After unleashing the likes of Snakes On A Train, Mega-Shark vs Crocosaurus, MILF and Titanic 2 on the world, bargain basement production company The Asylum turn their attentions to Nazi nastiness, in Bloodstorm. Originally released in the US as Nazis At The Center Of The Earth (a Ronseal title if ever there was one), the movie's retitling seems odd given the recent, relatively widespread, online buzz created around Finnish director Timo Vuorensola's similarly themed Iron Sky and the largely warm reception afforded to Tommy Wirkola's zombie Nazi splatterfest, Dead Snow.

With The Asylum known for their 'mockbusters', I'd have thought any associations to any movie with a higher profile than their own would be encouraged, but seemingly not in this case. The blandly named Bloodstorm, starring Dominique Swain and Jake Busey as Doctors Paige Morgan and Adrian Reistad respectively, is as rudimentary, trashy and inadvertently humorous as you'd expect. It's also a lot nastier, more un-pc and infinitely more fun than the aforementioned car crash that was Iron Sky, a movie that managed to be far more interesting in terms of marketing than it did as a viewing experience.

Drawing from the same attitudinal wellspring as the Corman and Troma stables, Bloodstorm is surprisingly more entertaining than it has any right to be. With the moderately respectable Swain and Busey as the name 'stars', a budget under $200,000 and a 12-day shooting schedule, Joseph J Lawson hasn't directed a movie that could be classed as 'good' to any real degree, but I certainly chuckled and raised my eyebrows more than once at the brazen bad taste on show. There's nothing wrong with the film-making on a technical level, and the effects, apparently the most there's been in an Asylum production, belie the low-budget. Lawson, The Asylum's visual effects supervisor, whose previous effects work can be seen in the likes of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and Red Tails, is also credited with performing the same duties on Bloodstorm, his first directing credit.

After scientific researchers at an Antarctic base unwittingly uncover a surviving colony of Nazi stormtroopers, presided over by Dr Josef Mengele (Christopher Karl Johnson) no less, in a subterranean hideout, all manner of equally fantastical chaos erupts. Flesh-eating viruses, unanesthetised surgery, plans for a Fourth Reich, forced abortions, gang rape, cannibalism and the resurrection of Hitler himself are just some of the pleasures awaiting those curious/ brave/drunk enough to give Bloodstorm a go. It rips along at a fair old pace and jumps around the genres from war movie to science fiction, via action thriller and horror.

Yes, the acting is suspect, the script hit and miss and the whole endeavor undertaken on a wing and a prayer, but Bloodstorm never outstays its welcome. Considering some of the garbage that comes out of mainstream Hollywood on budgets stratospherically higher than this one, Bloodstorm at least knows that it is trash and knows that its target market will likely be undiscerning, looking for a laugh or after some cheap, gruesome thrills. On that count at the very least, Bloodstorm succeeds. I can't recommend it, but it was nothing like the disaster I expected it to be. As for Lawson's future directorial career, with a higher budget, tighter script and a stronger cast, he could make his mark in genre film-making.

Reviewed on: 10 Aug 2012
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Scientific researchers in Antarctica uncover a surviving Nazi colony.
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Director: Joseph J. Lawson

Writer: Paul Bales

Starring: Dominique Swain, Jake Busey, Josh Allen, Christopher Karl Johnson

Year: 2012

Runtime: 89 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: USA

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Iron Sky