Director: Tommy Wirkola
Starring: Vegar Hoel, Ørjan Gamst, Martin Starr
Running Time: 100 minutes
DEAD SNOW 2: RED VS DEAD is the sequel to Tommy Wirkola’s cult film DEAD SNOW – a film that answers that most taxing of questions; do the undead have political agendas?
In case the first film slipped you by, the sequel is kind enough to give you a refresher. Martin (Vegar Hoel) and his group of unlucky friends awaken a horde of Nazi zombies on a ski holiday which ends with everyone but Martin being butchered and Martin himself losing an arm. Dead Snow 2: Fred vs. Edd picks up from where the last film left off. After crashing his car Martin discovers that not only does no one believe his tale of Nazi zombies, but also that the disembodied arm of Nazi Captain Herzog (Ørjan Gamst) has been transplanted to his body. Along with his new allies, the American Zombie Squad, Martin sets out to stop Herzog before he can accomplish his ultimate goal of wiping out a small Norwegian town.
If you’re looking for a traditional zombie hack and slash horror you may be disappointed with Dead Snow 2: Bread vs. Lead as it is in no way a horror movie. While it is full to the brim of gory splatter kills – with everything from kids and clergymen, to a man on the toilet meeting a grisly end – it never gets scary. The deaths are so over the top that they become satire and it is not just the horrific deaths that will have you snickering. The film is littered with dark humour which leave the viewer feeling ashamed to find it so funny (keep an eye out for the necrophilia scene with Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ playing in the background).
Perhaps following the international success of the first movie a large part of the film is now in English with Martin being aided by the American Zombie Squad, a trio of zombie mad geeks led by zombie enthusiast Daniel (Martin Starr) and his two gorgeous assistants Blake (Ingrid Hass) and the red-headed Star Wars-quoting Monica (Jocelyn DeBoer). These three somehow manage to be a fun inclusion to the film without ever being annoying (and they turn out to be pretty badass zombie killers when it comes down to it).
The big plot twist is now that Martin has the arm of Herzog grafted on to him (common Norwegian medical practice being to reattach the closest arm they can find in a car crash). He has the power to raise his own army of the dead (instead of a massive infection) and after raising his faithful zombie sidekick (Kristoffer Joner) Martin sets out to raise a horde of convenient Russian soldiers for the gore slicked show down to Dead Snow 2: Graft vs. Host.
Overall this movie is a lot of fun that will have fans crossing their fingers for a third installment in the series and non-fans rushing out to see the first movie. The characters are amusing without being silly, the humour is perfectly on que every time. Top this off with the beautiful (if unusual for a zombie movie) Norwegian scenery and some of the best zombie make-up and practical effects out there and you’ve got a movie that’s like a good Norwegian supper – lots of meat, blood and gore with just the right amount of cheese. Bon appétit!