After a failed attempt to propose to his girlfriend, Alan Jones is beaten to within an inch of his life by a street gang and taken to a mysterious lab, where Dr Tanner Finski and his kid genius assistant perform horrible experiments on him hoping to re-animate a Frankenstein. The experiments lead to a hole being ripped in space and time, manifesting an Army of Frankensteins from hundreds of parallel universes and sending them all back to the 19th century, directly into the heart of a bloody battle between the North and South. History will never be the same.
By the naming of the monsters Frankenstein within this film and for the very nature of the title “Army of Frankensteins” this has caused some confusion and repel amongst some of the purists out there. So much so, that a public apology was released on Facebook for those people who were offended, frustrated and inconvenienced. Was this public apology completely necessary? Well, I don’t know, but it certainly led to the clarification within a scene with the kid genius, aptly named Igor, to say in reference to the monster, “It’s not called a Frankenstein”.
The monster itself loosely resembles that of the Boris Karloff look in the 1931 monster movie classic, plus in this film, they all seem to communicate through what can only be described as mooing cows. That said, it is a horror comedy and along with the really bad stuck-on moustaches and beards, the above did interject some laughs.
The premise behind an alternative North versus South has already been explored in movies such as Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, and with monster armies in the brilliant Dead Snow. However, this film does add a different twist as it builds with an element of sci-fi.
I don’t believe that this film was made to be taken too seriously as it is very tongue in cheek. Some of the characters were a little bit silly and over the top, which was enhanced with quite a few obvious green screen moments, but I do think that this added to its charm.
Army of Frankensteins is low budget and filmed entirely in Oklahoma using local actors. There were some fun and inventive kill scenes that offered lots of theatrical blood splatters and decapitations of various body parts. This brought an element of great enjoyment amongst some of the lack-lustre performances of the actors.
There were some performances throughout the film that were not convincing and lines were delivered in a very pantomime manner. However, both Jordan Farris who plays Alan Jones and Christian Bellgardt who was Igor were very natural on screen, with Bellgardt being very endearing to watch.
I feel that director Ryan Bellgardt has achieved quite a lot in his second feature and the film has already won some awards on the festival circuit. Army of Frankensteins is due for release in September 2015.
Words by Amanda Hunt @man_ders11