Fans of horror, comedy and the very particular combination of horror and comedy films about flesh-eating zombies would undoubtedly love the 2009 Norwegian zombie film dead snow. Directed by Tommy Wirkola, dead snow follows a group of medical students on a ski trip in the Arctic mountains. But when a creepy local informs them that a group of dangerous villains is lurking in the area, they must survive a mad Nazi zombie attack.
The film was clearly a hit among zombie fans, as Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead was later released in 2014, following the sole survivor of the initial attack. Over the years we’ve been given a range of typical, cheesy zombie movies; over the past two decades there has been a wide range of zombie comedies (Shaun of the Dead, Anna and the Apocalypse, Zombieland, Little Monsters, and more), some that are made fun of for their terrible special effects, and others that are actually considered classic masterpieces. So where does the dead snow movies exist on the spectrum, and could they be really great?
How to Improve a Typical Zombie Plot
If giving us a zombie attack wasn’t enough to get our attention, then why not add Nazis to improve the storyline? In fact, we’re not shown how the Nazis became zombies, although we don’t care because chances are we’re all here learning how to survive a zombie apocalypse. Introducing the Nazi element into an otherwise very typical zombie movie is actually intriguing and something we haven’t seen among other movies before (unless you’ve seen the obscure Peter Cushing movie shock waves from ’77). Of course, Nazis are the ultimate movie villain, which means we have no sympathy for our zombie enemies (unlike many zombie movies, in which “humans are the monsters” most of the time) and in fact, we love watching them running around, getting slashed.
Other than the undead being Nazis, the zombie battle plot is nothing short of brilliant. Anyone who’s watched a zombie movie loves the idea of getting stuck in a brilliant fight for survival; whether we would survive is a question for another time, but watching zombies get chopped up is entertaining nonetheless. dead snowon that note, does not fail to provide us with a snowy likeness to classics like evil Dead, with all the guts, brains, blood spatter and gore you could hope for; it’s definitely fun to watch someone use a zombie’s intestines as rope as they dangle from a cliff, or to watch someone’s head come apart. Of course, in addition to the fact that they have to fight to survive, they fight rampaging Nazi crazies, which makes the film even weirder, ridiculous, creative, and more enjoyable.
The zombies returned for a few seconds in Red vs. Dead
At the exit of the first dead snow movie, the film became widely known for its brilliantly gross special effects and was actually more gruesome and violent than most we’ve been shown before. The storyline may not be deep and not intended for character development, but that’s not much of an issue when you’re looking for a classic zombie movie, and dead snow is one of the most entertaining of all.
The movie was horribly gory and weird enough to come back for a few seconds, and the hills were alive again for more Nazi maniacs tearing people apart limb by limb. While the flesh-hungry Nazis just don’t give up, the Sole Survivor enlists the help of some zombie enthusiasts and discovers many new techniques for fighting. What’s brilliant in Dead snow 2 is that it expands on the original script and follows the plot but is still as bloody as ever.
There’s nothing worse than getting hyped for a sequel and it’s not as good or what you thought it would be. But don’t worry, because the sequel to this insanely unique zombie apocalypse is still full of the admirably gruesome workmanship as the first and is sure to be another crowd pleaser. Indeed, after the success of the first film, Dead snow 2 seemed to step it up in zombie makeup, comic effect, and fake intestines.
The ridiculous pleasure of dead snow
Both movies are of course generally cheesy and can be considered typical zombie movies, but dead snow really stepped up the brand when it comes to its gore factor. Of all the other zombie movies we’ve seen, dead snow is definitely a must-have and sure to make you gasp with delighted shock. Both dead snow and its sequel became highly rated movies, and if you’re a lover of brains, blood, and lots of slasher vibes, then the dead snow the films are fantastic and essential.