Frankenstein’s Army

I should have written this the night I watched it, but I was too busy sending out quick Facebook posts and tweets about it.

About two weeks ago I sat down on a chilly October night to watch my latest rental, Frankenstein’s Army. I had seen a trailer for it on another horror DVD I had rented and rented it solely based on the creatures shown in the trailer. It looked ridiculous and seriously awful and I figured, what the hell? It  would probably have a couple good monster scenes and the rest would be a bland B-movie with no character to it that I’d shut off half-way through and toss back in the mailbox.

So I put on the film and it starts out as a pretty straight-forward WWII flick; which slowly moved along as we get to know the main characters. A small band of Russian troops are heading into east-Germany at the end of the war. Eventually they come across a secret Nazi laboratory in which Viktor Frankenstein, grandson of the in/famous Dr. Victor Frankenstein and Nazi sympathizer, is using his grandfather’s journal as a guide to build an army of grotesque creatures made from body parts of fallen Ally soldiers. This includes some of the Russian soldiers who are killed early in the film, much to the dismay of our surviving heroes.

I was so wrong about it being a crappy movie that’d I’d probably shut off half-way through. This was one hell of a fun horror/sci-fi flick. It goes from war movie into a gloriously bat-shit crazy “grindhouse” style, creature feature gore-fest. Plenty of icky moments for all horror fans to enjoy. Once things get going there are true moments of dread and horror throughout. All of the monsters are a stroke of nightmarish genius. It was great to see a movie that (even with a smaller budget) showed true creativity and ingenuity when it came to the design of each creature. And really, is there anything better than practical and make-up effects? I say nay-nay. They were like something out of Re-Animator, Hellboy and Castle Wolfenstein all smashed together. My comparison just brought me to my next point: Aside from the monsters, mad scientist Viktor is one of the true standouts in the movie. He’s played pitch-perfectly by Karl Roden, who is probably best known to U.S. audiences as Rasputin in the original Hellboy movie. He is truly insane in the role. He ignores the warnings of his ancestors and believes that the work he is doing is for the greater good of humanity. He sides with the Nazis for the same reason.

All in all this is a solid B movie. Lots of fun, but don’t expect any acting awards to be handed out. At a quick 84 minutes, there is thankfully very little time for anyone to get bored with this movie. A lot of fun for fans of the genre and I highly recommend it. It’s definitely worth a watch.

Enjoy it horror fans!