Toward the end of World War II, Russian soldiers pushing into eastern Germany stumble across a secret Nazi lab, one that has unearthed and begun experimenting with the journal of one Dr. ...
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Toward the end of World War II, Russian soldiers pushing into eastern Germany stumble across a secret Nazi lab, one that has unearthed and begun experimenting with the journal of one Dr. Victor Frankenstein. The scientists have used the legendary Frankenstein's work to assemble an army of super-soldiers stitched together from the body parts of their fallen comrades -- a desperate Hitler's last ghastly ploy to escape defeat. Written by
In an earlier stage of production when the working title was "Worst Case Scenario" (which it had been for many years), a new writer that was brought into the project suggested changing the title. Director Richard Raaphorst was against this, claiming the title had gained fame on the internet and changing it would confuse followers. See more »
The steel helmet worn by Ivan is in fact a Bulgarian M1972b distributed from 1972 onwards. See more »
My father said, men will be more efficient if they have hammers and screwdrivers instead of fingers.
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Toward the end of World War II, Russian soldiers pushing into eastern Germany stumble across a secret Nazi lab, one that has unearthed and begun experimenting with the journal of one Dr. Victor Frankenstein.
This film comes from a very great starting point -- the idea that Nazis would use mad scientists to do terrible experiments on cadavers. That much is more or less true. Then, to make it horror and not just history, you add in the journal of Dr. Frankenstein. That is a purely genius decision. Even more bonus points for putting the story from the Russian point of view (the group that actually reached Germany) rather than the American, as would be more common.
The creature design deserves top marks. If this was eligible for a costume Oscar, I think it would be a shoo-in. The creatures are some of the most incredible I have ever seen. Sort of like a steampunk Castle Wolfenstein (which seems to have clearly been an inspiration, with this coming across much like a first-person shooter). The overall set design is pretty great, too.
In fact, my whole positive rating revolves around the design aspect, because I would be much more comfortable panning it based on the aspects I greatly disliked. All of these things revolve around the camera -- why was it shot hand-held when it would look better shot normally? How plausible is it that a Russian army team would be filming? Did cameras at that time film that well and not need changing every five minutes? How does the camera -- and its operator -- take such a beating?
So basically, if they had replaced the point-of-view camera with a traditional camera, and scrapped the Blair Witch-meets-Wolfenstein video game thing they had going on, this could have been one of the better horror films out there today. Coming from Dark Sky, a company I love, I am disappointed it did not pass muster.
And, despite the positive rating, I cannot truly recommend it. You really have to see the design, but I would rather not say you have to see the film. Better Nazi horror films exist (from "Shock Waves" to "Dead Snow"). I do look forward to whatever these creature designers do next, though.
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