Movie: "Dead Snow"
Year: 2009
Rated: R
Genre: Horror
Directed by: Tommy Wirkola
Writing credits: Stig Frode Henriksen, Tommy Wirkola

Reviewer: Kitsa
Posted: 2/6/2011

Plot: What's worse than zombies? Nazi zombies, of course. "Ein! Zwei! Die!"

Review: It's spring break, and you're headed north with your med school buddies to unwind. Your buddy's girlfriend Sara has a family cabin in the Norwegian wilderness, and you've got skis and beer. Rumor has it that you might even get laid. Things are looking up.

Except Sara still hasn't shown up, and that strikes you as a little odd. Then this weird old hiker guy comes to your door with a creepy story about Nazis. Legend has it that the Nazi SS were particularly brutal in their occupation of the area during WW2 and were after the locals' gold, which might still be hidden away somewhere. The locals revolted and drove the Nazis into the mountains, and they were never seen again...

The mysterious traveler vanishes, and you and your pals are badly in need of some alcohol to calm your nerves. You reach into the cold crawlspace beer-stash, and stumble upon a dusty box of gold coins. You're spooked, you thought you just heard something outside, and your heavy bladder demands a trek to the dark and drafty outhouse. They're waiting out there for you.

"Dead Snow" is a fun movie. It doesn't take itself too seriously; it knows what it is, and wallows in it. It's no Army of Darkness, but headed in that direction. There's also some mild sophistication there, if you know where to look for it. The Nazi-zombies hunt their first victim to "In the Hall of the Mountain King" (Peer Gynt Suite = Norwegian). In the trailer I saw, there's this cascade of Nazis running down the mountain to "Ride of the Valkyries", and that was pretty kickass, although it didn't show up in the movie. We also can't overlook the artistic effectiveness of brilliant red blood spatters against the bleak, snowy backdrop of Nazi-zombie-infested Scandinavia. It almost makes you forgive the fact that some bad CGI in the gorier moments looks like it's directly lifted from one of those SciFi channel movies.

It's goofy, but meant to be. The horror movie archetypes are all there, including an affable movie buff who is wont to spout catchphrases in English now and then. You've got the slutty chick, you've got the token horny guy, you've got the tragic lovers, you've got various acts of heroism. You've got a guy rappelling off a cliff on Nazi zombie intestines. There's a final bloody free-for-all set to upbeat pop music. There are a few genuinely effective jump scares. What's not to love?

Although the Nazi zombies' motivation is clear (gold), their nature as zombies isn't. They're fast, but they're not the hyper-speed zoombies of the Dawn of the Dead remake or 28 Days Later. They're ambiguously dead, (as in, are they really dead, or just feral?) but many of the widely accepted zombie rules don't seem to apply. They have a lair festooned with swastika flags. They seem to have elementary powers of reason. Their commander can speak. He looks vaguely like the zombie from the cover of "Fido". The uniforms may or may not be historically accurate. Just go with it... it's entertaining.

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeWhole
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Forum Virgin
Feb 7th, 2011, 05:56 PM
Loved this movie. I found it sort of slow in the beginning but when it opened up, oh God was it glorious. I also loved it because despite the humor and the not taking itself seriously it was unapologetically brutal. And the end, well.. Lets just say I love movies that end the way this one does.
Jason's a Furry! Run!
Feb 7th, 2011, 08:57 PM
I'll be frank: I was really disappointed by this movie, didn't care for it at all. Went into it with high expectations of a good time, as everyone does, but between the remarkably unlikable characters, the waste of the zombies being Nazis (aside from the Commie weapon kill and a few other little things, they could've just been regular zombies and there wouldn't have been much change to the movie at all), and, perhaps most of all, the constant stealing of bits and shots and whatnot from other movies (there's a fine line between homage and rip-off, and this one skates right over it), it just ended up annoying the piss out of me.

I'm probably being overly harsh, and it did have some decent gore and at least a few good kills, but overall I'm still waiting for that one good Nazi zombie movie to finally come into existence.
Forum Virgin
Feb 7th, 2011, 10:51 PM
I know I will get flamed for this but I need to get it off my chest.

Now this is a zombie movie I can get in to. It is something different (all be it goofy) form the normal zombie movie. I am really getting tired of the same old story in zombie films, its the apocalypse, the zombies are made from a virus/government bio weapon, the zombies are slow or fast (I couldn't care less), the survivors are the or could be the last humans stuck in a mall/house/underground bunker blah blah blah.

All zombie movies seem the same to me and it is getting old. Why cant the dead come to life because of something other then a virus what about the occult, or maybe the biblical Apocalypse, or because they feel like it. Why can't zombies look really dead and not just bloody gray skinned humans, like bone arms and skulls. I'm sure I'm in the minority for saying this every time I bring it up to my friend they always get on my case about it like i should get thrown in zombie jail for thinking such a thing. Oh well. I will be getting this movie now.
*Puts on flame proof jacket*
Give Me Black Summer.
Feb 8th, 2011, 01:58 AM
Feb 8th, 2011, 06:44 AM
Taco Head:

Answering your questions as they are asked:

Most of your questions can simply be answered by saying that zombie movies are rarely about the zombies... unless it's a really bad zombie movie. This is why the world is often over-run and there are few surviviors. The movie is about the interaction of the living characters. The zombies could just as easily be aliens, vampires, killer tomatoes, ect...

Well first off there have been several "zombification" techniques over the years, but the virus is the most popular premise because zombie movies aren't about the fear of the undead they are about the fear of a global pandemic.

In high budget films zombies look like a dead body would if it had enough flesh to still support movement. In low budget films zombies look fake because they can't afford to make them look any better and this is compounded by the fact that, unlike a typical "monster" movie, you'll have several makeup applications to do.

If a zombie was all bone and no flesh then it wouldn't be a zombie now would it?

I think your problem is your are looking at the zombie as a monster type to be exploited when in fact it's real purpose is to kind of be a living natural disaster used as a background character for a survival horror story.

While I do agree that the character could be utilized in different ways, I find that zombies would be infinately less terrifying in smaller groups on a managable scale. There have been films that break this rule though and do it well... REC and Evil Dead come to mind. That's another problem with your reasoning btw. You asked why zombies can't be brought back via the occult. Well they can (like in evil dead) but the problem is unless they are the a-typical zombie people see them not as zombies, but as demons in possessed corpses. Proof of this is the fact that you rarely hear people call the deadites zombies.
drifting in the void
Feb 8th, 2011, 10:23 AM
I really didnīt like Dead Snow at all. It was ultra-cheap, the characters were worse than in a Slasher movie, the whole arrangement was...I donīt know...utter crap. Even the zombies were lame and stupid, I thought they were more like Ghouls or something. Too fast, to intelligent. Now, normally Nazi Zombies should be pretty funny but this time...nah, I just hated the whole thing.
Forum Virgin
Feb 8th, 2011, 10:27 AM
HC all I was saying is I am bored with zombie movies and would like to see it done in a different way. May of the questions where rhetorical.
teacup of sunshine
Feb 8th, 2011, 07:51 PM
I think maybe the sticking point might be the taking-it-seriously part.
Feb 9th, 2011, 02:20 PM

I got what you were saying, but I clarified to point out that you really can't do zombie movies any other way. Aside from minor modifications, when you change a zombie movie it ceases to be a zombie movie. Your complaint was kind of like saying "Boy I wish they wouldn't have cowboys riding horses in the american west in Westerns." ;-)
Forum Virgin
Feb 10th, 2011, 05:30 PM
I wondered at the end of this movie since these are nazi zombie ie dead, why would that give a rats ass about a hand full of gold? It wasn"t like they were saving up for retirement!
Ranting Swede
Feb 10th, 2011, 07:33 PM
Personally I hated this movie. Especially the one character that did nothing but reference better movies every five minutes. And it was more pseudo intellectual than actually intellectual. What really bugged me was how generic the movie was. the only thing new that this movie brought to the table was throwing in nazi zombies. And even that wasnt done well.

And the zombies going after the gold can be explained in the way every other movie that uses this little plot device can. It was cursed! Therefore, if its disturbed, then the "zombies" (and really, ghouls would be a better name) will go after the ones that disturb it.
lurking on the walls
Feb 10th, 2011, 10:47 PM
The nazi group in question in this movie is "einsatzgruppen" and I thought their uniforms would be a little different. especially since some stories of the group did involve them basically being in large numbers
Feb 11th, 2011, 06:56 PM
Now I wanna see this movie.
The Claw of Justice
Feb 11th, 2011, 10:34 PM
I liked this one, because I was expecting very little but got a neat-enough splatter film.

Kinda wish there were more Nazi Zombie movies though. There was one other that I heard about, that would've had Nazi Zombies with drill-fingers on a beach, but I can't remember what it was called or if it was ever finished.
teacup of sunshine
Feb 12th, 2011, 08:15 AM
Another sticking point might be the "expecting a whole lot" part.

It's just stupid fun. It doesn't matter that the uniforms are a little off; History Channel it's not.
Forum Virgin
Feb 26th, 2011, 11:16 PM
I cautioned my zombie obsessed 14 yr old daughter as to what an insane splatterfest this
movie would be. And we both had a hilarity filled evening while watching. The over the top
gore was sweet.., In the sense that you didn't really care about the next schmuck destined to bite it. There wasn't enough time to get that attached. Not that you would ever really want to.
Fun movie. Lots of zombies and human douchbags dying nasty, gory deaths.
What makes this movie fun is the fact that it doesn't take itself too seriously. Except for the makeup and gore FX. They're actually quite good.
A reminder...9 out of 10 zombie hunters (including my daughter) prefer 'Jiffy-PoP' popcorn over the leading national brand!
Forum Virgin
Mar 21st, 2011, 12:49 PM
Dumbkoff! Zat is Herr Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" from ze glorious Ninth Symphony, not "Die Walkurie" by Herr Wagner!!! Achtung! You ignorant Philistine!!!! <(:-o