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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Monster > Creature > Science Fiction > Literature > Nazis > Communists > WWII > British > Frankenstein's Army (2013/Dark Sky Blu-ray) + Frankenstein & The Monster From Hell (1973/Hammer/Paramount/Warner Archive DVD)

Frankenstein's Army (2013/Dark Sky Blu-ray) + Frankenstein & The Monster From Hell (1973/Paramount/Warner Archive DVD)


Picture: B/B-     Sound: B-/C+     Extras: C     Film: C+/B-



PLEASE NOTE: Frankenstein & The Monster From Hell is only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below, while Army is available everywhere.



In time for Halloween 2013, we have two releases featuring Mary Shelley’s monster that just will not stay dead…



In the final days of World War II, a squad of Soviet scouts find themselves lost and stumble on an isolated mining town where all the villagers are either dead or have run away.  As they investigate, little too late do they realize they are now part of the experiment of the Mad Dr. Frankenstein.  What they thought was a new Nazi weapon, is a horror nightmare of an army made up of both Soviet and German flesh fused with machine, and now they will literally be part it...


Richard Raaphorst’s Frankenstein’s Army (2013) is part of a recent cycle of “army from the past” monster movies (including a few with zombies and a few with Nazis) that are gaining ground.  Not that this makes for great filmmaking, but it is the only upswinging trend in an otherwise played-out genre.


That we have a group of Soviet soldiers sent to 'liberate' people from the German army means we know there will be trouble as they rape and pillage the countryside and skew the moral line, finding themselves isolated from the main army and the motherland, but the twist here (which one should see coming) is that they were secretly sent on a top secret mission to discover and to either capture the Mad Scientist, Dr. Frankenstein... or to kill him, either he worked for them ...or no one at all.


They enter the ‘village of the damned’ and find themselves trapped and surrounded by “zombots” of undead war machines, and as they lose their comrades one by one, they only see them later again as one of another Dr. Frankenstein's twisted creation, but the mad doctor has no care for either side of the war, he only cares to have the flesh to continue with his experiments, in the end he wants to create a 'new race'. What was the mission of search and recover soon becomes a mission of survival. 


The result is another typical fictional horror movie involving your Nazi war experiments, with steampunk-like zombies/robots.  It takes the point of from a soldier's camera trying to film their mission, it also tries to make it look like old film with static, sudden breaks, and poor filming/lenses, but then it makes you wonder why bother even to make it digital or Blu-ray then, DVD quality would of been enough if you wanted to make it look like poor film quality on purpose.  The look is intended though, so I will cut it slack on that part, but he DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is a little off and a bit harsh despite its envelopment capacities.  Extras include making of the film, creature spots, and trailers.



Showing that Frankenstein films are not easy to pull off, Warner Archive is reissuing the 1973 Hammer film Frankenstein & The Monster From Hell on DVD after being out of print for a while from Paramount.  We reviewed the original release at this link:




This is the exact same disc down to the extras and is not bad as one of the last classic color films on the character.  By this time, Paul Morrissey had sent up all the Frankenstein films by way of Hammer with his X-rated 3D Flesh For Frankenstein (1973, same year as this Hammer film) so it was the end of that cycle and even the Coppola-producer Kenneth Branagh Frankenstein was a mess, so it is hard to do these films and make something work.


At least these two tried to do something a little different and a little more.



To order Frankenstein & The Monster From Hell, go to this link for it and many more great web-exclusive releases at:





-   Ricky Chiang


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