Dead Snow
(Død Snø)

Dead Snow (Død Snø)
Made in: Norway
Language: Norwegian
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Starring: Charlotte Frogner, Vegar Hoel, Lasse Valdal, Stig Frode, Jeppe Laursen, Evy Kasseth Røsten, Jenny Skavlan, Ørjan Garnst, Bjørn Sundquist, Ane Dahl Torp
Year: 2009

Synopsis: Seven med school students on Easter Vacation arrive at a cozy cabin near the region of Øksfjord. The cabin is in the middle of nowhere, there's still plenty of snow on the ground, and there's no cell phone signal (gee, I wonder what's going to happen?)

The group is led by a guy named Vegard (Lasse Valdal), whose girlfriend Sara (Ane Dahl Torp) is supposed to meet them the following day. Sara owns the cabin, but instead of driving with the rest of them, she has decided to ski through the region instead...on her night (gee, I wonder what'll happen to her?)

That evening, an old, grizzled hiker (Bjørn Sundquist) happens upon the cabin and warns them about the region's dark history. During the Second World War, a group of Nazis occupied the area and terrorized the local populace.

Near the end of the War, as the Russians advanced, the Nazis began plundering the towns for any valuables (gold, jewels, etc) they could get their hands on. They were driven from Øksfjord by the citizens, and fled into the woods where they presumably froze to death.

The hiker leaves, and the horny youths pretty much dismiss his ghastly tale. However, the old man was telling the truth! Before long, the group finds themselves confronted by a horde of Nazi zombies. Decapitations, mutilations, and disembowelments ensue!

Think Black Friday at Wal-Mart only with more chainsaws and Norwegian expletives.

Remarks: Dead Snow tries way too hard to be a campy cult classic. It contains just about every horror movie cliché you can think of, and attempts to cover for itself by dropping a few half-hearted self-referential jokes.

Director Tommy Wirkola obviously drew inspirations from movies such as Shaun of the Dead and Sam Raimi's Evil Dead series, and the end result is an often sloppy mess that feels embarrassingly adolescent.

Are there blood and guts? Yes. Literally. But beyond that, there isn't much else. Even the customary sex scene isn't all that interesting. I get that Dead Snow isn't meant to be taken seriously, but throwing in loads of cheesy, over-the-top gore that's just supposed to make you squirm doesn't work if that's all there is to the script.

The characters aren't all that memorable, and the plot is flawed. Again, I understand that a movie involving Nazi zombies who want to eat sexually frustrated Norwegians probably doesn't lend itself to much intellectual discourse. But within the realm of the story itself, no matter how ridiculous, there needs to be some sense of logic.

For example, we're never told how the German soldiers became zombies in the first place. And we don't know really get to know any of the characters enough to care about what happens to them.

The actors play their roles enthusiastically and some of the cinematography is quite beautiful in places. Some of the sight gags are creative, but most of the jokes fall flat. Not even the obligatory chainsaw can liven things up.

The editing is awkward, the dialogue is pretty lame, and even though Dead Snow is just under ninety minutes, most of it is actually pretty boring.

Who would like this movie: Dead Snow seems geared towards those who like over-the-top, campy, disgusting horror movies. However, I wouldn't recommend this one because it doesn't add anything new to the zombie (or horror) genre.

I'll admit that there were enough elements in the film that could have made it into a pretty interesting tale. Unfortunately, Tommy Wirkola didn't capitalize on them and went for a few extra disembowelments instead.

Overall, this is pretty much a waste of time, and the c'mon, it's supposed to be a bad movie excuse won't fly.

Review written by: Joe Yang

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