'Iron Sky' Reveals a Crowdfunding Problem By Not Being That Great

There’s a downside to crowdfunding, which is part of the reason I’m picky about what I back: Even if something sounds awesome, the odds of it actually being good can be low if it’s an unknown quantity.

That said, I don’t regret the dollar I gave to Iron Sky, a movie about Nazis hiding on the moon directed by a Finnish guy who made his name making ridiculous Star Trek parodies, for a minute. Not because the movie will be a classic, but because I want to live in a world where a movie like this exists and I can spring it on my friends.

That said, it’s doing about as well with critics as you’d expect a movie about moon Nazis directed by some Finnish guy you’ve never heard of.

Iron Sky‘s critical beating, though, has been accompanied by a fan whinefest about how their money was wasted. So what’s going on here?

There’s an unspoken expectation for a successfully crowdfunded project: Where the person takes your money and turns out a truly brilliant product that literally would not exist without you. In short, the narrative is “little guy struggles, gets help from friends, proceeds to stick it to the Man by becoming really rich.”

The problem, of course, is that crowdfunded projects tend to stink and even the good ones are unlikely to be massive hits. Seriously, just go to the Music section of Kickstarter and listen to the bands there. Some really are just small and need the support, but most of them are looking for demo money on Kickstarter for a reason.

I get the impulse. We all want to feel like tastemakers. That said… I’m baffled anybody thought this was going to be more than a cult flick.

I didn’t expect Iron Sky to be good. I just hope that small SF films don’t get hurt because people expected that giving five dollars to the Moon Nazi movie meant it would become a true classic.