"Like Two Dozen Freddy Kruegers": <i>Frankenstein's Army</i>

07/29/2013 5:17 PM |

Frankensteins Army

I’m pretty generous in my willingness to suspend disbelief. For example, I’ll buy that, in a last-ditch effort to win the war, Hitler collaborated with the great-grandson of Dr. Frankenstein to create an army of quasi-mechanical killers stitched together from the parts of dead soldiers. But that a platoon of Soviet soldiers, on found footage, would speak to each other in thickly accented English? Wha? Why would you present something as “real” when you’re going to fudge such a basic detail?

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That aside, director Richard Raaphorst’s Frankenstein’s Army, which opened Friday, is a hoot for its inventively designed, del Toro-esque monsters. Well, all Nazis are monsters, but I mean the doctor’s monstrosities: the ones with a drill for a snout, sickles for hands, fan blades for a face; each looks built from real parts, not created on a computer. (Typical of the Nazis, they have robbed these men of their humanity.) The movie moves like a video game with relentless forward propulsion through different levels of Frankenstein’s lab, a crazy tour of a blood-soaked stone factory building guarded by amazing villains—a huge supply of horror baddies, like two dozen Freddy Kruegers—led by a crazy documentarian filmmaker searching for a Wizard of Oz-like madman. As the characters descend deeper into the building, they descend deeper into a nightmare. “Sewing dead people together. Giving them knives for hands. That’s insane,” one character says. “Or brilliant,” another says. “No, it’s insane,” the first says. But they’re both right.

Follow Henry Stewart on Twitter @henrycstewart

One Comment

  • i saw this post yesterday in the L Mag News email – incidentally, yesterday was also the last day it was showing at the only location hosting it in NYC [cinema village]. wtf???