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Dead Snow

November 29th, 2010 · Posted by Skuds in Life · 5 Comments · Life

Nazis. Zombies. Zombie Nazis!

This evening I grew impatient waiting for the snow that keeps getting predicted here and turned to the DVD for some guaranteed white stuff, in the form of the film Dead Snow.

I picked this up a while ago on the strength of the cover. Not that it is a great cover but it had the word ‘zombies’ on it which is always a good sign.

One word that didn’t feature prominently on the cover was ‘Norwegian’.  In fact you have to read the very small smallprint on the back to learn that it is a Norwegian film with English subtitles.  A bit naughty really.  Personally I have no problem with sub-titles and usually prefer them to the dubbing of foreign language films but I know that a lot of people have an aversion to them and they might feel a little bit cheated.All that is academic really, because once the film gets going there isn’t a lot of dialogue to sub-title because at the climax the film is in the international language of blood, intestines, gouged eyeballs and buckets of blood, and before that it follows the formula for friends-take-a-holiday-in-a-remote-cabin films anyway.  Actually it is more of a FTAHIARC film than a zombie film, despite the presence of zombie Nazis.

In a ‘proper’ zombie film all the dead are rising with one aim – to eat the living and/or turn them into zombies.  In this case it is one small group of German soldiers rising after more than 60 years to get their treasure back, and the logic of the film doesn’t stand a close scrutiny.  Why are they so well-preserved after so long?  Why come back now?  Actually I have just thought of a plausible reason for that so scrub that.

But none of that matters because the action is brilliant, especially when you consider the budget and circumstances.  I don’t know if there is more blood & guts than the average horror film or if it just seems that way because of the effect of blood on snow, but there is a lot.   Erland’s end is particularly gruesome, leading to a loud cry of “no way!” from me when it happened.

All very entertaining.  I suspect I will watch this again some time.  The only problem is that when it does snow here I may well be afraid to leave the house in case an eye-gouging Nazi zombie ambushes me.

I probably will not watch the extras again, but they are very good.  The main one is a 48-minute ‘making-of’ documentary.  We are used to this sort of thing, but usually from Hollywood films with experienced cast and crew and a decent budget.  This film is really a small independent one, by a director with one proper film behind him – a Kill Bill parody with an even smaller budget – so the production is not a typical one.  The people involved are a mixture of friends and overworked technicians, with the star of the documentary undoubtably being the production assistant who was an actor in the previous film, has a degree in archaeology, and wasn’t told that production assistant means stopping traffic so it doesn’t drive past the set during a take.

Most of these documentaries are predictable and interchangeable, but this one has a bit of character.  The filming was done up in Finnmark with weather going from bright sunshine to full blizzards within minutes, causing all sorts of filming and continuity problems.  At one point in the film a log cabin burns down.  In a Hollywood film there would have been planned special effects.  In Norway they just splash petrol around the walls of a real log cabin and set fire to it – all done by a bloke who is seen on the roof with a petrol can saying “I’m no expert on fire, but I reckon this should work”.   It doesn’t, and so he ends up going into the smouldering building to splash more petrol around in a way that would have the guys from Jackass calling for a health & safety officer.

A fascinating little documentary really.  Less fascinating but still quite fun was the 17-minute film about the cast and director going to the Sundance festival for the showing of the film.

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5 Comments so far ↓

  • Andrew

    Just saw this for a fiver in HMV so picked it up. Very excited about watching it now. Will have to resist until the holidays start aproper.

  • Skuds

    Nothing says christmas quite like zombie Nazis does it?

  • Andrew

    You mean that’s not a tradition in everyone’s household?!

  • skud's sister

    Was just told about a French zombie film called Le Horde (I think). Sounds just your sort of thing….

  • King Uke

    Spot on with the write up. I just watched Dead Snow and really enjoyed it. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting, but then I’m not really sure what I was expecting. Would definitely recommend. You’ll laugh, but it took me ages to twig that it was a comedy! Ha ha!