From the creators of worldwide cult hit Iron Sky, the long-awaited sequel Iron Sky: The Coming Race has finally landed! To celebrate, we chat to writer-director Timo Vuorensola on his all-time favourite filmmakers and biggest influences.
Twenty years after the events of Iron Sky, the former Nazi Moonbase has become the last refuge of mankind. Earth was devastated by a nuclear war but buried deep under the wasteland lies a power that could save the last of humanity or destroy it once and for all. The truth behind the creation of mankind will be revealed when an old enemy leads our heroes on an adventure into the Hollow Earth. To save humanity they must fight the Vril, an ancient shapeshifting reptilian race and their army of dinosaurs.
Boasting stunning special effects and visuals, the movie stars Lara Rossi (Robin Hood), Vladimir Burlakov (Deutschland 86), Brazilian Jiu Jitsu world champion Kit Dale, Julia Dietze (Iron Sky), Emily Atack (The Inbetweeners), Stephanie Paul (Iron Sky), Tom Green (Road Trip) and Udo Kier (Blade).
So what (and who?) inspired Timo Vuorensola in his journey? Read on to find out…
“Spielberg is a really important filmmaker for me as I’ve been a fan of his work for the longest time. I love the Indiana Jones franchise. It’s so rich in story, locations, characters and even the variety of the bad guys. It’s setup as a basic adventure story but it’s never boring and always exciting and entertaining. The fact that Nazis featured so heavily in Raiders of the Lost Ark definitely inspired me in terms of what could be done in Iron Sky, which we created our own spin on.
Jurassic Park also starts with a clear adventure and survival story but holds a real richness and depth. It seemed so out of reach to create such an ambitious dinosaur movie at that time yet everyone was blown away, and Spielberg achieved that. It taught me to work with no restrictions, no limits. I remember seeing Close Encounters of the Third Kind as a child and didn’t understand it right away, but I think that mystery really affected me, and then of course I watched it again and again as I got older. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial also has a real atmosphere and gave me such a strong feeling as a child.
These films shaped my understanding of what a cool, sci-fi fantasy can be. Even now, these influences still live in the back of my mind. I don’t want to imitate Spielberg, because I don’t think that’s possible for anyone, but I’ve grown up with his work and it’s something I’m always thrilled to go back to. It really leaves a mark on your soul.”
“I’ve always enjoyed Ridley Scott’s films. For me, his work feels harder and more relentless, and he seems to take the sci-fi concepts even further than most other directors. He has a strong visual style too, which I love. My favourite films from Scott would definitely be Alien and Blade Runner. I love the living, breathing worlds he creates in these stories. I even enjoyed his Apple Mac: 1984 commercial a whole lot.
After this, he made many more films I enjoyed but the next one that truly blew me away was Prometheus. In fact, I’ve defended that film so many times as a science fiction masterpiece, and I know very few people agree with me on that. It may have a flawed story but I also believe the feeling and atmosphere takes over and you can sit back and watch a legendary storyteller and craftsman at work. If you only pay attention to the details of a story, you’re not getting the full cinematic experience.”
“I’m a huge fan of Verhoeven because he’s never been shy to bring social and political commentary to stories which otherwise feel straight-forward. Starship Troopers is my favourite film he’s made and I remember how it felt like a real punch in the face when I first saw it. It’s big, entertaining and dumb, yet at the same time it gives an immense social commentary and is based on a book that has none of that. The book is what the movie ‘appears’ to be, a right-wing take on the military, and that’s very important. Yet Verhoeven puts his own twist on it, tells a surface-level entertaining story and injects a lot of content and commentary.
Of course, I also grew up watching RoboCop and Total Recall and saw them so many times. When you’ve watched films like that 20 times as an eight year old, it never leaves you! Certain space sequences we shot in Iron Sky: The Coming Race come straight from Total Recall and that influence. Verhoeven is also a very good director, from a technical standpoint. He’s extremely skilled at telling stories and completely sucks you into his universe.”
“I’ve always been an admirer of Lynch’s work and my favourite film of his, and an unpopular choice to some, is Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. It was extremely unpopular during it’s release but it’s grown a cult reputation over the years. When I first saw it, I just thought, “wow”. As an aspiring young storyteller, it was eye-opening to see someone who didn’t follow any kind of formula. He wanted to tell a story that starts a certain way with certain characters, then changes everything and does something new and different. It’s a tremendous movie. Lynch is a real master of atmosphere and building a feeling throughout his work, like cigarette smoke which lingers in a room. It really becomes an experience
Don’t forget, in this time Lynch had already made the original Twin Peaks series and films like Eraserhead, Blue Velvet and Wild at Heart, which are all amazing and still he had the courage to do something very different. He does whatever he wants as an artist and I find that very inspiring.”
Iron Sky: The Coming Race is out now on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Download & Boxset from 101 Films
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.