Starring: Jim Knobeloch, Serge Nardo, Angelo Salamanca, Jak Wyld, Dan Balcaban
Duration 85 Mins
Reviewed by Guy Adams
A B-movie star, now captain in the US Army, leads a small platoon on a hunt to kill some escaped black pumas inAustralia. While there they stumble on a Nazi plot to steal a time-traveling spaceship so they can take Hitler’s rule to other dimensions, blah, blah, blah… You know it really doesn’t matter. However I describe this move it’s always going to sound fun and that would be remiss of me because it isn’t.
Allegedly filmed in “Megarama”, The 25th Reich is at pains to bring schlocky 50s B-Movies to mind. In fact it screams as much at you at every available opportunity. I love schlocky 50s B-Movies, adore them, I am this film’s perfect target market and should be enjoying myself. But I’m not. Why?
The first half an hour is terribly slow, and that’s a cardinal error. You simply can’t try and evoke the memory of films that told their story in under an hour from first intrigue to final invasion by being turgid. There’s also a world of difference between a homage and a spoof. This film has no idea which it is. If the former then it’s too blatant, if the latter then it’s too knowing. The whole movie winks at you with the subtlety of a pervert in a Tinto Brass picture. A spoof needs to be played straight, it needs to mimic those old films in their foolish aspiration towards cinematic worth, not ape at the camera like an ill-judged Lenny Henry sketch. It’s just not funny enough to work as a comedy but too stupid to work as a straight sci-fi.
The sum result is one of apathy. When you’re watching a Giant Nazi Spider Robot bugger a man with its chromium appendage there are a number of things you could be feeling, but boredom really shouldn’t be one of them.
To make matters worse, the movie then finishes on a cliffhanger, with no resolution to the plot whatsoever. Now, personally, I don’t care, but if you are one of the brave souls actually enjoying the picture I imagine that was something of a kick in the teeth.
The movie comes with a handful of special features; a making-of, audition footage and special effects documentary. With regret, because I hate panning a micro-budget feature that is presumably someone’s labour of love, the only additional feature I would have watched would have been titled ‘Why?’