Saturday, March 6, 2010

Dead Snow (2009)

Two of the best and most influential horror movies of the 80's are Sam Raimi's "The Evil Dead" and it's sequel. Sure, other movies mixed gore and gallows humor in the past, but these went even further-especially "Evil Dead II." Here was a movie that laughed right in the face of the conventional status of most movies-even horror comedy movies-and mixed the gory thrills with a surreal, almost "Three Stooges" like quality of slapstick. Since then, many a movie-Peter Jackson's "Braindead", the "Crank" movies, Ngai Kim Lam's Kung-Fu Splatter Flick "Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky" to name a few-have used this movie as a template to go completely bonkers. While Tommy Wirkola's Norwegian Nazi Zombie Comedy "Dead Snow" isn't as fun as the aforementioned movies, it sits up their with the likes of "Evil Aliens" and "Dead & Breakfast" as a none too original but worthy film of the style.

The plot takes something that's been done so many times now, it's beyond plagiarism: Some dumb kids (here medical students) go to a cabin, and run into zombies-Nazi Zombies in this case.

So yes, it's all been done before. But in this case, who cares? Sure, some of the references to older, better horror movies (Do we really need two people talking about 80's horror movies and a guy in a "Braindead" shirt?) tend to get really annoying, but this is one of those cases in which familiarity does not breed contempt, because Wirkola directs the whole thing with enough relish, energy and entertaining gore gags (the best being a man hanging from a Zombie's intestines that must be seen to be believed) to make the whole thing a lot of fun. Plus it helps that the actors in this are actually pretty good, and that the electronic score helps to compliment the snowy Norwegian atmosphere.

Oh, and it's really funny. Out of all of the Nazi Zombie movies I've seen, this one is the funniest. The more it goes on, and the gorier it gets, the funnier it gets. It's impossible to not get swept away in this world were an impossible number of zombie soldiers rise from their cold graves while our heroes dispatch the fascist walking cadavers with a chainsaw and other nifty ways.

Nobody is going to give "Dead Snow" points for originality, and that's just fine. It just wants to be an energetic, fun and funny splatter-fest, and in that respect, I salute it-but not in the way the zombies in it salute...

Rating: 8/10

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