Arriving on DVD with a host of horror sites and writers tripping over themselves to drool all over it, I must admit I had exceedingly high hopes for Frankenstein’s Army.

Which is why I feel a little bit disappointed about the whole thing – sure I enjoyed it, but nowhere near as much as many of my esteemed colleagues seem to have.

Another horror flick that elects to use World War 2 as the backdrop, director Richard Raaphorst’s effort certainly scores off the chart in terms of imagination and striking imagery.

But with a host of characters that don’t really offer anything in the likability stakes, along with the hackneyed found-footage format being used for no real reason whatsoever, the good is sullied with plenty of bad.

The film follows a gaggle of Russian soldiers (compete with camera geek), pushing into Germany in the dying days of the war.

After a few unnecessary shootouts and battle scenes, the film kicks into gear when the troops come across a deserted Nazi lab.

Before long they realise though that they are certainly not alone, with a host of super soldiers, moulded from human body parts and machinery, roaming the corridors eager to off the visitors in a variety of gory ways.

Turns out the lab has its very own ‘Frankenstein’ (played by Karl Roden), who will stop at nothing to continue his nefarious schemes.

War-based horror has become a staple of the genre over recent years, what with the Outpost series and the likes of Devil’s Rock.

And Frankenstein’s Army really doesn’t throw up much in the way of deviation, although the excellent effects work makes it more than watchable.

Ditching CGI in favour of more in-your-face physical effects, the creatures on parade are truly mind-bending – sort of the bastard love-child of drop-outs from Silent Hill and Resident Evil.

Roden decides he is not only going to chew the scenery, but the script, the costumes and pretty much everything else that isn’t nailed down in a crazy, bug-eyed performance of over-the-top manicness.

At least his Victor registers on the interest scale though, as the likes of Joshua Sasse, Luke Newberry and Andrei Zayats as the Russian soldiers barely flicker into life.

I’d still recommend Frankenstein’s Army purely for the visuals, but by ditching the found-footage angle and adding more personality to the poor saps who get torn apart, this could have been so much better.

EXTRAS: Making Of, trailer

VERDICT: [rating=3]

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.