Review: Frankenstein’s Army
Frankenstein’s Army is a new horror film from director Richard Raaphorst and starring Karl Roden (Hellboy), Joshua Sasse (Rogue), Luke Newberry (Quartet), Andrei Zayats (X-Men: First Class) and Mark Stevenson (Doctors).
Set during the Second World War, the film follows a squad of Soviet soliders on a reconnaissance mission in Russia. When the group receive a distress call from another unit they decide to investigate, and follow the co-ordinates in the message to an abandoned mining village. As the soliders serach for their commarades they discover all is not right – the place is infested with monsters, made of corpses and machinery. So begins a battle of survival, as they attempt to find answers and the monsters creator…
First of all, I love the fact the film is shot in found-footage style. It was something I was not expecting, but it works brilliantly. The first person perpsective ties beautifully into the story and the reason for the camera being on all the time makes perfect sense – as the cameraman Dimitri has been enlisted to record ‘the heroic deeds’ of his fellow soilders, so its his duty to record everything. The film has a subtle grainy, old film style look to it, so it feels like you are watching footage being shot on an old 1940’s film camera, which I liked.
I also think its fantastic that the film went down the Frankenstien’s monster route rather than just using zombies, as its obviously given them more freedom create interesting, original looking creatures. However, I personally didn’t find the mosnters scary, as they were quite slow and ocassionally looked a little comical and impractical – for example the big round zombot with boy legs reminded me of a teapot. Though they became more menacing later when the sheer number of them made me think that Dimitri was never going to escape.
The scenes I found really uncomfortable to watch, where the scenes were Doctor Frankenstien does explicit surgery. This film is a certificate 18, and for good reason. If you don’t like blood or anything of a squishy, gory nature then be warned.
Finally I took a look at the half-hour Making Of film on the DVD, which was very interesting as you get to see behind the scenes on some of the amazing FX effects they used.
To sum up
Frankenstein’s Army is an original monster feature with a neat concept, shot extremely well in the found footage style with a great cast of upcoming and established actors. A graphic horror, it will appeal to those who like gore and historical horror films.
Frankenstein’s Army is out on DVD on 30 September.