Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Nazis at the Centre of the Earth (2012): Review

Nazis at the centre of the Earth is a 2012 straight-to-dvd nazisploitation film. Directed by Joseph J. Lawson starring Dominique Swain (Lolita, Face Off) and Jake Busey (Starship Troopers, Identity). The film is an Asylum "mockbuster" and is intended to capitalise on the more widely released nazisploitation film Iron Sky (2012).

The film follows an Antarctic scientific expedition helmed by Dr Lucas Moss, his partner Dr Paige Morgan (Swain) and Dr Adrian Reistad (Busey). After Paige and her colleague are abducted by gas masked Nazis during a field test the rest of the crew mobilise and set out to investigate their disappearance. This leads them to a crevasse in the ice which in turn leads them to discover an entire world within the centre of the earth populated exclusively by Nazis, meanwhile the captives are being interrogated by Dr Mengele so that the Nazis can learn more about modern science and rebuild their rotting army. The rest of the crew soon join the captives and the Nazis manage to extract enough knowledge (and stem cells) to achieve their master plan and give birth to a fully resurrected robo-Hitler.

 Nazis at the Centre of the Earth is, above all, a crushingly boring film. If you've seen any of the other Asylum projects (Titanic 2, Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus et al) you'll definitely know what to expect; terrible acting, idiotic script and atrocious (and entirely unnecessary) CGI effects. For example there are exterior shots of a snowmobile that has been digitally rendered which begs the question, is it really cheaper to digitally render your props and sets? And judging by the quality of the CGI on display I think that question is resolutely answered. The dreadful looking robo Hitler is another eyesore, looking like it could've been featured in a computer game from around ten years ago (which is ironic considering the nod to Castle Wolfenstein) and really takes the film in an even more outrageous, but still not funny, direction.

 Swain and Busey are both wooden and awful, although to be fair they have been saddled with a terrible script to work with, and in fact the only character in the film that comes across as even remotely engaging is the Josef Mengele character, as he plays it straight and sinister with minimal Nazi (love) camp. The story has enormous plot holes, taking it's initial setup from John Carpenter's The Thing and antagonists from the excellent (and much funnier) Dead Snow but obviously not coming anywhere those films in terms of quality. The fact that the centre of the earth looks like some kind of wooded nature reserve is absurd and was clearly due to budget constraints, and why is it so clear and sunny? It's supposed to be the molten core of our planet for god's sake!

Nazis at the Centre of the Earth is a pitiful attempt to piggyback on the buzz surrounding Iron Sky, which will hopefully be a far more enjoyable film, and has absolutely no redeeming features or entertainment quality whatsoever. Poorly made, poorly acted and nowhere near bad enough to be good, there has been a clear waste of a ludicrous concept which could have been exploited for comic effect but which ends up being about as funny and entertaining as Nazi Germany itself.

1 Star *

What did you think of Nazis? Are you looking forward to Iron Sky more?


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