Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Coming of the 1,000 Year Reich & Zombies: Nazis At the Center Of the Earth

"You have no idea what is possible when science is liberated from emotions and ethics," Dr. Josef Mengele tells Dr. Lucas Moss in Nazis At the Center Of the Earth; where have we seen this line of thought before? The Debt, The Amazing Spider Man and The Bourne Legacy, to name just a few. Don't get me wrong: this film is remarkably bad, from the "special effects" to the acting (with the exception of Christopher K. Johnson, who plays Mengele, and consistently gets the one praise from anyone taking the time to review this film) but sometimes, as in the case of the old science fiction films from the 1950s, it's the bad films which reveal so much of the bad in culture, like socialism that is gaining ground today. As well as "recycling" vital organs and replacing brittle bones with "more permanent materials," the Nazis who re-grouped in Antarctica have stayed alive, planning on establishing the Thousand Year Reich with zombie-power; now, what does this really mean?
What is at the "essence" of the zombie debate in today's culture? Socialists claim capitalism doesn't allow workers to have free will because it's "the boss" who makes all the decisions, and workers become the "feed" for the entrepreneurs who are vampires to their labor force while capitalists claim that, due to the inherent disrespect for all humans which Karl Marx incorporated into the primary structure of a socialist government (people are incapable of making decisions for themselves, so the government has to make all their decisions for them) a socialist government does away with all morality, ethics and ideas with everyone becomes the victim of the government; Nazis At the Center Of the Earth visualizes this idea for us, so--like Resident Evil: Retribution and The Collection--Nazis substantiates its position by calling upon history and what we have actually seen occur in socialist environments; this is the strength of the film because it was fairly well conceived and written, just poorly directed and acted. Why is the film's quality so bad? Asylum Studios is famous for one thing only: if there is a big Hollywood film coming out, Asylum hurries up and makes a cheap knock-off for the video rentals, so that explains a portion of the lack of quality (the visual effects are particularly bad, and so is the acting, minus Johnson's performance). I must say, however, that I haven't enjoyed a film this much in over a year, just being able to sit down and not be concerned with decoding it; I was laughing out loud at several parts because it's so cinematically bad in places; if you enjoyed Mystery Science Theater 3000, watch Nazis, because it's on Netflix Instant Streaming and it will greatly reduce the stress in your life and give you a huge ego boost that you could have done a better job making the film!
To begin with, there are two Jews among the doctors who are taken prisoner by the Nazis. The first one, Dr. Bleckman, is the only one who recognizes the name "Mengele" as being "the Angel Of Death," when they are first taken prisoner; Mengele recognizes him as being a Jew, to which Bleckman replies, "I'm not religious," and Mengele pulls out a gun and "vaporizes" him without any further ado. What does this scene mean? To begin with, Blackman being a Jew who is not religious is like being an American who doesn't have any of the rights guaranteed to us by the American Constitution: being a Jew but not taking advantage of the rich spiritual heritage to which he is an heir means that he has no more identity than vapor in the air because he has "shot down" his own history by not participating in his identity, he's unable to do anything when the enemies of his identity come to hunt him down. This is the same theme taken up by Jeffrey Dean Morgan's The Possession (review is coming, really) that it's only through the embracing of their religion by Jews that they will, as the historical consciences of civilization, be strong enough to ward off the forces seeking to destroy it.
Christopher Karl Johnson who portrays Dr. Mengele, the only actor who does a good job in the film and assures us that the dialogue is written well, it's just that the other actors can't act and the director can't direct. One reviewer wrote that Johnson is more like an Ian McKellan, whose performance from some other movie was copied and pasted into Nazis, it's just so much better than everyone else's. It comes up, the death of Mengele in the 70s, and how he is "still alive." Mengele replies that he replaced over 60% of his skeleton (with metal?) so he could pass off his skull (which is now all metal) to authorities and no longer worry about being hunted, being presumed dead. This demonstrates how Mengele is not only "not human," but also intends to make everyone else "not human." How can our humanity be respected by someone who isn't human? It can't, and won't, rather, all will be made in their image. Another possible reference to a film is when the doctors are captured and Brian throws a ball against the wall repeatedly as the doctors try figuring out what to do; it's probable that this is a reference to Hilts "the Cooler King" played by Steve McQueen in the 1963 war drama The Great Escape. Why would this be important? It's a citing of Hollywood always having been against socialism, not supporting it, as many films are doing today, and a reminder of Hollywood's identity investment in supporting freedom and capitalism, not slavery and socialism. Additionally, when Brian later uses the ball to knock-out a Nazi scientist, the "weapons vs. the baseball" the scene introduces is a great lead up to the argument of why the Allies won the war against Germany: game theory (the baseball) is closer to war than the sole mechanization of weapons which is the theory of war for a socialist regime. The mental dexterity which comes from games (Brian being weaponless but creatively thinking of using his baseball as a weapon) is a virtue which "outguns" the lack of socialist creativity.
The second important aspect of this scene is the assurance to Jews and non-Jews that socialism today is the same as socialism then, and the same, inherent disrespect for life which led to the Holocaust, and continues with the abortion industry today (Hitler is kept alive by an abortion), is going to happen all over again because socialists refuse to learn from mistakes and see the truth and conservatives, capitalists and the Jewish community aren't fighting to make it stop. Just as the Jews were exterminated during World War II, they and many others who hold views objecting to the platforms and control of socialism, will be executed. Which leads us to the second Jew in the film, Dr. Angela Magliarossa.
Dr. Paige Morgan and Dr. Mark Maynard were doing a core sample of arctic ice when the drill hit metal and discovered a piece of metal with a Nazi swastika on it, which is what they are staring at as the gas-masked Nazi comes up behind them; at this point, you're thinking, "What a dumb coincidence, that a Nazi realizes his swastika has been discovered," but then it's revealed they were probably set-up by a "Nazi within the arctic expedition" (as we will see in Star Trek Into Darkness with one of their own developing the weapon of mass destruction to use against them, Nazis shows also shows us an "embedded socialist" turning over his peers to the enemy) and that's how the Nazi knew where they would be. Artistically, the "demon" of the Nazi can't appear unless he has been "summoned" by the actions taking place in the narrative, in other words, Paige and Mark have all ready done something Nazi-like and the phantom of the Nazi appears as a visual commentary so we know something which has been said/done is being condemned by the film makers (recall, if you will, the slasher flicks of the 1980s: Michael Myers can't appear and kill someone with his knife unless they have all ready been having sex, but if they haven't participated in sex, they can escape; that's one of the convenient, dependable rules of art); so what have they done to summon the "bogeyman" of Nazism? The way Paige talks about the "life" that is 8,000,000 years old being a great research project instead of showing respect for what life mysteriously is. This might sound like I am a fanatical Catholic, and certainly, by many people's standards I am, however, it's through infant stem cells that Hitler is being kept alive and an abortion has to be forced later in the film. This absolute defense of life, from the micro-organisms living in the ice shelf to the infant sacrificed for Hitler, is a front-line defense against socialism (we see the Democrats total devotion to giving women free birth control and abortion on demand and this is a direct sign of the socialist/Nazi hook-up) and one way in which we know Paige is all ready a Nazi so her "conversion" to the dark side shouldn't surprise us.
Three of the female doctors are taken "to the showers," one of many references to the practices during the Holocaust of Jews being taken to the gas chambers. One of the doctors, May Yun, is exposed for having plotted against the Nazis, while Angela's shirt sleeve is lifted up to reveal a tattoo (like the tattoos inked on the arms of concentration camp prisoners) but this is of the medical insignia with the pole and the snakes going up it, but the zombie Nazi guard recognizes her to be Jewish from it; how and why? It's because of Moses lifting up the bronze serpent in the desert when the people of Israel were being attacked by the seraphim serpents to heal them of the poisonous snake bites; this correlation to Moses is all the Nazi needs to know, and Angela knows he knows that she's Jewish. She's then gang-raped by zombie Nazi soldiers; it doesn't matter that she's a doctor supposedly helping them with their research, the film tells us (like big money contributors to Obama's campaign funds), you are expendable because you are Jewish.
Lucas sees, in the next scene, that the patch of Angela's arm with her tattoo has been grafted onto the neck of a Nazi soldier, probably one of several who raped her; if my thesis is correct, why would a Nazi want a Jewish tattoo on his neck? Because the neck symbolizes what leads us, what controls us; for example, in Lawless, Forrest Bondurant (Tom Hardy) wears the key to his money safe around his neck because he is controlled by money, the pursuit of money is a "leash"; likewise, the raping and extermination of Jews is a controlling force for the Nazi which guides them.
There are many degrees of zombification, but the point is, you aren't just a "little bit zombie" and still a little bit human; to be a zombie is to be a zombie. The first is the use of gas masks by Nazi soldiers: they were them all the time like part of their uniform; you can't help but notice, however, the way this particular design makes them look like giant insects, specifically, ants (which may be a reference to Them! which many in Hollywood interpret as being about the communists, but I understand it differently, oh, well). There is, of course, the actual zombies, who get marks for being zombies, yet, this brings up an interesting question: Mark cannot become a zombie unless he is all ready a zombie emotionally/psychologically/spiritually, etc., so something about Mark's behavior alerts us to the "seeds" making him end up a faceless socialist zombie, which is probably his conversation with May about getting coffee like they always do so he has emotionally fallen asleep in "routine" which has made him drowsy to life. If he is attracted to her, he isn't acting upon it, rather he's keeping the relationship in the safe zone and about as exciting ax the arctic scenery instead of taking that risk and trying to advance the relationship.
Why do the soldiers wear the gas masks? First, it covers their human features (no longer human at this point, zombified, rather) but, as noted many times previously, it takes away the "human face" which is the seat of our individual identities and what do we own, if not our own identity? Yet this is the brilliant point Nazis seeks to convey to us: in a socialist government, you don't own yourself, even your facial features, the government owns it and can do with it what it wants. To a socialist government, you are nothing but a machine, programmed to do the will and bidding of the government. To us, they look like insects, specifically, ants. Like The Collection, wherein the villain serial-killer is a licensed bug expert, and who treats all his victims like bugs, and invokes memories of the 1954 science fiction horror classic Them!, about an army of ants overtaking the United States (and many in Hollywood consider to be a film about communism), people are not people, rather, machines and the "resurrected" Hitler is an exact picture of the ideal citizen of a socialist state: the body of a machine and the face of the government.
There is also Paige.
Yes, she is a zombie, and she defines it best, perhaps, in the turning off of all her emotions and ethics to aid Mengele in his experiments for her own safety and in the encouragement she gives to her peers for them to do the same. We would be able to tell her moral digression (absent the beret and swastika arm patch) by the absent, glazed look in her eyes and the way she looks away from Lucas when he calls out to her because she's really turning away from the call of her conscience. But the other doctors are zombies, too. It's not just their interest in self-survival which puts their moral existence on the back burner and their brain on auto-pilot; when Mengele squeezes the infection puss out of the face of the new "Mark" zombie German, the doctors are all immediately interested in the research problem.
But what about the ones who don't turn into zombies?
This is Mark losing his face, as Mengele cuts his facial skin off in preparation to "transplant" it to a Nazi soldier whose own flesh has degenerated (this rather casts the Antonio Banderas film The Skin I Live In within a new context, doesn't it?). Towards the end, Lucas will rip the transplanted face off the Nazi, saying, "This doesn't belong to you," and that's an awesome moment, because it's a parable for the redistribution of wealth socialism proposes. Our property--be it great or small--is as much a part of our identity as our facial features. NO, neither Nazis nor myself are saying that you are your material possessions, rather, the material world we create around us--with our homes, heirlooms and personal items--form a part of our identity because it tangibly helps us to express who we are (one person, for example, owning a sports car, vs another one owning a mini-van, vs another who owns a classic car). The Nazis in World War II did  this with the stolen works of art, taking all the great masterpieces from other countries and amassing it as their own private collection.
It's just as important to survive a zombie apocalypse by avoiding becoming a zombie, even though that likely means you will still die yourself. May manages to avoid becoming a zombie, although she dies, because she doesn't want to do the right thing initially, she's willing to go along with the Nazis to stay alive, but she repents and plots with Lucas, giving him a pair of surgical scissors which he later uses to throw into the throat of a Nazi guard (more on this below), but May--having gone along with the Nazi scheme initially--has to pay the price to avoid being a zombie, which she does in this graphic scene of stem cell harvesting:
The reason the cells are so important is because that machine is the machine keeping Hitler alive, and he requires cells to "regenerate." May's cells fail to re-generate Hitler/socialism (on a symbolic scale) because she saw Silje betray her to keep herself alive and she saw the zombie guards rape Angela, so May is completely against the resurrection of socialism and her cells don't "energize" or "regenerate" Hitler. However, the baby conceived as a result of Adrian's and Silje's affair can regenerate Hitler (on a symbolic scale only, because stem cells are the ones proven to have the regenerative powers, not infant stem cells, so the film intentionally makes a political statement through well-publicized scientific facts) because the abortion industry feeds citizens' dependency upon the government and does so by keeping them immoral to the real consequences and sinfulness of having an abortion; so the dead babies in the United States are "fueling" the socialist machinery.
Silje dies, not only because she willingly went along with the Nazis, and because she betrayed May, but also because May's operation didn't effect her (she closed herself off to the emotions of human suffering in the name of science) so these are patterns of behavior not supported by the film makers. She doesn't become a zombie because she's against the abortion the father of her baby gives to her to give life to Hitler. Another reason the Nazis would be happy to be rid of Silje is because she's Norwegian, and it was Norway who first laid claims to Antarctica, naming Queen Maud Land in honor of their sovereign, and interfering with Nazi attempts to have the ice shelf all to themselves. Silje's exploding of the spacecraft bomb towards the end is an exchange, so to speak, between her and Adrian; because Adrian killed her baby, she kills "his baby," his future in the Thousand Year Reich. When he draws Slije to him, after he realizes she has set off the bomb, it seems that he realizes the depth of pain he has caused her and he repents of at least that much, but artistically he still has to die in penance for the harm he has caused.
Once Adrian has harvested the cells from his murdered child, Hitler is resurrected. The speech Hitler gives is incredibly well-written and I think James Young does a fairly good job portraying the frenzied Hitler of international socialism, but pay attention to what is said, because--hopefully--it won't make any sense to you:
Why on earth would such an immoral regime be thankful to God?
Because they aren't.
Socialists always wear a mask of religion, but they never believe in God, they only do it for the sake of appearing legitimate, to get votes, to win trust, and then do whatever they will. The only "god" that exists is the leaders of the state itself. This is revealed, not only in the ruthless way they treat people, but also in the "enemies" of the Reich and the Reich's first target: the British Falkland Islands. This is the second time the Falklands have made an appearance in film of the last year, the first being in The Iron Lady (for which Meryl Streep won an Oscar) and it's because British Prime Minister stood up to the socialists in Argentina, and kept them from taking over and spreading socialism to the Falklands, that Hitler targets that group of Islands as "enemy" territory.
Why is this "hunk of junk" a particularly good symbol of the socialist/Nazi regime? Because it's pitiful design shows who useless man's attempt is to control life and death against the divine power of God. The pressurized machine also serves as a symbol of the "pressure" Mengele puts on Paige to abandon her emotions and accept him as her lover instead of Lucas. But the "artificial world" keeping Hitler "alive" is importantly akin to the artificial world the Nazis have created for themselves in the middle of the earth, the same kind of artificial utopia we saw in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, or the artificial dependence of the agents with medication in The Bourne Legacy.
The main weapon the socialists rely upon is a "flesh eating" bacteria to use as a weapon. Where else have we seen this? The same place where we also saw a woman with her scalp taken off and her brain exposed: Contagion. In Steven Soderbergh's 2011 drama, Gwyneth Paltrow's character contracts a brain eating virus which spreads throughout the earth (the plans of the socialist Nazis) and it's a direct result of the lack of her moral behavior, which is exactly what the Nazis are hoping for in Nazis At the Center Of the Earth, immoral behavior sanctioned by the government (such as abortions) but condemned by religion (such as extra-marital affairs, like the one between Silje and Adrian; please see Contagion: Bats and Pigs for full analysis). This is why, at the end, Lucas proposes to Paige, that the sanctity of marriage will protect them from the lure of socialism, and going someplace warm will keep their hearts from becoming cold to their love for each other and humanity.
What does this zombie guard do right before he dies? He picks some of his own, transplanted flesh off and eats it; then he dies and blood violently spews up from out of his mouth. Are the two acts related? Of course they are. It's the very appetites of the Nazis/socialists that will kill them, and that they have these appetites will be what causes them to "choke." We can see this in Hitler's own actions, or, rather, lack of actions. Just as Hitler was a poor strategist during World War II (so much so that Hitler's bad decisions on where to take the armies aided the Allies in winning) so, when there is "small firearms" going off on board the spacecraft, Hitler chooses to ignore it, which ultimately leads to his own demise (although, as you can guess, there is a post-credits scene with the "arm" of Hitler extending out of the arctic seabed where he is buried). The perversity of the socialists and Nazis lead them to make bad decisions that are the cause of their downfall because they think it's better to "free" one's self from moral obligations, they fail to see how having moral obligations actually strengthens a person so they are able to overcome the socialists.
We have to ask, why doesn't Paige die?
She "mercifully" kills Mark; is that acceptable? No, it's not, and because the scene of Mark--without most of his limbs and absolutely no flesh over his body--"strips away" the real differences between absolute value for life (as we will see in The Collection) and "mercy killings," Paige--in penance for killing Mark--willingly sacrifices her life twice: first, when she meets Hitler in the hallway, she is willing to sacrifice herself so Lucas can escape; secondly, she's willing to let Hitler take her into his clutches to kill her as Lucas injects some of the flesh-eating bacteria into Hitler's robot suit, thereby putting Hitler into the same position as Mark was when he died. But the flesh eating bacteria has a dual purpose in the film: it is used as a weapon by socialists because they strip way our flesh and our humanity so we behave like animals in giving into our animal appetites; secondly, it's a weapon against the socialists/Nazis because it strips away their flesh to reveal who and what they really are.
Zombie scientist with the syringe in his neck for the flesh-eating bacteria.
So why does Brian die?
We have Alfred Hitchcock to thank for that.
Brian is good, but he's not that good, and we know by one word: "lifeboats." Just as Brian doesn't understand what the word means, and Paige has to translate it, so we are invited to "translate" what "lifeboat" means and I believe it means Lifeboat, Hitchcock's 1944 war drama (for which he was nominated Best Director) in which American and British passengers on a ship are hit by a German U-Boat, get on a lifeboat, but then are taken prisoner by the captain of the German U-Boat. Brian, in other words, if given the chance, would do to the Germans what they were going to do to him, and his own inherent disrespect for life can't be allowed to exist because that's exactly the same kind of "seed" socialism needs in order to sprout. So, Paige and Lucas kill Hitler, and Mengele, and guards, what's the difference? It's been years since I have seen Lifeboat, so there is probably a more direct connection that I can't make at this time.
The last shot of Hitler falling through the ice is also one we have seen numerous times in the last year: Lawless, The Dark Knight Rises, Resident Evil, The Bourne Legacy and Skyfall all contain scenes involving water and ice symbolizing the risk of capitalism investment/the sinking nature of socialist schemes.
Ultimately, since all the "heroes" are doctors, this film is obviously about the socialist program Obamacare and what it's going to do, not only to healthcare, but to society as a whole. While Cloud Atlas showed Tom Hanks' private doctor as being greedy and intentionally keeping his patient sick to keep getting money out of him,  Nazis At the Center Of the Earth reminds us of the horrors of what doctors and scientists are capable of doing when they disregard morality and religion in order to solely "advance knowledge" and care nothing for the human aspect of providing care and medicine to their patients.
 Why watch a film this bad?
Again, sometimes it's easier to decode films not as well made as others because they are easier to see through; secondly, quality is a relative issue, while the poor visual effects and acting is enough to sink this film for most, it isn't for me, and the quality of the writing outweighs the disadvantages of everything else. In understanding culture and society, and how art reflects who and what we are, it's important to consider as many varying aspects as possible (and if you have Netflix Instant Streaming, it's even easier to watch). Given that Nazis At the Center Of the Earth was released in April of this year, I find it remarkably advanced of films released after it, in its employing of symbols and messages. Again, it's great for a laugh, but it also contains some very important political messages which are definitely worth our while.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner