Frankenstein’s Army

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:24 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Frankenstein’s Army
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Karel Roden, Joshua Sasse, Robert Gwilym, Alexander Mercury
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Dark Sky Films / MPI Media Group
Blu-ray Release Date: September 10, 2013
Kiddie Movie: It’s got a lot of gore. Best send them to bed without the pending nightmares.
Date Movie: Only if she is a fan of campy horror films.
Gratuitous Sex: Nah.
Gratuitous Violence: Lots of blood and cutting of human skulls.
Action: The zombots are pretty slow. Nah.
Laughs: It’s got some “over-the-top” chuckles in the horror kind of way.
Memorable Scene: I loved Propellerhead.
Memorable Quote: Nothing stood out.
Directed By: Richard Raaphorst
On the Blu-ray: It’s got a “Making of…” featurette, and quick clips of the zombots so you don’t have to re-find them on the Blu-ray.

Remember the movie “Edward Scissorhands?” You know the movie, with Johnny Depp playing Edward, and he has scissors for hands. Remember how Edward was nice, tried to be good, and all-around tried to help people? Remember how you secretly thought, “I wish Edward was a bad-ass, and would go around killing people with those hands!” Okay, maybe you didn’t wish that, but all I could think about during “Frankenstein’s Army” was that this movie has taken the concept of “scissors as hands” to an entirely new level.

It’s the end of World War II and a group of Russian solders are making their way through Germany when they stumble upon a decimated village. In their investigating further they begin to come across monsters, “zombots” as it would be, looking part human with industrial objects for body parts, i.e. drills, machetes, propellers, and just, well, the most bizarre killing machines one can imagine.

Further stumbling by our “documentarian” (the movie is shot as a “found footage” film) leads us to the lab of Viktor, who, it seems, has come across Dr. Victor Frankenstein’s journals, has found out how to meld soldiers with machines, and has been ordered by Hitler to make an army of killing zombots. We learn how Viktor does it (turns out you don’t really need to be delicate for brain surgery after all), and all along the way gruesomeness is encountered as the zombots are made for one thing, and one thing only, and that’s for killing, well, all except the cute, little one with a teddy bear attached to a woman’s head, a.k.a., Teddy Bear Woman.

Here’s the thing. I loved the concept of the movie, the campiness of the idea, and the potential for gruesome fighting scenes, but somewhere things seemed to get sidetracked. First there is the fact that the setup in getting to the actual zombots seems to take forever, which isn’t good for a movie that’s only 84 minutes long. There’s a lot of the soldiers trudging through the countryside, finding the village, and finally getting to the decimation of the soldiers. Also, and maybe it’s because I’m not a fan of “found footage” kinds of films, you know, those movies like “The Blair Witch Project” where someone finds a movie camera with footage of something bad that happens, but the jittery nature of the movie really annoyed me, and I also felt the movie could have benefitted so much more from a real camera shoot, allowing us to get a true “picture” of the twisted nature of the army of killing zombots. Lastly, and I know this is just a weird technicality on my part, but it seemed like the soldiers sure seemed to have an endless supply of bullets as they were trying to kill the zombots, especially with this being World War II weaponry.

The thing that saved the movie, though, is the utter campiness of the film, with the zombots being awesome, and me just wishing there were more of them, or maybe a scene out in the open with a squadron of these killing “machines” wiping out a squadron of lowly troops, but alas, most of the fun of the movie takes place in the dungeons and labs of Viktor.

For me if they lost the “found footage” concept, and had a full-on battle, this could have been an easy 5 star movie, but in the end I was nearly bored for the first third, and wishing for more for the rest of the film. I would leave the movie at around 2 stars, but the zombots are worth about a star and a half so I’ll end up at 3 ½ stars. I guess I just finished the movie wanting more.

The Blu-ray has a “Making of…” feature, which is nice and all but would mostly be for the uber-fan, and I was disappointed in the “Creature Spots” feature which was just short clips from the actual film of some of the creatures, i.e., Propellerhead and Teddy Bear Woman, and no real insight into the creatures or design of them. I’m sure there were some budgetary constraints, but maybe a little more than just a quick film clip of the zombot would have been nice.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!