Released in 2012, Iron Sky was a film whose premise could barely be more ridiculous, that a base existed on the far side of the Moon which had existed in secret since its founding during the second world war and populated by unreconstructed Nazis who continued their philosophy of nationalism, genocide and world supremacy.
Seven years later, following long delays in post-production and following a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign, Iron Sky: The Coming Race broadens the targets as it explores new horizons as it encompasses the conspiracy theories inspired by the works of Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s anonymously published 1871 novel Vril, the Power of the Coming Race.
It is the year 2047 and the surface of the Earth has been destroyed by the nuclear war begun in 2018, the presumed last remnants of the human race surviving in the remains of the former Nazi moonbase Neomenia, overpopulated, under-supplied, the equipment breaking down and with moonquakes causing further damage.
Daughter of James Washington and Renate Richter (Julia Dietze), Obianaju “Obi” Washington (Lara Rossi) does her best to maintain the decaying life support equipment but it is only a matter of time until the Moon also becomes a dead planet. The arrival of further survivors from Earth only adds further pressure, but among their number is a stowaway, former Moonführer Wolfgang Kortzfleisch (Udo Kier), long presumed dead.
What Kortzfleisch tells Obi leads her and her friends Malcolm and Sasha (Kit Dale and Vladimir Burlakov) and some unwelcome travelling companions to a desperate and dangerous mission below the surface of the Earth to a hidden world to find a power source to save the Moon, if it can be retrieved from the true master race who have controlled history.
Once again directed by Timo Vuorensola, the screenplay of Iron Sky: The Coming Race carries another five story credits, only some of whom were involved with the original, but it is apparent that the many voices needed a stronger hand to bring the ideas together and the end result is uneven and often sloppy in plot, character and the low aim of the humour, slapstick offered instead of satire.
While some ideas work such as the cult of Jobsism which has arisen among the worshippers of His Divine CEOship, First Among Steves, others do not, among them the opportunities afforded by the numerous reptilian cameos dining at their own last supper whose guests include Thatcher, Putin, Stalin, Caligula and Zuckerberg as well as Hitler.
Instead, time is wasted bickering over maps and compasses and the smart moments such as recreating Ridley Scott’s Apple advert 1984 are too few, but with surprisingly high production value including design elements such as an underground chandelier made of tree roots it is still perhaps the best filmed work inspired by Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth since 1959 and there’s enough going on to prevent The Coming Race feeling like a cheap cash-in.
Iron Sky: The Coming Race is currently on limited release