I originally did this a year or so ago on my blog in a section I was calling B-Lated Reviews. I’d take a movie that had been out a while or had been a straight to video release and write up my thoughts on them. Usually, they were scathing, sarcasm-filled breakdowns of some of the most god-awful films ever made but, in the case of Frankenstein’s Army, it couldn’t have been farther from the truth. What I’d expected to be a complete and total shit show turned out to be an entertaining romp through Nazi-infested Europe. That said, like the undead abominations brought back from the grave and given a terrible new purpose, I decided I dig up my old review and breathe a little new life into it. If you want to read the original, just follow the link to my blog and have a look. So, I make no secret that I LOATHE the entire shaky camera school of filmmaking. For me, there’s nothing worse than having the most amazing shot in a movie ruined because the director’s “artistic vision” involved strapping a camera to a centrifuge just as the monster comes into focus. Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield, Quarantine/REC, whatever your poison may be, if the camera shakes, I just assume it’s going to be a complete waste of my time. Moreover, as a writer, it seems like the laziest device imaginable to cover up for a poorly-written script or a wonderfully hokey special effects job. That said, I had very low expectations for Frankenstein’s Army when I grabbed it from the local RedBox. The cover was elaborately drawn and pretty cool looking which is a dead giveaway on a straight to DVD release that what you are about to endure is a low budget, poorly-directed waste of time. Follow this up by making it a period piece (Soviet/WWII era) with that shaky, found footage feel and oh how my expectations fell to the floor in desperate need of resuscitation. Like a bolt of lightning into some mad scientist’s lair, however, this is where things started to get good. The story starts off slow, the way a good horror movie should, letting you get to know the characters and their struggles a bit, which would almost feel unnecessary given the historic backdrop. You get a chance to feel some empathy for them, even care about them before chopping them to pieces one at a time. Following a small band of Soviet troops making a propaganda film as they march west towards Berlin, the propaganda officer struggles to capture the bravery and benevolence of the Soviet forces liberating Europe from the evils of German socialism. Their mission is to join with a group of encamped and overrun Soviets in a small, undisclosed German town and continue their war against the Nazis. That’s where everything goes horribly wrong. In the burned-out remains of a convent they find charred nuns stacked like a giant bonfire in the bombed out courtyard. In a strange laboratory hooked to dangling high voltage wires connected to a generator an abysmally-assembled pile of corpses turned blind monster kills their commanding officer. They soon discover that a Nazi super weapon project in the small town adjoining the convent has killed everyone and that their real mission is to procure it and as many specimens as possible all for the glory of Mother Russia. The special effects rely a lot on makeup, animatronics, and camera angles that surprisingly enough stop being shaky at all the right moments. While the plot isn’t masterful nor is the special effects work anything groundbreaking or new, for a straight to DVD horror movie it was entertaining and fun. It had a certain feel to it, an atmosphere of the eighties really, when the idea was to make a monster movie that gave you a marketable and memorable cast of monsters to work with. From the giant Nazi mosquito man so prevalent and menacing all on his own to the more ridiculous propeller faced hulking zombie slicing through our characters as they try to escape with their lives, and the intimately demented creations of the good doctor himself, the movie offers moments of shock and humor at the same time. If you like watching undead monsters tear through communists and fascists left and right set to a soundtrack of music straight out of a game of Tetris, this is one you can’t afford to pass up. See larger image Frankenstein’s Army [Blu-ray] In the dying days of World War II, a battalion of Russian soldiers find themselves lost in enemy territory. Stumbling upon a village decimated by an unseen terror, they re lured into the secret lab of a deranged scientist (Hellboy s Karel Roden) and forced to face off against his army of horrific flesh-and-metal war machines. Leaderless and faced with dissention amongst their dwindling ranks, the Russians must find the courage to face down this terrifying new menace or die trying. A nightmarish fantasy thrill ride unlike any other, Richard Raaphorst s FRANKENSTEIN S ARMY is a delirious plunge into the darkest depths of insanity. Special Features: Making Of, Creature Spots, Trailer New From: $12.99 USD In Stock Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.