Friday, May 11, 2012

Nazis at the Center of the Earth (2012)

Every now and then, a movie comes out that changes the way we look at cinema, and changes the face of the art form.

Let it be known that The Asylum will never make that movie.

Everyone knows who The Asylum is. They are that studio that makes "mockbuster" movies like "Transmorphers" and the upcoming "Abe Lincoln vs. Zombies." They also have made more giant animal movies than you can shake a stick at-from "Mega-Piranha" to "Two-Headed Shark Attack." In short, they've made the kinds of movies you see regularly on something like SyFy or in your local Redbox. Their movies are never good (oh sure, they distributed a few worthwhile titles in the past, but they've never made a good movie.) Hell, oftentimes they are outright painful to watch. Yet sometimes, they will put out something out there that no matter how bad it is, you watch with either your mouth agape or laughing hysterically-often in the same viewing. That my friends, is what "Nazis at the Center of the Earth" is.

In Antarctica, a team of scientists and students have made a discovery when they hit some metal whilst drilling. What two of their colleges (one played by Dominique Swain) go missing, the rest of the team searches for them-only to be abducted by a group of Nazis. But these aren't your regular goose-stepping fascists, no siree Bob. These are Nazi Zombies, and they are lead by the not dead at all Dr. Josef Mengele (Christopher Karl Johnson.) Yes, that one. The Butcher of Auschwitz. The Angel of Death Slayer did a song about. And one of the scientists, Dr. Adrian Reistad (Jake Busey) betrays them, and has been working for Mengele the whole time.Then again, Busey has been evil before, as the existence of "The Frightners" and the UPN sitcom "Shasta McNasty" are all the proof we'll need.

None So Vile

So far, this sounds like standard stuff, and for a while it is. It's also darker than the usual Asylum movie, with gang rape, people being skinned alive, and Nazi experiments all going all.

Then at the 56:39 second mark, the movie goes insane. Not to spoil too much, let's just say that there's a large robot with the head of a certain dictator attached to it, and it gets even crazier from then on.

At that point, it's nearly impossible to rate the movie. Outside of Johnson, nobody here seems all that committed (Busey in particular seems embarrassed to be there), and at the end of the day, there's nothing going on here regarding the plot that makes any sense, and the usual Asylum flaws (terrible CGI, poor direction) are abundant. However, the whole thing kind of deserves kudos for trying to throw in so many things into a blender and trying to make something out of it, even if the end result isn't good and is barely coherent to boot. Plus, once the movie went insane, I couldn't believe what it was that I was watching. It's like an updated version of so many exploitation genres and cliches thrown together in a way that's more dumbfounding than it is good.

In the end, there is no justifiable rating for this movie. None of it is really good, but the end result is so bizarre and dare I say, different than most of what floods the straight-to-video market. Whether or not that deserves praise is completely up to you.

Rating: I Don't Know

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