Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dead Snow - 2009

Director:    Tommy Wirkola
Writers:     Stig Frode Henricksen, Tommy Wirkola

Martin:      Vegar Hoel
Roy:        Stig Frode Henricksen
Hanna:       Charlotte Frogner
Vegard:     Lasse Valdal
Liv:         Evy Kasseth Rosten
Erlend:     Jeppe Laursen
Chris:       Jenny Skavlan
Sara:       Ane Dahl Torp
The Wanderer:    Bjorn Sundquist
Herzog:    Orjan Gamst

Just because you CAN make a movie, doesn’t necessarily mean you SHOULD.  This should be the first thing taught in film school.  The Norwegian flick “Dead Snow” got some fairly good reviews, and apparently is on its way to becoming some kind of cult phenom.  I’m perplexed.   However, it contains a scene that is the most horrifying thing I have ever seen in a movie.  I’ll get to that in a minute. 

They obviously started with one idea:  Nazi Zombies!!  I think I can hear what went on at the first meeting.  “Hey, zombies are hot right now.  How about zombies….a cabin in the middle of nowhere….horny college students….and get this, the zombies are Nazis!!  Get it???  They’re zombies,… and they’re NAZIS!!!”  Look, I love zombies.  I love zombie movies.  But this one was a big disappointment.  After the session outlining the Big Idea, the next logical step should have been to hire a screenwriter.  I guess they forgot.  There is nothing in it that we haven’t seen before in better movies.  Except for a couple of things.  Did I tell you there are Nazi zombies in this one? 

The plot, and I use the term loosely, involves some college students on a skiing vacation in the mountains.  You really don’t get to know these kids very well, so their deaths are no big deal.  There’s something about hidden gold.  Some guy wanders in and empties a big bucket of exposition all over the floor and leaves.  The zombies are roused out of their snowy slumber by something or other and start munching on the kiddies.  Lots of running around.  Lots and lots and lots of blood.  Every character is pretty much completely covered in blood at some point.  And, a “gotcha” final shot.  You really can’t spend too much time thinking about it.   But the mountains are pretty. 

The most horrifying scene I have ever scene?  Not the one when the guy gets his head torn in two like a loaf of fresh bread.  Not the one when the other guy chainsaws off his own arm.  Not the several scenes of zombies being chopped up by an ax or torn up by a machine gun.  Not the one when one of the girls watches her own intestines being devoured.  Not the one of the guy hanging off a cliff by some very sturdy zombie intestines (intestines again - do I smell a kink?)  All of that is kid stuff, pretty much what you would expect.  No, this is what made me scream and hide my face:  One of the boys goes to the outhouse.  He is sitting there, minding his own business.  One of the girls comes out to join him, takes off her clothes and straddles him.  Is there no decency left in the world???  The scene went on so long I was praying for zombie interruptus.  Someone get their head ripped off, PLEASE!!!!   Dear god, my longing for death was palpable.  Theirs, mine,…I didn’t care!  My loins may never stir again.  Ever.
If you are in the mood for a zombie movie marathon on some Saturday night,- pop the popcorn, settle in on the couch, but make this one the third or fourth one you watch.  You will be so glazed over by then you won’t care.  In conclusion let me say -  there are zombies (and they’re Nazis!!).  I’m giving it one half kiss for some lovely mountain scenery.

By the way, I hate to disappoint you, but Beethoven's Ninth Symphony is heard nowhere but in the preview.  I have to admit, it is pretty cool in the preview.  Of course, it would be cool anywhere. 

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