Dead Snow (2009)

Norwegian medical students head out to a remote cabin near the town of Øksfjord for their Easter break.  Vegard (Lasse Valdal) is expecting his girlfriend Sara (Ane Dahl Torp), who owns the cabin, to join the rest when they get there.  During the night the students get up to some drinking and - well, Twister.  The game.  That's when an old man shows up to make sure that they know the local history.

Turns out Øksfjord was occupied by a rather nasty German force during World War II and, when they heard they were losing, the Nazis grabbed all the gold and silver they could.  The villagers, having had enough and knowing the tide was turning, grabbed what weapons they could and killed as many as possible.  However, the rest, including their commanding officer Herzog (Ørjan Garnst), fled for the mountains and became something else.

Of course the students don't believe the story.  However, they are nervous about Sara's absence, and Vergard takes off to find her, running into the old man's corpse along the way. As night falls, and movie buff Erlend (Jeppe Beck Laursen) has some, er, steamy post-evacuation sex with Chris (Jenny Skavlan) in the outhouse, the group comes under siege by walking dead corpses of the Nazi regiment.  It turns out they really, really want at a box of coins and treasure that everyone found under the floorboards of the cabinet.  From there it becomes a fight for survival.

Early on this feels more like a slasher film than a typical zombie movie, but quickly becomes an over-the-top gorefest the likes of Evil Dead 2 or Dead Alive.  And it is quite well-done as well.  The zombies are different - somewhat still sentient (especially Herzog), and purposely made a combination of the mythical Scandinavian draug and the typical Romero zombie, although no one turns if they're bitten.  In fact, the zombies seem more interested in feeding and gold coins than expanding their numbers.

I've seen this one on Netflix for awhile now and, even though it's got some excellent art that would have had me drooling over it if this were the '90s and I was going through the horror section at Hollywood Video, I was reluctant to check out.  Happily, rather than a direct-to-video cheapie, this is quite an exciting and well-made homage to the types of movies Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson used to make.

Dead Snow (2009)
Time: 91 minutes
Starring: Vegar Hoel, Stig Frode Henriksen, Charlotte Frogner, Lasse Valdal, Evy Kasseth Røsten, Jeppe Beck Laursen, Jenny Skavlan, Ørjan Garnst
Director: Tommy Wirkola

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