Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Frankenstein's Army

Set as found footage taken during World War II, Frankenstein's Army features a squad of Russian soldiers looking for their missing comrades but instead finding something even better: Nazi robot zombies! Can the nanobots withstand the shaky-cam pastiche of Wolfenstein and Silent Hill? Da!
  • The Nazi flag is shown just long enough for muddy boots to trample it. = +3pts 
  • After an awkward introduction to the cameraman, we're treated to a montage of each character to showcase their personalities. Hey, is that guy an Eskimo!? = +6pts 
  • As the group trudges through the countryside, the cameraman's doofy assistant Sacha trips over some sort of mutant monster skeleton. The hardass commander's reaction: "I don't give a shit. We're here to help our comrades!" = -3pts (He's gonna regret that.) 
  • The handsome radio operator is no Rusky – he's a damned Polack! No wonder he can't get the radio to work. = -2pts 
  • After gunning down the inhabitants of a German farmhouse (including three children), the Russians get drunk and celebrate by throwing chickens, pushing down a guy in glasses, and falling off of a bicycle. = +7pts (What rascals they are!) 
  • When the camera man is splurted upon by a not-quite-dead cyber-Nazi, he plays it off legit when the commander asks him what happened. = +3pts 
  • What war movie is complete without a pile of smoldering nun corpses? = -5pts (All of them. All war movies are complete without a pile of smoldering nun corpses.) 
  • Turns out that one of the nuns is still alive, so one of the soldiers quickly sticks a knife in her neck. We guess it's to put her out of her misery, but it could have just been for shits and giggles. = -4pts 
  • All of the graves in the church cemetery have been hastily dug up and there are electrical wires covering the torn-down steeple cross. It's almost as if Dr. Frankenstein were constructing some sort of an army. = +3pts 
  • When the soldiers enter the church and find that it's been converted into a factory, the soldiers aren't bashful about commenting on it (just in case the audience hadn't been following along). = -4 pts 
  • The cameraman's doofy assistant is understandably hesitant to check the cellar for a generator, but once he's down there his hesitance borders on petulance. Just turn on the damn generator, man! = -3pts 
  • Despite being quick to action when it comes to mercy killing a nun, the soldiers essentially just stand around while a sutured and faceless cadaver shambles to its feet and starts trying to touch everyone. = -7pts 
  • It's like the old adage says: curiosity disemboweled the commanding officer! = +10pts 
  • After gunning down the electrified zombie and euthenizing the commander, a power struggle brews between the handsome Polack and the d-bag soldier. Everyone sides with the Polack, thus dooming their entire mission. = -3pts 
  • To cement his character's role as completely unlikeable, the douchey soldier kills a fuzzy bunny by smashing it over a table. = -6pts 
  • The group finds an old man, shoots him in the leg, interrogates him, cuts off his finger, and then entrusts him with leading them to find their missing comrades. They then act surprised when he fucks off after leading them into a labyrinth of tunnels. = -4pts 
  • First person point-of-view scenes of Nazi robot zombies jumping out from around corners and being shot at with machine guns. = +25pts 
  • ...while an air raid siren drones in the background. = +5pts 
  • After the Eskimo gets his head bitten in by the Nazi equivalent of the robot from the “Dragula” music video, the douchey soldier makes another attempt at assisted suicide. The Eskimo makes his displeasure of this prospect known with a well-timed suckerpunch. = +6pts 
  • The douchey soldier makes himself feel better by using Sacha's hat to blow his nose. = +3pts 
  • A "let's move the plot along" group suddenly arrives, complete with everything necessary for exposition: a dying guy, an old guy, a kid, and a young lady. = -4pts 
  • The douchey soldier immediately and violently pervs on the young lady. = -5pts 
  • The girl saves herself from molestation by proclaiming to be a nurse. If only that worked for us every time we're accosted on by a Russian. = +4pts 
  • The nurse proves her medical talents by pulling the Eskimo's helmet off, trailing his brains along with it. "I'm sorry," she says. = +7pts 
  • "That was fucking useless!" shouts the douchey soldier moments before beating the hell out of the nurse. = -7pts (War is no excuse for violence against women!) 
  • The soldier who never said anything gets a drill through the face courtesy of a Schutzstaffel stilt monster. = +8pts 
  • Monsters attack and stuff blows up. We demand little else! = +10pts 
  • Spoiler alert! The mission was just a ruse to capture Dr. Frankenstein and bring him back to Mother Russia. Also, the cameraman is actually a captain (and will be henceforth referred to as Captain Cameraman). = +4pts 
  • Finally, a Nazi zombie robot programmed to goose step! = +5pts 
  • Aww, the Nazi zombie robot amputee is cute in a "dragging its legless body around" sort of way. If his head wasn't covered in spikes, we're sure that he'd be a hoot to cuddle. = +3pts 
  • Zombie headshot! = +5pts 
  • Soon after saving the life of the little kid from the exposition group, the soldiers dangle him down a bloodstained meat-chute to see what's at the bottom. = +3pts 
  • It turns out that a Nazi zombie robot with an airplane propeller for a head was at the bottom of the meat-chute. Let's just say that the little kid is half the little kid that he used to be. = +12pts 
  • Propellerhead is quickly dispatched when the soldiers cut his fuel line, causing the gasoline to ignite its circuitry and explode. Propellerhead, we hardly knew ye. = -2pts 
  • The soldiers double-cross Captain Cameraman by dumping him down the meat-chute; he reacts by throwing a temper tantrum. = -5pts 
  • More first person POV shots of Captain Cameraman running through the haunted house maze that is Dr. Frankenstein's underground lair. = +10pts 
  • Once seen, the image of a woman's head grafted to a teddy bear cannot be unseen. = +8pts 
  • The corpses hanging from the ceiling on meathooks really tie the room together. = +3pts 
  • A German soldier's hopes for rescue are cruelly dashed when Captain Cameraman buggers off at the approach of a mechanocorpse. Hearing his anguished screams as he is carted away to be sluiced almost makes us feel sorry for the fascist bastard. = -5pts 
  • Diving suit zombie jump scare! = +6pts 
  • Dr. Frankenstein isn't without a sense of humor, for when he turned the Eskimo into a zombie robot, he gave him a hammer and sickle for hands. = +4pts 
  • Captain Cameraman is captured by Dr. Frankenstein and force-fed a sanguine slurry. The gagging... oh, God... the gagging. = -7pts 
  • Getting a guided tour of a mad scientists's lab. = +10pts 
  • Dr. Frankenstein's mobile toolbox is hobbling about with some suspiciously familiar little kid legs. = +7pts 
  • Douchey soldier reappears sans his left arm and gets into a "Fuck you!" match with Dr. Frankenstein. He loses. = +6pts 
  • Handsome Polack also reappears as the winner of "Best Communist Award." The douchey soldier loses the contest and is given the consolation prize of a knife though the chest. Now who's being put out of their misery? = +3pts 
  • The lady nurse is reconstructed into a metal-breasted amalgamation of the Bride of Frankenstein and Jabba the Hutt's dancing girl. = -4pts 
  • Dr. Frankenstein's cuts open the skulls of the forsaken Nazi and the handsome Polack so that he can make a monster that is half Nazi and half Soviet. The man truly is insane! = -5pts 
  • Filming the final scene in one continuous take. = +5pts 
  • Stalin looks so happy to be PhotoShopped into the ending scene. Bolshoi pobyeda! = +3pts
Total Score = +112
Available on: DVD and Blu-Ray starting today, as well as in the Stalin family film archives

For a film with as ridiculous of a premise as Frankenstein's Army, it remained entertaining and creepy throughout. Its usage of practical effects and costumes for its incredible creature designs made seeing each Nazi zombie robot a treat to behold. So long as you don't put too much thought into the unlikelihood of '40s hand-cam technology being broadcast in HD with stereo sound or dwell too heavily on the sometimes sloppy exposition, this is a thoroughly enjoyable gorefest. If you and your comrades are going to gun down twisted monstrosities of metal and flesh, be sure to pack a Scorecard along!

Score Technician: T.J. Geise

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