Top critical review
10 people found this helpful
To be avoided except for the most rabid fans of The Asylum!
on 30 December 2012
Earlier this year, I saw the trailer for Nazis at the Center of the Earth and despite the lame title, the trailer for this film piqued my interest and I kept a casual lookout for the its UK release. I failed to notice the film's UK release in August 2012 when it was unleashed on British audiences as Bloodstorm, no doubt as a ploy to draw in those looking for the tremendous Nazi zombie flick, Dead Snow.
At this point, it's worth mentioning that the DVD cover also bears a striking resemblance to the imagery on the front of the Dead Snow sleeve. This comes as no surprise really since the studio behind Bloodstorm is the notorious Asylum, responsible for such "mockbusters" as Transmorphers, The Day the Earth Stopped, Paranormal Entity; and direct to DVD chum such as Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus and 2 Headed Shark Attack.
Boils and ghouls, I make no secret of the fact that despite being from the infamous Asylum, I watched the trailer and found myself wanting to see this! I should have left it well alone...
The film opens in the closing stages of World War II with the man known as the "Angel of Death" Josef Mengele attempting to evade the enemy and although accompanied by German troops, single-handedly takes out an American tank with a rocket launcher and despatching a squad of US soldiers with only his Luger pistol.
We're then brought to present-day and an Antarctic scientific research station where we are introduced to the characters and some known actors such as Jake Busey and Dominique Swain. Things kick off fairly promptly with nazis in gasmasks abducting some of the team as they conduct an experiment, leading the remaining scientists to send out a search party. Thereinafter we are treated to an abseiling scene that has been plucked straight out of the Batman TV series of the 1960s. Yep, that's right, camera held at an angle and have the actors, well, act like they're rapelling down the ice. I should've switched off there and then but I knew this was going to be low-budget and so, I carried on.
From here, we go deep inside the Nazi base and one of the captured scientists is "operated" on by Dr Mengele who removes the scientist's face. This was probably the highlight for the practical effects in this film but that's not saying much at all. Such a scene should've had me at least squirm a little but no, nothing. The nazis have been surviving for so long by harvesting bodyparts (at the South Pole?!) and grafting them on to their decaying bodies, courtesy of the expertise of Dr Mengele. Subsequently, we see the same face stitched on to one of the Nazi henchmen and made to look as if it was dead flesh. By dead flesh, I mean it looked like someone had moulded yellow plasticine and heavy mascara on to the actor's face. Not impressive at all.
Unfortunately, this wasn't as bad as the film got. I had expected the film to be heavily reliant on CGI after watching the trailer but I couldn't fathom why the villains of the piece were feeding cerebral fluid into what looked like an industrial coffeemaker from the 1920s. All was revealed when what I thought was a Nazi Brain Juice Machine morphed into a cartoonish CGI endoskeleton with none other than Adolf Hitler's head in a jar, atop what looked like a hybrid of a low-rent Iron Man with the armaments of ED-209. I had deja vu when it came to this Hitlerbot and couldn't quite place why. Then, during one scene, it struck me... those of a certain age will remember a game from 20 or so years ago called Wolfenstein and the final boss, Mecha-Hitler. Yep, The Asylum have ripped off my childhood. Not cool!
I had to see this through to the end and the thin plot is fairly transparent with some mild shocks, a bit of gratuitous nudity and a degree of gore. Perhaps the best part of Bloodstorm was the fact that the historical basis for the nazis having a base on Antarctica had been well-researched, myths and legends surrounding them creating flying saucer like machines had been explored and the fact that Mengele had died in South America in 1979 had been explained away. On another positive note, Christopher Karl Johnson's turn as Josef Mengele is pitch perfect. Suitably sinister and full of menace. However, the backstory and Johnson's performance were certainly no saving grace for this disaster of a film. I appreciate that there are horror fans out there who enjoy The Asylum's offerings, stating that "They're so bad that they're good!" I for one, certainly don't follow that school of thought and invite you to avoid this film. You've been warned!