Monday, November 26, 2012

Netflix Reviews: The Asylum's "Nazis At The Center of The Earth."

Like most entries in my Netflix reviews this movie has a story behind it. This story is in regards to The Asylum. If you don't know what The Asylum is, I will explain. The Asylum is a film studio that is notorious for creating cheap "mock-busters" that have a title sounding like a popular film. When Transformers was released The Asylum released Transmorphers and when Battleship was released The Asylum released American Warships. Evidently, back when The Da Vinci Code was in theaters, The Asylum produced a film called The Code Conspiracy. And the similarities between these two films begins and ends with the fact that they have the word "code" in their titles. 

The Code Conspiracy is by far the worst film I have ever subjected myself to. It is the bane of my existence, and if you made me choose between having to watch Twilight or The Code Conspiracy for the rest of my life I would pick Twilight. It's that bad. The Geneva Convention should make the film illegal because it is cruel and unusual torture. It was enough to put me off of any and all Asylum films for, what I expected, all eternity.

However this wasn't the case. I found myself back in The Asylum. This time, with a film humorously titled: Nazis At The Center of The Earth.

However, I did not realize it was an Asylum picture until the studio's logo popped up on my screen. Even if I had known this was an Asylum film I probably would've given it a look regardless. I mean, come on, it's called Nazis At The Center of The Earth for heaven's sake! No self respecting internet film reviewer would pass up the chance to see this film! So, I prepared myself for the inevitable pain I had come to expect from an Asylum film and dove right in. And what I found was one of the most entertaining film I have ever watched.

Now don't mistake that last statement as being genuine praise. The film (which I will shorten to "Nazis" for the sake of brevity) is a laughable excuse for a film that you'd only find on syfy as an original movie. However, in spite of this, I found I genuinely enjoyed the film, in a way one genuinely enjoys getting hung by the ceiling by their nipples. 

The trick, I found, to enjoying the film, is to go into it knowing you're not looking for a high quality motion picture directed by, say, Christopher Nolan. No, you know you're in for tons of wooden dialogue delivered by people who are "actors" that were scribbled down by someone who shouldn't call himself a writer. You know you're going to see dime store special effects that belong more in a Playstation 1 game rather than anything resembling a film. When you expect this, and are still determined to make the most of the bad situation you're in, you can enjoy Nazis. 

The film takes place in Antarctica, and like most films that are set in Antarctica you know that if it isn't John Carpenter's The Thing you know it's going to suck. The thing that somewhat resembles a plot follows a group of scientists that make the ones in Prometheus look credible. These scientists, led by The Son of Busey (Jake Busey. Don't let the fact that The Asylum has a recognizable actor in the cast fool you into thinking this is an actual movie.) discover a lost colony of Nazis hiding deep within the earth who have plans to begin a new Reich with immortal and cybernetic soldiers. 

The first half of the film is your typical B-Movie setup. We get to know the mindless drones who will stand in for actual protagonists as they do science-y stuff and try to figure out why people are starting to go missing. It's all terribly dull, unless you make fun of the fact that some of these actors look like aliens in bad human costumes. It's really a testament to The Asylum's cheapness when their actors don't look any more realistic than their special effects. You also get to see Jake Busey attempt to be a mad scientist which is hit and miss, mostly miss. Had it been Busey Sr. I could've totally bought the character as a mad scientist. Though I have to hand it to the Son of Busey, he does at least try to act insane, which is more than I can say for the other actors. 

However, once the second act being and our "heroes" actually discover the titular Nazis at the center of the earth the plot picks up. There are plot twists and betrayals aplenty as some characters are revealed to be Nazi spies while others decide to join the Fourth Reich and betray their countries. It'd all be truly gripping stuff if this were an actual film. Anyways, the scientists, who are all medical doctors and biologists, apparently, even though I was under the impression they were all geologists considering that they were studying ice cores in the beginning of the film, are forced to help the Nazi's perfect their face swapping technology to keep themselves immortal (no I didn't just suffer a stroke, that is really what happens) as well as utilize experimental stem cell research to ( ...and I am dead serious about this no matter how awesome it sounds...

...are you ready for it? Because it is so awesome it might just make your head explode...)

resurrect Hitler's decapitated head in a giant robot suit!

This is actually WAAAYYY better than what you see in the movie, but still..
So, basically, this whole movie is the video game adaptation to Id Software's Wolfenstein 3D! This is where the movie really becomes awesome as Robo-Hitler stomps on aliens-posing-as-humans-posing-as-actors and leads the new Fourth Reich to take over the world in a giant flying saucer. Why this wasn't given a bigger budget I will never know...

Meanwhile, our "heroes" manage to take on the entire Nazi army armed with Nerf guns (in that the Nazis are armed with Nerf guns. I know because I have the same pistol that is the standard Nazi sidearm, apparently...)

My guess is the Fourth Reich's plans involve littering people's backyards with thousands of those whistling darts. 
Thankfully, the Air Force comes in to take out the Nazi's flying saucer, Robo-Hitler gets infected with a flesh eating disease and falls into the icy depths beneath Antarctica (where I have no doubt he meets the alien queen from the first AVP movie and they join forces to to exact revenge on humanity with Nazi-Xenomorph hybrids), and the world is safe from the threat of having to clean up any Nerf darts. 

All in all, Nazis is, at its best, a hilariously bad film. However, unlike other Asylum films I've subjected myself to over the years it's still an entertaining film. Considering the fact that for any film, be it a Hollywood blockbuster or an Asylum mockbuster, I at least expect to be entertained, Nazis At The Center of The Earth manages to be more entertaining than most films in theaters today. It's certainly not the best film ever made, not by a long shot, but I still managed to have fun while watching it.

Do I recommend it? Well that's a tricky one. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys riffing on terrible movies, but if you're looking for an actual movie I'd look elsewhere.

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