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FRANKENSTEIN'S ARMY
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Richard Raaphorst

Starring:
Karel Roden
Joshua Sasse
Robert Gwilym

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
Toward the end of World War II, Russian soldiers pushing into eastern Germany stumble across a secret Nazi lab, one that has unearthed and begun experimenting with the journal of one Dr. Victor Frankenstein. The scientists have used the legendary Frankenstein's work to assemble an army of super-soldiers stitched together from the body parts of their fallen comrades -- a desperate Hitler's last ghastly ploy to escape defeat.
Is it good movie?
I actually hadn't heard of this flick before it came across my desk, but when it did I got a little excited. This monster flick mixes zombies, robots, nazis, found footage, and of course monsters to come up with..a unique product!

Essentially coming off like a pretty cool practical effects demo reel with a great combination of wonderful set design and location shooting, this one's certainly fun to look at. Doctor Frank's great grandson turns out to be toiling away in an abandoned factory as he fabricates monsters for the nazis( does it get any more evil than that?).

Our heroes (or whatever you want to call them) are a group of russian soldiers, making their way through enemy camp as WWII draws to a close. Our cameraman is Dimitri (Alexander Mercury), charged as a propaganda filmmaker who must document the reconnaissance mission (nevermind the technical aspect of this- the technology like this absolutely didn't exist). Anyway, also amongst the group are the veteran captain (Robert Gwilym), the brawny guy (Hon Ping Tang), the hothead (Andrei Zayats), and the more emotional one (Joshua Sasse).

The movie plods along a bit to get started, until the dudes stumble upon a bogus distress call which leads them to a convent full of horrors. From here, they run into one of many monsters, which I won't spoil. The movie's plot is pretty much done at this point, and the whole thing degenerates into a "scary movie" sort of deal where these soldiers have to survive waves of horror.

The ultimate setpiece here is unquestionably the monsters, and again, I don't want to spoil them but they're appropriately nightmarish and really well designed from the stuff of nightmares. There's plenty of them, too! This second half of the film moves along briskly and doesn't really let up, but is admittedly straight up silliness. If you're looking for any realism, you probably shouldn't check out a flick where russian soldiers encounter a wave of "zombots" (pretty much how it's described).

There's a load of tension here, but the flick is straight-up halloween nonsense by the time it's over and can be a little bit of overload for the senses. If you're not into cool, otherworldly monsters and effects (with a dose of shakycam), check it out now!
Video / Audio
Video: 1.78:1 widescreen, and it's not exactly pretty. This is meant to look like old found footage, and it does.

Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, which again is meant to sound old and is full of artificial pops and hisses, but it's mixd well and spreads across the surrounds appropriately.
The Extras
First up is a making of featurette that runs about a half hour, including cool stuff like the original vision (the test footage), effects blurbs and cast/crew interviews.

Other than that, a few creature spots describe the 5 main monsters in about 15 seconds each, and you get a trailer.
Last Call
This insane monster-nazi-zombie found footage flick is packed full of great effects, but can't be taken too seriously. Grab some friends and your substance of choice- this'll make for a good bit of fun on a dreary October night.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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