Friday, October 9, 2009

Bald Mountain Night 9: Dead Snow

Each day in October, intrepid blogger Alex Boivin will watch a horror movie. These movies are all new to him and are part of his month-long effort to fill in his gaps in the horror canon. If he doesn't die from fright, you just might get to read about about his exploits in cinema during the Halloween season.

The Scandinavian horror-fest continues with today's entry: Dead Snow aka the best move about Nazi zombies you'll see all year!

Once every generation, an abstract idea arises in the collective consciousness that so inspires and excites the populous that any film about said concept is guaranteed to succeed with audiences. The unifying force that binds our generation together is Nazi zombies: the most despicable and evil mass movement of the 20th century coupled with a mindless, ravenous hunger for brains is a winning combination by any standard. We've seen Nazi zombism explored across other media, primarily video games with the famed Wolfenstein series and the addictive "Nazi Zombies" mini-game in Call of Duty: World at War, but to my knowledge there hasn't been a prominent Nazi zombie movie in recent memory (except perhaps maybe a SyFy original movie, if you know of one, please let me know because I want to see it)- until now. Thursday night, I attended a screening of the Norwegian movie Dead Snow at the University of Minnesota's Oak Street Cinema. I haven't been more pleased by a movie in a long while.

Dead Snow tells the tale of a group of Norwegian med students going to a friend's cabin in the mountains over their Easter vacation. We have all the standard archetypes: the hero, the hot girls, the wimp, the horndog, the nerd (a possible long-lost cousin of Venture Bros.'s Henchman 21...or myself). A local drifter tells them of a particularly brutal battalion of German soldiers from the Second World War who fled into the mountains at the war's end and the spat of grisly deaths that have occurred there since. Before you can say "horror movie trope" the coeds are being Picked Off On By One by the undead goosestepping morons.

Dead Snow's strength comes from it's recognition and appreciation for the history of the horror movie, especially the zombie subgenre. The group's nerd is a walking, talking encyclopedia of quotes from American genre cinema and it's quite a loss when the Nazi zombies rip his head in half (something I've never seen before). The film also includes inside jokes relating to horror movies gone by, especially Evil Dead, whose iconic "suit up" sequence is imitated shot for shot. The film also does itself a favor by upping the gore to exceed its inspirations and predecessors, I haven't seen a movie with so much blood and guts in a long time.

Thank you, Dead Snow. Thank you for giving us what we want, what we need, and what we deserve: Nazi zombie carnage. See you at the Minneapolis Zombie Pub Crawl! I expect my SS colonel costume may not go over as well as one might hope.

Final verdict: 81 Congos