Tuesday, December 13, 2016

OK, How About Bjørn of the Dead, or Thoughts on Dead Snow

I can sell this movie to you with two words: Nazi Zombies.  You’ll either be immediately on board or you’ll run away screaming, which might be the appropriate response because, y’know, zombies.  The Scandinavian horror movie Dead Snow, or Død snø (2009) opens with In the Hall of the Mountain King by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg as a girl runs through a snowy forest while being chased by those aforementioned undead German Schutzstaffel.  Besides being one of my favorite classical pieces, the music sets the tone and theme for the film; it’s alternately dark and light-hearted, while also alluding to Norse mythology (that mountain king is a troll, and not the internet kind).  Dead Snow references those traditional superstitions and uses them to create a clever and uniquely Norwegian zombie horror movie.
When a group of Norwegian medical students at an isolated cabin in the woods finds a horde of stolen (and cursed) Nazi gold, they inadvertently reanimate the soldiers who want it back.  That’s about all you get for a plot, and that’s really all you need.  It’s a long setup while you get to know the kids and to be honest I’m not sure I’d have stuck around if I didn’t know those Nazi zombies were coming.
Dead Snow’s zombies have personality and memory; the uniforms are scary enough without the added double whammy of zombie makeup and a purpose in addition to eating brains.  They just want their gold back, but technically, they stole it in the first place.  I suppose it’s best not to question these movies too deeply.  It’s billed as a horror comedy but it’s not exactly funny, more absurdist and bloody, but then again how many zombie movies also give you sound advice about digging yourself out from an avalanche?
Featuring Ørjan Gamst as Standartenführer Herzog, the lead Nazi zombie who returned in the sequel, Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead (2014).  Norwegian Director Tommy Wirkola would go on to direct his first American film Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013).  Think Frankenstein's Army (2013) and Attack of The Lederhosen Zombies (2016), with a dash of 30 Days of Night (2007), and a hint of Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive/Braindead (1992) and you’ll have an idea of what you’re in for. 



my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).