April 23, 2012

Nazis at the Center of the Earth (2012)

I absolutely should have known better than to watch a movie from The Asylum and expect anything other than pure junk.

"Researchers in Antarctica are abducted by a team of masked storm troopers. They are dragged deep underground to a hidden continent in the center of the earth. Here Nazi survivors, their bodies a horrifying patchwork of decaying and regenerated flesh, are planning for the revival of the Third Reich."

To be fair, movies like this definitely appeal to the average Syfy movie fans out there, and some people are always up for some "so bad it was good!" type of entertainment. That's cool. As Z-grade schlock entertainment, The Asylum has no equal; they are like the modern day Troma, if you will. Troma, like The Asylum, was never in the business of making good movies. Instead they made cheesy, cheap, bad movies that a generation of genre fans fell in love with. I suppose The Asylum is now filling that role.

Not as impressive as the Hitler Cyborg that shows up later, but still pretty cool looking.
That being said, I really don't understand the whole concept. I get the whole "labor of love" thing, but at some point once you as a company have made some money, don't you want to get into the "labor of quality" business? That's not to say you have to churn out Oscar caliber material or anything, but couldn't you maybe just make things less painfully bad?

Then again, one of our own here at THC eats these movies up like they're going out of style, so meh.

Yes Dominique, it is that bad.
Go ahead and loves these kind of flicks if you want to, but we just can't bring ourselves to stomach them. Bad acting, bad writing, awful special FX... we are not in The Asylum's core demographic.

She might not star in many good movies these days, but Dominique Swain is still a Hottie.


  1. I'm asking this in all honesty and without snark: Did you watch the movie? Because while you have done a fair review of The Asylum, I would love to hear an honest critique of the film itself... we learn to be better by knowing what works, what doesn't, perhaps even why. Your review provides none of that for the film itself so I find myself genuinely curious to know more than just your reaction to the producer's M.O.. Thanks, I look forward to your thoughts, the good, the bad and the honest! :-) Joe Lawson, Director, Nazis at the Center of the Earth

  2. We (I especially, because I do the writing chores here) never review anything we haven't watched. That would just make no sense at all and not be fair to anyone involved in any film, from director down to distributor.

    I will do a follow up post just for you, because who am I to say no when you asked so nicely and didn't wish death on us :)

  3. Very good to hear and greatly appreciated. Nah, not in my nature to wish death on anyone (well, unless you're seeking the undead/vampiric type in which case, knock yourself ou..um... dead...). And thanks for being willing to go for the coda... as a filmmaker, it's sometimes just as future-constructive to learn from what we've not done well as from what we have. Let your voice help us all get better! :-) Joe PS> Ten points to Gryffindor if you can catch at least five of the many directorial (and movie) homages in NATCOTE, no fair listening to the commentary first. ;-)

  4. Homages... The guy who played Mengele definitely has a Gandalf vibe going on, and Dominique Swain reminds me of Lolita? lol

    The Thing; Where Eagles Dare (the opening credits cloud scene); some of the practical FX gave off a definite Hellraiser vibe (The skinless corpses); the reveal of the City under the ice felt like At the Mountains of Madness, although that's not a film; the scene where they meet the Nazis reminded me of Force 10 or Guns of Navarone, can't remember which one, with the traitor thing and Dominique wearing that beret; Hitler reminded me of Futurama; was the saucer from Lost in Space?; Mengele with the skinless head had a Freddy vibe to him; Dare I say towards the end the Stormtroopers reminded me of... Stormtroopers?; And of course Iron Sky, The Keep, Outpost... other Nazi Horror flicks felt represented.

    I could be wrong on all counts, but those are what jumped out at me. Btw, I don't usually watch commentaries, so I'm shooting from he hip. I hope I got one right!

    And I take that back, the guy playing Mengele looked like Gandalf, but it was more like an older version of Daniel Craig if I'm being honest. Either way, cool. lol

  5. Knowing now that you worked on LOTR: ROTK, the whole Gandalf thing amuses me to no end. I promise that I made those observations before I saw that movie on your IMDB resume.

    Double cool.

  6. The Thing: DEFINITELY. The DP and I set out to capture an 80s/Dean Cundey lighting style and mood... there's also a definite line homage at the end. Color palette of the Antarctic, heck yeah.
    Where Eagles Dare: Only if they, too, were referencing Leni Reifenstahl's opening of Triumph of the Will. The idea is that the whole opening sequence is the movie the Nazis WOULD have made about Mengele's rescue effort should they have beat our heros in our movie. Alternate history... sorta...
    Hellraiser: A bit. Some more specifically Peter Jackson/Sam Raimi but I'll give on the 80s influence here for all of us.
    Mountains of Madness: Sorry, not a reference there.
    Force 10/Guns of Navarone: The whole opening of the film was deliberately patterned to look and feel like a 60s war movie so I'll give half here as the sequence you mentioned wasn't a specific nod.
    Futurama: We laughed about it being LIKE that but was not a specific nod. The original idea had his head on a bodybuilder but the VFX department came up with a drawing that convinced them RoboHitler was the way to go.
    Saucer: Nope, sorry. Actual conspiracy (some say) ideas of Vril spaceships and purported photos... just Mega-ized as only the Asylum does. Maybe Lost in Space copied THEM! ;-)
    Freddy: Off on this one as well though I'm aware of Freddy and watched them in the 80s. This was just the makeup crew being told "make it cool"
    Stormtroopers: Are stormtroopers wherever they are. Still can't shoot worth a damn.
    Iron Sky: Oddly enough, no, not at all. Though everyone seems to think so, we actually tried to AVOID feeling like it, though comparisons are, I suppose, inevitable considering the release timeframes. Not being privvy to the producers original thought processes, this may be one of those rare instances of parallel evolution in that Iron Sky is pretty much below The Asylum's usual radar of big budget flick Mockbusting. That being said, theirs is a comedy, ours is a documentary. ;-)
    The Keep, Outpost... sadly, I've not seen as many as I probably should (or it's been such a long while some have faded) but I'd say we're probably just similar because of the subject. Hopefully we'll add some small bit to that long and illustrious line of remembered films.
    Mengele: Christopher at times reminded me of Sir Ian McKellan and Robert Mitchum. His face is definitely unique and created some of the more nightmare inducing visions in the film. Daniel Craig... I'll pay attention, I can see it in an offhand way.
    So, overall, you did good and got a few. Give the release a week or two and I might bop back here with some more of the real influences!
    Cheers! Joe Lawson, Director, Nazis at the Center of the Earth

  7. Cheers back at you, Joe Lawson.

    I posted an addendum to my original short and Asylum-centric review, so hopefully it gives a more well rounded take on the movie from my view.

    I give you credit for paying homage to Triumph of the Will. Now that I think about it, the credits scene and the music used definitely fits.

    Good luck on the release. I know 2 of my fellow THC brethren who will own this on BLu-ray, and I hope you see even more success out of it.

  8. HI, Quick question if anyone knows.
    Is this being released in the UK under the title Blood Storm?

    Same actors and same description but can't find out if is the same film.

  9. Amazon.UK has it listed as Blood Storm, so yes, you're right.

    Nice catch, Anon. Cheers.

  10. if you like this you should watch iron sky.it is almost the same thing but not a b-movie.