2013, Dark Sky Films
It was somewhere online that I stumbled across this movie. I didn’t know anything about it. All I saw was the name of the movie and Blu-ray/DVD cover art and I was hooked. The title itself sounds like a throwback to the grindhouse days and there’s just too many cool & freaky looking monsters in the artwork to not give this movie a shot. I didn’t bother reading any reviews. I judged a DVD by its cover. It seemed like something I would enjoy.
Set near the end of World War II, a small group of Soviet troops doing recon in Germany have uncovered a top-secret Nazi experiment where Dr. Viktor Frankenstein (grandson of the original Dr. Frankenstein) has been creating an army of weird steampunk/Silent Hill-inspired undead soldiers. The movie itself is shot in the annoying POV/found footage style. I’ve always hated that but this movie actually does a decent job as far as that goes and the “shaky cam” was kept to a minimum.
The movie is a bit darker and more bleak than I imagined it would be. The monsters are downright freaky and there’s tons of gore here. I expected more dark humor and cheesiness than what was delivered but the movie wasn’t played completely straight either. Still, I expected more “fun” than what I got and expected a bigger emphasis on action rather than horror.
So the movie itself was okay but the major talking point for this movie are the monsters. The doctor’s army of “zombots” are well-designed to give you nightmares. There’s a number of unique designs here and the costumes are top-notch.
Monsters include: Mosquito Man, Burnt Match Man, T35, Crypt Monster, Hammerhead, Machete, Propellerhead and Razor Teeth. T35 features a fairly standard bulky steampunk look but I like it. Propellerhead is pretty cool as well, so is the Crypt Monster. There’s various other unnamed monsters lurking throughout the doctor’s labyrinth. As creative and high-quality as these monsters are, it’s a shame none of them were given any personality. They are all just lumbering kill machines only doing what the doctor commands them to do.
This movie may come across as slightly bland and not as fun or quirky as it could’ve been but if you love monsters, this is definitely a visual treat for horror fans. I would love to see a sequel done with even more uniqute monsters and a more campy feel.