In an existence littered with no-good “mockbusters”, this movie stands out for its makers, The Asylum. It’s riding the coattails of a fairly odd film that wasn’t really a blockbuster in its own right, “Iron Sky”; and it is one of the very very small number of Asylum films which manages to be more entertaining than its inspiration (please read my review of “Iron Sky”, which it might reasonably be said I didn’t like very much).
Nazis! I hate those guys! Right at the end of WW2, we see Dr. Mengele escaping from some Allied forces, with a package under his arm. He’s a heck of a shot, fortunately…or the Allies are all really bad at it. Anyway, his plane is lost and we’re fired into the present day, where Jake Busey clearly intends to compete with Brooke Hogan of “Sand Sharks” for the title of “least convincing scientist in the movies” (aka the Denise Richards Award). The film takes place at the South Pole, and the apparently hand-picked group of scientists there need to be told the most basic information, over and over again – if you’re going to explain the film in this way, you guys, why not have one of your group be a dumbass?
Anyway, as the title of the film may have indicated, this is about Nazis who discovered an entrance to the Hollow Earth at the South Pole, and rather than using their kickass technology to win the war, decided to head off down there and build a new society for themselves. Here’s where the holes in the plot become rather more apparent and start dragging things down, but rather than dwelling on them, let’s talk about how extremely gory this film is.
The Nazis have figured out a way to become immortal, apparently, but it involves farming humans for their organs, skin, bones, etc. Some of them have maintained their appearance more than others, and in kudos to the makeup guys, quite a lot of them are really badly disfigured. So when our scientists find a way down there, you know there’s going to be some double-crossing, some very graphic face-peeling-off scenes, and really a lot more blood and guts than you’d expect from an Asylum film. They’re also not afraid of dealing with Jews in the same way they always dealt with them, which came as a bit of a surprise.
The thing that continued to surprise me throughout the film is how far they were prepared to go. This is the first Asylum film I can remember where they really went for that grindhouse feel, where you’d expect them to cut away for something because they couldn’t afford to film it, but they stayed right there. The plot is another area where things go way OTT, just when you think you’ve got a clue where they might be going they take another turn, and then they absolutely nail the ending. You’ll love it!
For an Asylum film, this absolutely ruled. A decent cast, okay special effects, and a gleeful disregard for good taste. Like I said, not perfect (so much exposition!) but a step in the right direction.
Rating: thumbs up