Dead Snow (2009)

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Eight medical students on a ski trip to Norway discover that Hitler's horrors live on when they come face to face with a battalion of zombie Nazi soldiers intent on devouring anyone unfortunate enough to wander into the remote mountains where they were once sent to die. --TMDb
Review by Tristan
Added: March 28, 2009
For some reason, Nazi zombies are a hot item. I don't know where the idea came up originally, but in the last few years it has really taken off. Movies, comics, even levels in video games. Since a majority of these movies are German, its no surprise that none of them make their way over here for quite some time. It's also no big surprise that a lot of these films never fully make it off the ground. Luckily the film I wanted to see the most out of the bunch, Dead Snow, has finally started making its way around the film festivals. Foreign horror has been flooding the American market a lot in the past few years, and rightfully so. Over here, we can't seem to do anything right, and these foreign films are just what die hard horror fans need to keep their faith in the genre.

Our film starts with a young woman being chased through the woods by an unseen attacker. Unfortunately for her, running down a hill at break neck speed isn't the best way to escape zombies, and she ends up beefing it. We then up with eight medical students on their spring break. They've loaded up with ski equipment and enough beer for 3 consecutive breaks, and head off into the woods. Wouldn't you know it, the cabin they're heading to belongs to our friend from the prologue, and they're planning to meet her there for a week of relaxation away from all the hustle and bustle of the city. Of course you have your sexy girls, jock guys, and the nerd with sage like advice. During their first night at the cottage, they are visited by a shifty hiker who gives them a little lesson in the local history. During world War II a group of SS soldiers were doing what they do best, raping and pillaging towns all over Norway. A mob formed and was able to chase them off to their certain death in the Norwegian wilderness where they are believed to have frozen to death.

As the legend goes however, these damned men still roam the woods, protecting their stolen gold while led by Colonel Herzog. The kids brush this off as a bogus story to keep kids from disrupting the peaceful area. As teenagers are prone to do, they start raising hell, literally. They find a small chest in the cabin containing some of the Nazi gold, unknowingly drawing the zombies in towards the cabin. What follows is a fantastic display of what some good makeup, great special effects, and a little knowledge of the genre can do for a film. Don't be surprised to find this one ranking up their with the Raimi / Jackson fans as one of the better horror comedies of the last ten years. And boy, how the red stuff does flow.

One part horror and one part over-the-top comedy, this film will definitely sit nicely alongside such genre classics as Evil Dead II, Braindead, and The Cottage. Wirkola definitely has an eye for visual humour, with his past film Kill Buljo being a parody of the ultra violent Kill Bill. I have not seen this film, but from what I've read it was very well received and a huge hit in Norway. I was very surprised by how good the zombies looked in this. The uniforms looked great, really giving off the feel that they were buried in the snow for decades. The zombies looked as good as any other zombie I've seen in film before. There were also various states of decomposition on the zombies, something you rarely see in a zombie film. Really, the Nazi zombie aspect means nothing at all. It's not as though the zombies are the perfect Aryan race, or killing Jews willy nilly. But for some reason, they just appear a lot more intimidating than your average zombie. Maybe it has something to do with what the uniform represents, but the zombies just seemed more effective.

Without a doubt, the best part of the film is the final 15-20 minutes. It's nonstop laughs, brutally gory and really lets the the movie go out on a good note. Because really folks, how many movies have you seen that totally lost it in the final ten minutes? I'm happy to report this is not one of them, and I think its one of the few movies that gets stronger towards the end. If I had to give any criticism, it would be the unoriginal plot. It's a cookie-cutter slasher story set in the Norway wilderness with hidden treasure and Nazi zombies. Okay, so maybe it's a little original, but had it been a little more so I think I could have branded this film a perfect 10.

I can't recommend this one enough. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. It's a great zombie film, filled with gore and laughs, all set on the isolated frozen plains of Norway. Much of the film consists of nods to fan favorites such as the Romero films, Friday the 13th, Evil Dead, and its very apparent that Wirkola is a lifelong fan of the genre. These are the guys who make the best horror films, and this is certainly one of the best zombie films I've seen in quite some time. I've always been a sucker for the horror comedy, and it can't get much better than a nice gory zombie film. Did Dead Snow really do anything new with the genre? Aside from a new kind of zombie, and a really unique location, not really. But it was a fun ride, and definitely something I'll be watching over and over again.

FurryFish #1: FurryFish - added 03/28/2009, 06:24 PM
Movie was ight.
grain of sand #2: grain of sand - added 03/29/2009, 05:31 AM
This was really cool. I had my doubts from the trailer but it pulled through, awesome gore. It did take a little getting used to seeing zombies stab people though..
so entertainging and fun.

Optimus Prime #3: Optimus Prime - added 04/01/2009, 03:51 AM
Most fun I've had watching a movie in a while. So good. 10/10.
Crispy #4: Crispy - added 04/01/2009, 04:49 PM
Minor gripes here and there, but a great zombie flick nonetheless. Agreed with 9.5/10
qwach #5: qwach - added 04/26/2009, 06:57 AM
Funny movie 8/10
Lucid Dreams #6: Lucid Dreams - added 04/27/2009, 01:28 AM
Ah, where to start with this, well let's just say I couldn't stop smiling through most of this movie. I'll agree on Tristan's review here that the last 30 minutes was the best part, it was so fast paced with gore and humor. I canít wait to watch this with my wife to see her reaction to this. 10/10
The Red Clover #7: The Red Clover - added 05/04/2009, 01:41 AM
Zombies? Your average is probably a 5/5 because lets face it, you can make a zombie film and you'd have to be a total fuck-up to ABSOLUTELY ruin it. Then your average film score including Nazis? Well I don't know but to make my point, 5/5.

But together? Thats plain insanity, and a 10/10.
bluemeanie #8: bluemeanie - added 05/22/2009, 02:33 PM
One of the best zombie films of recent years. The humor was exceptionally done and the blood and guts were top notch. One of the best horror films of the year. 10/10.
Greg Follender #9: Greg Follender - added 06/24/2009, 01:29 AM

A parade of clichés and continuity errors... a really fun idea that simply ended up aping the better films it openly referenced.
All it would have taken was a bit more thought and a few more hours in the scripting stage to elevate this lackluster zombie flick into a real classic. Not funny enough to be a true parody and not interesting enough to be compelling on it's own...

I REALLY wanted to like this film... but aside from a few cool sight gags and slightly innovative gore camera work, this was basically a pedestrian modern horror flick in a novel setting.

It also breaks one of the primary rules of great Horror filmmaking... NEVER include blatant homage moments from classic films in your tale unless you can be sure that doing so won't simply make your work seem amateurish in comparison!

Decent gore aside... nothing all that special here. 6/10
Chad #10: Chad - added 10/18/2009, 07:17 PM
Going with the majority here, this was a damned fine film. Not much more that I can say that hasn't been said already, so yeah, almost a perfect film - 9.5/10.
Ginose #11: Ginose - added 12/05/2009, 06:26 AM
Enjoyed the fuck out of it.
Had this on my harddrive forever and finally got around to watching it with my lady a few weeks ago, a repeated viewing tonight certainly didn't take any of the fun I had with it away.
Aside from the general lack of wit, throughout, I couldn't find a thing to dislike. The performances were as goofy and static as could be expected, the predictability level was off the charts and the general plot was purely boiler-plate, but it didn't really matter in the run of things, because, homage or not, the humor and splatter don'treally miss a beat.
Sure, by modern standards it merely went through the motions, but the self-awareness of it all and the purpose lack of compelling moments kept me laughing at every single joke and sight-gag all throughout. The zombie design and gore-effects worked wonders on me, too.

Perhaps not a classic, like "Shaun of the Dead", but a genre-work I won't be forgetting any time soon.
Nirrad #12: Nirrad - added 05/16/2010, 12:39 AM
9/10 for me. Extremely entertaining.
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