up into their flying saucers.
- Groin Attack: With a hilarious reaction to boot!
- Heel-Face Turn: Renate.
- Heel Realisation: When Renate sees the unedited version of The Great Dictator and runs into some Neo-Nazis.
- Herr Doktor: Doctor Richter, naturally.
- High Heel-Face Turn: Renate realizes the horror of the Nazis and decides to reeducate the survivors on the Moon.
- Historical In-Joke:
- The Russian throwing his shoe at the UN conference is a reference to the alleged Khrushchev shoe-banging incident in the UN as well as the shoe-pelting of George W. Bush.
- A member of the UN stands up and shouts, "You lie!" at the US president, which is a reference to US Representative Joe Wilson's outburst during Barack Obama's state of the union address.
- In the final battle, the Japanese spaceship, in kamikaze fashion, rams itself into another ship.
- Homage: Vivian shouting at her employees is very similar (almost shot for shot) to the infamous Hitler ranting scene from Downfall.
- I Know Mortal Kombat:
Renate: Do you have any idea how to fly this thing?
- Incurable Cough of Death: Kortzfleisch seems to get long bouts of indignant coughing whenever someone greets him with "Heil Hitler!"
- Insistent Terminology: Adler is deliberately taunting Kortzfleisch by heiling Hitler instead of him, something the Führer points out every time.
Adler: Heil Hitler!
Kortzfleisch: Das Heißt. NICHT. HITLER!note
- Interrupted Intimacy: Adler is about to bang Vivian on the floor of her office when he notices Kortzfleisch sitting comfortably just a few meters away, flanked by several bodyguards wielding machine guns. Cue Adler standing up and doing a Nazi salute with his pants down.
- Ironic Echo: Intertextualist echo on a Shout-Out line: after Vivian orders her crew to fire the nukes on Schwarze Sonne, they hesitate:
Crew member: What about the women and children?
Vivian: The USA does not negotiate with terrorists!
- Jive Turkey: From a black man, naturally. "Invasion? Y'all must be trippin'!"
- Just Plane Wrong: A-10 Thunderbolts, which are ground-attack planes (used mainly to destroy tanks or harass massed enemy infantry formations), are shown to be used as anti-air fighters, though it's not the first movie guilty of that. F-22 Raptors are engaging their targets at distances and altitudes more consistent with Old-School Dogfight just so that the Nazi flak guns would be shown actually having any effect.
- Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: According to All There in the Manual, before leaving, the Nazi elite kill off all excess people in the Antarctic base as to leave no evidence warning of their return.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
- In the middle of the high-budget space battle, Vivian comments, "This is beautiful!"
- One imagines that this was not the intention later, when the Götterdämmerung is anti-climatically destroyed and Vivian comments, "Well that was disappointing!"
- Only taking the in-universe side, it comes off rather creepy, with her finding a slaughter beautiful and her enemies not being tortured disappointing.
- Macross Missile Massacre: The American spaceship attacks this way. With nuclear missiles, no less.
- Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Renate.
- The Man Behind the Man: It is fairly evident that for all her flaws, the president had no idea about the Helium-3 deposits, and was simply being guided by the Secretary of Defense, even asking him why they were really going to the moon in an early scene. One scene later he is seen becoming (supposedly) very confused when a U.N. delegate asks if they are going there for "Natural Resources Activity", and claims to have no idea what the man is talking about. When the Helium-3 is discovered, the Secretary is the only one in the room not to be confused, quickly and quietly informing the president that "It's ours".
- Meaningful Name: The Nazi spaceships are named after the operas of Wagner's Ring Cycle.
- Missing Trailer Scene: Kortzfleisch playing with his models, among others.
- The Name Is Bond, James Bond: "Washington. James Washington."
- Next Sunday A.D.: The movie was screened in 2012 and is set in 2018.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Moon Nazis in flying saucers and space zeppelins, vs. President Sarah Palin.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: The US President looks like Sarah Palin, speaks like George Bush, and is focused on presentation like Obama.
- No Mere Windmill: The flying saucer space Nazis are very real, but when a certain hobo tries to warn people about the threat they all just think he's crazy.
- Non-Nazi Swastika: There is quite a bit of fire directed against the India representative for wearing one of these once the other politicians get a shot of an enemy capital ship.
- North Koreans with Nodongs: When the Nazi fleet first appears, the North Korean U.N. representative "confesses" that the ships are theirs, and that their "Great Leader designed and built them himself." The entirety of the U.N. bursts into a fit of uncontrollable laughter.
- Not Distracted by the Sexy: Klaus manages to shrug off Vivian's advances, which is to be expected given that she's not Aryan. She does not take it well.
- Obligatory War Crime Scene: The US ship firing a bunch of nukes at a position they know to be full of noncombatant women and children.
- Off Model: A scene depicting Nazi flying saucers attacking as viewed from the streets of New York shows them much larger than they actually are in any other shots.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: Of the German variety: "Götterdämmerung muss fliegen, Maschine steigt in den Himmel!"
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Dr. Richter may be a Nazi quack, but you have to give the man credit for how quickly he adapted computer technology generations ahead of his own to the Nazi's purposes. He even wrote a Nazi app for the smartphone and tablet. However, the entire plot hinges on him apparently being unable to build a 5v charger.
- Special credit simply to this line: "I invented this cable to connect this machine with our main computer. I call it Universal Systematic Binding - USB for short."
- Once More with Clarity: In-universe: Renate teaches her students on the Moon that The Great Dictator is a ten minute short film showing how Adolf Hitler wished for peace and unity across the globe. After Renate arrives on Earth, she tries to convince Washington of Hitler's "message" by taking him to a theatre playing the movie. Too bad Earth's copy of the film isn't edited...
- This is also one of the things—along with the Helium-3 issue, which is scientifically at least plausible—where this film is improbably better-researched and thought out than it has any right to be.
- Orion Drive: The USS George W. Bush seems to be designed with one. Might explain the shit-ton of nukes it was carrying.
- Overly Long Name: Some of the Moon Nazi military titles spoof actual Nazi military titles with glee. One of them is long enough to take a full row in subbing.
- Our Presidents Are Different: The US president is a buffoonish Sarah Palin expy. In the trailer for the sequel, it's revealed she's actually a reptilian.
- Playing with Syringes
- Precision F-Strike: From the Berlin trailer:
Narrator: You know what I'm talking about: Motherfucking space Nazis in a film called Iron Sky!
- Plug 'n' Play Technology: A modern smartphone, followed by a tablet, is interfaced with 40s-era vacuum tube technology.
- Point Defenseless: Played straight with the Nazis, but averted with the USS George W. Bush. Until they start to overwhelm it with numbers, the Nazis can't even land a hit.
- Ramming Always Works: During the final space battle, the Japanese spaceship goes all kamikaze.
- Recycled In Space: Nazis, ON THE MOON! Alien Invasion movie, WITH NAZIS!
- The space battle itself carries enough similarities to be Star Wreck WITH NAZIS!
- Rescue Romance: Washington stops Renate from being blown out into space when he unwittingly opens an airlock door.
- Riding the Bomb: Very briefly towards the end of the movie.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The movie is, ultimately, all about this; first with the Nazis wanting revenge on Earth, then Vivian taking revenge on Klaus and the USA waging revenge for the Nazi attack, then the other nations of the world get into the fight back against bullying America...
- Rule of Funny/Rule of Cool: The film lives on these tropes. Nazis on the Moon with doomsday weapons and an army of space zeppelins. Also, almost every nation in the world has an armed space program to join battle against said space zeppelins.
- The President's re-election propaganda campaign being led by a pair of actual Nazis, one of whom even writes her speeches.
- Running Gag: Moon Führer Kortzfleisch is annoyed when his subordinates salute him with "Heil Hitler!"
- Schizo Tech: The Nazis have a secret Moon base, flying saucers, GIANT space zeppelins, and Helium-3 fusion power, but they're still using trenchcoats, motorcycles, MP-40 submachine guns, and computers that fill up an entire room.
- Screen Shake: In the USS George W. Bush, when fired upon, the entire ship shakes in a way reminiscent of another show. Not surprising, given the special effect studio commissioned for the film previously worked on Star Wreck.
- Secret Weapon: In violation of the UN treaties, every major nation turns out to have one or several secret militarized spaceships, apart from Finland. Not only have these nations secretly planted weapons systems on their spacecraft capable of shooting down Nazi flying saucers and space zeppelins, they also managed to cram enough fuel into those tiny spaceframes to send them all the way to the Moon, "just in case."
- Selective Obliviousness: The Nazis are very confident in their technological levels.
Klaus Adler: What is this device? *holds up a smartphone*
Washington: Oh that? That's my kickass cellphone... and a computer.
Doktor Richter: That... is not a computer. This is a computer! *Motions to a room-sized Zuse computer*
- To his credit, Richter studies the device and confirms Washington's story later on.
- Sequel Hook / The Stinger: After dealing with Moon Nazis for the entirety of the film, the final shot of the film shows the Moon eclipsing the sun, which slowly pulls back to show an Earth ruined by nuclear war, until finally it pulls back far enough that Mars appears at the bottom of screen... with a man-made satellite of undetermined origin in orbit. Hmm... the Red Planet, huh?
- It might be the Finnish ship.
- Sex Face Turn: Vivian, in all likelihood, would have betrayed America had Alder simply boned her like she obviously wanted.
- Der Untergang, in Vivian's first scene is a recreation of the famous Downfall rant.
- Washington seems to have troubles keeping himself from saluting.
- If you look again closely at the first shot of the Earth fleet, there's a little blue box that you might have missed...
- Plenty to Wagner, from the ship names to some of the musical themes.
- The scene where Adler crawls towards Renate who tries to stop the Götterdämmerung is accompanied by the shark theme from Jaws.
- The Australian satellite is named the Dundee 01.
- This also happens to be a bad pun and shout out to 'Dante 01', a french sci-fi movie.
- Star Trek, in the design of the USS George W Bush's bridge and in the way the whole crew stumbles about whenever they get hit.
- The music for the space battle includes a few bars of synth from "On The Run" by Pink Floyd. No prizes for guessing the album.
- When Adler is rallying his troops as he enthusiastically waves an iPad at them (complete with little glowing Apple logo), it shares resemblance to another iconic Apple Shout Out.
- The logo of the George W. Bush bears a strong resemblance to the Weyland-Yutani logo.
- The mayhem on the streets of New York City during the Moon Nazi attack is reminiscent of Independence Day. So are shots of the zeppelins in space readying for attack.
- Vivian Wagner's name may be an allusion for not only Composer!Wagner but also a popular Finnish newspaper comic Viivi & Wagner.
- Shown Their Work: The Moon motorcycle runs on biodiesel distilled from the waste of a hydroponic greenhouse, and has a separate oxygen tank to allow it work in the vacuum. The official explanation is the motorcycle engine is converted to run on hydrogen peroxide monopropellant. Peroxide is introduced into the cylinder via a catalytic nozzle, which turns liquid peroxide into superheated steam and replaces the combustion in power stroke. Peroxide is run through hollow cylinder liners which act as regenerative coolant jackets. Also they wear their trenchcoats over pressurized suits.
- Space Is Noisy: The surface of the Moon is supposed to be a near-perfect vacuum. This doesn't prevent us from hearing the Moon motorcycle's internal combustion engine, though.
- The Starscream: Adler.
- Stupid Jetpack Hitler: The Nazis have Flying Saucers, a Moonbase Space Zeppelins, Helium-3 mines, and a Diesel Punk Doomsday Device.
- Sucking-In Lines: At least one Earth space laser weapon does that.
- Super Breeding Program: Brought up by Klaus Adler as a rather unromantic way of telling Renate Richter that he wants her babies.
- Supervillain Lair: Schwarze Sonne, a swastika-shaped Nazi base ON THE MOON.
Obvious and overstated
as always, Klaus...
- Switch to English: Renate near the start in conducting her class.
- Take a Third Option: Adler's original mission to Earth was to simply get some cellphones to complete the nazi's superweapon. However, he gets a bit sidetracked due largely to Renate convincing the US president to try for a more peaceful resolution, and probably would have just went along with it were it not for the untimely arrival of the Führer accusing him of treason and forcing his hand.
- Technology Porn: Surprisingly massive amounts of glorious CGI for a comedy title made on a ten million dollar budget, without any noticeable Special Effects Failure.
- Theme Naming: All the Nazi spaceships have been named after Richard Wagner's operas. Including Götterdämmerung.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Vivian's choice of weapon for her revenge on Klaus? A space battleship filled to the brim with nukes. Justified in that she can fend off his Nazi invasion while she's already at it.
- Those Wacky Nazis: Wackier than ever.
- Toilet Humor: Notice the dove on the teaser poster.
- Tomato in the Mirror: Washington isn't aware he's been turned into a blue-eyed white man until he encounters some gangbangers.
- Twenty Minutes into the Future: Well, in 2018, to be precise.
- Villain Protagonist: The comics are told from the Nazis' POV.
- Wave Motion Gun: The Russian ship, the re-purposed MIR space station, seems to have a giant laser.
- The Nazi's superweapon, which manages to shoot through part of the moon, creating a huge valley to reveal Earth after it disappeared over the horizon.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Renate seems completely okay with her father dying aboard the Götterdämmerung. The Stinger reveals that Dr. Richter didn't really die... he's strapped to a table and forced to listen to a modern rap song, as he "tortured" James in the first act of the film.
- What happened to the rest of the Nazi soldiers who initially arrived on Earth? After one is killed in the pot field the other two are seen running in a different direction than the protagonists, not to mention what happened to the pilots of the ship.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Renate really believes that national socialism is all about bringing peace, cooperation, and unity. She was never told about the real outcome of World War II, which led to her Heel Realization when she discovered the truth.
- Woman Scorned: Do not ever piss off Vivian. She even quotes the preceding line of the poem (Hell hath no fury).
- Zee Rust: Used with the nazis, whose technology doesn't seem much further than the mid 1940's, such as Dr. Richter's room-sized computer.
- Zeppelins from Another World: They carry Nazi UFOs and drag asteroids behind them.