Frank & Zed is the 100% puppet horror monster movie that lives up to that premise. Done with the attention to detail and world building of the Dark Crystal and the mad mayhem and glee of Meet the Feebles (the only other two features done with this method).
It stars two classic monsters, Frank & Zed whose powerful master is long defeated. Since his death, they have survived the wrath of the mob by hiding in the ruins of an old castle. But they are soon discovered and their fates, along with those of the village below, will be decided in the prophesied ‘Orgy of Blood.’
Writer/Director Jesse Blanchard has launched a Kickstarter for finishing funds for the film. All of the miniature sets will be jam-packed with cult horror references and Blanchard and Puppetcore are looking to fans to help them fill in all the details.
Frank & Zed Kickstarter: http://kck.st/2yjth0Z
Proof-of-concept trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCBeruJiInU
Hide your face within the film – within stained glass, as the Tavern Logo, or sculpted into a gargoyle
Hide your name in the film – backer’s name hidden on a tombstone, carved in a tree, or on graffiti on the village walls
Indie animator and director Jesse Blanchard’s work has screened Cannes, been picked for distribution by George Romero, and praised by industry vets Drew Barrymore, Bill Plympton, and Neil LaBute. He works with a dedicated team of artists to make everything in their films from scratch – including the actors.
They call their all-puppet monster movies – Puppetcore.
The Puppetcore team has just two rules: 1. Entertain the audience and 2. It’s not a joke that they’re puppets; the characters are real. To achieve these two mandates, the team relies entirely on practical effects without using CGI or green screen and uses a wide variety of techniques to get the characters to perform the multitude of actions the script requires. Often, they build a special version of a character for a single shot. At two and a half minutes long, the trailer contains 26 unique puppets and mechanisms (that’s one every six seconds).
About the film
I am drawn to the fantastic. My stories all seem to be populated with Frankenstein Monsters who hunt squirrels with throwing axes. As an independent, I’ve turned to animation as a way to tell these stories. Working with puppets is 98% hard work and 2% magic. Getting felt and rubber to come to life is incredibly rewarding as filmmaker, but I love extending that challenge and reward by trying to scare people.
My dream is that people forget they are watching puppets, forget this was made in a tiny converted garage and just see the world of “Frank & Zed.”