Friday, October 28, 2016

The Red Army vs Undead Steampunk Nazi Super Soldiers, or Thoughts on Frankenstein's Army

A clever update to the Frankenstein mythology, Frankenstein's Army (2013) is told from the viewpoint of a Russian platoon at the end of WWII who are being followed by a film crew, presumably for Soviet propaganda.  The monsters, or zombots, as they are called in the credits, are the most interesting part of the movie and the real stars.  Boris Karloff’s version had bolts in his neck, these new creations are even more cyborg; steampunk Nazi super soldiers with chainsaw drill arms, propeller heads, full body armor similar to Iron Man’s Mark I suit but with a head chomping face mask, and my favorite, giant metal crab arms. 
The Soviets hated the Germans, so the squad’s brutality against the local population makes historical sense, but doesn't do much for audience empathy, and like all Frankenstein movies, the monsters become the most likeable and sympathetic characters.  Once they reach the underground lab the movie turns into a first person shooter game in a human abattoir straight out of Silent Hill (2006) or Hellraiser (1987), while Dr. Frankenstein makes a Soviet Zombot with hammer and sickle hands and has time for one last experiment; grafting a Nazi and Soviet brain together in order to foster world peace.
Watch out for Czech actor Karel Roden, Rasputin from Hellboy (2004), and also appearing in Blade II (2002 and Orphan (2009) as Victor Frankenstein, and Luke Newberry, Kieran from In The Flesh (2013) as Sacha, a particularly brutal soldier.
A couple excellent examples of the horror/war movie crossover are Dead Snow (2009, Nazi zombies!), Dog Soldiers (2002, British SAS werewolves!), but for the most part the genres remain separate.  Maybe war is horrific enough or too close to reality to make a comfortable setting for a horror movie.

my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).