As it turns out, you try to take it about as seriously as a Benny Hill marathon and for the majority of Snow, this tactic works. A pack of late-twenties skiers -- four dudes, three girls -- make their way up to a cabin at the top of a snowy peak for Easter vacation. They flirt and drink, go tubing, talk about movies and med-school, use an outhouse (the setting of some dozen instances of toilet sex caught onscreen) and entertain a surly intruder who explains to them that the mountain used to be a Nazi stronghold captained by the merciless Colonel Herzog. Naturally, no one has ever found the bodies of Herzog and his remaining men after the Russians overcame the German forces. And the gang has also found a small fortune in Nazi doubloons.
Packed with a couple hundred self-aware clichés and some primo, cheap-o gore, the film, out of necessity, pushes itself to the hilt in every facet of production, especially the gloriously low-tech makeup design on the zombies and a severed head that looks like it was purchased at a local Halloween store. The actors are put to the test as Wirkola orchestrates some highly imaginative set pieces. One zombie and his would-be victim hanging from another zombie's intestines is a highlight, but nothing could possibly match the climax that sees two mortals going after a battalion of zombies with a chainsaw and a hammer and sickle.
Much like like-minded schlockfests Zombie Lake and Shock Waves, Dead Snow is retrofitted for so-bad-its-good status. As it progresses, the film gets zanier and the deaths get chunkier. One member of the party steals a sub-machine gun and puts it on top of his snowmobile, only to later abandon it in favor of using the motor to go all Fargo wood-chipper on two of the zombies. Then there's the full-body dismemberment and the zombie who makes an early lunch out of a man's crotch; the list goes on and on.
Dead Snow doesn't quite meet the level of giddy wonderment reached by Sam Raimi's Drag Me to Hell, but the spirit of The Evil Dead is still here. The year in horror has been slow-moving so far with the disappointing re-up of the Friday the 13th series and David S. Goyer's abysmal The Unborn. This would make the resurgence of low-budget, anti-commercial fare like Snow, Donkey Punch, and All the Boys Love Mandy Lane even more important. And though Wirkola's red splatter doesn't have the brains, it still has enough sense to know that some gooey fun is almost always preferable to a bundle of sharp noises, zip edits, and horrendous acting trying to go legit. In this biz, that's just vanity.
Aka Død snø.
What is German for "BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAINS?"
Run time: 91 mins
In Theaters: Friday 9th January 2009
Box Office Worldwide: $2M
Budget: $800 thousand
Distributed by: IFC
Production compaines: Euforia Film
Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 66%
Fresh: 46 Rotten: 24
IMDB: 6.4 / 10
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Producer: Tomas Evjen, Terje Stroemstad
Screenwriter: Stig Frode Henriksen, Tommy Wirkola
Starring: Charlotte Frogner as Hanna, Stig Frode Henriksen as Roy, Vegar Hoel as Martin, Jeppe Beck Laursen as Erlend, Evy Kasseth Røsten as Liv, Lasse Valdal as Vegard, Jenny Skavlan as Chris, Bjørn Sundquist as The Wanderer, Ane Dahl Torp as Sara, Ørjan Gamst as Herzog
Also starring: Tommy Wirkola
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