Frankenstein’s Army is a found-footage film that takes place during World War II and features a group of Russian soldiers looking for Dr. Viktor Frankenstein. Of course, he is not the original doctor, but he is a descendent and he is doing experiments for the Germans of which the Russians would like to get their hands on. The soldiers soon come upon the area where the good doctor is kept and start to encounter horrors the likes of which they have never known. But, as the men start to fall one after the other, they persist for their mission is of gravest import until it is no longer viable. What is bad for them is the good Dr. Frankenstein and his horrific creations get the upper hand and everything takes a turn for the worse.
You have to give this movie credit for trying something a little different and not necessarily the way it was directed as found-footage films are a dime-a-dozen these days. Specifically, the story was something you would normally find in a comic book with its completely demented premise and the fact that this was a B film made it all that much better. If this had been a big budget blockbuster, it would most likely have failed at the box office, but as it is, the film does not apologize for being a little off the radar and one you can enjoy for being what it is which is a horror film through and through. One of the great things about this movie is the way they have mashed that horror genre and World War II together, which is not exactly new thing, but add in Nazis and Dr. Frankenstein and the bizarre creations he has assembled and things really take a turn into crazy territory. The story, while fun in its insanity, is also one of the bigger weaknesses of the film. While it is neat to see these various elements all brought together in a movie, it is as simple as it sounds. There is no depth to it and for those looking for a smart horror film will be disappointed.
Better than anything else you will find in this film are the special effects and the creative energy that went into them. The Dr. Frankenstein character in this movie, played by Karel Roden, is a very twisted individual and the monsters he churns out are truly that. Being combinations of man and whatever machine parts he can get his hands on, the creatures are mindless abominations that have no right to existence and yet they live. Drills, knives, blades and whatever have you are used to make these monsters as deadly as can be, one even having a propeller on his head. They are scary looking monstrosities and they look absolutely fantastic but the horror of the film comes from the madman that is Frankenstein. There is no reasoning with the man and any semblance of normality and sanity he might have had has long since disappeared. There is only the madman left and watching him do what he does to all of those soldiers is proof enough of that statement.
Roden does a great job in the role of Frankenstein, but at times he is very over-the-top in his performance. That can be forgiven as the man is completely deranged and working for the Nazis cannot be the nicest of professions, but it would have been great if he had just toned it down a notch or two. The rest of the crew was decent and Richard Raaphorst did a fine job directing the madness that was this film but the found-footage genre is getting just a little played out. While it is creative and fun, it could have been better, it could have been smarter, but the same can be said of any film. What you get here is some frantic camera-work, a lot of action, a lot of blood and guts and a lot of horror. If you are looking for something other than that, this is the wrong film to watch.