“Frank & Zed” (filmed over the course of six years) manages to accomplish a lot in such a small run time, exploring the idea of religious corruption, mob rule, and the surprisingly heartbreaking tale of Frank and Zed, two cursed monsters that are stuck in this eternal loop that promises to keep them confined to their decrepit castle. The character designs for “Frank & Zed” are fantastic, with much of the film feeling like a darkly demented version of Jim Henson’s muppet gallery. While the film does feel like a much more demented take on the aforementioned Henson, director and writer Blanchard never shies away from excessive gore, and incredibly gruesome special effects. Blanchard’s use of puppetry to convey gut munching zombies is endlessly amusing and I had great fun seeing how he’d implement guts and blood time and time again.
Over 90% of American movies made before 1929 are lost, no copies are known to exist.
Blanchard even has a great time subverting our expectations, building on a classic hero’s journey only to yank the rug out from under us. It’s clear that Blanchard has the utmost sympathy for his titular monsters, and only his titular monsters, and it amounts to a lot of plot twists that threw me for a loop. Fans of films like Brian Henson’s “The Happytime Murders” and Dustin Mills’ “Puppet Monster Massacre” will click in to “Frank & Zed” immediately; Director and Writer Blanchard’s film is made with apparent love and passion from minute one. The production is so painstaking that Blanchard even makes every puppet feel so unique and original to where, once we reach the blood soaked climax, we understand what’s happening and to whom rather than just watching a bunch of random puppets running around.
"Get Out." Daniel Kaluuya was given the lead role on the spot after nailing his audition. Jordan Peele said Kaluuya did about five takes of a key scene, in which his character needs to cry, and each was so perfect that the single tear came down at the exact same time for each take.
Which is not to say that the climax is perfect; once the carnage is rolling, the narrative and heart are secondary to a lot of relentless carnage and action. I wasn’t too sure where the film would take me from the opening scene, but I was surprised with the great sound design, and intriguing narrative that paid clear homage to classic Universal, Mary Shelly, and in some instances even Tim Burton. “Frank & Zed” promises to surprise and delight, especially for horror fans craving something new and bold. I hope fans embrace it and enjoy it as much as I did.
"The Imitation Game." Benedict Cumberbatch confessed that in one of the final scenes of the film, he couldn't stop crying and had a breakdown. It was, as he said, "Being an actor or a person that had grown incredibly fond of the character and thinking what he had suffered and how that had affected him."
Frank & Zed made its World Premiere at the Nightstream Film Festival.
Alien’s Androids Are Alphabetized. While the Alien franchise swaps in different androids for (almost) every installment, there is an interesting consistency to them: they go in alphabetical order. Ash, Bishop, Call, and, most recently, David (played by Michael Fassbender in Prometheus and Alien: Covenant).