When Americans think of Norway and Norwegians, two distinct things come to mind; blood drenched, battle axe wielding Vikings, or the tall, blond, big breasted Valkyries that grace the covers of Playboy Magazine and Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. Now along that same severed vein of thinking, when Americans think of the Nazi invasions of WWII, images of Paris, Warsaw, or Stalingrad come to mind, not Oksfjord. Well, thanks to director Tommy Wirkola’s Dead Snow, we can add zombie flicks to
that short list of stereotypes that we give to our Nordic friends.
As I mentioned above, Dead Snow is a zombie flick set in the snow blanketed mountains of Norway. A group of med students embark on a ski vacation in the mountains of Oksfjord before their rigorous semester begins. A weary traveler happens upon their cabin and warns the group of the malevolent forces at work in that region. It isn’t long until the students are knee deep in a brutal history that involves the SS Standartenführer Herzog, tortured villagers, and scores of undead Nazi soldiers.
Dead Snow is a decent attempt at a very established sub genre. However, I feel that
it lacks focus. At first glance, the movie reads like a text book “killer in the woods” story; people venturing into the wild for some booze and boning until they begin to be slaughtered one by one. We’ve seen this scenario a thousand times before. They then add the story of the Nazis and within seconds, it’s a zombie holocaust on the blood stained slopes.
Don’t get me wrong, I love gore, and Dead Snow is in full supply of it, but there were a few aspects of this film that I felt cheapened the overall experience. Whether you like them or not, you will have to deal with fast zombies in this flick, even though they have been rotting since 1945 and they should be frozen in ice, but whatever. You will also have to endure some freshmen dialogue and weak attempts to pay homage to previous horror films, kind of like how Kevin Smith always has his characters discuss Star Wars in his films. But the zombie makeup and the sheer brutality of the movie gets a major thumbs up. I recommend Dead Snow to those that love rivers of gore and gratuitous violence. On a final note, I have to say that the sex scene will either shock you, repulse you, make you high five your friends, or all three at once. Way to go, Norwegians, keep it coming!