Saturday, February 27, 2010

Released this week on DVD: "Dead Snow"

Grade: B-minus

Chomp-chomp, zip-zip go the Nazi zombies in Dead Snow, a self-consciously outlandish horror flick about an army of restless and neatly uniformed undead haunting some woods in contemporary Norway. Set in a remote winter wonderland, presumably to accentuate the vivid contrast between all the dazzling white snow and the copious splashes of red (screams also sound louder in muffled silence), the story involves a group of disposable medical students whose vacation turns into a generic gorefest.

As a director, Tommy Wirkola, who wrote the irrelevant screenplay with Stig Frode Henriksen, doesn't just hit every horror beat; he pounds it to an indistinguishable pulp. An adherent of the relatively new fast-zombie trend, he makes his undead work, or at last run hard for their supper. The nonzombies, meanwhile, who behave as if they knew that they were being prepared for slaughter, jokingly referring to films like The Evil Dead, are such imbeciles that you look forward to their pounding (and chomping). As is often the case with movies of this type, the real stars are the special-effects team, which does some admirably disgusting work with ribbons of intestines and a brain that plops out of a ripped-open skull with surprising delicacy.

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