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In Iron Sky we see the rise of the 4th Reich, who have been building war machines on the moon since 1945 and watching an extensively abridged version of The Great Dictator to inform their growing generations of Hitler’s glory. When two astronauts (sent by the president as part of an elaborate voter campaign) land on the moon’s unexplored shady surface, they are accosted by a group of very stylish, gravity-defying space men. Washington, the first African-American on the moon, is assimilated into the Nazi co-op in an atrocious experiment and with the naïve Renate, and ambitious Klaus (two Gen X moon Nazis vying the future of National Socialism) they descend on Earth for a new holocaust.

Begun as a teaser trailer aired at Cannes, and then a viral sensation on YouTube, the warped brainchild of Finnish director Timo Vuorensola is an idea so extraordinary, its almost irresistible. It had a cult status before it started production, and is partly fan-funded. Shot in Finland, Germany, the United States and here in Australia, the special effects are great for its budget and the camp costume design is a marvellous mockery of the seductive SS uniform.

This feat of a team effort, 6 years in the making, does not necessarily vouch for the weak plot, babel performances or out-dated politics. The United States president resembles Republican candidate Sarah Palin but, please, she is SO 2010. The Nazi jokes are likewise exhausted and surprisingly enough the holocaust isn’t really mentioned at all.

Where conspiracy/cult movies like The Celestine Prophecy, or Battlefield Earth have a kind of niche market or faith, Iron Sky, parodying conspiracy, didn’t dare take itself too seriously or as seriously as the kind of audience it might attract. It may have been funnier, if it had been a little more evangelistic and less like a really bad Hollywood spoof from 5 of the 10 writers of Date Movie.

* a version of this post originally appeared at filmblerg.com