Frank & Zed

Frank & Zed
Running time:90 minutes
Director:Jesse Blanchard
Release date:Not communicated
Two reanimated corpses, dependent on each other for survival, live a life of solitude until a power-hungry magistrate tricks a group of villagers into attacking their lonely castle, fulfilling an ancient prophecy: The Orgy of Blood.

Mulder's Review

"As fun as it is scary" - Tom Holland (Child's Play, Fright Night)

During the Fantasia festival which will be held from August 5th to 25th we had the chance to discover the excellent film of Jesse Blanchard. Imagine a mix of Evil Dead, Meet The Feebles, Frankenstein and Dark Crystal with a touch of Frankenweenie and you'll have a good idea of the many inspirations of this film reserved for an audience fond of crazy and successful horror films.  

While we have entered the era of digital, spectacular special effects, discontinuous streams of computer generated images, budgets more colossal than the others, the director and screenwriter Jesse Blanchard looks like a true resistant director of a bygone era in which we still conceived films in his garage, that we used a real know-how to make a film without a real budget but with a real inventiveness and a joy to make a film freely. Watching Frank & Zed, it's impossible not to think of Peter Jackson's first films, especially Meet the Feebles, a film close to gore with puppets as it is the case here. However, comparing the two films, Frank & Zed is far superior in its treatment and the fact that it cleverly mixes horrific tale and heroic fantasy while reminding us how much Mary Shelley's work Frankenstein.

We discover after a rather muscular introduction, two monsters Frank & Zed who must brave a curse and have to face humans in the pay of a despot who only dreams of greatness. The plot may seem sketchy at first glance, but the treatment shows a total artistic freedom and manages to make us laugh as well as frightened at the same time. The film reminds us of Sam Raimi's excellent film Evil Dead, which plunged the audience into a horrific world in which the powers of darkness took pleasure in tormenting Ash and his friends on a night that would forever seal his fate. 

Behind this film shot only with puppets, director Jesse Blanchard would almost make us forget the real feat of bringing them a true humanity and resort to shocking images with his flow of blood and horrific scenes that would instantly make those who love to celebrate Halloween happy. Behind this atypical duo between a worthy descendant of Frankenstein who feeds on electricity to stay alive and his companion who only misses brains, whether animal or human, we discover two endearing monsters who only want to live far from society. 

Another quality of Frank & Zed is that even if it is a very violent film, the puppets have been designed with an undeniable know-how and the numerous scenes are perfectly mastered to the point of being able to follow the story and to forget the technical prowess behind the film to arrive at such a result. This film reminds us of a time when horror films could still allow themselves some crazy ideas and not be sanitized as much as possible to please the majority of people.

Frank & Zed is a real success and a shocking film for the Puppetcore studios as it is a first film that does not skimp at any time to unleash liters of blood, abuses more monstrous than the others but with a real talent that it passes easily and avoids making this film a B series or Za desargenté. The director Jesse Blanchard is certainly a young gifted director who knew how to go to the end of his ambitions and give life to an electrifying film that will leave no one unmoved.

Frank & Zed 
Written and directed by Jesse Blanchard
Produced by Jesse Blanchard, Josh Pangell
Executive producers : Evan Baily, Jane McGregor
Starring Steve Overton, Jason Ropp
Music by Michael Plowman
Cinematography : Patrick Blevins 
Running time : 90 minutes

Seen on July 30, 2021 (screener press)

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