Saturday 12 September 2009

Dead Snow, 2009 offerings, and the running zombie "hook"...

2009 has been a slightly disappointing year for movies ... there's been plenty of hype surrounding certain movies (T4, Transformers 2 etc), but there's not been an awful lot of jaw-dropping awesome sauce to spare. Not like last year which had the jaw-dropping action extravaganza of Rambo, the super-hero superbness of The Dark Knight, and the animated perfection of WALL.E to name but three of my absolute favourites of 2008.

To get to September and to have only just gotten my Top 5 of 2009 is quite something. I'd easily achieved that a good couple of months earlier in 2008 ... so, the top five thus far are:

The Wrestler
Crank 2: High Voltage
Drag Me To Hell
Inglourious Basterds
District 9

I will add that I'm yet to see Moon, I never got a chance to see it in the cinema unfortunately - but the DVD is pre-ordered, oh yes, so I can see that fighting it out for a space in the top five. Nor have I yet seen Let The Right One In ... so I guess there's always room for improving my extended outlook on 2009's cine-offerings.

Quite easily though, I have at least my #6 - Dead Snow - a bloody entertaining Norwegian horror movie that you simply can't not love for two simple reasons.

1) The tagline is "Ein! Zwei! Die!".
2) It's got zombie Nazis in it.

To be honest, if you've got zombie Nazis, you're onto a winner - and you can pretty much do whatever the hell you want. Along with the two Deadlands movies, and Charlie Brooker's TV series Dead Set, Dead Snow now joins the limited ranks of "running zombie movies I'm totally cool with" ... a list that will most likely grow one larger when I get to see Zombieland (which is already pretty much off the running zombie hook thanks to having Woody Harrelson in it, as well as the notion of "zombie kill of the week" - illustrated by an old lady luring a zombie into a doorway so she can drop a piano on it's head).

Back to Dead Snow however and, put simply, it's everything you'd hoped it would be.

Heavily indebted to Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead, and very much within a "the gore the merrier" school of thought, the set-up is simple. A bunch of medical students head off to a remote cabin in the snowy Norwegian mountains, and while there they become aware of a local legend about a group of gold-obsessed Nazis who were chased out of town by the locals.

Obviously, as you'll have long since known about, said Nazis are very much still out and about - as zombie Nazis.

The pace is a tad on the slow side for the first 40 minutes, with only the odd punctuation of horror - but this is very much how The Evil Dead went too. Admittedly I was fearing it wouldn't live up to the hype ... but at that very moment, the zombie Nazi action kicked off for good. Like many horror flicks, such as The Evil Dead, the build up is gradual while the pay-off is constant and seriously gory.

Shotguns, hammers, axes, chainsaws and trees - they're all used to dispatch the goose-stepping undead in gleefully OTT fashion. If you don't cackle with laughter and let slip the odd, impressed "nice!!!", then you're as dead inside as the purveyors of this zombie holocaust ... ... perhaps one pun too far, but I was mostly going for a play on the title of the movie by the same name (aka Dr. Butcher M.D.)

Anyway - is it fun? Hell yes. The only one downside is that there is no dubbed version on the DVD, which considering it's a simple tastes horror hellride, would allow those who don't fancy reading a horror movie the opportunity to just lie back and enjoy ... even still, once the real meat and potatoes that the trailer promises kicks off (in spades) it's just all-out action.

Like I said earlier - put simply - this is a movie that has zombie Nazis in it ... if you don't already have a copy of this in your zombie-loving paws right now, then what the fuck are you still doing reading this? Go! Go buy it now!

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