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An Entertaining Little Flick!,
This review is from: Frankenstein's Army [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I have to say I was a bit surprised how good this film actually was. Now I'm not saying it's great by any means, but I guess my expectations were pretty low to begin with. From the title and the plot alone, you can't take a movie like this too serious. If you do, you're going to hate it. There's some movies you just have to sit back and kinda throw your brain out the window and just enjoy something for what it is. And I guess that's one of big reasons why I liked this one. But to be fair, this film did have some pretty cool elements to it. First off, the best part of the entire film are the monsters of Frankenstein's "Army". Sure some of them look a bit cheesy and over the top, but the creative design and nature or most of them were really cool. There were some really creative minds behind the making of these things. It's some of the most original and interesting looking creatures that I've seen in a horror film in quite some time. And with that being said, from what I've read (I've not seen any bonus features that may explain it), most if not all of the effects were done with real props and no CGI, which is pretty awesome and commendable. I knew they had to very little CGI used just because of how the effects looked in the film. Using real effects bring a sense of realism to horror films. Even though the subject matter or effect itself may be over the top, cheesy, or look fake, it still looks "real" when real props are used. Besides the 'army', there are some decent gore effects in this one. Again, its not very realistic looking, with a lot of it done kinda "tongue in cheek", but I feel it wasn't meant to be taken too serious to begin with. Which again, is a plus for any film like this when the creators/writers/ know not to try to turn a film into something it isn't.
Now as far as how the film is made, it is a found footage film. But like I said, you have to kinda throw logic out the window. This film takes place in WW2 and sure, there were cameras used in the field like that. And the filmmakers attempted to give it a grainy looking filter to make it a bit authentic, but let's be honest, its just silly to believe that the camerawork, sound, etc was that good back in the 1940s. And that the camera guy is ALWAYS filming, no matter what. Or that the monster can NEVER seen to actually hurt him or kill him even though he's got a camera right in their faces. At first, I thought that this style of film wasn't necessary or that it wouldn't work too well. But as the action sequences happened and the monsters were revealed, I saw that it did work. Those sequences are the best in the film. It has a certain video game style feel to it. First person perspective in very close or maze-like locations, turning corners and seeing these monsters right in your face, it really did feel very up close and personal. I thought it was quite effective.
So why have I waited until now to even mention the plot? Because I think its the least important. It's really an afterthought for me, and that's not really a bad thing for a film like this. A crazy doctor is creating a monster army from dead Nazi soldiers. Yeah, there's a little more subplot added in, but really, who cares. If you're watching this film wanting "The Shining" then you're should re-evaluate how you watch movies. The acting isn't that bad, but the characters are very forgettable, which again, I have no problem with.
In closing, the monsters are the first and foremost reason to see this one. The special effects have that 80s cheesy feel to them. The film isn't too long, the pacing is ok, and the action/camerawork during the chase scenes are done really well. So if you're a horror fan looking for something just to be entertained for an hour or so, this one is worth a watch.