Sunday, March 2, 2014

Review: Frankenstein's Army (2013)

Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Director: Richard Raaphorst
Starring: Karel Roden, Joshua Sasse & Robert Gwilym
Writers: Chris W. Mitchell, Richard Raaphorst & Miguel Tejada-Flores

As much as I like found footage movies, I'm getting to a point where I just wish the idea would crawl into a hole and hibernate for a while. We can erect a safety fence and border guard to protect the idea. But we just need a rest I think. I'm pretty sure there isn't going to be an idea any time soon that's going to make me want to watch yet another found footage movie.

What's that? A Nazi army made of monsters designed by Dr Frankenstein? Okay you win this round.

So back again into found footage movies I went, but at least this time I went with a spring in my step. There was something so insanely over the top that I thought that I was bound to have a grand ol time.

At the heart of Frankenstein's Army is an idea that delivers such potential it's a shame that the movie never really lives up to it. The main factor is that the budget and scope couldn't possibly hope to wrangle the idea into anything but a silly little tryst. Indeed some of the creature designs are effective, especially when they are of a more simpler variety, when the movie tries to go big it suddenly feels a bit like a Halloween party. Give the movie marks for effort but the pay off never really comes.

Besides the zany creations from the Frankenstein collection, we are left with characters that come across as bastards or idiots. Also the main character filming it all is really a son of a bitch and not once could I give him two hoots worth of investment. Only Karel Roden who plays Dr Frankenstein engages with the audience. He's a hoot but is left for the end of movie crazy reveal so we really don't get enough of him.

Looking at all the decomposed parts of this movie, we have a film that can wittle away some time without too much agony. In fact some of the monster designs might keep people hooked until the third act which is the most interesting. But it overall seems to be undone by two things. One is the characters, they are unlikable and that's the fault of the writers. The second is ambition, it definitely outdoes the budget, and while this leads to problem you can't fault the filmmakers for wanting to go large.

0.5 bolts out of 1
There is some entertainment to find.
0 bolts out of 1
Plot is not strong and the characters are unlikeable.
0.5 bolts out of 1
Karel Roden is the highlight of the movie.
0.5 bolts out of 1
There is some talent behind the camera.
0.5 bolts out of 1
Some monster designs work, others don't.

2 bolts out of 5
Honestly only for those with a thirst for cobbled together monstrosities.

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