Friday, July 19, 2013

Fantasia 2013: Frankenstein's Army Review

The idea is a familiar one, especially to those who have been attending conventions for over 10 years. The Nazis were a sadistic group of madmen and murderers, dabbling with the occult and exploring every mythological avenue to achieve their end game. Enter a group of Russian soldiers being filmed to inspire the populace (found footage WW2 movie!!), sent to back up a squad in a nearby skirmish. When they arrive, the bodies are plentiful, but the Russian troops are nowhere to be found. As the crew explores the town, they tread where they clearly should not…and activate machines they obviously should have kept their damn hands off of! In typical horror movie fashion, one turn of a crank and flick of a switch sets things in motion and the fun begins!!! It is hard for me to put into words the sheer level of awesome put up there on the screen. Metal goliaths with pincer claws. Stilt walking, gas masked creatures with drills where their face should be. It’s as if a sadistic 12 year old was told to take industrial tools and attach them to zombies in a series of crayon drawings..and that kid sat there until every variation was exhausted. Inspiring!

With a story that could probably be printed on the back of a pack of cigarettes, the movie marches on with a dizzying array of monstrosities attacking from every crack in the wall like mad hornets protecting a hive. Hornets with SAW BLADE ARMS!! The set itself seems alive with machinery.. gulping and pulsating. It’s a wet landscape riddled with things set on an unthinkable task. One minute, all those creatures can be pushing carts and welding great walls of iron. The next, when you’ve gotten too close and pose a potential threat, those tools are pointed at you. Once again, the first person perspective allows for a first person shooter-esque quality as we run down endless hallways and drilled out caverns with new, insidious machinations at the end of every pathway, stomping slowly toward you with enough force to make the ground tremble. This allows for a heightened sense of claustrophobia, even thought there seems to be no end of holes in which to dive into for cover…but you are not in control. That sense of manic movement plays right into the film’s tension and will make for many moments where you’ll find yourself involuntarily, frantically motioning in the direction you want to run in!

The cast of soldiers set to take on these supernatural forces are highly likable from the start and just indistinguishable enough from the man next to them so that when the carnage begins, we won’t miss them too much. It’s an amazing achievement when a film can make you cheer for the horrific death of your favorite character. That’s some sort of voodoo right there.

Prior to my viewing, I told the director I would be downing some Vodkas and asked how many I should throw back for optimum viewing pleasure. I added that the team of Neveldine and Taylor remarked my 3 drinks before Ghostrider 2 was just right. In this case, four was the magic number. I can honestly say, had I been completely sober, I would have had just as much fun watching this movie. That said, Frankenstein’s Army just might be an instant cult classic and without a doubt, the ultimate “get shitfaced and enjoy” horror film. Punk rock horror at it’s finest.

NOTE: I want to see this as the bonus DLC for the next Call of Duty video game and ThreeA NEEDS to get to work on the toys. Go Team Frankenstein.

No comments :

Post a Comment