“Where the fuck did you get a machine gun from?”
Dead Snow or Dod Sno to give the movie its Norwegian title is a Horror/comedy about a group of medical students on an easter break in the mountains that run into a pack of zombie nazis. Now let me just say that again, zombie nazis! Awesome looking, zombie nazis! Add to that the superb tagline “Ein! Zwei! Die!” & you have a movie that is virtually impossible to fuck up.
Fortunately director Tommy Wirkola has not only avoided fucking it up, he has served up a wonderful movie, full of little homages & nods to genre classics. Normally this is where I would outline the plot of the movie I’m reviewing. But I pretty much covered that in the first paragraph. This is not a plot heavy movie. It’s simply a hugely enjoyable film. Wirkola sets his film up perfectly. There is enough time given to the students (4 guys, 3 girls) to give a bit of characterisation & depth to them. Then Wirkola brings the old stranger in, think of the John Houseman character in The Fog, who fleshes out the entire back story of the nazis & warns the students about staying. Needless to say they don’t listen & are soon fighting for their lives against the undead stormtroopers. It all sounds incredibly clichéd. But that is part of the fun of the movie.
There are so many homages, too many to list. Everything from The Evil Dead to Requiem For A Dream is in here. Wirkola plays on the clichés to move his movie along. The students even discuss how much like a horror movie them going up to the mountains is. fortunately Wirkola also knows how to create atmosphere & tension in his movie. As the nazi zombies terrorise Chris (Jenny Skavlan) in the outdoor toilet at night, Wirkola builds the tension with glimpses & sounds before the zombies attack. The cast is superb. Each & every one of them puts in a good performance. It’s an ensemble piece more than having any one hero/heroine. The SFX are ok in places, poor in others & some of the CGI is less than impressive. But these are small quibbles with a damned enjoyable movie. The soundtrack is pretty damn cool as well. The humour is balanced out with some genuinely dramatic scenes. Dead Snow is no throw away comedy.
Dead Snow is a wonderful movie, Is it as good as Shaun Of The Dead? No. Is it as good as Zombieland? Yes. I admit I’m biased because I love zombie movies, but see this film, you won’t regret it. Highly recommended.