Saturday, 7 March 2015



We've had moon Nazis, monster Nazis, vampire Nazis, ghost Nazis, zombie Nazis, underwater zombie Nazis - it was only a matter of time before we had werewolf Nazis. (I'm not counting their appearance in An American Werewolf In London as it's only a dream sequence.) More specifically, in this instance it's just the one werewolf Nazi, big and hairy but complete with a swastika armband. Sadly, any potential is thrown away in a tiresome and indifferent splatter movie in which tedious young idiots get bloodily slaughtered.

The best joke in Iron Wolf isn't even in the film, it's the groansome "Howl Hitler" tagline on the front of the DVD box. It's 1945 and German experiments into creating the ultimate weapon are abandoned at the moment of triumph when the victorious Russians arrive, leaving the beast locked in the bunker. Nearly seventy years later, a prize collection of bickering teenage dimwits arrive to clear the place up for a punk band's reunion gig, and inevitably the door is opened....

Part of the problem is clearly that it's a German film full of German actors playing German characters, but speaking in German-accented English in order to avoid the need for subtitles and to hopefully crack the international market for Nazi monster mashups. But it damages the film because everyone is clearly speaking their second language and neither the writing nor the acting survives the translation. That's not to suggest it would have been any good in its native tongue: all the characters are bellowing idiots interested mainly in beer and sex (why anyone would think an abandoned Nazi research facility that's been derelict for seventy years would be a fabulous place to get laid is beyond me) and frankly it's a relief to see some of them go.

There's one slightly interesting idea, mostly tossed aside, that the beast has somehow been trained to recognise Nazi symbols and uniforms, and therefore the best way to survive would be to dress up in full Nazi regalia. Otherwise it's just a string of grisly death scenes (prosthetics and gloop rather than CGI) for our bonehead heroes, capped with the now-inevitable setup for a sequel. Doubtless the studios are still ironing out the backstories for the shark Nazis, yeti Nazis and unicorn Nazis.


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