Directed by Tommy Wirkola (Kill Buljo: The Movie, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters ) and co-written with Stig Frode Henriksen (Kill Buljo: The Movie, Kurt Josef Wagle og legenden om fjordheksa), Dead Snow is a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
The film itself could almost be a ‘fan-film’ of all things horror and zombie related. It opened to positive reviews and although there is no reference to the films shooting budget, it earned respectable one million plus dollars in it’s gross profits. Although the film does feel a little like an updated version of the old ‘Andy Hardy’ films and their, “Hey kids, lets put on a show in the barn!” , it doesn’t suffer from it. It actually causes the film and it’s paper thin plot that bit more appealing.
The film opens with a young lady being pursued though deep snow in the Nordic mountains by a Nazi-zombie. She is cornered, killed and eaten by a group of Nazi-zombies.
We then meet a group of seven students who are on holiday in the Norwegian mountains. They are on a skiing trip and on the way to a friends cabin in the mountains. The students are all typical ‘film’ students, in other words they all focus on sex, drugs and rock and roll.
The students make their way to the cabin and their first night there they encounter a ‘hiker’ Turgåer (Bjørn Sundquist) who tells the students about an old Norwegian curse that affected the Nazi’s who occupied Norway during the second world war. Greedy Nazi’s who searched for a rumoured pile of hidden riches were cursed. When the Nazi’s died in their greedy quest, they were forced to forever roam the mountains as the undead who would be brought back to ‘life’ by the allure of riches.
The students, Martin (Vegar Hoel), Roy (Stig Frode Henriksen), Vegard (Lasse Valdal), Hanna (Charlotte Frogner), Liv (Evy Kasseth Røsten), Erland (Jeppe Laursen) and Chris (Jenny Skavlan) have been invited by Vegard’s girlfriend Sara (Ane Dahl Torp) to stay at her cabin. Unfortunately, the young lady we saw at the beginning of the film being snacked on by zombies was Sara and she won’t be showing up.
The group are confused and concerned by Sara’s absence and they discuss where she might be and whether they should be searching for her. They search the cabin to see if they can find a clue about where Sara might have gone.
This film is a combination of a comedy of errors and a possible homage to the Evil Dead films. The students themselves are dispatched quite messily (and truth be told, comically) by random Nazi-zombies and at one point two of the survivors arm themselves with assorted power tools.
The group at different times in the film discuss popular myths and legends about zombies in films and other cultural elements. For the most part they try a lot of the more culturally prevalent means of dispatching zombies. Hilariously they either succeed or fail and it is their realization of the danger of their predicament that amuses the most. By the time they begin to take things seriously, it is for most of them, too late.
The film makers were not afraid to milk the most laughs possible out of any given scene. At one point in the film, one of the students, Vergard, is fighting with a zombie while they both hang on the entrails of another zombie, dangling from a cliff face.
The zombies, because of the curse, are attracted by riches of any kind. When the students discover a box full of ‘treasure’ in the basement of the cabin, this lures the zombies to attack and kill the cabins inhabitants.
I laughed as much as I groaned at some of the more apparent ‘clichés’ that the film-makers included in the film’s set pieces.
But I loved the film and it’s ‘cliff-hanger’ ending. Fan’s of horror films and zombie films should enjoy this film, if they realise that it’s not taking itself seriously at all. Watch it with the idea that it is a combination of satire and spoof and you’ll get a kick out of it.
- Seven of the Deadliest Zombie Hordes (dreadcentral.com)
- [HeroPress] Films On TV: Nazis At The Center Of The Earth (2012) (heropress.net)
- German Film OUTPOST: BLACK SUN Has Zombies, Nazis, and Awesome (geektyrant.com)
- Producer Brings Nazis and Zombies to Cannes (dreadcentral.com)
- Viral Media: Hackers, Nazi Zombies RUN! (zombielaw.wordpress.com)
- Weston Scott Vs. Nazi Zombies At OFASTS 2012 (5min.com)
- Zombies of Mass Destruction (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- Jarv’s Schlock Vault: Nazis at the Centre of the Earth (moonwolves.wordpress.com)
- Horror-on-Sea Film Festival to Set Sail in January (dreadcentral.com)