ICYMI: Dead Snow (2009)
When I met my wife in 2006, she was working on her Ph.D in film studies at USC. Pretty cool. Then I found out that the subject of her dissertation was zombies. Even cooler. Over the course of our relationship I have been a willing guinea pig, tagging along to see and absorb every available product in the world of zombie-inspired entertainment and pop culture. You name it, I’ve seen it. From your standard American zombie fare to zombie films from Australia, Japan, Russia, Korea and Cuba, I have been around the world in a zombie-sense. And as you can probably guess, I’ve been privy to plenty of hidden gems that only true horror cultists have seen.
2009’s Dead Snow is one of those films that throws in everything but the kitchen sink……then for good measure, throws in the kitchen sink. Part Night of the Living Dead, part Friday the 13th, part Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, part The Evil Dead as well as parts of a dozen other movies, this Norwegian zombie film is blood-spattering, gory, tongue and cheek fun.
The film follows a group of vacationing medical students whose holiday retreat is disrupted by a swarm of gold-seeking Nazi zombies. That’s right, Nazi zombies. As if zombies haven’t already been turned into huddled evil masses that provide guiltless killing in the name of survival, Dead Snow gives us zombies from the Third Reich.
And how do we know about the Nazi zombies? Thankfully, the students are visited early on by a creepy traveler who serves no other purpose than to regale them with his story about Nazi soldiers looking for stashed treasure. Did I also mention that one of the med students is a film geek in love with horror movies and their clichés? Here’s a film that revels in every cliché, convention, and trope and just turns up the wattage.
Dead Snow is a movie for people who love movies. It’s not “wink-wink” self-aware but this is definitely made by people who have been inspired by a love of the cinema. Writer-Director Tommy Wirkola is probably best known to U.S audiences for Hansel & Gretel: With Hunters (not seen by me) but Dead Snow was definitely his calling card. It’s frenzied, over the top and just when you think things can’t get any crazier, you see a character (a human character) use large intestine as rope. Yeah, it’s that kind of movie.