The 25th Reich

Dir: Stephen Amis
Star: Jim Knobeloch, Serge De Nardo, Angelo Salamanca, Jak Wyld

Kevin Smith tells a great story about working on a Superman script, and being ordered by producer Jon Peters to add a scene where the hero fought a giant spider. I mention it, because there's a really strange scene in this, where a man is roughly sodomized by a giant, metallic Nazi spider, and I couldn't help looking (in vain) for Peters' name in the end credits. It's part of a bizarre story, set in World War 2, where five GIs are sent to the Australian outback on a mission supposedly to track down a lost reginmental mascot, only to go through a time vortes and end up 50,000 years in the past, where a crashed flying saucer was found by time-travelling Naziz. When they return from the prehistoric past, they discover that the Axis powers used the technology to win the war. It's up to our brave boys to rectify the time line and stop Ze Germans from taking over the whole galaxy, using a massive fleet of saucers.

It's not as good as it sounds, and the main thought I had at the end of this was, "Man, Iron Sky was just so much better in every area, wasn't it?". Not least because this abandons all pretense at any actual ending, in favour of a bridge to a sequel that I have very little interest in seeing. However, almost all the aspects are similarly deficient. It's clearly going for a parody of those square-jawed action flicks from the forties, with a little dash of B-movie science fiction. However, it's done neither with wit nor conviction, and particularly in the first half, there's too much jaw-jaw, and not enough war-war, to paraphrase Churchill. In comparison to Sky, the special effects are significantly second-rate, though this does at least match the performances from most of the cast (perhaps with the exception of Knobeloch, who plays the squad captain). And then there's the giant metallic spider rape, which will at least give you reason to remember the film, albeit only as "the one with the giant metallic spider rape." Truly, the best thing about the film is a deliciously-kitschy opening credit sequence. From there, the fall is fast and hard.

[September 2013]

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