It is always impressive when a low-budget film can manage to look like it was made on a studio budget. Less impressive but more noticeable are the films that are made with close to no budget with nothing more than innovation and creativity. Frankenstein’s Army has a budget which is so low that it almost appears to embellish the simplicity to boast of its filmmaking abilities. The filmmakers seem content to allow us to see how minimized the costs were, because that only enhances the impressiveness of the special effects while detracting from the lack of story or character development. The end result feels like a walk through an amusement park horror maze, showcasing gory images without any substance beyond the visual tricks.
Utilizing the tired found-footage style of filmmaking allows for the film to have shaky camera work and jarring editing while appearing amateurish intentionally. In the final days of World War II, a group of Soviet soldiers and a documentary filmmaker go on a mission into enemy territory when they stumble upon a secret lab run by a deranged Nazi scientist (Karel Roden). The lab is an old factory of sorts, and it is filled with humans he has reanimated with machinery attached to their body. As the fake-documentary style filmmaking allows the audience to travel through the hallways of the maze, encountering these creatures, the entire film feels as if a filmmaker simply took a camera into a Halloween maze to film a make-shift movie. Add in an excessive amount of sound effects to attempt to make up for the shortcomings of the actors in the suits and make-up and you have the makeshift horror film provided with Frankenstein’s Army.
The highlight of this film is very clearly the monsters, which very often move like a man in an awkward costume rather than anything mechanical or stiffly affected by rigor mortis the way that the sound effects would suggest. Though the movement is off and the sound is nearly always more obnoxious than realistic, the visual look of each creation gives pause. With each new addition for our forgettable protagonists to run from, Frankenstein’s Army becomes more engaging. The soldiers in the mad scientist’s army are far more entertaining even in their silence than any of the dialogue we are provided from our so-called protagonists. Even having just finished watching this film, I can’t recall who, if anyone survives at the end of the movie. I do remember each of the monsters that hunted them, however.
The Blu-ray release includes a making-of featurette, as well as various spots for the creatures and a trailer.
Entertainment Value: 6/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 4/10
Historical Significance: 5/10
Disc Features: 5/10
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