As an ardent fan of the zombie genre I found myself asking the question, “What could make this genre even better?” The logical answer is, of course, Nazis. What better way to take a ‘beaten into the ground’ concept and give it some flare (not unlike the flare they made the Jews wear) then to veer from the usual undead/infected and give us a brigade of pissed off Nazi zombie remnants from WWII? This is what intrigued me enough to sit down and watch Dead Snow. That, and it’s placement on Netflix instant…
Dead Snow is writer/director Tommy Wirkola’s first jump into the Nazi zombie genre. It is a Norwegian film which means that we are forced to read. The only thing that would have made this masterpiece of Nazi zombie #2 would be terrible dubbing, preferably with terrible British accents.
The film follows the style of so many 80’s slasher flicks which I guess makes it “original”. I guess Wirkola, which is to be pronounced in yodel like the old Ricola commercials, thought binocular using, un-infecting, knife yielding, cave living, Nazi zombies wasn’t original enough. You have your typical 4 horny men and 4 horny women cast. Well, I can only assume the 4th woman is horny but she gets it in the film’s first sequence so I can’t be totally sure. These 8 unfortunate folks are on their way to a cabin in the woods for some RnR (if ya know what I mean…).
We’re introduced to “The Warning Guy”. You know, they guy that shows up usually about ¼ of the through a horror movie that tells the kids about the legend of Nazi zombie mountain? He looks like a Norwegian Stacy Keach and rolls probably the worst cigarette in history. Seriously bro, that shit is gonna have some mad runs in it. No matter. He isn’t into heeding his own advice as The Warning Guy is apt to do and gets it a few scenes later when his throat is slashed by some super speedy zombie. That’s right. These zombies use weapons. Never mind that they have an arsenal at their disposal and they don’t use the guns.
What makes Dead Snow a cut above the rest (GET IT!? CUT!!??) is its use of intestines. There are three, count ‘em THREE, scenes where bowels play a major role. Let me break these down for you as they are the biggest reason to see this film.
The first and most prolific use comes about half way through. After engaging a zombie in some fisticuffs, because these zombies are too good to just bite you, one of our heroes wins the match via TKO. The zombie is stuck on a tree (apparently they didn’t teach ‘how to get yourself unstuck from a tree’ in SS training) with about a foot of his slimy poop tube sticking out. As the hero notices another zombie foe charging him he makes a split second decision. He grabs hold of the bowels and holds on for dear life as he is tackled over the ledge of a cliff and we watch the zombowels unravel like the fishing line at the end of Jaws.
Dangling in mid-air, zombie in his face, our hero hangs hundreds of feet off the ground with nothing more than the surprisingly healthy looking intestines holding them up. I don’t know what they fed their soldiers but this man’s innards are capable of holding about 400lbs.
I can only assume the second use is to pay homage to Mel Gibson and his film Braveheart. We are given a POV shot from our latest victim, a cute blonde with an IQ to match her acting ability, as she watches herself be disemboweled. Somehow she manages to have enough strength, will power, and even brains to grab the potato masher from the closest zombie to “sacrifice” herself take some of those Nazi bastards with her. A memorial will be placed in her honor but will not be open to the public.
Ya know what I hate? When I’m running through the woods and my digestive organs get snagged on a tree making me the world’s largest pull-string doll. That is exactly what happens to our final intestinal victim. The only crime this man committed was looking like Ed Grimley without the cool haircut.
To his credit though he continued to try and fight.
If these gut wrenching scenes are not enough to get you to quit your job right now and go home to watch this movie then consider the film’s final 5 minutes. We have our final hero with a bite on his arm so what does he do? He cuts it off with a chainsaw in homage to Evil Dead. He then cauterizes the wound in fire. Whew…close call. Except that when he finishes his testicles are immediately bitten off. Tough day.
Dead Snow is a feel good romp if there ever was one. At times funny, sad, gory, and mind numbing it’s enough to soothe the constant pull on zombie fans for something fresh in a genre that has been beaten into the ground.