Thursday, September 5, 2013


Act 3, Scene 1, line 273 of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar:

Marcus Antonius:
And Caesar's spirit, raging for revenge,
With Ate by his side come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines with a monarch's voice
Cry "Havoc!" and let slip the dogs of war,
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.

  Didn't think you'd ever read a Shakespearean quotation in a KVLT VISIONS movie review did you?  Well it actually applies to the film under scrutiny at present, except for in this case the "dogs of war" are the rotting corpses of fallen soldiers sewn together, armed with disturbing brutal flesh-rending weaponry, and reanimated to kill for the Third Reich, and Caesar would be replaced by Dr. Victor Frankenstein, but you get the point. 

  World War 2 is coming to a head and a Russian squadron is sent on a reconnaissance mission in war-torn Eastern Germany in search of comrades trapped behind enemy lines.  The group discover a recently shelled churchyard and cathedral where they discover corpses strewn about and desecrated graves all around.  They take refuge in the cathedral and start a generator only to give power to what appears to be a large factory setup within the dessicated church.  The group then notice a corpse unlike any of the ones they've previously encountered that seems to be a patchwork of rotted flesh crudely stitched together whose head is plated in steel and arm seems to have been amputated and replaced with a giant drill.  Once the power seems to have relayed throughout the entire church, the corpse suddenly reanimates and quickly attacks the soldiers, disemboweling the captain of the squad.  Suddenly more cadaverous automatons fitted with various combinations of steel armor and sadistic weaponry descend upon the soldiers forcing them to go deeper and deeper into the labyrinthine recesses of the church.  There seems to be no end to the twisting turning tunnels until the remaining members of the squadron enter a massive blood soaked abattoir-turned-laboratory ran by none other than a descendant of the fabled Dr. Victor Frankenstein.   As it turns out, he has been very invested in furthering and perfecting his scientific work, which is harvesting and resurrecting the dead to fill in the ranks of his ghoulish army of undead soldiers to fight for the Third Reich.  

It is possible that original tickle monster was created by a descendant of Dr. Victor Frankenstein?

  Frankenstein's Army has come a long way.  What started out as an ambitious film project in 2004 from an unknown director named Richard Raaphorst called, Worst Case Scenario, that boasted Brian Yuzna of Re-animator fame as a producer, became one of the most widely hyped horror trailers in the last decade.  The project unfortunately couldn't get off the ground due to financial troubles and many a KVLTIST saw the flames of what could have been the most ingenious reworking of the nazi zombie sub genre flicker then get smothered out.   A few years pass, then out of nowhere promotional ads and screenshots surface for a new project from Raaphorst called Army Of Frankenstein and are quickly bandied around horror movie message boards and KVLT movie sites. that feature armies of undead creatures that look curiously similar to those briefly shown in the Worst Case Scenario trailers.   Fast forward nearly a decade later and lo and behold Frankenstein's Army is finally unleashed upon the world.  Shot entirely POV as a found footage film from the early 1940's, Frankenstein's Army works quite well telling the it's ghoulishly depraved story within the confines of it's purposefully limited cinematographic perspective.   Since most of the main attractions in the film are the impressive practical special effects and full body creature suits of the robotic regime of rotting reanimated tissue, the shaky cam, natural lighting, and dilapidated state of film made to resemble film stock from the early 40's are not always period accurate, but are very effective at showcasing the effects team's talent and enhancing the overall tone of frenzy, claustrophobia, and inescapable terror. 

One particular soldier in Frankenstein's Army has a rather disarming disposition as this Russian soldier has discovered the hard way. 

  It's a rare occurrence that a genre film delivers above and beyond what the ads and trailers promise in this day and age.  Frankenstein's Army does so with gloriously gory B-movie guts and gusto and stands as an amazingly auspicious debut for first time director Richard Raaphorst.   Frankenstein's Army has been mobilized and it's time for all able-bodied KVLTISTS to enlist!


Director Richard Raaphorst worked as a storyboard artist on Who Am I starring Jackie Chan, as well as Dagon, and Beyond Re-Animator.

Not entirely zombie, nor 100% robot, the term coined to properly categorize those among the undead ranks of Frankenstein's Army is "zombot."


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