BEFORE WE BEGIN…
Before we get into the review itself, here’s what you need to know. I once claimed that I love horror so much that I can find merit in, and enjoy, any horror film, no matter how dreadful it appears to be. In fact, I boasted that it would be impossible for someone to find a horror film that I can’t write a positive review about. And thus, this page was born! Come on guys - hit me with your best shot!
Challenge 1 – Dead Snow 2: Suggested by Jim Mcleod
Before I launch into my review of Dead Snow 2, I will first briefly cover Dead Snow 1, just so we’re all up to speed before we start.
So, in a nutshell, Dead Snow is a classic tale of Nazi zombies vs. a group of survivors who go to a remote, snow-surrounded cabin in the middle of nowhere. A comedy horror, it succeeds in referencing many of the classics, both in dialogue and gesture (including Evil Dead, Friday the 13th, etc.). One of the characters, Erlend (Jeppe Beck Laursen), is even wearing a Braindead T-shirt. The zombies are intelligent, communicate with each other, and can run, fight, use weaponry, and co-ordinate attacks. Cue hilarious scenes in which zombies are bitten by humans and have their own intestines ripped out. Main character Martin (Vegar Hoel), in true Evil Dead style, even finds a red chainsaw and goes all zombie killer towards the end. Of course, he does end up having to saw off his own, infected arm before he escapes, and is the only survivor.
Now, Dead Snow 1 had mixed reviews, and it’s sequel, Red vs. Dead wasn’t exactly a hit. It didn’t get terrible reviews, but it didn’t get great ones either. Jim Mcleod, you set me this challenge but… it wasn’t even a challenge! Finding merit in this film wasn’t hard for me at all! MWAHAHA! And here’s why…
To summarise, in this sequel, Martin awakens in hospital to discover that not only will no one listen to his warning about the zombies, but also he is being held accountable by authorities for the deaths of all his friends. Bummer. After escaping hospital (and custody), he acquires some help in the form of The Zombie Squad (a group of three Americans who have been preparing from the zombapocalypse), and Glenn, a dude he meets. Together, they discover why the Nazi zombies have risen, and plot to take them down. And, oh yeah, Martin’s severed arm has been reattached.. but it’s not his arm; it’s Herzog’s! The leader of the Nazi zombies!
With that severed arm in mind, the film is immediately funny. Things start off with an Idle Hands twist, and Martin has little control over what the evil zombie arm may do. He doesn’t even notice at first when his arm throws an annoying kid through a window, whilst he’s distracted and looking for an escape so that he’s free to battle the zombie horde. On discovering the kid, lying on the ground outside and appearing to be dead, Martin attempts to resuscitate him, and then the funniest thing I’ve ever seen happens. Martin attempts chest compressions, but the zombie arm is too strong, and he just punches right through the kid’s torso. Seconds later, he’s seen by police with the kids innards in his hands, and utters that oh so famous line – ‘This isn’t what it looks like!’
Meanwhile, Herzog is ambling around, reanimating corpses with zombie magic and recruiting them into his army. The magic could be a nod to the classic zombies origin, in which zombies were the victims of voodoo magic, rather than Romero’s undead creation. I enjoy a nod, and there are plenty in this film to other masterpieces; some are obvious, and others are subtle, some are embedded in so deeply that only losers with no lives outsides of zombies, like me, would get them. Nestled in like eggs, they are, and that’s not even including all the Star Wars references.
As far as the gore goes, there’s a perfectly acceptable amount of blood and guts in this funfest. In fact, they get quite creative with the guts in some places, hence makeshift petrol pumps and fleshy rope. You’ll go HAHA! and EWWWW at the same time. The end battle isn’t a let down (how could it be, with the inclusion of an army of Russian zombies?), and the comedy keeps flowing. There’s even a medical doctor zombie, patching up some of the horde with straw and plungers – honestly, whoever designed these things is a frickin comical genius.
I won’t give away the ending, but I will tell you that a tank’s involved, a WW2 tank. Oh come on guys, a TANK!
On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being ‘I liked it a bit’ and 10 being ‘I love it!’, I’m placing Dead Snow 2 at a solid 5, and would recommend it. You’re gonna have to do better than that if you’re trying to find a horror that I can’t write a positive review about!
If you’d like to challenge me, suggest a movie in the comments below. If I can’t be positive about it, you get a prize. Genuinely. I’ll send you stuff.