SUNDANCE 2009

Sundance 2009 Review: Tommy Wirkola's Dead Snow

by
January 24, 2009

Tommy Wirkola's Dead Snow

Tonight I caught a midnight screening of Dead Snow at the world famous Egyptian theater. After 7 days of seeing romantic dramas and quirky comedies, I was really in the mood for some gory zombie mayhem. Dead Snow is that Norwegian film about Nazi zombies. It's a simple enough story - a group of people head out to remote cabin in the mountains only to discover a party of undead Nazis terrorizing the area. To be honest, I didn't really care about how great the story was (or wasn't), because in the end, I had a great time watching this, and when it comes to cult zombie movies, that experience is what counts the most.

There's not much new to the Dead Snow story that we haven't seen before. Equal number of guys, equal number of girls, out at a remote cabin without cell phone reception. Creepy guy shows up, tells them about Nazis. Next thing we know a few of them start disappearing, then some ugly zombie pops his head up, and all hell breaks loose. So why did I love it so much? It's just fun. And seeing Nazi zombies, not just the same old zombies, terrorizing some Norwegian folks out in the middle of the cold and snow is just downright frickin' fun! And of course, there's everything from chainsaws to machine guns to limbs torn apart.

I'm not saying this is the best zombie movie since 28 Days Later or even Army of Darkness. But while watching Dead Snow, it brought back the great memories I had seeing both of those zombie classics for the first time. So while it may borrow excessively from both, as well as from George Romero's films and Shaun of the Dead, it's still just as entertaining and enjoyable seeing for the first time as any of those older zombie films. Mindless horror comedy? It certainly is and it's a blast to watch, despite minor inconveniences or story contrivances. Who really cares whether a zombie comedy is that perfect? I know I don't.

The only real way to experience Dead Snow is in a packed movie theater full of zombie lovers and horror fans. Why? Because even though it may not be perfect, it's one hell of an exciting movie to see with people who cheer wildly at every last kill and laugh at every cheesy joke. Sure they made be bad jokes and overused kills, but why does that make it a bad movie? It doesn't, as long as you can have a great time watching it. And Dead Snow is not much more than pure entertainment at its finest. So if you're also looking for another great zombie film to watch with a bunch of your own zombie-loving friends, Dead Snow is it.

Sundance Rating: 8.5 out of 10

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  • http://firstshowing.net Andy Adair
    I am sooooo soooo happy you liked this. I am ready now!
  • Blackstar
    Hmmm.... what's Norwegian for 'Brains'. Or if they were Nazis, did they say it in German and there were subtitles?
  • http://www.tfpc.co.uk tct
    Another recent Nazi zombie movie to check out is Outpost. Worth a watch.
  • yayyayayayay
    fuck yes
  • Norse
    @Blackstar: Norwegian for "brains" = "hjernar".
  • Scott McHenry
    you bet
  • Blackstar
    @ Norse: Ok, so where do you put the long accent? For 'brains' it's usually 'braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnns' For 'hjernar' where would it be? 'hjeeeeeeeerrrrrnnnar' or maybe 'hjernnnnnaaaaaaaaaarrrrr' ?
  • NOface
    BLackstar you are a dumbass
  • COCKTAR
    NOface you are a dumbass
  • No Integrity
    But the zombies are nazies aren't they? So they would be speaking german, not norwegian. :) Also, its "hjerner" not "hjernar"...
  • Danny Mace
    Yes! That's what I was trying to get at in fewer words. Maybe Peter only liked the last 15 minutes because it is an incomplete movie and there's nothing suspenseful about it, but it is just one hell of a ride, I had a blast, extremely entertaining. I was entertained the whole way through, which is something Romero hasn't done since... I wouldn't even say Dawn of the Dead, because Romero takes his product way too seriously when all it is is just good ol' campy, gorey zombie fun and he should just enjoy it the same way his audiences do. That said, Treevenge was more enjoyable, it went way over the top, just non-stop hilarity, you should give that short a shout-out because it was phenomenal. Perfect movie to set the mood for what kind of movie Dead Snow should be taken as.
  • REAL6
    Damn now you guys got me dying to see this bad. But you are right, this is pure fun and not mad serious like Romero. Even thou i love his old work. Day of the dead is still the best ZOMBIE MOVIE ever made!!! Has anyone seen this: THE GOLDEN NAZI VAMPIRE OF ABSAM II You guys might enjoy this short film. www .imdb.com/title/tt0997276/
  • http://movies.iconocritic.com/ peloquin
    COCKTAR you are a dumbass
  • Dave Lister, J.M.C.
    This thread is full of dumbasses.
  • NOface
    Dave Lister, J.M.C you are a dumbass
  • Blackstar
    Gentlemen... NOface, peloquin, *snicker* COCKTAR and Dave Lister, J.M.C.... you're all dumb asses. And apparently without any sense of humor too. Well, all except COCKTAR. Who made me laugh with that name. Sounds like he should be in porn. :D Keep up the good work man. *thumbs up. You know anyone brave enough to use that name, is not afraid of anything! The rest of you guys just need to chill the fuck out... jeez. @ No Integrity - That's what I thought about them being Germans... Oh, and you're right. I goofed that. It should be 'hjerner'. My fault.
  • carlos
    What, no footage? :|
  • http://movies.iconocritic.com/ peloquin
    I was just keeping the "dumb ass" theme rolling...hadn't even read the comments of what it referred to, but figured I'd keep the insult wheel turning. Since you didn't see the obvious joke than I suppose you're the dumb ass...hmmm
  • http://movies.iconocritic.com/ peloquin
    Flick looks good though...always down for some zombie fun
  • Dumbass
    Somebody call?
  • Blackstar
    @ peloquin "I was just keeping the "dumb ass" theme rolling…hadn't even read the comments of what it referred to" O.o So, you commented on a thread you didn't even bother on reading and expected people to assume you are just trying to be funny... Lol. I think you just defined what it means to in fact BE a dumbass. Congrads. The dictionary now has a new example reference: Noun dumbass (plural dumbasses) (vulgar, slang) A person marked by stupidity or foolishness. *see peloquin
  • Noname
    Blackstar: with your nerd comments you are so pathetic...
  • Blackstar
    @ Noname Don't worry Noname. You'll graduate from High School someday and learn all kinds of new and interesting words. Maybe.
  • Norse
    @ No Integrity: no, it is "hjernar". "hjerner" is danish. @ Blackstar: I suppose a norwegian zombie would pronounce it with a long e, possibly long a, but the r would not be long. "hjeeeernaaaaar", or even "hjeeeeernaaaa" (without the last r) since the movie took place north in Norway. But nazi zombies would not speak norwegian anyway. It's been a while since my german lessons, but I think "Gehirne" is the plural word for "brain".
  • http://movies.iconocritic.com/ peloquin
    Well, I concede Blackstar...Thank you for taking the time to prove my dumb-assed-ness...Now everyone can rest assured that I am the dumb ass in this thread and not you. Congratulations.
  • Noname
    @Blackstar quoting Mark Wahlberg in THE DEPARTED: "Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe fuck yourself"
  • Rediculas Buttons
    why didn't i know about this thread until now?
  • MBD
    #24 Shut the fuck up. No one gives a shit about new Norwegian. Hjerner = Norwegian Hjernar = not Norwegian.
  • Blackstar
    @ Noname Lol. Of all the literary masters in history from which to choose, you come up with a Wahlberg line?! Hahahhaha. OK, since that's the mentality I'm dealing with; here is one you'll understand. "PFFFFFHTFHTFH. What's a matter? Don't know any fucking Shakespeare?" @ peloquin Are you still here? @ Norse Hmm. See it's that attention to detail which separates writers and directors. I'd be curious as to what they used and what would have been period specific. The same way set designers have to put in accurate set pieces, good writers put in accurate phrases, accents and speech type. Even for a something like a zombie film. @ MBD Ok, that's interesting. So if there is that distinction between new and old Norwegian, what did the filmmakers choose to present I wonder?
  • http://movies.iconocritic.com/ peloquin
    Yes, I'm still here.
  • MBD
    #29 They used Norwegian, which is what 90% of the Norwegian population speaks.
  • Norse
    @ MBD and Blackstar The correct translation of the term "nynorsk" is "Modern Norwegian". Just as Modern English would be nyengelsk og Modern Swedish would be nysvensk. There is no such thing as "New Norwegian". And furthermore: Modern Norwegian represents both oral and written language, while the language you call just "Norwegian" (the correct translation of the term "bokmål" is Dano-Norwegian) only are a written language. Hjerner = Danish, and also Dano-norwegian (Norwegian Bokmål). Hjernar = Modern Norwegian (Nynorsk). Every norwegian _talks_ Modern Norwegian, and therefore the word "hjernar" is accurately. If the character Roy or that old guy would pronounce it as a zombie, they would have said "hjeeenaaaa". Martin would have said "hjeeerrrnaaa" (with a "French" r, in lack of a better word. The tongue vibrates at the back of the palate, instead of rolling in the front. I don't know what the english term is). Liv would have said "hjeeernaaaa" (with a tone higher on a). Chris and Vegard would be the only ones in the movie to say "hjeeerneeer". What I love the most about Dead Snow, is the ironic use of music. From the opening scene, with the classic piece Dovregubbens Hall from Edvard Grieg to tell that we are in the norwegian mountains, home of the trolls (Dovregubben, or in this case, nazizombies), to the next scene with Harry by CC Cowboys («No one knows where Harry is buried. No one knows that Harry is dead»), and the final zombie battle to Åge Aleksandersen («Today is my day. God for a wonderful day. Today is my day, my day to day»). Just great!
  • 9mm
    Maybe i am a dumb american, but where is norwegia?
  • Noname
    @Blackstar Quoting Les Grossman in TROPIC THUNDER: "Now I want you to take a step back... and literally fuck your own face!"
  • D-9
    in peloquin we trust! And Red Buttons hates the Irish! I cannot believe someone is quoting the worst movie of 2008. Tropic Thunder. Am I a dumb ass now?!
  • Rediculas Buttons
    Wasn't "the Love guru" the worst of the year.
  • feohatestheworld
    peloquin does it again! No have to agree the Stiller farce has to be in the Top Ten worst of the year. Dumb Ass club! Fuk YA!
  • Redilicious Buttons
    You really don't think that hte love guru. With its horrible mistreatment of Sir Ben is not deserving of worst film of 08. I know its the worst i have seen.
  • JL
    @#11 and #12, What the hell are you thinking, dumbasses? If you ever listened to any commentaries or interviews in the DVD special features of any of his movies, you would hear Romero himself say that he only intended to make 'Night of the Living Dead' scary. The rest he approached with humor. NotLD was more of a serious commentary, and every one following was total satire. I can't disagree with REAL6 that Day of the Dead was the best Romero movie. And the fact that it came out as well as it did even though his funding for the project was cut back is truly spectacular. In fact, that's Romero's entire career summed up in one picture. He has always had trouble with the studios, which is why his movies don't have as high a production value as other films of their time. He simply doesn't have the dollar to make it look like a Hollywood production. And I'll never forget this line from Day of the Dead: "I'm runnin' this monkey-farm now, Frankenstein, and I want to know just what the fuck you're doing with my time!!!"
  • Cazz
    @Norse you ever been in Oslo? No? cause we speak bokmål there and we say "hjerner", but other than that you're right though. It actually all depends were in Norway you're in so "hjerner", "hjernar" and "hjerna" is all correct. and @9mm if that wasn't a joke then yeah, you're a dumb american :P Norwegians are from Norway not "Norwegia"
  • Blackstar
    @ Noname - Lol, oh... oh, man... I can't stop laughing. I can't wait to see what you come up with next. No wait, let me guess: Disaster Movie, The Hottie & the Nottie, Battlefield Earth? There's nothing more fun than getting into a battle of wits with an unarmed man. Sorry about getting your hopes up about graduation, but I think you're going to have to stay back another year. Again. @ Norse - See, there is so much to know. It's little details like that; the dialog and musical choices I find interesting. Gives it a bit more depth. I am very pleased when filmmakers take them into account when working on a project. (Even if it is a Zombie movie.) I hope it's as enjoyable to me when I get a chance to see it. Thanks for all the info!

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