Sunday, 7 September 2014

Nazis at the Center of the Earth (3 Stars)

This film was renamed "Bloodstorm" for its release in the UK. I don't understand why. The original title tells us exactly what the film is about, but "Bloodstorm" says nothing.

The scientists at an outpost in Antarctica stumble upon the entrance to an underground kingdom below the ice. It's not quite the centre of the Earth, it's only a few hundred feet deep, but it's warm, bright, and there is lush vegetation. That's where the similarity with Jules Verne's famous 19th Century science fiction novel ends. Instead of dinosaurs, the kingdom is inhabited by Nazis under the leadership of Dr. Josef Mengele. Evidently the underground kingdom was discovered near the end of the Second World War. The Nazis have been keeping themselves alive by grafting skin and body parts from people they have captured. They are hiding until Mengele succeeds in bringing Hitler back to life.

The film is trashy, but it has a certain appeal to it. I'm sure there are people who would enjoy it more than I did. Much of the dialogue is in German (with subtitles), but the German is so bad that it's barely comprehensible. For me as a German speaker this is highly annoying. If it weren't for the English subtitles I wouldn't be able to guess what the Germans are saying. This is because the actors are Americans, and they were given lines to speak that they had to learn phonetically. Couldn't the budget have been stretched to hiring a few Germans?

The film studio has stated that the budget was less than $200,000 so I assume that it's made a profit. That's good business sense. If you spend $20 million on a film you have to face the risk that it might only earn $19 million at the box office, but if you only spend a few hundred thousand dollars it's almost certain to turn a profit in the DVD market.

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