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!