Horrortoberfest ’20 Day 14 – Frank & Zed (2020)

 

In between the last theme week and the start of the next one, we have a special brand new movie that isn’t even fully released yet. A friend that knows the director gifted me with the ability to see this indie movie that tells a horror story entirely using puppets. Being able to see something in an entirely new medium like this is great and I love that I could get in on it.

Set 200 years after a village maid a terrible bargain in order to get the power to defeat an evil that had besieged their land; the last remaining monsters continue to go about their daily lives. Frank (a Frankenstein) and Zed (a zombie) spend their time in a symbiotic friendship where Frank hunts animals for brains to feed Zed and then Zed helps hook Frank up to a machine to power him back up for the next day. When a greedy Lord in the village wants the throne for his own, he concocts a plan to pay off the blood debt owed in the bargain by storming the crumbling castle that Frank and Zed call home.

The heart of this movie is the friendship of Frank and Zed, two characters that can’t really speak beyond groans and the occasional garbled word. It’s honestly a fairly conflicted relationship as you understand their background and the movie does a great job of making you care about them even while they chop people up. Honestly, the weakest part of this is the human plot since the characters are mostly comic in portrayal and the motivations and characters aren’t really given much time to shine. The bargain in the beginning in particularly was vague and strange for both what the price actually meant and what the “weapons of power” that they got actually did aside from just being weapons.

While the movie leans much more towards comedy than actual scares, there is a large amount of work put into making a movie with puppets as gory as possible. The ending in particular is a veritable bloodbath with some impressive work on the models. It’s an absolute joy to watch but I feel like watching it by myself wasn’t the perfect format. This is a movie that wants to be shared with friends or at least among an audience so that you can all revel in the absurdity and hilarity of this unique creation.

This is definitely one that I think would be great for Halloween parties. If you know you have some people that aren’t as into the scary movies as others, the puppetry angle can help them be less spooked but it will still satisfy your horror lovers.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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