Blu-ray Review: Army of Frankensteins

Low budget science fiction films have a certain freedom of creativity. Since the low budget nature keeps them from burning piles of money like a big studio science fiction flick, these close to the bone affairs must find their excess just pushing a concept to an extreme. Why? Because you need people to talk about the outrageous nature of what they’ve watched. There’s no need to keep things sedate or merely a touch weird. In a world of Sharknados and Hot Tub Time Machines, your movie must go full blast to grab attention. Army of Frankensteins could have played easily with a single Frankenstein. But who would remember that solitary occurrence in the 21st Century? They film truly delivers on its title of a multitude of Frankensteins and then turns the concept to 11 with even more wildness.

Alan Jones (Jordan Farris) is a dweeb guy who is planning on asking his girlfriend to be his wife. They work together at a local supermarket. But when she has to work late, he wonders over to work. He gets a shock that leaves him heartbroken and wandering the street. This turns out to not be a good thing since local hoodlums mug him. Luckily he’s saved by elderly man and a young boy. Except they are saving him to be part of their science experiment. He’s Dr. Tanner Finksi (John Ferguson) and the kid is Igor (Christian Bellgardt). They are going to use parts from Alan to finish up their version of Frankenstein’s Monster (Eric Gesecus). The experiment goes weird when Alan wakes up and activates two other inventions created by the Dr. Finksi. First is a cloning machine that duplicates the Frankenstein monsters. Having dozens of Frankenstein monsters running around a town would be enough for a mundane science fiction film. But this movie goes the extra step by also making the doctor have a working time machine in the lab. This transports the action to the Civil. War. North versus South is now interrupted by the arrival of undead killing machines. The heartbroken Jones must step up and help the Union soldiers win on two fronts and maybe get a girl.

The production has the feeling of an early Roger Corman film. The budget probably was equal to the amount of cash spent for craft services on Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. This is a completely different view of the Civil War since it’s got less fangs on the screen. It also just doesn’t blame the war on the undead. This is more like what would happen if a Civil War reenactment took place in the same field that hosts a haunted house maze. The film has the dopey view-ability factor of a SyFy original sort of way except without bikini moments. There’s a strange running gag of having all the men have really bad fake mustaches. Of the unknown crew of actors, Christian Bellgardt ought to get work as guest star on various procedural shows as the plucky kid. Overall Army of Frankenstein does more than merely deliver a bunch of Frankenstein monsters. We get a time travelling semi-romance that decides the fate of the Civil War. This is truly a film that you’ll end up telling a friend about the outrageous plot.

The video is 2.35:1 anamorphic. The transfer looks fine with a sparse production design. There’s a lot of action in the fields as the soldiers prepare for another battle. The audio is DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 & 2.0. The low budget affair doesn’t get too sophisticated with the 5.1 mix. There’s an occasional bump in the night effect to remind you all the speakers are in play.

No bonus features.

Army of Frankensteins delivers on the promise of a time travelling clone army of Frankenstein monsters. The low budget film is plucky to the core.

Scream Factory presents Army of Frankensteins. Directed by: Ryan Bellgardt. Screenplay by: Ryan Bellgardt. Starring: Jordan Farris, Christian Bellgardt, Rett Terrell, John Ferguson, Raychelle McDonald &
Eric Gesecus. Rated: R. Running Time: 108 minutes. Released: September 1, 2015.

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