So towering is the legend of Frankenstein, one found-footage film just isn’t enough. This spring saw the release of The Frankenstein Theory, and now we have the weirder, wilder, wonderfully imaginative Frankenstein’s Army.
Near the end of WWII, a cameraman chronicles the mission of a Russian military unit under Stalin’s order. The men and their machine guns come across oddly shaped skeletons, a pile of burnt nuns and, finally, a secret Nazi lab.
And that’s where writer/director Richard Raaphorst floors it. Our troops encounter an enemy force of manmade monsters assembled by Viktor Frankenstein. Instead of a lumbering brute befitted with big shoes and neck bolts, we meet all sorts of mutant misfits: a mosquito-like man, a creature with a Venus fly trap for a head, one with rotating saw blades for mitts.
Their design is incredible, ingenious and, above all, original; because they’re the work of Raaphorst, their look is right in line with the film’s tongue-in-cheek tone and rusted-out, blood-speckled setting. If there were such a thing as a Nazi haunted house that set up shop for Halloween, I’d like to think that stumbling through it would feel like this. That’s my glowing recommendation. —RL