Fantasia 2021 Capsule Review: Frank & Zed

If you’re someone who grew up watching Jim Henson films and you also love gore, then you will love Frank & Zed. After a special intro just for Fantasia International Film Festival audiences and a short by the same filmmaker, the film by writer and director Jesse Blanchard (Lit Up) begins. The film focuses on the two titular characters, both reanimated corpses just trying to live their undead lives in a crumbling old castle. That is until an evil lord unwittingly brings the pair into his scheme to take over the throne and bring about a prophecy that will end in an “orgy of blood.” Great care was put into every aspect of this film to make it as fun, hilarious, beautiful, and gory as possible.

I don’t typically like to say that something is an instant cult classic, but I might make an exception for Frank & Zed. It’s the kind of film that is so outrageous, so ridiculous in the best way possible that it is easy to imagine Rocky Horror-esque midnight showings as the film grows its audience. Not only does the film keep the audience smiling from ear to ear, but it also is gorgeous. The production design, puppets/puppeteering, the lighting, and even the ooey gooey practical effects gore are beautifully done. Frank & Zed will definitely appeal to the gore hounds out there. The film is also surprisingly heartfelt at times, and I’m not afraid to say I teared up a bit, even among all the carnage. And be sure to watch through the credits for some wonderful behind-the-scenes looks at how the film was made. I strongly encourage horror fans to seek this film out.

Frank & Zed is a delightfully absurd tale with a monstrous duo audiences will adore.


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