REVIEW: Dead Snow (Død Snø)

“Several friends take to the mountains and shack-up in the wilderness of back-of-beyond to enjoy a little R & R together, their peace is soon interrupted by a mysterious old man, warning them of a local curse that during the German occupation of the local area that these Nazi invaders were brutal and harsh in their methods of control. Telling of the legend of the villager’s revolt that drove them up into the cold, dark mountains where they perished, that is until rumour of their return in the form of zombies, evil Nazi zombies.”

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First of just to say as you can tell I am a huge zombie movie fan from the type of movies I post about, if you are too and haven’t seen this film… go and buy it! A recommended MUST watch movie! The plot in this movie is surprisingly well thought out and written extremely well considering it’s such a stereo typical plot; teenagers going to a cabin on a mountain far far away from any civilisation, no phone signal, no way of communicating with anyone outside the cabin… and to top it off there are zombies waiting for them. Although now you’re probably thinking it’s going to be shit because the same things are going to happen just like all the other utter bollocks that comes out in the cinema or out on DVD to do with zombies, well you wrong. The plot actually has some depth, it’s not just a bunch of murderous zombies out and about to get a free meal, this time their killing and devouring anybody in their way to reclaim their lost ‘treasure’.  During World War II, a force of Einsatzgruppe, led by Standartenführer Herzog, occupied the area. For three years the Nazis abused and tortured the local people. Near the end of the war, with Germany’s defeat looming, the soldiers looted all the town’s valuables. However, the citizens prompted an ambush killing many. The survivors, including Herzog, were chased into the mountains, and it was assumed that they all froze to death… but they’re back to reclaim what they want.

Now when it comes to zombie movies lots of blood is a must, humour is a must (we have to laugh about these things… right?) I can tell you this movie has a lot of both. As you can imagine the group are picked of pretty much one by one till there is only one left (there goes the stereotypical zombie aspect again) but even the characters start to take the piss of their own movie, making reference to their decision to go so far away from anything that something is bound to go wrong. They refer to movies that start with a group of teenagers going on vacation and that are brutally murdered before they can even start to relax, this movie references movies such as “Evil Dead”, “Friday the 13th”, “April Fool’s Day”, “Brain-Dead” and almost plays homage to them in every way. As for blood well its defiantly not short of blood, there’s zombie tearing people apart, various weapons notably a chainsaw with a character self inflicting damage upon himself that spills a lot of blood, and something I like to call Intestinal Warfare there was a lot of guts on show and hanging everywhere, caught on trees and even used for rappelling off of cliffs, great stuff!

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The Zombie themselves they were exceptional, it took a while for you to get a glimpse of what they look like and how they will move but when you do its extremely exciting and it’s something you don’t want to miss. Not just biting and devouring their prey but bludgeoning them to death with various objects. Now when you notice that they are Nazi zombies I couldn’t help but laugh, even though they were supposed to be the antagonists they provided me with lots of laughs. There is an excellent shot near the climax of the film where the army of the dead rises and it’s like Word War 3… Zombie style. Fantastic!

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One zombie that stands out is Standartenführer Herzog the main antagonist of the film and the leader of the Nazi zombies. He’s chilling, cruel and commanding as one of the leads in the film, its not very often you see a zombie with leadership abilities. This is very similar to Land of the Dead because of one zombie taking charge of others. Throughout the movie, Herzog is seen dispatching his soldiers, through gestures, he often observes the action from a distance. After the carnage and bloodshed devouring most of the teens, Herzog is left alone with two surviving students. When the two survivors discuss finishing him off, Herzog produces a “single, phenomenal command in German, “Aufstehen!” which means “Get Up”, a army of zombie soldiers, buried beneath the snow rise. Herzog then breaks his role as commander and joins the action, striking one student on the head with a hammer and disembowling him. Antagonists at their best! Intestinal Warfare!

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In conclusion Dead Snow is a must watch movie, it seems to me that foreign zombie movies are really in the running for being potentially the best made zombie movies out there. Full of blood, guts, humour and of course Nazi zombies it defiantly deserves some recognition as one of the best zombie films in the last couple of years.

Ein! Zwei! Die!

Overall Rating 4.5/5

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TOP 10: Zombie Movies

This is a list of some of the best zombie movies, it was a hard decision as to what would make it into the top ten but here they are! But before I start can I just say that George A. Romero features quite a lot, all I have to say is THANK YOU.

10. Zombieland (2009)

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Zombieland was superbly done, even though this is a zom-com it still brings great depth in its story and some interesting cameos (from one Bill Murray). The rules system that Columbus invents is hilariously funny and it actually works, with great make up, and a great cast it earns its place on the top ten.

9. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

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Filmed in 1967 by then fledgling director George A. Romero, Night of the Living Dead is a film that while raw in some of its production, was and is spot-on in evoking the most dreadful and deep-seeded of frights. It redefined a lackluster monster and gave rise to both a new genre in horror and a new image in the public consciousness. As one of the first ever hard hitting zombie movies it gives the audience a fright to remember.

8. Day of the Dead (1985)

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Day of the Dead was released in 1985; this was just the beginning of George A. Romero’s zombie apocalypse plans. The first two movies, Night and Dawn, had a great mix of social commentary and straight-up gore, which is a difficult balance to maintain. An iconic scene; zombies breaking through the walls a great moment… but can zombies really break through walls?

7. Land of the Dead (2005)

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Gory and entertaining, Land Of The Dead is George A Romero’s long-delayed fourth film in his zombie franchise. It’s not as gory and disturbing as Night, as smart as Dawn or as exciting as Day, but a bit more comedic in an instance. However, it still delivers the walking dead goods. Fans of the franchise will appreciate its gore, it comes in around above-average.

6. Day of the Dead (2008)

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George A. Romero is at it again with Day of the Dead and trying to revitalise his zombie series, this is a hectic movie, fast paced, missing the depth of the original. The main story is very much on the action as a viral outbreak creates zombies, and a few people struggle to say alive. In other words it is a very standard zombie movie. It might be done well and look good in most places, it keeps up a cracking pace and there is plenty of blood and action, but it’s not anything new.

5. Resident Evil (2002)

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From video game to screen, this adaptation of a classic arcade game is fantastic, its chilling, and it brings new dynamics to the zombie genre. Unlike others of its kind the zombie virus has been manufactured by a company (Umbrella) as a weapon gone horribly wrong. This movie brings action and zombies together in a confined space with one evil computer bitch trying to kill every last survivor along with the dead trying to munch on the humans too.

4. Dawn of the Dead (2004)

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AGAIN George A. Romero features in this countdown. Dawn of the Dead is one of the best horror films of all time. It is genuinely frightening, great special effects. It’s suspenseful, well directed and acted. The touches of humour make it work that much better. It’s a welcome surprise, containing more scares than Romero’s other remakes (Day of the Dead, 2008), while paying grand lip service to the old version.

3. Dead Snow (2009)

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Released in 2009 DØD SNØ, is a Norwegian horror-comedy that tells a  tale of a group of med students travel to the middle of nowhere for incredibly isolated getaway. There is drinking and fornication. There has to be, apparently, as it’s a horror movie. Even though it’s got a comedic value to it, I still found it chilling and found the special effects and make up great! And who can resist a horror-com about Nazi Zombies?

2. Shaun of the Dead (2004)

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Shaun of the Dead is one of my favourite movies of all time. I couldn’t stop laughing whilst watching this movie; Sean Pegg and Nick Frost truly make this movie. With exceptional special effects for a low budget movie it puts some of the other movies in this countdown to shame. A gleefully gory parody of George A. Romero’s zombie films (see here he is again…) however this isn’t just a parody this movie stands on its own. Fantastic.

1. Dawn of the Dead (1978)

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Being a movie made in the late 70’s it looks a bit dated in comparison to the flicks we’re used to these days. Often it’s pace is slow, the blood looks too vividly red, the general fashion at times is laughable but these are really just nitpicks on what is a great and enthralling movie at times, which will not only put fear in you it’ll make you think and that’s getting rare these days. There is simply no reason not to see this movie if you haven’t already. Dawn of the Dead (1978) is recommended without reserve. It has my favourite scene ever to appear in a zombie film, that bastard army guy finally gets his comeuppance for being prick and gets ripped apart by zombies, and dinner is served!

REVIEW: Halloween (2007)

The residents of Haddonfield don’t know it yet… but death is coming to their small sleepy town. Sixteen years ago, a ten year old boy called Michael Myers brutally kills his step father, his elder sister and her boyfriend. Sixteen years later, he escapes from the mental institution and makes his way back to his hometown intent on a murderous rampage pursued by Dr Sam Loomis who is Michael’s doctor and the only one who knows Michael’s true evil. Elsewhere a shy teenager by the name of Laurie Strode is babysitting on the night Michael comes home… is it pure coincidence that she and her friends are being stalked by him?

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The plot in this film is brilliant, it follows loosely on the original storyline with similar elements still looming, in my opinion what makes this film is the beginning of the film and the in depth explanation of Michaels growing evil as he is convicted to a mental asylum. Rob Zombie has done an excellent job of this and his twisted movie making ways following in the footsteps of ‘House of 100 Corpses’ and ‘The Devils Rejects’ assures you that there is a lot of blood and brutal killings, none of that shit CGI effects you get from low budget movies, blood and lots of it!

Rob Zombies adaptation of the characters was brilliant in my eyes, he really showed development of the characters and the actors he used to portray this such as Sherri Moon Zombie, Sid Haig and Bill Mosley all who have appeared in Zombies previous horror movies played an excellent part. However let’s not forget a certain blood thirsty killer Michael Myers, he truly made this movie spine chilling walking around with his signature kitchen knife slashing innocent people that walk upon his path of destruction and rage. One key point to add here is the change in his appearance; his obsession with masks led us all to wonder what mask he would take up this is remake of a classic slasher movie… and the answer was the Halloween mask his sister’s boyfriend who he bludgeoned to death with an alumni baseball bat wore. The mask gave off that the effect of human skin, and the person behind it was human… if you can call him human. The characters truly stole this movie for me. Full marks.

This is one of the films that I could watch over and over again… Although it was a bit slow to start… you know there’s going to be blood, and that’s what you wait for and receive!

Everything was up to scratch for a film of this genre, no CGI effects the better if you ask me! Lots of bloods, pure gore none of that fake shit. Also what was effective was the used of long range camera shots to show Michaels presence in the background as he was tailing Laurie and her teenage friends.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

REVIEW: Texas Chainsaw 3D

 After the first massacre in 1974, the townspeople suspected that the Sawyer family were responsible. A vigilante mob of enraged locals surrounded the Sawyer house, burning it to the ground and killing every last member of the family. Decades later a young woman named Heather learns that she has inherited a Texas estate from her grandmother. She decides to bring her friends along on the road trip to investigate her inheritance. On arrival she uncovers she has inherited a mansion but is yet to uncover the terrors that lurk in the basement below it.

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The plot has a decent background to it following after the original 1974 film, the plot develops steadily and is great for all those Texas Chainsaw Massacre fans out there however if you haven’t watched any of the films before you might get lost, but for you viewers that have seen the others in the franchise.. what a twist right?! Probably the best aspect of this movie was the characters and how they picked up from the original film, although this follows on from the 1974 original it is more modern than other adaptations for example the use of iPhone’s. Leatherface played by Dan Yeager was ultimately twisted and without a doubt handy with a chainsaw but I couldn’t help notice that he didn’t do much of the killing… I mean compared to other films of this kind it was very weak. The character that stood out for me was the character of Heather who later on finds out a horrifying secret about where she comes from, absolutely fantastic. Although I am a fan of the franchise I think I’m going to give this one a miss when it comes to DVD.

There was much speculation about the 3D aspects of the film and well they were all right. Not every film is meant for 3D and Texas 3D is a flop even if it is top of the box office. I counted one moment where it actually looked 3D, very disappointing.

Nether the less, still check it out… I’m sure you could pick it up in a bargain bin soon after DVD release!

Overall Rating: 2/5

REVIEW: Sinister

“True-crime writer Ellison Oswalt moves himself and his family into a house where an horrific crime took place earlier, but his family doesn’t know. He is trying to find out more about the crime so he can write a new book about it to help his flailing career. He uses some “snuff” film footage he finds in the house to help in his research, but he soon finds more than he bargained for. There is a figure in each of the films, but who or what is it? As a result, his family start to suffer (as does he), and things take a turn for theworse. Will they survive?

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The movie starts at a steady pace and continues the chilling effect throughout with Mr Boogie definitely giving it that fear factor. The movie is full of obvious sections that will make you jump (although I think its stupid and not scary in certain circumstances and films of it genre) however I must say this film did make me jump and was in fact both scary and disturbing. As the movie came to a close the plot kind of lost its way and it didn’t explain anything that happened in the previous scenes, and the ending was bad too.

The characters in the movie are really well cast and Ethan Hawke gave a very convincing performance, however I feel that it was Mr Boogie and the children of the snuff movies that really made the film for me. It’s quite surprising how a few children can make you tremble, an utterly spine chilling performance.

 I would watch this movie again, great film, however maybe not for a few months.

 Some of the shots that were used were great and were very common of  a horror/thriller like this, the snuff movie footage was good and the audio was very creepy especially the effect of the old movie player.

Overall Rating: 4/5