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Friday, October 26, 2018

Dead Snow (2009)




We are getting towards the end of the zombie marathon so I decided to watch Dead Snow. This one came out of nowhere a few years ago and took the genre by storm. It was so popular that it has already spawned a sequel and there are rumors that another might be in the works. But is it really that good?

In the opening scenes of Dead Snow, a woman is being chased thru the woods by zombies of the Nazi variety. They catch her, and it doesn’t end well. Then the action switches to a bunch of friends headed to an isolated cabin in the mountains for some winter fun and games. We watch them make a fire, do some tubing behind the snow mobile, a snowball fight ensues, and there is even a game of Twister. Then in a clever bit of plotting a creepy stranger shows up to drink their coffee and spook them. He also gives them a history lesson and tells them about the Nazi’s in WWII having a base in the nearby town. At the end of the war they were attacked by the locals and fled into these very mountains with all of the loot they stole, only to freeze to death.

Can you guess what happens next? The kids find some of the stolen loot underneath the cabin, the zombie Nazis come looking for it, and a bunch of people end up dead or in the case of the Nazis deader. The rest of the movie is one insane gory scene after another until the survivors figure it out and give back the gold. End of the movie, right? Well maybe not…

This is my second favorite Nazi zombie movie only playing second fiddle to Shockwaves. The movie is fast paced and keeps throwing things at the audience to hold our attention. In between the gore, which there is a lot of, we have some very funny jokes (the outhouse bit with the girl is cringe worthy and amusing) and characters that are likeable. Hell, there is even the film nerd that keeps talking about horror movies and wears a Braindead t-shirt. Normally when this character shows up in a horror movie it is very annoying and meta, but they nailed it here. Mostly because the actor is good and has chemistry with the rest of the cast.

Beyond the jokes and decent cast Dead Snow is filled with all sorts of gore and gags that I loved. You get multiple intestines stuck to trees, one of which is used as a rope! There is also much chaos with a snowmobile, multiple heads getting lopped off, limbs go flying, and a head gets smashed. The gut munching is plentiful including a POV shot of one unfortunate young lady waking up during it… That was surprisingly disturbing, though she sort of gets her revenge. The zombie design gets a bit repetitive, but then there are a lot of them and they are all in uniform so I’m going to give them a pass. The featured zombies look very good especially the makeup used on Herzog, the leader of the Nazi dead.

Nazi zombies... man they are the worst!
The plot also nods at the rest of the genre when one of the characters takes severe action when he is bit. Doesn’t want to turn into a zombie, despite the fact that another character points out he is half Jewish and doubts the Nazi zombies would want to “recruit” him. God this is a funny movie. Toss in an obvious reference to Evil Dead series with the tool shed arming up scene and the use of April Fool’s Day to prove the horror cred of another character for even more nerdy fun. This movie acknowledges the genre tropes while doing its own thing, which is a rare thing and only makes me like it more.

If you haven’t seen Dead Snow you really ought to. Of the newer zombie movies this is by far the most entertaining. The fact that it establishes its own mythology and rules for the walking corpses instead of piggybacking on the rest of the subgenre is surprising. This is a must watch that I highly recommend.


© Copyright 2018 John Shatzer

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