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Nazis. Zombies. Nazi zombies. I refuse to believe that a film containing these two elements can ever be truly bad. And so on to Dead Snow, a subtitled norwegian film in which a group of teenagers hike up to a remote cabin for a weekend of fun, only to discover that the place is infested with legions of undead soldiers from the Third Reich, who will stop at nothing to messily kill the interlopers who have stolen the gold that the soldiers themselves once stole from Norwegian villagers back during the occupation in the war. This plot device is wholehartedly stolen from John Carpenter's The Fog, and indeed the film is a knowing pastiche of classic zombie films (evil dead, Braindead) and is clearly made on a tight budget, but whilst the special effects are often very basic they are nevertheless entertaining in a silly, slapstick, over the top way.
There is nothing original about this film, and it could have been much better if more attention bad been paid to the action choreography and (absolutely minimal) storyline, but it is nonetheless an entertaining switch-your-brain-off film to watch with a few friends and some beers, and despite its flaws (the zombies run for one) it does nevertheless contain hordes of undead wermacht soldiers, chainsaws, gallons of blood and a jetski-mounted machine-gun, and for this much I am thankful.
My brother is always lending me gory horror films that he buys as I share his passion for all things gore, but recently i've got so desensitised to horror films that I don't get scared anymore.
So i'm always on the look out to find a film that scares me.
When my brother brought this round I couldn't believe there was actually a film about Nazis zombies and immediatly thought it would have to be pretty scary.
However my brother said it was extremely funny and that it was my kind of film.
This film is an 18 certificate as it does contain alot of blood and gore, but when I read the back of the dvd case it says that the film is a a sort of black comedy.
Eight medical students are going on a skiing holiday for a well deserved break, the mountains are beautiful and capped with snow, the log cabin that there staying in is gorgeous and they all settle down for the night drinking and having a laugh.
They are still waiting for their friend to join them, she wanted to ski down to the log cabin instead of come in the car with the others.
Her boyfriend starts to get anxious as the next day she still hasn't turned up.
Then there comes aknock at the door, but it isn't her it's a strange man asking for a drink, when he gets inside the cabin he tells a spooky tale of Nazis soldiers who hid here during the war and terrorized the nearby villages. The villagers eventually banded together and killed the soldiers, but that didn't stop the Nazis and still continued to kill anyone that stayed in the mountains.
Thinking that the old man is crazy, the students shrug it off and think of it as a huge joke, but what has happened to their friend and why do they keep hearing noises outside in the snow?
To me the beginning of the film was a bit lame and quite typical of a zombie storyline but as soon as the zombies made themselves known it became completely different to anything i'd ever seen before.
It's just the look of the zombies that were quite creepy, I mean you would be scared if a zombie approached you not to mention one dressed in a Nazis uniform.
The thing that made these zombies different though is because they follow the command of the general zombie and the general seems capable of thought. Whereas the other zombie films i've seen before have no thought process except that of feeding on flesh.
The gore factor was top knotch in my opinion some of he deaths were quite gross and the first time I watched it I sort of squirmed in my seat.
The effects were realistic and the effect of the blood on he white snow was completely chilling.
Although first and foremost this is a horror movie it does have some quite humurous moments throughout it.
Which made me feel bad for laughing when people were being killed but thats the beauty of black comedy.
I would definatly watch it again but I'm not sure if it would have the same effect from watching it the first time, I prefer films that even if you've watched them 10 times they still give you a chill down your spine like saw for example, i'm not totally sure that this would.
This was bought for 4 pounds from cex, but you can get it on Amazon for 3 pence cheaper.
You'd think the idea of Nazi Zombies would be easy enough to sell; with the right satirical bent and wealth of crazy setpieces, it should be easy to make a good film about, but here, the results are strangely rather mixed, due to some pacing issues and some overly self-conscious, almost masturbatory film referencing.
The film depicts seven students who are hanging out at a cabin in Norway, where they meet a mysterious hiker (Bjørn Sundquist), who in forms them that they are in mortal danger. There is a curse haunting the are stemming from WWII's German occupation of Norway, where the citizens of the small town eventually formed a revolt against the Nazis, forcing many of them into the mountains where they froze to death. However, their spirit is still said to lurk around, manifested in a gang of Nazi zombies who are looking for their lost treasure.
The premise is agreeably ridiculous enough, but you'll probably be disappointed at how damn slow the thing is; it bothers with rather tiresome characterisation, particularly of the film geek character, who endlessly references horror films to try and make the film seem edgy and clever, but it's ultimately more a case of self-conscious, indulgent pomp that fails to enhance the narrative.
Also, the film doesn't ramp up the insanity meter until the final 15 minutes, when it is admittedly quite brilliant. However, it's case of too little too late, and it's certainly not enough to apologise for a sadly rather pallid first two Acts.
Dead Snow's action-packed, often funny third act somewhat compensates for a spotty, cliche-filled and mostly by-the-numbers first hour. Still, it is difficult to say that this Norwegian horror film makes the most of the promising concept of Nazi zombies.
The plot of this zombie comedy film is a predictable one, but it does not detract from the viewers enjoyment of the film and it also manages to bring its own original ideas.
It follows the formula from previous successful films of the genres (zombie and black comedy), with a group of 8 medical students heading to a secluded cabin in the mountains of Norway for a ski trip. During the night a creepy late night visitor sets the back story for the group by telling of the evil Colonel Herzog and his sadistic platoon of SS troops who had raped and robbed the local village during the Second World War before escaping to the mountains with their looted treasure. After, predictably, the only member of the group with any military experience goes off on his own to look for his missing girlfriend, the group are left to enjoy the snow. During the following night the group have their first attack and realise the battle they have on their hands against undead Nazis. Much violence, carnage and laugh out loud moments carry the film along with some great pace. Even if don't normally like watching subtitled foreign films, this one is definitely worth watching.
The makers are clearly fans of previous zombie and comedy horror films such as Evil Dead, Day of the Dead, Bad Taste, Severance, and Shaun of the Dead! Being predictable with its plot Dead Snow makes up for it with enthusiasm, original use of surroundings (the visuals of blood covered snow is fantastic, like a huge Rorschach test!!) and most of all the zombies!! The zombies are Nazis, fast, can fight use weapons, have a leader and are organised.
If you like any of the above mentioned films then this is a must have for any collection, it's great that low budget films like this are being produced and showing great creativity with special effects.
Running Time: 88 minutes
Language: Norweigan with English subtitles
80 minutes of extras including; Ein! Zwei! Die! The making of Dead Snow, cast & crew at Sundance, make up featurette, special effects featurette and trailers.
This is my all time favourite zombie film, and i love dawn of the dead so its no mean feat! It has rekindled my love for Norway which has only brought me Alpen before this, and i am not a breakfast man!
This is a brilliant crazy film, with some of the best gore scenes ever! What separates this from other zombie films is that these are not only nazi zombies :), but they are also a little bit intelligent and with a leader! There is some pretty awesome fight scenes, with a MG40 attached to a snowmobile, i can guarantee that you wont have seen this anywhere else!
Tommy Wirkola, who directed this film is fairly new to the film world, having only been involved in 2 other films which i know off, however, what he lacks in experience he certainly makes up for in creativity. He also choose a brilliant setting for this film. It adds another element to this film as the pure white background gives the almost animated bloodshed more impact as well as, making the gore seem that little bit more real.
Overall this is a much watch for any zombie fans, in my mind it has taken them to another level, and has replaced Dawn of the dead on my DVD shelf.
Dead Snow or Død snø as it's known in its native tongue is a Norwegian horror comedy film, directed Tommy Wirkola whose previous work included a film called Kill Buljo, a satire of Tarantino's Kill Bill.
As I've mentioned before in previous reviews the horror and comedy genres are very similar to each other, and with a little bit a tweaking (or bad directing) a scary scene can become funny and vice-versa. Wirkola's film is full of predictable horror film clichés, but he's intended this to be the case. It's what you may call a smart horror film; the characters reminded me of those in the Scream trilogy of films, they know their horror, often referencing particular movies and scenes in relation to what is happening to them.
The plot is pretty much that of a B-Movie, some straight to DVD slasher which is overlooked by everyone, but that's what makes the film even funnier. Basically it's the story of seven medical students going on vacation to a remote log cabin in the snowy mountains, 45 minute walk from the nearest road. A mysterious hiker shows up at their door and tells them the story of Nazi's terrorising the area during World War II, but they were chased off into the mountains were they are presumed to have frozen.....This is where the fun begins! As soon as the man is gone the group is attacked by this army of Nazis, but they soon realise they aren't just any old Nazis, oh no, they're zombie Nazis! You can pretty much guess what happens from here, just a whole load of cheesy horror moments and silly slapstick scenes, as the zombie Nazis try to recover some mysterious war gold which the group had discovered in the cabin.
All pretty silly stuff as you can see, the great thing about it though is its all acted 100% seriously by the cast. They really are fighting for their lives against zombie Nazis. This doesn't descend into Scary Movie or anything like this. The comedy comes from the graphic violence and gore, like I said with just the slightest tweak a man getting his arm cut off with a chainsaw can be funny! And the little tweak in this film is the fact the zombies are Nazis, something so bizarre that you can't help but grin.
Dead Snow evokes memories of Sam Raimi's Evil Dead trilogy, as well as the original generation of slasher films. Their influence on the director is clear for all to see. More recently however it is the film Shaun of the Dead which I noted most similarities to. Obviously the tone, being a horror comedy is the same but the fast paced editing style seemed to have been copied as well. Especially in the "tooling up" sequences, where the characters equip themselves with weaponry, shown through fast paced close ups, whip panning between shots.
If you watch a lot of horror films you'll be pleased to know that the death scenes are rather refreshing to watch. Everything seemed pretty original and well thought out, the scene involving people hanging of a cliff using zombie intestine as a rope was a particular favourite of mine.
Dead Snow is a really fun film, it's not mindblowingly funny, and the fact that it's subtitled always makes it a harder for the jokes to translate, but it will definitely make you smile. More to the point though it's a quality peace of horror, it's full of all the predictable key concepts of a horror movie, but they've become them for a recent, it's what people as a whole find scary. If you get a chance to see Dead Snow go and check it out it's a really entertaining watch.
Main cast includes;
Charlotte Frogner as Hanna
Ørjan Gamst as Standartenführer Herzog
Stig Frode Henriksen as Roy
Vegar Hoel as Martin
Jeppe Laursen as Erlend
Evy Kasseth Røsten as Liv
Jenny Skavlan as Chris
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Runtime: 90 minutes
Everyone loves zombies being killed, whether it being through video games or the overflowing cauldron that is the zombie genre movie. Everyone hates Nazi's (you would hope) so it was only a matter of time before someone with appropriate funds decided to greenlight a project to bring these two things together - a frankenstein creature we can all enjoy!
This actually isn't the first film to involve Nazi Zombies. Back in the late 80's, Thailand was reponsible for breeding an extremley odd rarity entitled Ginseng King, a film that included a Nazi Zombie. However, unless you're a horror geek and socialise in the right circles, you have probably heard of this, much less seen it. Similarly, in 1977 a film called Shock Waves was created. This was Nazi Zombies on an island. This is much more available but still has not been seen by that many I would wager. In fact I would guess that most peoples contact with anything Nazi Zombie related would be the Wolfenstein games from the 90's.
However, the good Norweigens decided enough is enough, it was finally time to bring a Nazi Zombie hororr film to the film watching masses! Set in the breathtaking snowy mountains, we join a group of medical students that clearly passed 'horror cliche 101' with flying colours. This hapless group are expecting a week of snowmobiles, booze, and fun. But what they get is something quite different. Now, up until this point, I was curious if this was going to be a serious film. You can only take a film about Nazi Zombies so seriously, and I think the tagline is a dead giveaway to just how much likely this is going to win any awards for best drama:
'Ein Zwei Die!'
What can you really say to a tagline like that? So simple yet evident of just how seriously this film takes itself. With tongue thrust firmly in cheek, we can safely assume this is going to be a comedic affair with enough buckets of blood to paint the entire mountain.
The acting is suprisingly decent, you can tell these youngster really are giving it their best with earnest performances. The weakest character is probably the film geek fatty, his constant reeling of movie trivia, especially horror, begins to wane after a while, as does the foreshadowing self-awareness. Luckily, we get to see his head ripped apart and his brain mangled. And if you have not watched the film yet then the previous sentence contained spoilers.
The rest of the bunch complete the checklist of jock, honest guy, and girls. Perhaps the biggest problem with this film is its start. Too long is taken in setting it up. We want the damn Nazi Zombies already! We all know this is a horror comedy (perhaps not in the same vain as Shaun of the Dead, but a dark comedy nontheless) we just want to see people and zombies getting ruined by each other.
Eventually, after being warned by a scary old man (I thought he would fulfill the hero rescue character who gets killed at the end - guess I was wrong!) about how these mountains are haunted and anyone who stays is suicidal, the zombies finally appear, but only after the kids steal the zombies treasure from the snow - students will take anything!. I must say they do look formidable, the effects are rather good and it is not long before blood and guts begin to spill.
From here on the film slots neatly into what we wanted from it. Most of the deaths are fairly well thought out, and intestines are used in a variety of manners - it's safe to say that this was going be a gorefest, and it doesn't let up! The nods to the rules of horror films work much better as the film progresses, a favourite moment being how the cell phones conviently don't work on the mountains, only for when a signal is recieved to be hung up on by the operator! We have the classic 'let's split up' decision which allows the action to be show from one group being killed to....the other group being killed. Like most horror films, we have a king zombie, the ruthless leader who really is quite scary looking, his eventual role in the showdown was brilliant.
So far I've only talked about the kids being massacred, but it is worth noting that once they start fighting back it is a joy. Everyones favourite zombie killing device (excluding the lawnmower) the chainsaw makes an appearance and chops more than simply zombie flesh! The ending is classic horror film and we are left with a satisfied feeling that our need for gore, guts and screams has been filled.
The cinematogrpahy is worth mentioning again. I cannot stress how beautiful the landscape is, A great choice for the choppy choppy goodness this film was inevitably going to bring, the vibrant splashes of red a perfect decoration for the sparkling white of the snowy hills. A particularly good moment is when two of the guys rush the zombies covered in blood. Each drop looks af it it was painstakingly applied to their faces to give a truly impressive look - the blood splatter looks almost artistic, a horror film painting.
The camerawork is also solid and what you would come to expect from a film with a decent budget, they obviously wanted to do this right. A great directing choice was to have one girl wake up to find herself being munched on by zombies (as predicted by the film geek before he got his headache) but her awakening is show through a hazy POV shot. It was perhaps the most sinister and nerving part of the film, a real quiet moment in an otherwise 'watch with this beer and have fun' film.
Overall, Dead Snow does exactly what is says on the tin. It has nazi zombies dying by the plenty in imaginative ways, students running to their doom as only horror films can show, some stunning cinematography, and a few good one-liners. My only gripe is that the cliches do begin to rub against the grain after a while, even if they are smartly self aware. A case of shooting yourself in the foot when trying to show off your own gun.
Still, this is a film I would recommend to be watched by horror fans and gorehounds alike. It's a fun 90 minutes that could perhaps have been even shorter as the start dragged. You'll laugh, you'll gasp, you cheer, and hopefully you'll have a beer. All the makings of a great watch-with-friends film.
3.5/5 (rounded up for dooyoo)
Recipe for Good Zombie Pie:
Take several fresh young actors (enough to fill 91 minutes)
Cool to near freezing on a weekend trip to a log cabin somewhere in Norway (well, Øksfjord, actually.)
Heat the tempers of a platoon of undead Nazi Zombies by invading their personal space.
Add a large dollop of humour.
Wrap up filming with decent photographic direction.
Consume with several beers.
Right, enough of the pie analogy...it's not really going anywhere and I feel slightly queasy....
Dead Snow is a Norwegian film which follows the usual teenagers-versus-unspecified-hostiles-in-a-secluded-location-format. This time its a platoon of Nazi Zombies.
During the Second World War the evil Nazi Colonel Herzog and his platoon terrorised the local village of Øksfjord. They performed unspeakable acts of horror upon the population and made their lives a living nightmare as they raped and looted to their hearts' content. Finally unable to cope anymore the locals banded together and managed to get the upper hand, chasing the troops into the mountains and it was presumed that they had all frozen to death.
The story takes place in the present day. A group of medical students, who, as usual, are far older than the teenage characters they are supposed to represent, are holidaying. They drive to their log cabin in the mountains and are equipped for a weekend of fun with all the snow-mobiles, music and drink they could wish for. It's not long before fantastic shots of fjords and snow sports fill the screen.
At first everything is tickety-boo. No problems. A good time is had by all. Then, during the evening, a stranger knocks at their door. As the old, gnarled hunter helps himself to their beer, eyes the sensational Evy Kasseth Røsten lasciviously and rolls and smokes his meagre cigarettes he recounts the tale of the Nazi oppressors being overcome in this vicinity. He warns them...strange spirits walk abroad in these forests. They need to respect their surroundings. Having scared them silly he vanishes again into the night.
The group discover a box of stolen Nazi gold in the snow. Deciding to keep it is their biggest mistake. That night their partying is interrupted by strange visitations which begin with fleeting glimpses of shadowy figures surrounding their cabin and works to a climax of gore-filled battling in the increasingly crimson snow. Chainsaws and snow-mobiles are used to good effect in dispatching their supernatural foe. The odds are stacked against them however and Colonel Herzog manages to kill them all except one despite the fact that he has been dead since the Second World War.
Our final character makes it to the car....he's lost the gold and his friends to the Nazi Zombies but managed to hang onto his life.
Except.............well. Watch the film.
I enjoyed this film. It's a load of old nonsense. Which is good as that's what I wanted. What makes it stand out is the humour. A lot of horror films, especially the low-budget variety such as this, try to give better value by attempting humour. It rarely works. This film has some genuinely laugh-out-loud moments. If you're a fan of gory deaths done with aplomb then you'll enjoy this. Oh, and Evy is lovely. Stunning. Ahem...
With stunning helicopter aerial shots of Norway the photography is head and shoulders above your usual gore flick.
Recommended zombie fun. Cert 18.
Review by Mark Woods, August 2009. LordBeanpod@GMail.com