Dead Snow Review
The FilmThere are a number of issues in our world that it's important to take a stand on. It's important to be able to justify why we mortgage our economies to banks, for instance. It's important to be able to put the case for why Holly Willoughby is a definite improvement on Fern Britton in a simple TV presentation sense rather than simple rank ageism. More crucial than both these topics of the day is a subject which I have spoken out on before - the fact that Nazi zombies are the very pinnacle of home entertainment.
I believe the support for this message spreads far and wide, and indeed there may have been some far sighted individuals who took the same stand before I opined. I am particularly glad to find that the desire to add to the legacy of movies like Zombie Lake, Outpost, and Shockwaves has motivated Norwegian whipper snapper Tommy Wirkola to nail his colours to the mast as well. Wirkola's slacker bodycount zomcom undoubtedly knows about the previous history of zombies on film and owes a great deal to great horror movies of the last 30 years per se.
The hoary old story, excused by some knowing film nerd dialogue, is that some slacker students intend to spend their holidays in a ski lodge and discover it is beset by a former battalion of the Third Reich who want their stolen loot back. So with knowing humour as an excuse for larceny, we patch ideas from the Evil Dead, Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Thing and so on into the story of the slaughter of a thoroughly unmissable bunch of twentysomethings. Narrative wanders from character to character and none of it really hangs together as a straight horror film - and it is a relief when the action relents and descends into silliness and self parody.
By then though those hoping for balls to the wall horror have been disappointed by jokes parachuted in for effect and the complete lack of any attempt to develop a convincing milieu. The characters are very unlikable jocks and nerds and the only faintly sympathetic one, the film nerd, is dispatched the moment he gets some girl action - in typical bodycount movie manner. Still, this is what a lot of people can put up with in basic bodycount movies and I don't suppose Dead Snow is anything other than that for all its knowingness.
Technical SpecsNow this is quite a bright transfer with very shiny snow and night time sequences which will have you resetting your black levels. There seems to be quite a bit of digital noise and aliasing and the colours seem too strong to me. This isn't a perfect transfer, but this isn't a megabucks film and what you get here is still a very acceptable if not outstanding hi-def transfer.
ExtrasDead Snow comes with 4 trailers of varying lengths along with forced trailers for the likes of From Within and the promising looking Parasomnia. Nearly all of the extras are hi-def with the featurettes using LPCM tracks as well. The making of documentary follows filming, even through to the moments when the crew start packing up. A lot of the crew are mates of the filmmakers from earlier projects and there is lots of goofing off for the camera including a harmonious group of Nazi zombies! There's a little from Wirkola and a lot on how difficult snow makes filming in a breezy piece.
The FX featurette looks at the post processing of the film including the use of CGI for some of the gory effects and stunts. The make-up short covers making moulds for body parts and transforming extras into zombies. The piece on going to Sundance is more of excerpts from a video diary as the running time gives some space for the film's reception there but centres on larking in hotel suites and getting stuck on the plane there.
The menus make the most of the iconography and are suitably witty, if less than simple to navigate around. The dual layer disc is about two thirds used with the main transfer taking 22.1GB.
SummaryNazi zombies, I tell ya. Yet the constant borrowing of ideas from very well known horror films does become wearing as do the annoying slackers - this is all saved though by a glorious battle between axe, chainsaw and zombie army and a few well aimed gags. The Region B blu-ray presentation is welcome for a film that has few other releases which are English friendly
6 out of 10
6 out of 10
6 out of 10
6 out of 10