original title: Død Snø
aka: Zombie SS
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Starring: Vegar Hoel, Stig Frode Henriksen, Charlotte Frogner, Lasse Valdal, Evy Kasseth Røsten
Ein! Zwei! Die!
A group of friends are heading out to the snowy mountains of Norway to have a weekend full of party and fun. On a dark night a strange man shows up at their door and he creeps everyone out with a story about a local curse that comes from the second World War when the German nazis were active in the area.
The old man wasn’t making things up and the young group accidentally disturb the grave of the old nazis soon after, finding themselves in great trouble when the gang of flesh crazy nazi zombies are unleashing their wrath upon them.
My very own country Norway is not big on horror films. For some reason, our cinema has been more theater inspired than anything else and it is only in the last 20 years that we have been presenting more movies based on simply entertainment for the masses. And although there has been some horror films during the last 15 years, Dead Snow really made a mark with its commercial success, both in Norway and even in some foreign countries.
What’s most surprising about this is the fact that the film is basically an homage to the old school gory horror comedies of the 80’s. The first part of the film is basically Evil Dead, just set in a snowy norwegian mountain instead of a cabin in the woods. Then we have the old guy warning the younger group about the dangers of being there, another big horror cliché of course and even the characters are very typical of these type of movies with a funny guy, a social awkward geek etc etc etc.
The problem with the film is that it feels more like a parody than an homage at times and the focus on the humour makes the film a bit too silly for my taste. The only thing new about this is really the setting in Norway and the norwegian influenced humour which is fun to see for us who live here. The final third is basically a thirty minute long carnage that I’m sure plenty of horror fans will have fun with, but it still leaves a lot to be desired for me.
The characters are, as mentioned, all very cliché aswell and features some faces that are familiar to the norwegian audience, including the lovely Jenny Skavlan and the funny guy Stig Frode Henriksen. Bjørn Sundquist is given the role as the mysterious stranger and he is fun to watch here and obviously aware of what type of part he is doing.
Director Tommy Wirkola has become a sort of genre hero in Norway thanks to this film and also his previous effort Kill Bujo (yes, a parody of Kill Bill). He has pretty much made a name for himself by playing outside of the norwegian movie industry and because of that he has become a bit of an underdog, which makes it even more cool to see that he has made his way over to America now with his newest film Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. Wirkola’s knowledge and love of the genre is very easy to see in this film and even if I’m not that fond of the film I’m sure the result is exactly what he was after while creating this project.
He sure didn’t mean for Dead Snow to be a film that was supposed to be taken serious, so even attempting to do that would be a failure from the viewer. It is however not fun enough to be a very enjoyable film, but definitely worth a watch – especially for us Norwegians.