Sunday, May 16, 2010

"Dead Snow" review

Dead Snow (2009)
AKA Død snø

Director: Tommy Wirkola
Writers: Stig Frode Henriksen

Vegar Hoel... Martin
Stig Frode Henriksen ... Roy
Charlotte Frogner ... Hanna
Lasse Valdal ... Vegard
Evy Kasseth Røsten ... Liv
Jeppe Laursen ... Erlend

A bunch of medical students head to an isolated cabin for some fun in the snow. Dead snow that is. (Is snow ever alive? Hmmm...) As they frolic in the snow, evil lies in wait beneath the ice. One night some crazy old coot barges into their cabin to tell them a tale of Nazi greed and murder. The Nazi's used to run this mountaintop as their own private fortress and buried a fortune here. The geezer warns them to heed his insane rant or the Nazi's will get them. Sure enough a battalion of Nazi zombies spring up from the snow and attacks the medical students for disturbing their gold. The medical students run for their lives as the undead fascists chase them through the snow. Many Nazi's will die again before this vacation is over.

Nazi zombies. I just like writing that. Nazi zombies. Two of the most evil words in the world. Together at last! Actually, "Dead Snow" is not the first Nazi zombie movie but it is certainly the best. We can thank a bunch of Norwegian film geeks for getting together to make the best Nazi Zombie movie ever made on top of a snow covered mountain. Hands down. Furthermore, "Dead Snow" takes the prize as the best Norwegian zombie movie I've ever seen. And while we're at it, it also wins a prize as the only Norwegian movie I've ever seen. Cheers for Norway!

Of course, "Dead Snow" isn't really full of surprises. You hear the phrase Nazi zombies and you have a pretty good idea of what you should be getting. The good news is that "Dead Snow" delivers what you expect. Nazi zombies are mangled, butchered, crushed and destroyed. The snow will run red with their undead blood.

There are many movie references in "Dead Snow" and most of them are for "Evil Dead". The Nordic geeks who made this movie are clearly in love with 80's slasher movies and wanted to make their own version of one. All of those lovable slasher flick cliches are here. From the isolated cabin in the woods, to the girls who separate when they need each other the most, to the liberal use of chainsaws, all of the classic genre elements are on display.

The Nazi zombies look great in their rotting black uniforms set against the white snow. But my one complaint about the movie is that it didn't really exploit the fact that the zombies were Nazi's. Other than looking good in their German uniforms, they didn't commit any evil you would associate with the Nazis. When I think of Nazi evil, I'm thinking of the obscene decadence that comes with attempting to have total control over others. But in "Dead Snow", the Nazi's zombie side had taken over and all they wanted to do was eat the student's guts.

But "Dead Snow" is still a fun Nazi Zombie movie. It's constructed out of many different 80's horror movie cliches and manages to bring them together very well. It's worth a look.

SCORE: 3 out of 4 Nazi zombies


Blue Highwind said...

I saw this movie a few years ago, and I guess it fulfilled everything I should have expected with "Nazi Zombies", but the movie still felt tame to me. Why no Jewish characters? That seems like a wasted opportunity right there.

Unfortunately any horror movie that throws Nazis into the equation can never really match the real horror that real Nazis brought upon the world. The comparison is hopeless.

Dr. Gore said...

Yeah, I suppose they could have done a little more to show that these zombies were a little more evil than your normal, gut-munching, run of the mill zombies.

But "Dead Snow" wasn't made to answer the question of what Eichmann would have been like if he was undead. Just made to splatter some guts in the snow. In that respect, it succeeds.

the sneering (homo-phobic) snob said...

I hate Nazis, quite a high percentage of them were faggots, the bloody disgusting fairys.

J.R. LeMar said...

I've been meaning to check this out since I first heard about it, over a year ago. I really need to get on it now.