MOVIE REVIEW: Frankenstein’s Army (Tribeca Film Festival Review)

In Movies by Bub SmithLeave a Comment

Well it was bound to happen. I mean eventually some one was going to mash-up three of the most over saturated sub genres: World War II, Zombie and Found Footage. I, for one, never thought I wanted to see such a film. Hell the idea never crossed my mind. Only a complete lunatic would attempt to pull something of this magnitude off. Fortunately for horror fans, Richard Raaphorst is crazy enough to attempt such a feat. Now for the real question: Is he able to pull it off? Hell Yeah!

Now the basic structure of Frankenstein’s Army is simple: A small band of Russian soldiers are pushing through Eastern Germany at the end of World War II. A few days in, they receive a distress call requesting back up to a small town. Take a guess whose really there waiting for them? As if the pile of charred and smoldering nuns weren’t enough of a warning sign, the boys forge forward right into a mad scientist’s back yard. This scientist just so happens to be working for Hilter in a last-ditch effort to win the war. Working off Dr.Frankenstein’s ( Yeah, that Frankenstein) personal journals to build an army of leather clad, swastika peppered zombots. AND, it just so happens that this particular band of soldiers is accompanied by a camera man filming a propaganda movie. Man, does his camera take a beating.  I didn’t know that cameras in the 40’s were so damn durable.  Or that they had microphone’s attached to them back then. Somehow it’s easier to believe Frankenstein’s grandson stitching together an army of robot zombie Nazis.

While all the actors do a descent enough job, the real star is the zombots (a term used throughout all the press releases but never once used in the movie). The movie moves along a tad to slow at first, but once these bad boys show up on-screen, it’s a nonstop onslaught of gory goodness. Raaphorst (who designed all the zombots himself) has really come up with some disturbing creatures. Creating all these different types of zombots leads to some damn cool kills. Where most directors might pull back Raaphorst zooms in for the money shots. This is a gore hounds wet dream. The mayhem plays like a mash-up of Hellraiser  meets Blair Witch. So people who are prone to motion sickness best wait till DVD.

Okay, so the plot reads like a bad SyFy channel feature, but I would be lying to you if I said I did not have a hell of a time with this one. Raaphorst was able to take such an off-the-wall premise and make it into a hell of a good time. While the movie wasn’t without its faults (ie: All the character’s speaking English with Russian accents was lame),  it is still without a doubt one of the most original takes on the found footage genre I have ever seen.

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