Frankenstein’s Army (2013, 1hr 24 mins)
Stories of the Nazis and their crazy experiments have once again made it to the movies with Frankenstein’s Army. In my mind this film, which is chock full of monsters, will quickly find status in cult film history.
We follow band of Russian soldiers on a recon mission as they trek through eastern Germany at the tail end of WWII. Their journey is documented for Stalin through the camera of Dimitri (Alexander Mercury), a fellow soldier. As they move through the countryside, contact with command is non-existent, and the area is eerily void of life. They stumble upon a village that hides a massive Nazi lab where hideous, unnatural experiments are taking place to manufacture a nightmarish army. The brains behind this sick operation? The grandson of Frankenstein, mad scientist Viktor. The soldiers end up fighting more than they bargained for, as well as an unexpected foe.
I am a lover of monsters, and I got my fill in this movie. The undead/machine hybrids, or “zombots” running amok were brilliant. Director and co-writer Richard Raaphorst did an amazing job with the creature design, pushing the envelope with the bizarre use of objects like airplane propellers, drills and teddy bears (trust me-just see the film). I also liked that the zombots weren’t done with C.G.I which lent to the good old-fashioned cheese factor. All the actors did a great job hamming it up as Nazi-hating soldiers with ego problems. I was surprised to see Joshua Sasse as the take charge soldier Sergei. Not only is he easy on the eyes, he is also brilliant as Alec Laszlo, the power-hungry son of a dirty business man on the series Rogue. Now that he is part of cult horror culture, I love him even more! Andrei Zayats was great as the adrenaline junkie nut-job soldier Vassili, and Karl Roden created a deliciously mad Viktor Frankenstein.
Amidst the numerous Nazis zombie/monster movies out there (some of which I couldn’t finish watching they were so bad), Frankenstein’s Army is a great addition to the genre. Taken from an earlier idea of his called Worst Case Scenario, Raaphorst created this full length soon-to-be classic that is a fast favourite among horror fans out there. It isn’t perfect, but it’s definitely fun and you must check it out!
Favourite Scene: As the soldiers try to save one of their comrades, a zombot prepares for a sneak attack from an unlikely location. Really cool look, angle and monster!
Most Memorable Line: Dr. Frankenstein spouts “A man of vision is always misunderstood, but the film in your camera will convince the doubters.” Ah, yeah, sure. When everyone sees the abominations running around chopping everyone to pieces? You will totally win everyone over. Totally.