Comedy Oddities: Dead Snow 2: Red Vs Dead

dead snow 2 indexThe first Dead Snow was a decent enough zombie flick which saw a bunch of adults head out to a cabin in the mountains, where they had to do battle against Nazi zombies who were all kinds of pissy. It didn’t do anything that original or innovative but what it set out to do it did well, and that was mostly turn the white snow red and feature as many yards of intestines being pulled out of stomachs as they possibly could.

This sequel starts off seconds after the first film ended with our hero Martin (Vegar Hoel) being attacked once more by the Nazi undead, though he manages to get away. Sadly he’s so in need of a good nap that he crashes the car and wakes up a short time later in hospital, where unfortunately for him the police blame him for his friends deaths, and even worse is that he now has an evil arm after doctor’s stupidly grafted on one previously owned by the big bad, Herzog.

In the first film Herzog and co were just after their old Nazi gold, but this time around they’ve decided that they need to finish off the mission Hitler set them and kill everyone in the town of Talvik. Meanwhile in a very contrived moment Martin discovers the existence of a “Zombie Squad”, three Americans (Martin Starr, Jocelyn DeBoer and Ingrid Haas) who have never actually seen a zombie but claim to be experts, and shortly afterwards they arrive in Norway to help Martin kill Herzog once and for all, which involves digging up some frozen Russian soldiers.

It’s a film which starts off really well and is quite playful, with Martin turning off the stereo while under attack just because The Ding Ding Dong song by Gunter is playing, and Martin’s escape from hospital involves some fun and inventive deaths. Early on Herzog’s quite the feisty bastard too, with a penchant for killing off a bunch children, the elderly and the disabled, just in case you didn’t realise he really is a wrong ‘un. The problem is that it becomes a little bland after a while, there’s only one sympathetic character and unfortunately he doesn’t survive until the end credits. One of the “Zombie Squad” keeps on quoting Star Wars and making geeky jokes which really are weak, and by the end I was hoping that they would die as I was so unfond of them. The big battle involves Nazi zombies fighting Russian zombies and it’s fine, with the odd amusing part, but never has so much blood been spilt in such a tame manner.

The script is quite average overall, some jokes work but a good few fall flat, and the plot isn’t particularly thrilling. The over the top blood and gore is amusing in places, and every so often there’s a particularly creative bit of bloodshed, but this is fairly disappointing ultimately, with a subplot involving the police feeling like it has been added only to stretch out the running time and being especially annoying. Oddly the final minutes of the film are really quite weird and fucked up, and they did make me laugh, but at the same time it just led to my wishing that this had been as unpredictable and strange the whole way through.

★★1/2

Alex Finch.
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