A B horror classic on par with Peter Jackson’s Braindead.
If you’re a fan of B movies, that two-word description was probably enough to make you swear that you would not sleep until you found this movie. And trust me: Dead Snow 2 is not awesome… It’s fucking awesome.
Remember the sheer, terrified joy of watching Peter Jackson’s Braindead? Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead is precisely this kind of treat. It’s hilariously funny, disgusting, outrageous, and fun all the way through. And as one character declares in a delightful moment of meta self-awareness, you could watch a thousand zombie movies and this one will still surprise you.
[do action=”moment” emo=”Interesting” title=”This sequel efficiently dispenses with explaining the first movie.”/]
There’s not much you need to know about the previous movie, and Dead Snow 2 fills us in with ruthless efficiency. I didn’t watch Dead Snow, but I gotta admit it sounds like fun, what with Nazi zombies rising from their frozen grave to hunt for Nazi gold. The key takeaway here is that our protagonist, Martin, lost an arm. Which leads us to…
[do action=”moment” emo=”Creative” title=”Martin gets a zombie arm transplant.”/]
Wow, that’s a first for a zombie movie! Reminds me a little of Evil Dead 2, but I’m not complaining. This movie has already established that it’s gonna take the zombie genre to insane places, and I’m buckled in for the ride.
[do action=”moment” emo=”Shocking” title=”Martin, not realizing his zombie arm strength, crushes the cute kid’s sternum to bits.”/]
WHAT THE FUCK! OK, I didn’t expect that. Horror movies–American ones anyway–usually steer well clear of showing the gruesome deaths of children… Oh, but not the Norwegians, my friends. Perfect balance of belly laughter and shocked disgust. What’s better, things will get much worse before we’re through.
[do action=”moment” emo=”Geeky” title=”The Zombie Squad is on the case!”/]
The movie takes an unexpected turn for the international with the introduction of three American characters. They’re all wonderfully geeky and silly, and they deliver a few hilarious one-liners about cultural differences between Americans and Norwegians. Yeah, it feels like pandering a bit, but the Zombie Squad is so much fun that I just don’t care. Big points to the Star Wars geek girl who keeps quoting groan-inducing lines at random. There’s nothing cool about it, which makes her corny timing all that much better.
[do action=”moment” emo=”Creative” title=”Innovative use of intestines #8472: funneling gas.”/]
Did… Did the Nazi zombies just fuel a German WW2 tank using fresh intestines? Look, I don’t care that this doesn’t make any damn sense. It was fantastic. Come to think of it, this movie has something of an intestine fetish… There’s the zombie that gets his intestines pulled out like a ripcord in the opening sequence, one character who gets strangled by his own intestines, and the “intestines on the power lines” trick at the end. Just saying… That’s one weird little obsession.
[do action=”moment” emo=”Disgusting” title=”Waddaya know? Zombies can get car sick too.”/]
In a movie filled with dangling intestines, that’s one of the hardest scenes to watch: Martin’s “pet zombie” somehow gets car sick and throws up all over himself… then proceeds to eat it while Martin and Daniel complain about the nausea-inducing stench. Can’t you just smell it?
[do action=”moment” emo=”Shocking” title=”Another use for a friendly zombie: traction aids.”/]
Uuuuugh. Of all the things I expected to see in a zombie movie, “getting out of the snow using a zombie’s crotch as traction aid” was NOT on that list. What makes this scene even better is the way it’s so damn contrived… Martin even suggests pushing using his super-strong arm, to which Daniel cryptically declare it will not work. You know, because that would be much less interesting than watching a car tire spin empty on zombie balls.
[do action=”moment” emo=”Biting” title=”Think this movie is done murdering children? Nope, let’s watch a tank obliterate babies!”/]
That… that was wrong on so many levels. I can’t stop laughing, especially at the way they just had to have the babies fly into the camera.
[do action=”moment” emo=”Badass” title=”Martin raises Soviet soldiers from the dead. All that’s missing is the wonderful USSR national anthem.”/]
As Daniel so justly points out, even after a thousand zombie movies this is something new. We’re about to get a zombified Braveheart, boys.
[do action=”moment” emo=”Triumphant” title=”Herzog gets a tank shell to the back of the head.”/]
The main thing that makes this movie so damn satisfying is how the director perfectly understands his target audience and either plays against expectations, or delivers exactly what we expect. The death of the main bad guy is the latter: the director shows us the tank cannon slooooowly rotating towards Herzog’s head, so that when Daniel finally fires, we’re laughing hysterically at what we knew was coming all along. What made it special was seeing the tiny dot of Herzog’s head disappear into the distance, riding a goddamn tank shell.
[do action=”moment” emo=”Disgusting” title=”Great, now I’ll feel sick whenever I hear ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart.'”/]
The movie gives us one last hurrah as a lovesick Martin raises his rotting girlfriend for a little bit of car rocking in the parking lot. It even manages to cast Bonnie Tyler’s lyrics in a new light:
Once upon a time I was falling in love
But now I’m only falling apart
Well, holy shit.