WEIRDO’WEEN #03: DEAD SNOW [2009] / DEAD SNOW 2 [2014]

weirdoween2015

Being as it’s October now, and the days are getting colder as they go along, I figured we should talk about the impending snow fall that is going to eventually be headed our way. I know, I know; it’s something that people hate but – at least for us in North America – it’s usually only a once a year kind of season. However, snow isn’t all bad, it gives us the chance to do things we wouldn’t do otherwise. Things like: snowboarding, snowmobiling, skiing, and best of all – sit around a fireplace at the local cottage.

This is where today’s movie[s] comes in: It follows a group of medical students: Martin, Roy and Erlend who travel with their friend Vegard to meet with their girlfriends: Hanna, Liv and Chris; to spend Easter vacation in an isolated cabin in the wilderness in Øksfjord. It’s not a deserted cabin though, like most movies; this one belongs to Vegard‘s girlfriend Sara, who recently went missing. Today’s movie [and it’s sequel] comes all the way from Norway and is none other than Dead Snow and Dead Snow 2. Being as this is technically two reviews in one, I’ll try and tie them together, making this review slightly longer than usual.

weirdo'ween-#3Starting with Dead Snow, the movie opens with a unnamed woman being chased through the snowy hills of Norway. By the the time she finally stops running, she finds herself cornered and eaten by zombies in World War II German uniforms.. I mean, jeez, this movie does not wait around – it gets right into it!

The movie then cuts to seven medical students on who are all on Easter vacation. [as I mentioned above!] The group arrive at a small cabin near Øksfjord, which they explain is about a 45-minute walk from the road where they have left their cars. [well, there’s movie trope/mistake number one!] The cabin they plan to stay at is owned by Sara, a friend of the other seven students who is Vegard‘s girlfriend – who we find out is one of the group’s members with the most knowledge of the wilderness. However, Sara has been skiing across the mountains to find her way to the rest of the friends, but hasn’t arrived yet.. well – dammit.

Like typical students, the group start to drink [and party] until a mysterious man arrives at their door. He explains to them the dark history of the land they’re ‘relaxing’ at; according to this man, during World War II, a force of “Einsatzgruppen” led by the dreaded Standartenführer Herzog occupied and claimed the area. During three long years, the Nazis abused and tortured the local people, and near the end of the war, with Germany’s defeat coming close, Herzog‘s men looted all their valuables, before ultimately leaving the region. The citizens managed to start an uprising to ambush the Nazis, and actually defeated a lot of them, not all, but a lot. The surviving Nazis, including Herzog, were all chased into the mountains. Being as they never returned, it was assumed by locals that they all froze to death. According to the stranger, the area still has an evil reputation by people, and after leaving that story in the minds of our main cast, he leaves. Naturally though, the mysterious man is soon murdered by zombies while camping in the snow.

The next morning Sara has still not arrived and Vegard takes the group’s snowmobile to look for her. He finds the body of the hiker in his tent, only to fall through snow into a small cave below. Back at the cabin, the other students find an old wooden box filled with valuables such as jewels and coins hidden under the floorboards of the cabin. They consider taking and selling it, but eventually put it back, although some of them keep items. Soon enough, we see Erlend get killed as well – in the best way possible: to summarize, through out the movie, Erlend is seen wearing a Dead Alive shirt, and his death sequence is a direct copy of the first death scene in the movie Dead Alive! Check it out!

This film is filled with blood, guts, and it’s extremely over the top. Making this movie more comedy than horror. It has a lot of call backs to other horror films including Evil Dead 2, [I mean, Martin cuts his entire arm off – with a chainsaw – sound familiar?!] and Dead Alive – as I mentioned above. This is not a bad thing though, it’s actually a lot of fun to watch: and a good choice if you’re trying to introduce someone to horror! But this movie also ends on a cliff-hanger with Martin finally realizing that the zombies are after their stolen loot and not out to kill. [unless they have to] Martin finally gives the box of gold back to Herzog and runs for the cars. However, when he reaches his car, a single coin falls out of Martin‘s pocket. Cursing everything, he looks around..only to see Herzog smashing the car window. AND THAT’S WHEN DEAD SNOW 2 COMES INTO PLAY! But first, let’s quickly check out the trailer for the first Dead Snow film:


Now, onto Part 2! Remember how I said Martin removes his entire arm with a chainsaw? Remember how I said Herzog comes smashing into the car window? Dead Snow 2 starts directly from that point [imagine the credits of the first movie didn’t exist!]  At the beginning of this sequel, Herzog is still holding on to Martin‘s car as he tries to escape. An oncoming truck slices off then Herzog‘s arm, which remains in the car with Martin, though he doesn’t think anything of it.. Until Martin is caught in an accident! He wakes in a hospital, and the police [like any sane person] don’t believe his stories about zombies and try to charge him with the murder of his friends. Also, Martin finds that one of the surgeon’s has [mistakenly] attached Herzog‘s arm to his stump..well, dammit. As we probably all expected the zombie arm goes berserk and attacks everyone within it’s reach. After Martin kills several people against his will, he is sedated and strapped tightly to the bed.

We then see Bobby, a kid American tourist, who sneaks into Martin‘s room when he hears rumors of a zombie attack. Impressed with Martin‘s zombie arm, [rather than, I don’t know, be scared?] Bobby frees Martin and tells him about “The Zombie Squad“, who; as Bobby claims are American professional zombie hunters. Before Bobby can contact them though, [wait hold on..how did this kid get their number? It’s not like they have a website…do they?] Martin‘s new zombie arm throws Bobby out the hospital window! Panicked, Martin follow to where Bobby would have landed and gives the kid CPR. The zombie arm instead crushes Bobby‘s chest, killing the kid instantly. [I mean, what the fuck?! Child-killing? Blasphemy!] Martin escapes the police, who believe him to be a child killer, [well – he technically is a child killer – even if not on purpose] and decides to use the kid’s phone to talk with The Zombie Squad, who promise to come to Norway and help with his “zombie problem”. In the meantime, they ask Martin to find out what Herzog wants, because they believe it will help stop the madness. Naturally though, we learn that The Zombie Squad is actually three nerdy friends: Daniel, Monica, and Blake.

At a World War II museum in the town – which feels very convenient –  Martin meets one of the greatest character in this film: Glenn. After using the zombie arm to intimidate him, Glenn tells Martin about Herzog‘s history: according to Glenn, Herzog was originally tasked by Hitler himself to wipe out an entire Norwegian town for their anti-Nazi sabotage. Martin quickly concludes that Herzog intends to carry out his orders, but before long, Herzog and his zombies attack a group of tourists who happen to be just outside the museum. After the battle against them, Herzog goes crazy and resurrects more of the dead and takes a World War II-era tank. In order to survive, Martin and Glenn [somehow] escape by pretending to be mannequins in the museum. While looking at the carnage, Martin accidentally discovers that his zombie arm can also raise the dead. When Daniel [and the other two members of The Zombie Squad] arrives, he kills Martin‘s new sidekick zombie; but Martin demonstrates his newfound power by raising it again! [see picture above]

Martin, Daniel, and the unnamed sidekick zombie  work together and find a graveyard where Russian POWs were buried, while Monica, Blake, and Glenn all work to slow down Herzog. In an effort to help out, Monica and Blake convince Glenn to act as bait to draw some of the zombies into a local swamp, where they will kill them with grenades found in the museum. After shooting at them with the tank gun several times, albeit, missing them; Herzog continues on his way. Meanwhile, the others discover the graveyard they read about at the museum, and Martin goes all out and raises an entire troop of Russian zombies. Then, the final battle comes.

The battle is seemingly going well at first, but the Nazi zombies eventually overpower Martin‘s Russian zombies. As the Nazi zombies close in on them, Daniel tells Martin to kill Herzog, once and for all. As Daniel attempts to take control of the Nazi zombie’s tank, Martin directly faces Herzog, telling him that he’s lost, and he should surrender [though, I figure Martin plans on killing him either way] Monica and Blake are about to be overwhelmed in the background though when suddenly Daniel fires the tank gun directly at Herzog while Martin keeps him distracted.. In what feels like 100 years, [or in this case: two movies] Herzog is decapitated, which leave his troops falling lifelessly to the ground, thus saving Monica and Blake. After they celebrate, Martin drives to the church where Hanna – Martin‘s girlfriend from the first movie – is buried, digs up her corpse, and brings her back. [as a zombie] The two proceed to kiss and have sex as the sidekick zombie looks on in the distance. what. the. fuck. Also, for those of you holding out for a third Dead Snow film, we get a post-credits scene! In said scene, we see a Nazi scientist-like zombie holding Herzog‘s “live” head! As I said, these movies are ridiculously gory/bloody. But surprisingly, not scary at all – just violent. They are cheesy, they both have fantastic writing, and I totally recommend watching both – in order. If you were to watch the first film, and then quickly throw in the second without watching the credits, you’d have a full length feature. They are foreign films though, so be warned of the subtitles – if you can handle them, be sure to watch Dead Snow and Dead Snow 2: Red VS Dead.  [Also, here’s the trailer for the second movie!!]

Now I look to you: are you planning on watching these films? Or have you already seen them? If you have, what did you think? silly, gory, zombie fun? Or are you more of a fan of scary zombies? Let me know in a comment or two! Also, even if I have the first few film reviews planned already, please let me know which movie[s] you want to see reviewed next! If you found yourself to enjoy review – and want to see more – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 120+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! Join me tomorrow when I post weirdo’ween #04STAY TUNED!

THANKS FOR READING.

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