Introducing a crazy new genre mash-up from Australian director, Stephen Amis. A WWII sci-fi adventure - full of time-travel, duplicitous Nazi robots, faulty spaceships and giant mega-fauna... Based on the classic novella, 50,000 Years Until Tomorrow by J.J. Solomon, and with a screenplay penned by Amis, David Richardson and Serge DeNardo, the movie is a homage to sci-fi and WWII movies of the 1940's and 50's.
In 1943, five US soldiers are recruited by the OSS for a time travel mission to save the world from the tyranny of Hitler's 25th Reich. "The 25th Reich" was no groundbreaking blessing to the world of cinema, no doubt about it. But this movie is actually so far out there and so cheesy that it was fun to watch.
The story is about a group of American soldiers who are sent into the Australian wilderness to track down and capture (or kill, if necessary) two escaped pumas that serve as troop mascots. Carrying with them, they have a strange apparatus that is to lure in these giant felines. Once the apparatus is turned on, the soldiers find themselves transported 50.000 years back into the future, where they learn about the true plan of the mission; to find and secure a crashed UFO to use against Hitler's forces back in 1943.
Right, well this was weird enough, wasn't it? But it gets better. But before you read on, I should point out that story spoilers are about to follow.
With the apparatus shot to pieces by an undercover Nazi soldier, the Americans are stuck in the past. But through the use of alien telepathy, they manage to fix the apparatus and get it working, sending them back into the future. However, they are 300 years off target and end up in 2243, where they find out that the Nazis have won World War II (most likely with the use of the recovered UFO) and have conquered the world, building a massive army of UFOs. Apparently humans are obsolete, and the Nazis are now huge spider-like machines.
Storywise, then "The 25th Reich" is definitely one of the most campy and cheesy stories I have witnessed. It just screamed B-movie all over. But it was done so well and so goofy that the movie was actually fun and worth watching.
I will say that the robotic spider-like Nazis were actually quite cool and were made very well, where as the rest of the CGI in the movie could have been better.
One of the things that really had me cracked up was when they returned back to the future, but missing by 300 years, and returned to the exact location where they had first gone back 50.000 years. The army jeep that they had left there was still in pristine condition, without any rust, decay or damage after having sat 300 years out in the Australian wilderness. It was just hilarious.
The characters in the movie were quite out there as well, as they were rather caricatured in extreme ways. But these overly done quirks were actually helping along the movie, because it added flavor to the characters. And the people hired to play these characters were doing good jobs, even though they had one outrageous storyline and script to work with.
And as if giant robotic spider-like Nazis weren't enough, then there is also a massive swarm of huge mosquitoes, because we all know that the world was infested by mosquitoes the size of small dogs 50.000 years ago - evolution just made them smaller and more annoying.
Topping it off, that would have to be the anal probing scene. Yeah, there were such a scene in the movie too. A soldier getting probed by a giant robotic spider-like Nazi, whilst it is actually doing humping motions. That just had be laughing so hard that I almost spilled my drink.
"The 25th Reich" is good entertainment if you enjoy campy, goofy and cheesy movies where nothing is barred. This movie is outrageous in concept, idea and execution.
The worst type of movies that exist are the ones that initially look like guaranteed "this-can't-possibly-go-wrong" entertainment, but then ultimately turn out to be dull, dumb and embarrassingly incompetent disasters. I was tremendously looking forward to see "The 25th Reich", even though just solely based on the fact it's an Australian B-movie production with an awesome poster and a terrific sounding two-line plot synopsis. Moreover, thanks to the marvelously eccentric "Iron Sky" last year, I'm always interested in seeing more Sci-Fi Nazi-nonsense. But, as said, sadly enough "The 25th Reich" isn't nearly as fun as it looks, mainly due to its completely incoherent content and the hopelessly failing attempts to insert satire and homages to the genre's glory days. Apparently based on an obscure novel, the film revolves on five American soldiers on Australian soil in 1943; assigned to trace and capture two escaped black panthers (yes, that correct). Through a series of bizarre events, they end up getting catapulted back in time 50,000 years and stumble upon the ideal weapon to beat the Nazis: an abandoned alien spaceship! But it would also make a forceful weapon in the hands of the Germans as well, and there happens to be a traitor in the platoon. Personally I was astounded how a B-movie featuring Nazis, Jewish allies soldiers, time-traveling, Aussie wilderness locations and – most importantly - giant robot spiders turned out to be so underwhelming and bleak. Admittedly a few aspects of the story are greatly inventive and a small number of sequences (like the animated opening credits) are sublime, but overall the film is a forgettable misfire. The cheap but charming set pieces stand in sheer contrast with the lame CGI special effects and the odd rape sequence is totally random. I read the film already built up a minor but loyal cult following, and I certainly do admire writer/director Stephen Amis for the worthwhile attempt, but this isn't my idea of retro cult/trash.