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September 12, 2013

Movie Review: Frankenstein's Army (Blu-ray, 2013)

In watching the countless genre trailers that flood the internet on various sites and the obligatory coming attractions sections of Blu-ray and DVDs, I see plenty of titles that look damn good in a three minute, compacted nugget – but end up being the same old routine shite.  Richard Raaphorst’s found-footage, mad doctor, zombie mash-up, Frankenstein’s Army was easily one of the most impressive recent trailers that I’d come across in sometime. The distributor for Frankenstein’s Army, Dark Sky, has done quite well with their choices for independent genre releases, but I had to see for myself and I must say, simply put, this baby delivers the goods.

When a group of Russian soldiers start coming across some odd things surrounding a village, they do what all good soldiers do, investigate. It couldn’t be all that bad, as it’s quiet, with no enemy soldiers around but that makes what’s about to cross their path that much more frightening.

 Along with the group during this journey to document the goings-on with his film camera always at the ready, is Dimitiri (Alexander Mercury). The viewer’s point of view is Dimitri’s throughout so when we soon come toe-to-toe with a series of nearly unstoppable macabre creatures pent on cutting apart the troops, it’s pretty effective. All the chaos and death is at the hands of a brilliant mad Nazi scientist creating his own brand of ghoulish super-soldiers to kill anyone who dares to step foot near his lab. From here it’s gore galore and thankfully some truly awesome practical FX and creature design that in some ways mademe thing about the Cenobites from Hellraiser.

Frankenstein’s Army really has everything going for it – a clever script that really gets down to the scares as opposed to any useless padding with unneeded character development, tight direction by Raaphorst, and enjoyable performance by Roden as Frankenstein -- best of all, the irritating shaky-cam is kept to a minimum and only used for the appropriate jumps. With this more disciplined approach, what we have here is one of the best found-footage films ever made. I’ll stick it right up there with Cannibal Holocaust in saying that it is, that effective – just not near as gratuitous.

The extra features are short but sweet. The behind the scenes have some cool bits showing the gore and creature FX, and we also get an extra just on the amazing creatures that make this movie roll like the most frightening carnival haunted house you’ll ever experience. Also included is the previously mentioned theatrical trailer.

Frankenstein’s Army is awesome. Originality is so rare in genre unfortunately, but this bloody action-packed flick gives me hope that there are people out there not just pilfering ideas or “re-imagining" stuff. Grab a copy of this ASAP and thank me later. Highly Recommended

1 comment:

  1. The practical FX were amazing in this film, but I did find the shaky cam irritating, and I wish the mad doctor was in it more. They could've done so much more with the characters. It's worth watching though just for the insanely incredible monsters.