October 14th -- Dead Snow
After spending last weekend with my inlaws, I was finally ready to return to my man-cave that Sunday and get to the business of watching some serious horror films. A little bit of the red stuff was in order and I figured I'd return to one of my favorite films to get it: "Dead Snow."
"Dead Snow" is a member of a sadly too small sub-genre of horror films known as "Nazi Zombie" films. Up to seeing "Dead Now," my favorite of these films had always been Peter Cushing's "Shock Waves," a 1977 B-picture that featured be-goggled zombies rising from the surf. "Dead Snow," however, is the "Citizen Kane" of Nazi zombie movies.
A group of horny snow-mobile enthusiasts head to a secluded cabin in order to engage in all kinds of illicit activities. Unbeknowngst to them, however, the area is also the habitat of a particularly ferocious regiment of undead Nazis. They've been patrolling the area since the war ended and they aren't about to let these kids make off with their stolen gold. Yes, that is correct: the Nazi zombies are protecting their stolen gold. If this sounds slightly like a gory Scooby Doo episode, then you may be in the right ballpark.
Over and above all, "Dead Snow" is a lot of fun. A lot. This is one of those movies that's packed with wall-to-wall crowd-pleasing moments. The actors are all engaging and manage to make us root for them, rather than against them. The zombies are fearsome and frightening villains, particularly the still-menacing leader. The violence is...well, it's pretty fucking hardcore, let me tell ya. Heads get ripped open, people are devoured, every manner of mayhem imaginable befalls the zombies, etc...this is no watered-down horror flick.
Best of all, however, is the fact that the film is genuinely funny. Making a good horror comedy is tough: very few films have pulled it off successfully. "Dead Snow" is definitely one of those films. When the film is funny, it's gut-bustingly funny. There is one sequence, involving a character bitten by a zombie, that ranks with one of the funniest I've ever seen in my whole life. The dialogue is fast and snarky (the bit with the sinister stranger at the cabin is particularly lively) and the humor easily moves between the crude and the sublime at the drop of a hat.
In the end, "Dead Snow" is everything you could hope for in a zombie or, even, a horror film. It's fast-paced, scary, funny, gory and never less than fist-pumping. It's become one of my yearly Halloween traditions and should definitely be one of yours.