Much like the kid who gets the giggles reading the “dirty” words someone highlighted in the classroom Webster (and yes, I admit doing that as well), me and my sophomoric inclinations are a sucker for anything deemed inappropriate.
I would normally conduct a dramatic eye-roll if I received an email about an upcoming film called Frankenstein’s Army. The actual email that landed in my in-box, however, was accompanied by the somewhat taboo but ultimately irresistible “Red Band” trailer.
If you’re not familiar with the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) classifications, movie trailers are generally tailored for “All Audiences,” even if the movie itself is rated “R.” Such trailers state as much with the wording housed in a green “band” across the screen.
A “Red Band” trailer is definitely not for all audiences, and generally contains something naughty. Sadly, red band trailers often signal that shock value will be replacing story/production/acting values… although there are rare exceptions.
But unable to resist the red band, I opened it – oh yes I did.
And I watched the trailer for Frankenstein’s Army.
And I understood why it received a “red band” designation.
This cinematic vivisection is the unholy child of Dutch director Richard Raaphorst. It started its life, such that it is, as a screenplay conceived by Raaphorst and screenwriter Miguel Tejada-Flores, who wrote for the films Screamers, Revenge of the Nerds, and Beyond Re-Animator, where Raaphorst was a conceptual artist.
And yet, like the road accident you can’t look away from, Frankenstein’s Army has an intriguing premise and oddly horrific visuals.
The year is 1945, near the end of World War II. A group of Russian soldiers is wandering enemy countryside, part of a small documentary being made to celebrate the victory over Hitler’s massive army. Unfortunately, those soldiers stumble on the secret laboratory of a brilliantly mad scientist named Victor (get it?), played by Hellboy’s Karel Roden.
Victor and his band of Nazi subjects have been busy with experiments that are advancing the German soldiers beyond just being human and moving them onto something along the lines of “rudimentary murderous robots.”
And before you start imagining something like Robocop, don’t get excited. Think more along the lines of Hellraiser or Silent Hill.
Frankly, what creeped me out most is the thought that, as lunatic as this concept appears, it isn’t beyond the realm of imagination to believe some part of this story could have actually been lifted from real Nazi archives. That is, of course, if you can get beyond Russian soldiers speaking English with somewhat cheesy Russian accents.
There’s no way of predicting what the final Frankenstein’s Army product will look like, or if it will be worth the solenoid it’s printed on, but if the tag line is any indication (“War is Hell. This place is worse”), hopes are not running particularly high.
So until we all find out on July 26th, enjoy (or at least view) the red band trailer. It might represent the best bits anyway.
Is Frankenstein the new zombie? Can you even believe what you just watched? Post a comment or drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.