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Norwegian Frozen Dessert: Dead Snow

2010/06/21

 Zombies, Nazis, mealtime?. So, now that I have finally seen the flick, I must dissect Dead Snow. One angle, its duality as an infomercial for sausage making and the benefits of natural casing, comes to mind. 1001 uses for entrails? But really, its re-imagination of Evil Dead is oft clever, although somewhat insipid and frequently sloppy.      

Its main plot point is fantastic(!), but barely established. The undead, are like nomads, who risking frostbite, covered themselves with whatever they could find, and happened upon a WWII wardrobe. They could have all been dressed as clowns, and their behaviors would have likely established a scarier effect. Even the disinterred at face value made little sense; some stalk, some forgot to set their alarms, and only 2 showed any sense of hunger. I get the movie never takes itself seriously, and it is effectively self-aware. It just sort of presents expectations which it cannot deliver. Now that I think of my clown idea a little more, I need to put pen-to-paper in a different medium. ‘With the lodge being renovated, the annual clown hall meeting moved to the old armory. Unfortunately none of the big shoes were aware of the leaking gas.’ I digress. Nazi zombies are not new, but this is a refreshing, (because of the snow,) take. Like our cadre, I never tire of the genre, look past any and all flaws, (of course, I   make note of them.) and enjoy the splatter.      

Take 2 of these and forget the story. It's Bloody fun.

 

   From the get go, the movie risks bifurcating its audience, with its awesome/terrible subject. Comedy-Horror can be a bitch to pull off. This of course is where the film comes to shine however, mostly fun more so than funny. Successful nods to the classics are everywhere, which is important when appropriating borrowing material. So vacationing Norwegian medical students want to romp in the snow. Good. It seems that our 1st victim is fortunate enough to offer her family cottage for the party. Location. Location. Location. Grizzly Adams sets the plot into motion, offering our protagonists 1st a spanking, and 2nd an explanation of their stupidity for disturbing an isolated vacation spot from hell. In WWII this was an important port town occupied by some seriously fascist Nazis, (wait, can we use those 2 words together?). The deprived inhabitants revolt in the end, killing as many of their occupiers as possible, leaving the remnants to freeze to death in the mountains, (but not before reclaiming their stolen gold). Done. Huh?! The sinister presence never left apparently, so, why then does this genius pitch a tent a short way from the cabin alone? He’s tired, obviously, and has a nice flashlight. From there, it’s on. One-by-one, our survivors dwindle like a grocery list.      

The experience I cannot forgive, is an early on ( unnecessary,) ‘adult situation’. Director Tommy Wirkola refrained from the (low-hanging-fruit) udder-fest with aplomb. What he replaced it with, however, reeks, (yes) of the true German influence of the film, SCAT. After announcing his need to evacuate, Erland, (Jeppe Laursen) proceeds to the outhouse and successfully eliminates his encumbrance. During his bottom cleansing routine however, he is accompanied by his female admirer, Kris, (Jenny Skavlan). Ignoring his work-in-progress, she proceeds to encapsulate Erland’s finger in her mouth. Once aroused, he sneaks inside. Sanitation be damned people, but can that fragrance, (in an outhouse, in Norwegian mountains, heat rises), be romantic? To top-it-off (yes), once complete, Kris proceeds to dump her burden as well. She is then assacred in the process; pulled into the trough, and eviscerated during re-emergence. Zombies clearly know nothing about marinades. Eww.      

As a fan of all thing heavy and metallic, I must make mention of the outstanding choice of Euro-metal for the  soundtrack. Really, I’m a punk rock and grind-core fan, but can tip my hat where due. Edvard Grieg, (yes Classical, but heavy metal-ish,)  starts us off during the opening scene, with, ‘Hall Of the Mountain King,’ and we are thenceforth embraced with the following…      

Dude!, Where’s my car?!

CC Cowboys – Harry
Åge Aleksandersen – Min dag
Christian Wibe – Super Sober
L.A Laplanders – Singel og dopaCyaneed – NR2
Awakening – Benea Reach
L.A Laplanders – Roald og Lena
L.A Laplanders – Smellt på tjukka
Animal Alpha – Fire! Fire! Fire!      

The gore is outstanding. I have scarcely been so satisfied by the visual expression of horror. The joy the cast endures in its exploration and discovery is completely satisfying. Evisceration, beheading, hammer-smash after hammer-smash, this is the blood-and-guts of the film. This is what propels it right up to 5. The extended struggles, the head-splitting,  repelling zombie small intestines, really, the only thing missing is a weaponized pair of tweezers.      

Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of fun here, (so-much-so, that I just ordered the HD version for some frequent re-runs). I was merely hoping that the initial plot would have retained some cohesion and value. As a gore-flick, it’s candy, as anything more, it’s a vegetable, a zombie with the Nazi tacked on. 5 outta 7, and I’m sticking with it.      

Yes, Margo, it hurts, but watch my RC car go!
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