In the year 2018, a promotional space shuttle flies out to the moon to – well, to do some promoting, what else? However when they arrive they notice that a huge base has been constructed by the Nazi party (who fled there after the war). One astronaut meets a sticky end (loses his brains through the back of his spacesuit), but the remaining astronaut is captured. The Nazis believe this man is the leader of the mission but in fact he is a black model named James Washington, which confuses the Nazis and makes them wonder if they are under attack from united forces. To keep him on their side they turn James Arian, which sucks for him, as now his skin is bleached white. He is obviously not best pleased but it’s either this or death so he plays along. Finding out that Washington’s phone battery can charge their death ship the Gotterdammerung, officers Renate Richter (earth expert) and Klaus Adler (wannabe ruler), with white Washington in tow, go to Earth to see if America is planning an act of aggression and to nick some phone batteries.
They quickly become presidential icons when they team up with the female president to help promote the new Reich. The new leader of the moon Nazi party is Wolfgang Kortzfleisch and he is not amused by this. He decides to pop over to Earth to see what the hell is going on. This is a shame really, as he is ordered by Klaus who becomes the new ruler and declares war on the Earth. Renate turns against the Nazis and teams up with Washington to help stop the arrival of the Gotterdammerung, culminating in a massive attack on Earth and then a gigantic space battle with the UN spaceships attacking the Nazi stronghold on the moon.
Okay, we all know this is a silly film, that’s what it’s been billed as. So let’s forget the fact that the Nazi party have a base on the dark side of the moon, and it’s been undetected for so long. Also while we’re at it, let’s not think too much about how they got the equipment to make such machines of wonderment on the Moon and just revel in its silliness. The film certainly does. It’s completely aware it is a load of old twaddle, but because it knows this we get a really funny plot with some quite interesting takes on Nazis as a whole, and parodies of today’s political society.
The film has its fair share of quirky and interesting characters. Wolfgang Kortzfleisch (played by the legend Udo Kier) has some nice comedy moments and an almost heroic death which turns into two deaths when he refuses to die in his chair and manages to crawl up to the roof. It would have been nice to see him do a bit more in this because aside from some close-ups of his scary eyes, he is not really allowed to cut loose. Still he is a heck of a lot of fun to watch and his facial expression when seeing James Washington for the first time is classic. Renate Richter (played by the stunning Julie Dietze) is essentially the love interest but it’s fun to see her story arc slowly change when she sees that her idea of Nazism and everyone else’s are very different. Also she seems to get even more attractive as the film progresses and has the most stunning huge and emotive eyes I think I have ever seen. There is quite a touching moment at the end when she has to re-train the Reich in new ways of living. And for all you pervs out there, she does get down to her undergarments, courtesy of an air lock which sucks them off!
The rest of the cast, including a promotions expert, called Vivian Wagner who goes power-crazy by the end, Klaus Adler who is your standard Indiana Jones Nazi, James Washington who has to be the straight man to all this mayhem while playing a white-black man, and the OTT Sarah Palin-esque president, all do their part to make this flick entertaining. The fact that no real character stands out head above shoulders as being the best character is actually a good thing for this movie. This is more an ensemble film where each person does a little bit, but what they do works very well. Everyone plays it completely straight which makes it that much funnier.
That’s the great thing about this film, it’s fun; in fact it’s incredibly fun. The humor in it is spot on, with so many hilarious laugh out load scenes to choose from. Small jokes like Nazi troopers saying, while looking at an adult magazine, that ladies’ pubic hair now looks like Hitler’s mustache. Another great bit is where Washington escapes and a Nazi says over a radio system that he is “unarmed but possibly angry”. All of the scenes with the parody of the UN are cracking, as is the introduction of the USS George Bush which is a massive Star Trek style ship piloted by Vivian (looking like a reject from Blake 7). My personal favorite, which is straight out the Adam West Batman school of comedy, is where Washington reveals how he became black again by showing a bottle of de albiniser! It shows a sense of humor about itself but also knows the best way to showcase this material is deadly serious and it works amazingly well.
There are some strangely touching and serious scenes throughout this film too. The destruction of the Nazi moon base, which is trashed by Vivian’s jealous rage against Klaus, shows families and children crushed in slow motion while she whoops and wails. Another scene involves the UN erupting into chaos when they find out that a new power source has been deliberately hidden on the moon away from them and then used by the Nazis to fuel their machines. This causes massive fighting between the nations which seems like a joke at first, but leads to all the allied ships destroying each other and the nations of the Earth nuking each other leaving only the Nazis on the moon safe. Renate’s discovery that the peace and love she found in the Nazi party movement has turned into the Neo Nazis of today shakes her so much, she turns her back on her own people. This kind of attention to detail helps rise the film above its self-parodying roots and makes it a more engaging viewing experience.
Overall the film looks incredible. The Nazi space uniforms look great and have a Star Wars Storm Trooper vibe to them. The Nazi tech is very retro, 1950s looking, with round saucers and clunky giant robotic looking weaponry which suits the tone of this film but also gives it a very distinct look which makes it stand out. I never thought it would be so much fun to see stuff get blown away in zero gravity too but it is! The attack on Earth reminds me of the cheese appeal of Mars Attacks and the space fights (though they look very much like the stuff seen on Star Trek the Next Generation) make for great entertainment too.
There are some great comedy deaths here including the death of Klaus when Renate gets him to Sieg Heil into exposed wires, electrocuting him, and then uses her stiletto heel to stab him in the head. The film has its tongue firmly planted in its cheek so it’s hard not to like it; the plot is grade B Movie Sci Fi action at its best. The general contempt it has for the government reminds me of a campy version of the government’s responses in Doctor Strangelove. The only problem with the film is that it does drag in the 20 minutes when they first arrive on Earth, but it is a minor flaw.
In conclusion this is lots of fun if you let yourself be drawn into its cheesy mindset. I loved it, and if you enjoy a good popcorn movie that knows its place and revels in it, you will to.
4 Out of 5 Bears!