Dead Snow, or 'Død Snø' as it's known in its home country of Norway, is a cut above most b-level horror comedies...but that is, in some ways, like being king of the lepers. Sure, you're royalty, but nobody actually wants to touch you..
Perhaps I'm being a bit too harsh- It's not a bad film, by any means. But let's be honest- there are so many terrible horror, and zombie films, that a mere decent one looks brilliant by comparison.
That's not to say that Dead Snow isn't worth a rent- or even a bargain buy. It's funny in parts, and it is at least entertaining to watch. The novelty value alone is tremendous. Casually let slip you have a movie with zombified nazis at the next office party, and watch women throw themselves at you, and men throw themselves at your TV, with reckless abandon.
But Dead Snow makes the common mistake of spending too much winking and nodding at the audience, reveling in the fact that's a movie with zombies made by film nerds, instead of ACTUALLY BEING A ZOMBIE MOVIE. There's far too many haphazardly worked-in references to genre classics that do little but make you think fondly of the other films and pull you out of the movie for a while.
And while it slyly acknowledges the usually poorly executed common tropes of these sorts of films- i.e, the 'mysterious stranger,' the scene where everyone gets weapons, the quickly dispensed with attempts at character building- it still ends up running us through them, and doesn't really take advantage of it's unique set-up to make them terribly interesting.
One thing that does not disappoint, though, is the Nazi Zombies themselves, when the finally arrive in a meaningful way. Excellent costumes and makeup, and a lot of really creative and spirited blood and violence kick the last half of the film up a big notch. This is one of those films where you'll find yourself frequently grabbing various parts of your body in sympathy as the actors get ripped and torn apart on the screen in various uncomfortable ways.
However, when it comes down to it, it takes far too long to get to that period of violence and real creativity, especially since a lot of the film is not terribly important and just there to fulfull some horror cliches with a knowing, but not quite understanding, wink.
You could certainly do worse, but you could definetly do better.
Dead Snow (Død snø, 2009)
Directed by Tommy Wirkola
Written by Tommy Wirkola and Stir Frig Henriksen
Starring Vegar Hoel, Stir Frig Henriksen, Charlotte Frogner, Lasse Valdal.