Help Create ‘Frank & Zed,’ The First Puppet Zombie Horror Film

Frank & Zed is not your ordinary horror movie. Sure, there are zombies and at least one Frankenstein’s monster, but there’s a huge difference between this upcoming film and all the others… Frank and Zed are puppets. Freaky, bloodthirsty, ax wielding puppets, but puppets just the same. What do these foam stuffed monstrosities want? They want to come back from the dead in a blood-soaked, felt-lined full length feature directed by newcomer Jesse Blanchard, and they need your help.


Centuries ago, a desperate battle left a village wasted, a new bride dead, and two mortal enemies dependent on each other for survival. Forgotten amongst the crumbling ruins, our two heroes have eked out a meager existence, each responsible for feeding the other. One fateful day, a villager trespasses into Frank’s hunting grounds. The resulting harvest provides Zed with a full tummy and sets the entire town on a course of bloody retribution.

About the Film:

Frank & Zed is the 100% puppet horror monster movie that lives up to that premise. 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. 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.

Press Quotes

Unimaginably ambitious, the level of detail and richness is astonishing.” – Oscar winning special FX artist Chris Walas (The Fly, Gremlins)


Frank & Zed reminds you that horror can be as fun as it is scary.” – Tom Holland (Child’s Play, Fright Night)


“Jesse’s films are delightfully grotesque.” – Oscar winning director Joan Gratz (Mona Lisa Descending A Staircase, The Prophet)


Production Team

Indie animator and director Jesse Blanchard’s work has screened Cannes, been picked for distribution by Dimension Films by George Romero, and been 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 Productions.

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).



  • First feature-length film done using only classic glove puppets since 1989. The roughly 10 other puppet-features have human actors as well or uses other forms of puppetry.
  • Puppetcore Productions averaged 11 shots per day while shooting and has completed over 1,500 shots on the film
  • Frank & Zed was done without green screen and using real fire, smoke, miniature for set extensions, and chemistry to achieve the effects
  • Current runtime is 87 minutes


Yet to be completed:

  • Large Scale Miniatures
  • Score
  • Color-Correction/Post production
  • Specialty insert shots

This is where you guys come in. There’s less than two weeks left to gather the funds to finish Frank & Zed, and Jesse has (at the time of this writing) only reached half of his goal. Take a gander at his Kickstarter page ( see what you can do to help… and get some exclusive merch to top it all off! Besides the standard stuff like digital downloads, Blu-rays and t-shirts, you can also get bottles of actual goo from the film set, your own personal gargoyle, your actual name and/or face immortalized somewhere in the finished film on a tombstone, in stained glass, in the tavern’s logo, etc, prop weapons or even a puppet created in your likeness that will launch the monsters into the mob! Haven’t you always wanted to be a puppet? Flit on over to the Kickstarter page ( and find out how!



Director’s Statement from Jesse Blanchard

I am drawn to the fantastic. My stories all seem to be populated with Frankenstein’s 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.

About Tracy Allen

As the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of, Tracy has learned a lot about independent horror films and the people who love them. Now an approved critic for Rotten Tomatoes, she hopes the masses will follow her reviews back to PopHorror and learn more about the creativity and uniqueness of indie horror movies.

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