Dead Snow (2009)
Directed by Tommy Wirkola
It wasn't too long ago I was blogging about Nazi zombies.
After the flick was getting mega hype from Sundance film festival, you knew this was gonna be one of those horror films that just gets it. It wasn't trying to appeal to the PG-13 millenials so Hollywood could $ca ching. Dead Snow was appealing to the horror-sphere and won the Nazi zombie race against Worst Case Scenario and others.
Wirkola's previous film was a Norwegian parody of Kill Bill so what we get with our Nazi zombies are some ha ha moments that seem right for a flick about an undead German army fighting against a group of medical student hipsters.
I missed seeing it at NYC Fangoria Weekend of Horrors.Well I'm glad the IFC picked it up for VOD and DVD distribution.
It's a horror film that's self aware. It knows it's premise and makes note of it. It's also follows the standard formula to a tee. Dead Snow makes no allusions of not being a horror comedy. Wanna see younglings get slaughtered my blood hungry, ravenous zombies? You got it!
The twist is we're seeing Nazi zombies in the mountains of Norway running in the snow.
And that's so completely nutty, you have to applaud this snowy D-day of destruction.
The plot of the film is set around a group of Norwegian medical students who go away for an Easter vacation in a cabin up in the mountains. Unfortunately, the area they are staying in was used by the Nazis in the German occupation of Norway during World War II. The Germans raped and pillaged the locals and stole all their gold, until the locals chased the Germans up the mountains, where they supposedly froze to death. The medical students find a box of gold in the cabin they are staying in, which had belonged to the Germans. As a result, zombie Germans come back to reclaim their gold, with deadly results.
We are going to use the "what makes a good slasher movie" list for Dead Snow. Just because, if I do a regular review it will probably be boring whereas answering my own questions is funtastic!
Does Dead Snow achieve everything on this list?
1.) Is there a mysterious, insanely strong, ridiculed as a child, deformed, inbred redneck slasher?
Let's replace slasher with a shitload of zombies.
We get the meanest, great makeup FX of full fledge SS Nazi zombies complete with WWII gear and some decomposing Skeletor corpse faces. These are top notch looking zombies. And the fact that they are semi self aware, 3% intelligent and run after our snow mobiling yipsters is a testament to their army training.
2.) Gratuitous, over the top, super fleshy nudity (with Grade A boobage)?
We get our standard sex scene in a frigid outhouse. And you know the rule. If you get some, you get dead.
3.) Stereotypical teenage caricatures who die gruesome and horrific over the top deaths?
Oh man. They so die such awesome over the top deaths. It's not a spoiler in a sense that you know that most of these people have to get bloodified and slaughtered so us gorehounds can rejoice.
So lets meet our would be victims!
1.) Vegard (our X-games extreme sporter)
2.) Roy (our horny horndog)
3.) Erlend (our resident horror movie geek)
4.) Martin (our doctor who is scared of blood)
5.) Liv (our hot blonde)
6.) Hanna (GF of Martin, pseudo final girl)
7.) Chris (hot chick, mostly fodder)
Erlend is the first to make the observation that a bunch of good looking Norwegians are headed to the scary cabin in the mountains where evil will probably ensue. It's clever enough to make a reference to their situation is a horror staple and his Braindead t-shirt at least homages the great old school Peter Jackson.
4.) No Plot?
5.) Kills by our slasher that make you go "Fuck yeah!"
Check. I was rather impressed by some of the gore and splatter. See below.
6.) Gore, lots of it. Like serious decapitation, dismemberment, impalement, frenzy steroid rages and blood shooting out at various penetration wounds, limbs a flailing and mindless splatter and mayhem
Check. Dead Snow combined gallons of blood, intenstines, gore, splatter and CGI blood splatter and *Gasp!* made it work.
Here is your Gore-ipedia.
1.) Ocular trauma with special head brain explosion
2.) Head decaps (x infinity!)
3.) Gratuitous intenstine trauma
4.) Chainsaw arm surgery
5.) Body rippage
6.) Sliced throats
5.) Zombie ocular trauma
6.) Zombie Arm trauma
7.) Zombie shotgun trauma
8.) Zombie intensine trauma
...suffice it to say the zombies get chainsawed, scythed, knifed and obliterated in various splatter happy ways.
And there's like an never ending army, so there's solid carnage throughout.
7.) Geeky leader who takes charge of the hapless group as they try to escape who befriends a hot girl who knows about the "legend" (there's always a legend no one believes)
Geeky leader does take charge. And we get our mysterious old man who describes the spooky legend (see the plot above)
8.) Funny yet ill timed dialogue but also various quips and one liners that are funny only the first time around (yet somehow funny again when you buy the DVD and only when you're stoned)
Check. Very Evil Dead and Brain Dead-y
9.) Final girl goes all final girly?
10.) Wildly ambigious ending that can be used to warrant a sequel?
Nazi Zombies working together to rip the arms and limbs of one of the hipsters
The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis
That scene of Nazi zombies coming out of the snow and the one where they are fuckin Usain Bolting is fuckin priceless.
Dead Snow will inevitably be compared to Evil Dead and Brain Dead (both films they reference and homage). It's got the ill timed humor working well (and even though it was subtitled, it worked, see the subtitled version and not the dubbed one). It's funny and makes you know it.
Let's get straight to the point. Dead Snow is one of the best horror movies of 2009. The movie takes a while to get revved up, with the first 30 minutes full of quick scares but the characters are not overtly annoying and do enough to make sure when they get dead, you have a good time watching their demise.
But as the first movie to put Nazi zombies in the snow on screen, Dead Snow hits all the right targets, makes you laugh and is just like storming Normandy.
All we see is tons of carnage, slaughter and splatter.
But you can't look away. And honestly, you don't want to because it's too fuckin awesome to watch.
Check out the trailer.
Also check out some clips from the flick.
Clip #1 (no gore, but gratuitous sex!)
Clip #2 (ATTACK!!!!)
Clip #3 (Ash would be so proud)
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