Film review: Nazis at the Center of the Earth (2012), directed by Joseph J Lawson
And in the “so bad it could have been good … if it wasn’t shit” corner, the direct-to-video film Nazis at the Center of the Earth. Yeah, you heard me. Nazis. At the centre of the Earth.
Take the Hollow Earth idea, or indeed the old Jules Verne story about the journey to the centre of the Earth, and put a bunch of Nazis there, biding their time.
Unlike other Nazis hiding in unexpected places to bide their time for when they can return and re-build the Third Reich, Iron Sky had the potential for being so bad it was good based on the trailer alone. Strangely, it actually was good, for real. This one, on the other hand … isn’t.
Okay, so there’s a team of scientists in the Antarctic. Two of them go missing and the others go after them as it appears they might have fallen down a hole in the ground. Or maybe they were dragged? Either way, underneath the ice is a whole different world. And a military base. Full of Nazis. And the Nazis are not nice people. In fact, in charge is Dr Mengele (Christopher K Johnson), and he’s still alive, experimenting. How lucky he is that a number of highly qualified scientists have just arrived to help his research!
Starring Dominique Swain as Dr Paige Morgan, Jake Busey as Dr Adrian Reistad, Josh Allen as Dr Lucas Moss, Lilan Bowden as May Yun, Marlene Okner as Silje Lagesen, Adam Burch as Dr Mark Maynard, Maria Pallas as Angela Magliarossa, Abderrahim Halaimia as Rahul Jumani, Trevor Kuhn as Brian Moak, Andre Tenerelli as Aaron Blechman, and James Maxwell as the head of Adolf Hitler.
Oh yeah, they’ve saved Hitler’s head and they’re reanimating it using stem cells – but in a sort of Futurama way – and attached it to a robot. When the robot was unveiled we were close to doing high-fives because the so far very shit film had suddenly become … well, not good, just sort of epically ridiculous. Which, in a sense, I guess is some sort of achievement.
Now, this isn’t the sort of film for the squeamish. It’s veeeeeery much implied that a woman is raped by … hrm, well, zombies, for lack of a better description. They’re not actual zombies, but they sort of look like them. It’s not pleasant. Then there’s extracting a fetus with what looks very much like a hoover. And people who get their skin removed, and things like that. Ick.
On the interesting side Jake Busey is the spitting image of Gary Busey, and guess what? They’re father and son. The only other name that I recognise is Dominique Swain, who has grown up a lot since she starred in Lolita. I now mourn her career, shall we say?
Nazis at the Center of the Earth isn’t well thought out, it’s badly acted, and the CGI is really unconvincing. It’s just not a film worth watching – unless you want to see Robot Hitler shooting lasers from his chest.
If you’re not that bothered, just don’t worry about it. I wish I could say it’s so bad it’s good, but it doesn’t quite reach up to that. It’s so bad it’s sort of hilarious, but not in the sense that it becomes good, just that you laugh because you can’t believe it really is that horrible. 3.8 out of 10 say IMDb users at the time of writing, so yeah.
1.2 out of 5 face transplants.