Director: Tommy Wirkola
Nazis and zombies are among the most popular villains in the history of cinema. It was only a matter of time before we saw them in a movie together. While I’d still pay good money to see a battalion of Nazis face an onslaught of undead, only to be torn to shreds, a movie about cursed Nazi zombies will more than suffice. (Yes, I’m aware this is not the first instance of Nazi zombies in cinema. This is just what most people know them by nowadays. This and Call of Duty.)
Before we go any further, take this movie with a grain of salt. It’s not as bonkers as you hope it will be. There are inventive kills but the jokes don’t always hit (sex while relieving oneself in an outhouse isn’t funny nor is it shocking in the right kind of way) and the cast is generally unlikable. But that helps make it a really enjoyable guilty pleasure. You’re here for the gore and you get that by the gallon. Another note: Don’t eat while watching this movie unless you have a strong stomach. It’s violent, vulgar, and something else that starts with a V that I can’t quite think of right now.
Dead Snow follows a group of college students on vacation in the snowy mountains of Norway. As they explore the mountain side the come across a mysterious old man with foreboding foreboding-ness (subtlety is not this movie’s strong suit). He tells the students about the German officer, Standartenführer Herzog and his Nazi regiment, and how they escaped into the mountains after World War II, never to be seen again. The film plays it a little too coy with the ghost story aspects of it all. We know what these guys look like. It’s a creature feature. We’re here to see them do some creature activities.
Once the basic setup is out of the way, and bodies start piling up, this movie is a schlocky good time with guts and not a lot of glory. The majority of the “glory” comes from the Nazi zombies themselves. Though they never speak, they have a good villainous presence, almost like a bastardization of some forgotten villain in Indiana Jones’s rogues gallery. But our protagonists, Indy-like they are not. Again, nobody is really likable here. It’s the nonsensical violence and intentionally loose tone that gives the movie its charm. Even in modern James Bond movies, we don’t see machine guns attached to a jet ski in the snow. If there’s another downside to the film, it’s that it doesn’t fully commit to the crazy. Nazi zombies hunt these assholes through the blood soaked snow while one asshole hangs off the side of a cliff from their intestines, and another asshole slides to the rescue on his gun-toting jet ski. It sounds preposterous, and it is, but once you watch it, you may still feel slightly underwhelmed. Dead Snow is still a riot of a good time. While not going far enough, you’re still going to want to share it with all your horror junkie friends. Grab a bunch of your friends ASAP because it’s a good palette cleanser for what is sure to be a certifiably insane sequel in Dead Snow 2: Red vs Dead. If you don’t have friends, watch it anyway, because Nazi zombies deserve our attention.