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Frankenstein's Army [DVD]
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In the waning days of World War II, a battalion of Russian soldiers find themselves lost in enemy territory. Stumbling upon a village that has been decimated by an unseen terror, they discover that a mad Nazi scientist has been conducting experiments to fuse flesh and steel, creating an unstoppable army of undead soldiers. Leaderless and faced with dissention among their dwindling ranks, the battalion must find the courage to face an altogether new menace or die trying.
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RUNTIME: 84:07 mins.
REGION: B (locked)
EXTRAS: Making Of, Creature spots, trailer, unrelated trailers
Video Quality: * * / * * * * *
Audio Quality: * * * / * * * * *
It's uncut. That's the ONLY good thing about this Blu-Ray.
The film itself has an interesting idea, but the execution is a train wreck. While Krauts and Zombies can mesh brilliantly (the OUTPOST series), the case is quite the contrary here. While the creature design and idea is good, there's really nothing else that'll stick: the acting is atrocious, the characters are annoyingly bad, the film score got on my last nerve, as did the steadycam that was help by a drunk (literally). Badly faked Russian accents and terribly executed gore effects drain the last asset of this Dutch/Czech production.
Then there's the many failed attempts at humor - ouch!
Sitting through this mess should earn you the "I can sit through everything" Award. It was rated FSK 18 in Germany, but I really can't see anyone over 18 wanting to see it voluntarily. OK I did, but I expected much more!
There's lots of gore too. It is light on plot, but I really enjoyed it.
A Russian reconnaissance team is tasked with rescuing a Russian unit under attack, somewhere in Eastern Germany, during the latter days of WWII. Alongside them is Dmitri (Alexander Mercury), whose job is to film the glorious advance of the Russian troops for "Mother Russia" (hence the "found footage" motif).
They lose contact with their base and come across a strange half-human skeleton and eventually reach an abandoned, ruined town, where their comrades are mean't to be. Unfortunately, there is no sign of them. They then run into a "caretaker" who, after being tortured, promises to take them to their lost comrades......
For some reason, setting it in WWII just worked for me. The soldiers were portrayed as realistically brutal and unlikeable, as they made their way across Germany, taking revenge on any German they came across. No fake sentimentality here.
I also liked the range and originality of the monster designs (I think I even spotted an early version of "ED-209" from the original RoboCop!) and the fact they were real physical effects and not CGI. The film built and held its tension well, with some nice twists. The third act, with the good Doctor, "Viktor", had some great visuals and general bloody gore, to go along with the dark comedy.
It is not perfect, of course (what is?). Some of the acting is a bit wonky in places, the characters are never developed (I lost track a bit of the names) and the found footage angle seemed a bit unnecessary, to be honest, although it was well done (not just a constant stream of screaming and "Oh, my God!" Every other sentence)
Overall, a well made, good looking and darkly comic tale. I really enjoyed it.
5 indie stars out of 5.
Guide: F-bomb. No sex or nudity
And the effects are great - very well designed monsters.
But that's where the positive part of the review ends and the negative bit starts.
The plot is very poor and made little sense.
I hate shaky cam! Not only does it look awful but films shot that way tend to have characterization issues - just like this one does.
And in the last 20 minutes or so they finally gave up on plot completely and just descended into a completely pointless gorefest.
Shame because it had so much potential...
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A Found Footage Horror (no don't go lol) which is unashamedly a B-movie through and through.Read more