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 Hitlerâ€™s rule to other dimensions, blah, blah, blah… You know it really doesnâ€™t matter. However I describe this move itâ€™s always going to sound fun and that would be remiss of me because it isnâ€™t.
Allegedly filmed in â€œMegaramaâ€, 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 filmâ€™s perfect target market and should be enjoying myself. But Iâ€™m not. Why?
The first half an hour is terribly slow, and thatâ€™s a cardinal error. You simply canâ€™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. Thereâ€™s also a world of difference between a homage and a spoof. This film has no idea which it is. If the former then itâ€™s too blatant, if the latter then itâ€™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. Itâ€™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 youâ€™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 shouldnâ€™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 donâ€™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 someoneâ€™s labour of love, the only additional feature I would have watched would have been titled â€˜Why?â€™