well, why not start with warnings. i am going to be giving a quite extensive review of the film Nazis At The Centre Of The Earth here, quite possibly a lot longer than the film actually warrants. sorry, it just amuses me to. a consequence of this would be that *** BIG HUGE SPOILER WARNINGS *** are in place for pretty much the whole of this article.
if you have no interest in the film at all, then, or if for some reason you think the film might not just do what it says on the box and wish to remain spoiler-free, then you would be rather wise to just stop reading now and find something else on the internet.
for those of you who wish to learn more of this film, do read on!
regular readers shall be aware that i get very little time to watch movies these days. so little time, in fact, that one might ask - when i have yet to watch things like, for instance, Inception - why on earth would i waste a movie watching opportunity with sh!t like this. the answer to such wonder would be as simple as the title. who could refuse an interest in a film with a name like that?
the film starts at a time towards the end of the Second World War. we are presented with a squadron of Nazis getting every so busy, in a rush to get some sort of device loaded on to an aeroplane.
many other reviews around the net suggest this looks like a coffee machine, but to me it looks more like a boiler, or quite possibly a gas cannister for a welding kit. anyway, it is worth remembering this device for a bit later.
the leader of the defenders of the boiler is one Dr Josef Mengele, played by Christopher Karl Johnson. he is one of those actors that you are sure you've seen in a hundred other things but never know the name of. he isn't the one you have seen a hundred times before though, as a quick look at his career on the internet suggests that, prior to this masterpiece, his most notable film work to date had been as an extra in the recent Star Trek film adaptation.
he is, however, the best actor on display in this film, for what that is worth, and soon you crave scenes with him in it.
Dr Mengele is what i believe the Americans call a "bad ass". a troop of Allied Forces are closing in on whatever the boiler is the Nazis are keen to fly away with. whilst both Nazi and Allied forces show off the traditional bad sense of aim in films like this (except the Allied forces when they managed to shoot whoever is stood next to Mengele with precision), Mengele is a crack shot, and every bullet he fires either blows up a solider or a tank.
Mengele and the boiler make it onto the plane and into the skies via flying through a massive explosion which seems to happen for no apparent reason.
we then cut to more or less the present day, and find ourselves, according to the credits, in Antarctica. we meet two students who are carrying out an unspecified experiment with a rather big pole that is some sort of drill.
one of the two students is played by Dominique Swain. i have no idea who she is, but as she gets top billing on the poster i assume she is significant to some sort of target market. whoever she is, Dominique Swain does not feature in the top ten list of acting performances in Nazis At The Centre Of The Earth. you have been warned.
moving on and Dr Paige Morgan (Swain's character) and her colleague, who i think is Dr Mark Maynard in the film and i do not care what the actor's name is, soon stop as they hit metal.
it turns out that the metal they hit has a swastika painted on it. what is it? we never get to find out, as soon a sort of three man Nazi scouting patrol turn up from nowhere and put a stop to their investigations.
we shall get to the gas masks they are wearing a little later. in the mean time, the Nazis bash Dr Mark in the face, and then seem to drag him and Dr Paige away. not before, of course, blowing up the Nazi metal up with a rather ace hand grenade.
the hand grenade thing, as i have tried to show in the screen capture above, is quite smart. it's got some sort of glowing blue mist around it, causing everything it hits to evaporate rather than have the usual "boom" explosion. whoever these Nazis are, they clearly have some top of the range technology at their disposal.
here, believe it or not, is where the film kind of takes a turn for the worse. yep, if you thought it was bad thus far, that's nothing. the people at the Antarctica base where Dr Paige and Dr Mark came from work out that the two have gone at the least AWOL. there is only one person to turn to, then. the longest serving person at the base, although not the person in charge, Dr Adrian Reistad.
Dr Adrian Reistad is played by Jake Busey.
Jake "related to Gary" Busey.
the presence of Jake "i was in two versions of CSI and Starship Troopers" in any sort of film is usually a good indicator that what you will watch is not going to be at all good. that Jake gives the third best performance of all the cast in this film might well tell you all you need to know, but come on, you've read this far, please keep reading.
whilst Jake and his crew decide that they had better go and look for the missing two (all of them should go, bear in mind), we cut back to wherever the Nazis have dragged the two in question to. after a dozen or so minutes of drivel since we last saw him, it's excellent to see Dr Mengele again. although it is not quite so excellent for Dr Mark to meet Dr Mengele, for he is about to get all of his skin removed by him.
at heart, as you might well expect from a film of the name that it has, Nazis At The Centre Of The Earth is supposed to be a horror / shock film, so a scene like the one above is not that surprising. the fact that it is not the most disturbing such scene, however, is a surprise.
back to our gang of scientists or doctors or whatever they are (the ones being led by Jake Busey and someone called Dr Lucas, played by Josh Allen, that gets out-acted by Jake Busey) and their quest to find the missing two. wouldn't you know the class blue mist grenade of the Nazis didn't erode all traces of a presence where the two were taken, so there's an excellent trail of blood and footprints for them to follow.
the trail leads them all to a massive crevice in the ground, which of course they go down looking for the other two. this in turn leads to a massive hole in the ground, from which a familiar looking blue light seems to be coming from.
i am no geologist or that, but i do have an O Level in Geography. well, a Grade 'D' O Level in Geography. i mention this because, on the basis of how quickly they all travel down this massive hole, i do not think that the Nazis are anywhere near the centre of the Earth as promised in the titled. going on the rope used to get down and that, a more accurate description might be that the film is Nazis About 300 To 500 Feet Below The Surface Of The Earth. i appreciate that this would not have been quite as catchy a title, but it would have been more truthful.
it is entirely possible that because the Nazis in the film are not quite at the centre of the Earth the film, under the Trades Description Act, is not permitted to be released in England with the name Nazis At The Centre Of The Earth. this goes some way to explaining why, then, in England the film is known as Blood Storm, which is a crap title, instead. not that the title it has in the rest of the world is all that brilliant, i suppose.
moving on, and our intrepid doctor / scientist types get to the "centre" of the Earth, and what they find is excellent. things like sunlight and a whole town, or at the least all the bits of a town that the budget could afford to build, is right there for them to explore.
yes, that's right, you are seein Jake Busey wearing sunglasses. perhaps he knew what to expect when they got down that massive hole?
anyway, despite it appearing to be abandonded, the team head off to explore the town, shouting "Paige! PAIGE!" a lot. poor Dr Mark, no one calls out after him. with no one answering their calls, off they go to investigate what looks like a huge barn or shed of some description.
oh no! the doors close behind them, and they are captured!
oh no! it turns out that Jake Busey, whose characters' name you may have noticed sounds just a bit like 'Aryan Reichstag', is a traitor of sorts, certainly a conspirator, and has willingly led them to being captured!
oh no! Dr Paige, being identified as German by the genius of Dr Mengele, is present in a Nazi uniform!
Dr Paige was spared having her skin removed as she had a jolly decent conversation with Dr Mengele about how German she is, along with a chat involving a whole load of presumably imaginary and made up forms of medical treatment for skin and cell regeneration. or something like that.
these Nazis, you see, have been hiding underground in Antarctica since 1945, and have been fixing themselves up with spare parts from people, people that for the last ten years have been delivered to them by Jake Busey. the surgery does not always work, however, which is why the Nazis mostly walk around with gasmasks on, except for the chap that got the benefit of wearing Dr Mark's skin. it is not, then, just a cheap way to avoid applying constantly degrading skin to all of the characters.
the current crop of scientists and doctors are not there merely to supply new parts, however. Dr Mengele wants them to either help with his "masterplan" or to die. a Jewish character does not get much choice, of course, and gets given the second option off the bat.
just when you think you could not dislike Jake Busey any more than you do, one of the crew he brought down is insolent. for their trouble, Dr Jake takes an unspecified liquid - possibly meant to be stem cells? - out of her head and injects it into that odd looking boiler thing.
whatever it is they were hoping that would do to whatever it is doesn't happen, which makes Dr Mengele very cross. so cross, in fact, that he rips out the brain of whoever it is that they took the liquid from and throws it at the wall.
for some reason this seems to be the perfect time for another female character - i think it is one called Silje - to confess to Jake Busey that she is in fact pregnant with his child.
just when you think you could not dislike Jake Busey any more than you do, he looks thrilled at the news, and promptly decks Silje / whatever her name is with one punch.
and here comes the most shocking sequence. Jake Busey's thrill at the news is less about being a father, more about getting to perform an abortion with what can only be described as a vaccum cleaner.
charming. a big part of you, of course, wants to switch off the film there and then. a smaller part wants to find out just what that was all about. if you follow the latter want, you get to see what are presumably foetal stem cells being injected into that boiler thing.
this injection would appear to be the bunny, because the boiler thing starts doing what Dr Mengele seemingly hoped that it would.
blimey, what's that all about? just what was in that boiler contraption? there's no way of dressing this up, it was the preserved and apparently alive if not quite functioning head of Adolf Hitler, now working as a consequence of the Jake Busey injection.
having Hitler's head back alive is all well and good for Dr Mengele, but that sort of limits what he can do. how fortunate, then, that around the boiler they have built some sort of body, and thus you have unleashed on the world what can only be described as RoboHitler.
it is a great shame that, for plot reasons i suppose, RoboHitler is hidden away until about the hour mark of the film. it should have been all about him, really, and called RoboHitler. this is particularly true when you consider that the Nazis, known for their practicality as much as their sense of humour, appear to have given him kangaroo legs and a massive concealed samurai sword in his right hand.
if you are keeping count, James Maxwell Young gives the second best acting performance in the film. he would have been king of the film if he had been given as much screen time, and indeed skin removal action, as Dr Mengele.
that said, within minutes - and i do mean minutes - of RoboHitler being up, out, about and around, he gives the order to unleash the masterplan. this, to put not too fine a point on it, invovles one of the buildings opening up and a 'Nazi UFO' emerging from it.
yay! Nazis In Space! just when you thought that the idea of Nazis At The Centre Of The Earth could not get any better, it gets even more better by changing itself into Nazis At The Centre Of The Earth Who Can Go Into Space!
they don't actually make it as far as space, though. they (very quickly) break out of the centre of the Earth and mess about in more traditional airspace, with Hitler commanding the first attack be against North America.
by luck, some sort of weather monitoring plane spots the Nazi UFO, and immediately calls up the nearest airforce. rather than doing something like asking "are you sure you are seeing a Nazi UFO?", whoever they radio send an impressive squadron of fighter jets to go and try and blow up the Nazi UFO. in record time too - if you click your fingers as soon as the weather plane thing has finished on the radio, the fighter jets arrive.
sadly, the modern day fighter jets are no match at all for the Nazi UFO machine guns, or its most excellent "sonic boom bomb" thing.
you want more pictures of this film? OK, how about, in closing, a look at the pilot of the Nazi UFO. do you see what i see?
is it me, or does the Nazi UFO pilot look more than a bit like Data out of Star Trek : The Next Generation done up as one of them X-Men things?
i have not, believe it or not, given away the whole film above, but yeah, a good deal of it. there's a bit at the end of the credits which gives every chance of a sequel being made to this film. don't say you have not been warned.
it is my understanding that the people who produced this film, an outfit called Assylum, have apparently been trying for years to make something that would be declared the king, or if you will Furher, of films declared to be so bad that they are actually quite good. i would contend that they have a pretty good claim to have done this with Nazis At The Centre Of The Earth.
a few days after seeing it and i still cannot decide if it's just more stupid than it is offensive, or if in fact it is more offensive than it is clearly a stupid film. it remains, however, a film i would suggest those of a mind to watch such things get their hands on. if nothing else, it will at least looking impressive sat on the DVD shelf in your collection.
one thing is for certain - never again will Jake Busey be ranked as high as the third best actor in anything else he does, not even a one man show, so if he called time on his career after this film the world would understand.
should you go and seek out this film - with its proper name, preferably, for the joke does not really work with the UK title - i cannot with a straight face say that i trust you will enjoy it, but can at least wish you the best of luck with watching it! if enough people buy it who knows, perhaps this crowd will get the budget to make a full on RoboHitler film........
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!