Saturday, January 19, 2013
On the Menu: NAZIS AT THE CENTER OF THE EARTH (2012)
Ingredients: Jake Busey, Dominique Swain, Josh Allen, Christopher K. Johnson, James Maxwell, Lilan Bowden, Marlene Okner, Maria Pallas, Abderrahim Halaimia and Trevor Kuhn. Directed by Joseph J. Lawson. Run time: 89 minutes. Rated: R.
At First Bite: So, this beauty was the third and final cheesy flick of my cheesy flick marathon. Save the best for last?
A group of researchers in Antarctica, led by Dr. Riestad (Busey), stumble upon a giant hole in the ice leading to a breathtakingly beautiful land at the center of the earth.
One slight hiccup.
Dr. Josef Mengele (Johnson) is down there rebuilding the Third Reich and planning to take over the world.
It's just lucky the scientists show up because the Nazis are decomposing by the minute. Mengele could use an extra set of brains to solve the problem...
as well as any available leftover skin.
Tough to Swallow: The Asylum will make doctors out of anyone. This time it's Jake Busey.
The scientists are drilling into the ice and the drill hits metal, which appears to be only an inch or two below the surface.
The funniest CG moment is when the scientists discover the hangar -- the scientists are CG. The worst CG, in my opinion, is the UFO/warplanes shootout, especially the explosions.
The swastika on the back wall of the transplant room is reversed in the shot where Dr. Mengele first touches the face of the soldier.
The swastika on the outside of the castle and the one on the top of the spacecraft are also reversed.
The fancy German signs are out of place.
The credit for Set Decorator is misspelled as Set Decorater.
Something to Chew On: The budget was less than $200,000.
This is Lawson's feature directorial debut. He is also the visual effects supervisor for The Asylum.
The film took fewer than four months to make.
There is a theory that Adolf Hitler ordered a research journey in Antarctica to find an opening into the earth. Admiral Karl Dönitz mentioned "an invisible fortification, in midst of the eternal ice" during the Nuremberg Trials.
Of course, there have been several books about the possibility of Earth's center being hollow.
You'll hear a Wilhelm Scream in the opening scene.
This is the second movie Swain has appeared in that includes the removal of someone's face. Of course, the previous one was the 1997 blockbuster FACE/OFF.
The camera pans across four file folders in Dr. Mengele's organ transplant room. The folders are labeled: 1) Essen Babys, 2) Dreizehn, 3) Ich liebe es, Drogen zu tun and 4) Große Esel, Junge Dame. The fun part is when you translate those labels: 1) Eat babies, 2) Thirteen, 3) I love to do drugs and 4) Big ass, young lady.
I'm not familiar with the PC game "Wolfenstein 3D" (1992), but apparently the story and some characters are similar.
There's a really short scene at the end of the credits.
Aftertaste: Save the best for last, indeed. In my opinion, NAZIS AT THE CENTER OF THE EARTH is the most entertaining movie produced by the The Asylum. Granted, counting this one, I've only seen five.
The title will grab you. That's a given. However, it's all the other crazy stuff that will totally engross you. A good portion of it will just gross you... out.
Flesh-eating bacteria? Check. Face transplants? Check. Implied probing? Check. Vaporizing guns? Check. Uncomfortable shower scene? Check. Boobs? Check. Exposed brains? Check. Abortion? Check. Robots? Check. UFOs? Check.
The action doesn't pick up until the final act, but the gore and twisted content more than make up for it. And, when I say twisted, I mean seriously twisted. It's on the verge of being a torture porn flick.
Probably the most chilling moment is when the female scientists are being led to the showers. It's in slow-motion. There's ominous music. And, given the Nazi history involving showers, you know it's probably not going to end well.
Johnson, as Mengele, steals the movie. He's the perfect mix of creepy and evil, and plays it straight. He looks like Ian McKellen or John Hurt, but with a rotting face. He would definitely give Bill Oberst, Jr. (ABRAHAM LINCOLN VS. ZOMBIES) a fight if there were awards for best acting in a low-budget feature.
The rest of the acting is about on par with what you would expect from The Asylum.
I would say the only time the makeup effects don't work is with the "Mark"-face soldier.
Lawson's low-budget wonder and DEAD SNOW would make a great double feature on a cold, winter night.
Overall, I can't think of a way you'd be disappointed if you choose to pop this movie into you DVD player. I feel like I've talked this movie up as much as possible. It's all I can do.
If you don't watch NAZIS AT THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, it's no skin off my nose.