Dead Snow

March 27, 2010
Zombie-comedies, for whatever reason, work incredibly well. They don't take themselves as seriously as normal zombie movies, they tend to focus more on character than normal zombies movies, and the dark humor makes for some great, and easy, laughs. With the sub-genre now starting to delve into the mainstream, with hilarious films like Shaun of The Dead and Zombieland, it shouldn't be a surprise to find a few obscure zombie-comedy movies.

Dead Snow follows a group of Norwegian college students, all on vacation for Easter holiday. After a long drive and a 45-minute hike, the young students then reach their small cabin in Øksfjord, where they plan to spend the majority of their vacation. Skiing, joking around, and sexual tension are all to be expected for a typical college-age vacation. However, after a mysterious warning and tale from an elderly man of the mountains, the group find themselves engaged with a curse affiliated with long-dead members of the Third Reich.

The first thing to point out about the film is how hilarious the premise is. It's literally about Nazi zombies. Not just zombies, but NAZI zombies. How hilarious is that? Very thankfully, the film realizes how ridiculous the concept is and even points this fact out through some bits of the dialogue. This isn't some pretentious movie that clearly doesn't understand zombies, such as 28 Days Later, but a laugh-filled fun ride.

The style of the humor is quite dark, which is exactly how I like it. Heads fly, arms are cut off (ala Evil Dead), and intestines are used as rappel ropes. It's just as surprising as it is hilarious. The gore isn't gross or disgusting, like in films like Saw, but it's used to add to the humor and weirdness of the movie. For those familiar with Sam Raimi, they'll find that Dead Snow is right up his alleyway of humor. In fact, Raimi's Evil Dead films are referenced multiple times in the film, visually and through dialogue.

Speaking of the visuals, the film looks just great. The landscapes, the gore effects, the Nazi zombies - a lot of detail went into the making of this film. There are very few films that can simultaneously gross you out, make you laugh, AND make you admire the well-shot cinematography.

One of the film's major flaws, though, is how much it relies on shock-value horror/comedy. It really, really works, but after a few re-watches, I can see how Dead Snow might lose some of the shock-value and, in turn, the humor. The characters aren't exactly that great either, with each just being the stock horror stereotype. Still, the film works for what it is.

Gross, gory, and hilarious, Dead Snow isn't a film to be taken all that seriously. It suffers from a few common problems, but the film still proves to be a fun-filled movie that's best to watch with a ton of friends.





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